Monday, January 13, 2020

A Right Royal Ruckus

You know when you see something unfolding which everyone else thinks is a big deal, but which leaves you just shrugging your shoulders?  Well, that's the way I feel about this current Royal 'crisis' with Prince Harry and his wife deciding that they want to 'step back' from being 'full time' Royals.  If I'm to believe the press this is a constitutional crisis the likes of which hasn't been seen since the abdication of Edward VIII.  This wholly spurious comparison seems to be based upon the fact that Edward VIII gave up the throne to marry an American divorcee while Prince Harry has married an American divorcee and, well, hasn't given up the throne. Indeed, as he isn't actually directly in line to the throne any more, his decision to 'opt out' really shouldn't be a big deal.  Yet we've had Royal 'summit' meetings, interventions by the Queen and the Prince of Wales and all sorts of wild speculation on the part of various Royal 'experts'.  According to the latter, this 'crisis' could lead to the end of the monarchy as we know it.  Good.  It is an anachronism which serves only to validate and legitimise our archaic system of class, privilege and patronage. 

But, of course, it is highly unlikely to derail the monarchy any time soon.  While the media might have viewed it as a crisis so severe that it knocked everything else - Iran, the fact that Australia is ablaze, Brexit - off of the front pages, the public don't seem to have shared their view.  As far as I can see, it has elicited little in the way of public discourse.  But just why does the press and, apparently, the establishment they represent, feel that this development is such a threat?  Could it be that they fear the fact that someone doesn't like this privileged royal bubble they keep telling us mortals is so wonderful and is prepared to walk away, undermines the myth they are constantly peddling?  After all, Royalty, in the UK, represents the apex of the social pyramid, the ascension of which is peddled as being the ultimate aspiration of the populace.  The higher you go, the greater your wealth, power and privilege, the happier you will be.  But Prince Harry's recent actions give the lie to this, implying that the opposite might be true, which undermines the whole basis of the class system. 

Of course, this idea of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just walking away from being active members of the Royal family and becoming 'ordinary' people instead is just bollocks.  It isn't as if they are short of a bob or two.  I mean, they aren't likely to end up living in a two bedroom council house on an estate in Slough any time soon.  As for them becoming 'financially independent', well again, I doubt very much that we'll see either of them working in Burger King or delivering Pizzas on a moped for Just Eat. As a final thought on the subject, just why was this story promoted as a constitutional crisis presenting an existential threat to the Royal family, when Prince Andrew's  connections with an international sex offender wasn't?  Surely allegations that one of Her Majesty's sons was involved with underage sex slaves were far more damaging to the image of UK Royalty?  But hey, his alleged depravity wasn't actually challenging the very basis of our culture of privilege, but rather reinforcing it by effectively implying that if you have enough money and access to power, you can get away with anything.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home