• Germany edition
 
Interview with The Local
'Germany needs moral guidance of a monarchy'
Photo: DPA

'Germany needs moral guidance of a monarchy'

Published: 06 Jun 2013 15:36 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Jun 2013 15:36 GMT+02:00

“Subconsciously, I think young Germans wants something they can orientate towards,” said Prince Philip. The 45-year-old father of six may work as a Protestant vicar, but he has become one of the loudest voices out of those who want to see Germany revive its monarchy.

Since Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated in 1918, the country has been without a monarchy. But Prince Philip believes that a royal family with divine right conferred by God could offer Germany what it is missing.

“When a leader answers to himself, and not God, an atheist-led country ends in disaster. Look at Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin,” he told The Local. Religion, “tames the selfishness naturally present in all of us.”

For the prince, a country guided by politicians and a ceremonial president means not only is there no strong family to look up to, nor is there anyone to rally up enthusiasm for family life. “A presidential head of state is not enough...what Germany needs is moral guidance and a friendlier face,” which, he added, “people do not get, and shouldn't expect, from politicians.”

Indeed, this appears to be what increasing amount of young Germans want, after a survey for news agency DPA revealed last month that as many as one in three 18-24-year-olds would like the Kaiser back on the throne. Jump to the over-50s, and this figure dropped to one in six.

“Looking up to a king or queen would be much better for Germany's young people than to pop stars or football players,” Prince Philip said. He lamented that people were putting too much value on consumerism and material goods instead of having children – something desperately needed as Germany faces a demographic implosion.

“I am astonished that so many young people said they would be in favour,” he admitted, acknowledging that general public opinion towards the monarchy in Germany was not that positive.

He cited the increasingly popular face of European royalty as being partially responsible for boosting interest among younger Germans. Though on the surface, young people may be drawn to the glamorous lifestyle of princes and princesses, the traditional of family is what they are yearning for deep down, he said.

“A crown prince would be the role model from which the country could seek inspiration, as it would be expected from him to get married, have children and stay faithful.”

For the prince, a presidential head of state simply does not cut it.

Being voted in “doesn't deign them the same respect” as a king, who is chosen by God. This is why he thinks his career as a protestant vicar would mix well with being royal. “All people are born equal but some are born to lead, and others to follow. This is not a human made concept, but a God-made one.”

Germany's disgraced previous president, Christian Wulff, was Prince Philip said, a perfect example of why appointing a politician as head of state was detrimental to the country. “Wulff was lauded by the country's tabloids as a modern family man, with his second marriage,” he said. “But in reality think about the effect growing up in a patchwork family has on a child, it isn't a good one.”

Yet being blue-blooded still seems to hold sway with the German public, thinks the prince. Take, for example, former Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who plagiarised his doctorate dissertation. The case was covered exhaustively in the national press and eventually forced the Bavarian baron's resignation.

“This is because he is aristocratic,” said Prince Philip. But he said that the scandal didn't detract from his blue-blooded charisma. “It gives him a certain kind of aura that impresses people and attracts their attention.” We all have a tendency to orientate towards what came before us, he said. And with a monarchy, that lineage is clear.

Eventually, the country will need more than its finances and infrastructure being taken care of. It needs spirituality and religion and without God, Prince Philip added, saying Germany was running the risk of putting too much importance on money.

Of course, for many Germans money and monarchy are closely linked, with 50 percent telling DPA that they feared it would be far too expensive. But Prince Philip dismissed such concerns: “think how much more tourism, and in turn money, it would bring in,” he said. “One can't offset everything in terms of money though,” he added.

So, could Germany soon become a monarchy again?

“I haven't set my heart on it,” said Prince Philip. “Our country's broken history is too deeply ingrained.”

Jessica Ware

jessica.ware@thelocal.com

twitter.com/jesscware

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany has just ten Ebola beds
Photo: DPA

Germany has just ten Ebola beds

Doctors at high-level infectious disease clinics say that caring for patients with the Ebola virus is much more intensive than they first thought, meaning they can handle fewer cases at once. READ  

Refugee Crisis
Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees
A refugee protests on the roof of the former Gerhart Hauptmann School in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees

Berlin has turned to huge tents and shipping containers to shelter growing numbers of refugees. With winter approaching, city politicians have called on the federal government for help. READ  

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 11
An eyewitness captured the moment of the explosion on their phone. Photo: DPA

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 11

UPDATE: One person has died and at least 11 others are injured after a huge explosion in western Germany on Thursday. READ  

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word
Merkel suffers from Wortfindungsstörung at the IT summit in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word

Angela Merkel's government is often criticized for its lack of understanding of all things digital and an appearance by the chancellor in Hamburg, which was supposed to change those perceptions, has only made things worse. READ  

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes
Photo: DPA

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes

Research released on Thursday by environmental group Greenpeace showed that more than half of clothing sold by German discount brands contain chemicals known to be dangerous to health and the environment, with items from Aldi being the worst offenders. READ  

Woman sues for accidental pot raid
Photo: DPA

Woman sues for accidental pot raid

A Bavarian woman is suing police for unlawful search after a reported break-in at her home led authorities to discover 158 cannabis plants in her basement. READ  

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants
Photo: DPA

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants

Germany gave out fewer residency permits last year per head to non-EU citizens than any other major European economy. READ  

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine
Hamburg's UKE has helped lead the fight against Ebola. Photo: DPA

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine

Volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the first phase of the human trial for an Ebola vaccine at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Clinic (UKE), it was announced on Wednesday evening. READ  

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend
Jacob Lew and Sigmar Gabriel. Photo: DPA

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, in a meeting on Wednesday with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, called on Germany to boost public spending to stimulate stuttering eurozone growth, the Treasury said. READ  

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window
Schönhauser Allee in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window

A father and his young son are in serious condition after police and firefighters were called to their home in northeast Berlin early on Wednesday morning. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,523
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd