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Home Opinion Opinion: What does the future hold for the British Monarchy?

Opinion: What does the future hold for the British Monarchy?

Opinion by Roy Merkley

For over a thousand years the British Monarchy has survived despite wars, pandemics and changes in culture and technology that are mind boggling.  From having absolute authoritarian rule to now having a more symbolic role in British society, their presence on the world stage has always been influential, albeit currently to a much lesser degree. Very few institutions have stood the test of time like British Royalty has, but in today’s rapidly changing world they seem to be under increased criticism with even questions about its very existence. It will be interesting to see how the Royal Family stays relevant as we wade forward in the 21st century after the coronation of King Charles III only weeks away.

Whether you love them, hate them or are somewhere in between, you must admit that the British Royalty has always been a key component of the United Kingdom. To me it sets them apart from all other countries as having some kind of traditional anchor with a sense of stability. The reign of the late Queen Elizabeth exemplified this and was extraordinary, both in length of time and with her personal global popularity.

Over recent years however, much of the world’s attention to British Royalty has been focused on the members of the royal family with little thought of the institution itself. Like most families in this world, they have not been without some of their clan’s shenanigans raising your eyebrows, which tends to take them down off the pedestal and humanizes them. They have suffered the tragic loss of Princess Diana with all of the associated drama which followed the Charles- Camilla relationship. Prince Andew’s antics are embarrassing to say the least, and the latest media circus surrounding Harry and Meghan has taken on a life of its own. This was a recipe for disaster from the beginning when a mediocre American actress, having a mediocre career as a character in a mediocre American soap opera, was introduced into the rigid historic culture of the age old British Royal family. It is amazing it took as long as it did for Meghan and Harry to pack up the notoriety that Meghan had attained with her royal marriage and take their real-life soap opera off to California. It is a complete clash of cultures playing out on the world stage. Shakespeare could not have written a better plot.

However, again like in most families there is the other side of the coin wherein so many positive things spring from the royal families’ activities. Who cannot like Kate and William’s personalities along with the children and many other members of the family as they live a life of service to their country?  How hard it must be to be so scrutinized by the public and live in a glass house with everyone looking in. However, that is the life of the royal family which they were born into and chose to accept.

So, should the Monarchy be disbanded since it is too old fashioned? It just could be that when the world is experiencing such a rapid rate of change maybe it would be a good thing to tolerate a few customs and age-old institutions to keep us grounded and temper the rush to the future. Who knows where advanced technology, artificial intelligence, and the overwhelming changes in how we communicate with each other will take us down the road of life. I for one like the idea of being able to hold on to a small piece of the past as we try to adapt to what was unimaginable just a few short years ago.

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