The engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the "commoner", reminded me of how weird the United Kingdom is. On the one hand, it is the home of some of the greatest liberal thinkers in modern times. On the other, it has two of the most archaic institutions in the world - the monarchy and the peerage. As a citizen of two republics, I don't understand why Brits have no problem with their head of state being a hereditary position, rather than someone elected every few years by the people or by its representatives in parliament. I mean, Prince William will definitely be king, unless he dies before his father, even though he doesn't have too many accomplishments under his belt (I'm the same age as he is, and I dare to say I've accomplished more in my life than he has) - and he would've been king even with less.
Let's say the Brits are keeping the monarchy for old times' sake. Why the hell are they keeping the peerage? Most of Europe's remaining constitutional monarchies have done away with aristocracy a long time ago. Why are the people of the United Kingdom putting up with the fact that some men and women are born with the prefix "the honourable", rather than having to earn the honor? Even worse, how are they not bothered by the fact that they have one house of parliament, the House of Lords, that the general population has no say in its composition? Sure, it isn't as powerful as it used to be and can't veto legislation by the House of Commons, but they're still an unelected bunch of people with considerable legislative power.
Why the hell do I care? I'm not a citizen of the United Kingdom. Or should I say, "not Her Majesty's subject"?