Is Britain truly a democracy, or are the unelected members of the monarchy the true political power players? The Power behind the Throne attempts to unravel this potential conspiracy in which public policy may be swayed by the wealthiest elite.
The mainstream media may choose to romanticize it, but the existence of a monarchy is nevertheless a troubling and antiquated structure. In the 17th century, Britain undertook a grisly civil war in an attempt to win their democracy separate from the monarchy. Ever since that time - officially, at least - a king or queen's scope of influence and power has been severely limited at best, especially in comparison to the country's democratically elected members of Parliament. The citizenry are assured that the British monarchy has no real political pull in the everyday functions of their representative government.
Yet power is often synonymous with wealth, and the members of the Royal family are among the richest in the country. The Queen's fortune alone is estimated at somewhere in the neighborhood of $350 million pounds. Their ascensions, which are earned only by family relation, are further flattered by a slew of privileges not afforded to others, including their ability to reap tax-free profits from a sizable seven billion dollar land portfolio and to avoid paying corporation taxes on various business interests.
As detailed in the film, the monarchy's role in manipulating public policy making became clear with the release of the "black spider memos", a series of long-winded written communications between Prince Charles and assorted government ministers and politicians. These letters contained detailed viewpoints on a variety of political issues, and persuasive recommendations from the Prince of Wales on how these issues may best be handled. The sycophancy with which these letters were received and responded to by representatives in the government makes their influence self-evident.
According to the information presented in the film, the monarchy's sphere of influence doesn't stop there. They have their hands in a great number of additional avenues from international diplomacy efforts to arms sales. The Power behind the Throne is fearless in its attempts to uncover the shocking truths behind a long-held veil of secrecy.