“In name, King Juan Carlos reigned. His signature is on all the bills/ laws. In 20 years, the Spaniards and historians will speak of 'the reign of King Juan Carlos' just like they will speak of the reign of Elizabeth II or Beatrix (in the Netherlands).”
“But the years of King Juan Carlos will be known in history as 'the reign of Juan Carlos'. And his name and signature are on all new laws, despite the fact that it was in reality the government that approved them.”
ConverseTheShort on Jun 3, 2014 at 20:22:58
“It's the same with the UK--these years are known as Queen Elizabeth's reign, and her signatures are all over UK legislation despite the fact that she has no active part in UK gov't. It's the same thing--he's a figurehead, and doesn't actually *do* anything; it's just for appearances' sake.”
“I am not an American. I am Dutch and I know quite a lot of British people and I hardly have heard any praise about her. Sure, at first she was considered a breath of fresh air, but many of my British friends feel that she isn't pulling her weight. Last year she did less royal functions than the 91-year old grandfather of her husband. And yes, Kate was pregnant, but the Duke of Edinburgh was in hospital for heartfailure and an operation to (IIRC) his stomach and still he did 5x more royal functions than Kate.
Add to that the many vacations (she was sick with HG and couldn't visit a few of her charities but two weeks later she travelled to Mustique, an island with no medical support to speak of), the very few charities she supports (9 so far, Princess Diana had around 40 three years into her marriage) and not because charities haven't asked her, but she is declining many requests.
For many of the British people I know, Kate's honeymoon with the press and public is over and for more than a few the flying skirts (three times during the trip Down Under) was kind of the last straw.
And no, I am not a republican (as in anti-monarchy), I am perfectly happy with my own RF and wouldn't want to trade them for any of the Windsors.”
“Oh I would have loved to see the GOP squirm all the while telling US troops (and their relatives) that when captured, the US government will not do anything to help them and get them back safe and sound.”
“An expat colleague from the US did the math recently, getting his old tax-returns etc and compared them to the Dutch ones now that he lives here for 3 years. And with almost the same income (obviously his income rose a bit over the last years) he found out that when he combined the US taxes (federal, state and local, NYC, taxes) he paid 41%. In The Netherlands we only pay income tax to the government and some real estate taxes to our city, and in The Netherlands he paid 44%.
But for that 3% extra taxes, his children have free health insurance (including dental), almost free education for his children, he gets child subsidies for his children.
But for him and his wife all that is non-important compared to the 25+ paid vacation days they have.
He recently decided to ditch the expat-contract as he and his wife decided to stay in the Netherlands indefinitely.”
Jun 1, 2014 at 13:44:32
“I believe you can, but personally I don't see the point. And I like my meat or fish from time to time. But my portions are not even halve of what the average American meat portions are. The idea of eating an entire US size T-bone steak is making me feel a bit sick.”