What is the point in having kings and queens?

Expert Answers
enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The concept of having one person responsible for governance dates back to the beginning of recorded history, and probably goes much further back. In its most primitive form, the lead warrior was the leader, as constant warfare was the norm among scattered groups millennia ago.  Even through the Middle Ages in England the key claim to be king had to be earned through the "right of arms."  Having one person supreme in matters of governance and warfare allowed for some peace and some prosperity -- this became one of the foundations of  feudalism in Europe -- if the farmer doesn't need to worry so much about being attacked, he can focus on food production, and for many centuries kingship was essential to survival. Eventually in the West, as cultures evolved, and especially in England, the concept of the sanctity of the individual ended the "Divine Right of Kings," and began to bring about elements of democracy.  By the end of World War I democracy as a form of government had replaced monarchy throughout Europe; any country in the world today which still possesses royalty does so either as a vestige or as a figurehead;  several countries in Europe still have their monarchs, but curiously have socialist governments, where everyone is supposed to be the same. Currently, the key advantage to retaining royalty lies in their symbolism as the embodiment of the nation, exactly the same as the mythical figure of "Uncle Sam" does in the United States.