As I was reading a comment left by a reader about this post, stating that Liechtenstein's head of state, Hans-Adam doesn't receive a dime for his official work (thanks for the information!), I was reminded of many posts and forums that I read throughout the internet lately, where people show a huge dislike towards monarchies. One of the first reasons is that it isn't democratic (as if they had that much power left anyways) and the main reason is beheld by taxpayers, who feel they are the one paying for all those trips, those weddings, those sailing competitions, those dresses, those haircuts. A Belgian friend of mine dislikes her royalty very much, finding them quite useless but agrees to say that they are a symbol of unity in her very split country and that they are less expensive than having a system with change of presidency every 5 years.
So, what gives?
Are monarchies that bad, that shallow, that expensive?