Bid to ‘derecognise’ new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh quashed
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Edinburgh City Council’s Green group said the titles were “illegitimate” and “should not exist” during a meeting ahead of the King’s coronation.
Previously held by the late Queen’s husband Prince Philip, they were passed on to Prince Edward and his wife Sophie on his 59th birthday in March.
A motion tabled by the Greens – and backed by SNP councillors – said there was a “lack of democratic legitimacy of the title of Duke”.
It sought to agree that the “only legitimate representation of the people of Edinburgh is that which is democratic and accountable to them” and the Royal couple “should hold no official status in the city”.
John Hall, from anti-monarchy group Our Republic, told councillors “The Duke of Edinburgh as a title and a role doesn’t necessarily have much of a relationship with the City of Edinburgh Council.
“If we are going to have titles, if we are going to have anything that is related to the city, we as a republic feel it is important that they are linked to the democratic processes in some way.”
However the move was voted down by Labour, Conservatives and the Lib Dems.
Afterwards, Ben Parker, Greens co-convenor, said he was left “deeply disappointed” at the result.
“As well as being an offensive exercise of power by a family whose existence has no democratic legitimacy, we know that the bestowal of these titles has significant consequences.”
He said Royal visits “cost the city millions of pounds a year, cause disruption for residents and impact on council business and staff well-being”.
He added: “As a symbol of inherited wealth and power, the Royal Family goes against the values of equality and opportunity that the Council claims to hold.
“There are growing numbers of people rightly questioning the impact of the monarchy on Edinburgh and it’s right that these views and voices are represented in the Council chamber.”
Tory councillor Phil Doggart criticised the Greens’ “negativity,” adding that ignoring the history and the links between the Royal family and the city “don’t do us any favours”.
He added: “We should welcome any publicity and welcome in particular that we have another Duke of Edinburgh.”