Vincent Black

Do we still need the Royal Family?

With the Oprah Winfrey recent interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry and all the drama that was created during the interview… this chat sent tremors on both sides of the pond. Creating a lot of tension with the royal family and its members regarding whether they are racists or just plain ignorant to today’s issues that affect many and all of us.

On a personal note, the royal family in my opinion handled the entire response to the interview in a very unprofessional way and probably created a lot more chatter around the royals and should they continue to be relevant today. The initial nonresponse was almost like they had no answer or were guilty of what the interview projected of the royal family as out of touch and racists at best. Saying all that, the real question that has been asked is…do you believe Meghan Markle? Well, the general consensus is that the population may be split, with folks like Piers Morgan losing his job over a comment he made against the interview, with many others coming under scrutiny having made comments against the interview.

In my humble opinion other than the possible damaged goods that has come out of all this and the image created against the monarchy, the real question that keeps coming up is whether the royal monarchy should continue to exist?

Preference for the monarchy is higher among older adults, with 84% of over 65s choosing a monarch over an elected head of state. While younger adults still favor the monarchy, this rate is much reduced. Only half as many would keep having kings and queens, with a third preferring an elected official as head of state. The monarch is seen as the symbol of the nation and have been considered to have a vital role in holding Britons together during tough times. This still seems to be the case, with more Britons now saying that the Queen plays an important role at times of national crisis than did so before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Queen is head of the Commonwealth and is an important figurehead, however, the British establishment has been left reeling following the bombshell revelations from Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah. The explosive allegations, including Royal Family members asking how dark the couple’s children would be, were disturbing for all manner of reasons.

The Royal Family is increasingly becoming an anachronism within modern British society. Whether it’s the interview with Meghan and Harry, or the Prince Andrew affair, or the growing awareness of the wrongs of colonialism, with which the monarchy is inextricably linked, they are becoming increasingly out of place in contemporary society. The call to abolish the monarchy is becoming stronger and with more head winds. The unfortunate thing here is that the monarchy in the past 20 years or so has done good things, including their charitable work and generous contributions to many worthwhile global charities.

Is the royal family and the monarchy out of touch?

Many folks today and most under the age of thirty years really have no allegiances or loyalty to the monarchy, in fact most under this age group, have no idea or have any history to the royal family and its past. In fact, the only exposure to royalty is on the HBO series called The Royals. Our education system over the last 30 years or so have stopped incorporating the history and the teachings of the monarchy. Many today outside of England have no affiliation to the Queen and King of England and the reason for its existence. Despite love for Queen Elizabeth, a new poll finds most Canadians don’t think the monarchy is relevant to their lives anymore – some would even be willing to have Canada leave the monarch altogether.

One of the most contentious issues in the debate between royalists and republicans relates to the financial burden the public must bear in order to support the monarch and their family. This usually runs into many millions, with palaces, carriages and royal duties all costing huge sums. Of course, royalty brings in funds as well, particularly through tourism. However, the continuous support of royal families and in particularly the Queen of England is very taxing on our economic system with no real accountability.

Republics now vastly outnumber monarchies, and the only reason many of the latter have survived is by evolving and adapting. The divine right of kings may have been accepted in the 16th century, but it’s more than a bit outdated today. Instead, most monarchs know they reside on shaky ground. Republicanism is present in all states with a king and queen, the aim is to keep this movement in the minority. It doesn’t help their cause for continued support to exist when blunders occur like the interview with Oprah. Regardless of what you may have thought of the Meghan/Harry interview, these royals definitely did not help their cause.

In Canada the Governor General has a direct link to the monarchy with a ceremonial role to preside over the swearing in of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of Canada and ministers. One of the GG’s most important responsibility is to ensure that Canada always has a prime minister and government in place. However, this role could easily be replaced with a protocol office that would be implemented by an independent body that would fulfill the swearing in and other duties.

Everything in life has a time and place, and the expiry date for the royals should be coming to an end. The Royal family has had a nice run and once Queen Elizabeth passes on, there should be no succession to this family.

Kings and Queens should only have a place in a deck of cards.

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