One is not amused: Is it time for the Royal Family to go?

Published

Credit: Ka Leung

Clara Oxley
Writer

For centuries, the Royal Family have been regarded as the symbol of a United Kingdom, the face of a “Great” Britain, a shining example of leadership and family… oh, and a constant reminder of class privilege which has been deeply ingrained into this so-called equal and democratic society for long enough.

Last year was a perfect example of this privilege and ignorance of the real world that the Windsor family live in; the drain they had on our resources were immense, as can be seen in 2017, when each and every taxpayer was paying around sixty-nine pence towards the Monarchy to fund trips, Buckingham Palace repairs and other royal-related affairs. Not only this, but in 2011, the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton cost £6.35 million for the Metropolitan Police Service; in 2018, Harry’s and Meghan’s wedding cost Windsor council alone £1.2 million, and the police between £2m and £4m. Don’t get me started on the wedding of the minor royal, Princess Eugenie, someone who clearly just wanted to get that princess wedding feel for the day without a thought for the taxpayer providing for her. A republic would not be wasting money on this sort of thing, but on resources that actually need funding. I would like to see that stuck on the side of a bus.

Yet is this spending actually worth it? Reports have shown that tourists visiting the UK have the capacity to spend over £500m a year on visiting sites around Britain associated with the Royal Family and their history. For all those Scottish sceptics out there, this includes Scotland too, what with Balmoral, the newly built Victoria and Albert Museum in Dundee, and of course, Edinburgh Castle. However, these are associated with the past, so would it really make a difference if the Royal Family simply integrated into normal society, dropping the titles and statuses they are automatically given at birth? This raises another question: why are we content with the head of our state being chosen for us? Those Etonian princes and upper-middle-class-born, St Andrews-educated princesses do not represent the majority. Yes, they do a lot for charities, but often no more than sticking their names at the bottom of an important document; they may raise awareness of some charities too, but arguably no more than other celebrities and influential people in the world.

Despite all this, however, many, and I include myself here, cannot help but admit the soft spot they have for the Queen. You would have to be heartless to hate any 93-year old woman, and what she has done and is still doing is remarkable considering her age. However, I do not need to remind you of the general unpopularity of Charles, who will arguably paint the family in a less than appealing light if he ever inherits the crown.

Britain did try a republic before and, yes, it was hardly one of our proudest moments, but it is rather unlikely that an abolishment of the Crown will lead to another ban on Christmas (I’m looking at you, Oliver Cromwell). Besides, as I mentioned before, having a wealthy family of status as the frontier of our supposedly democratic society hardly stays true to this idea, and appears to contradict our fight against inequality. The “controversial” Meghan Markle seems to be attempting to modernise her new family; I recently saw a debate on Twitter over Meghan shutting her own car door – I know, the horror. Some congratulated Meghan for this astounding feat of independence, calling her “humble” and “down-to-earth”, while others complained that her bodyguard was slacking. Do we really need this ridiculousness at the forefront of the UK? A republic would never have to deal with such old-fashioned nonsense, apart, for example, from comments on a female MP’s choice of clothes or jewellery which we amazingly still hear today, that is.

Perhaps if the Royal Family worked for their living and paid for their own weddings, if there was not such a big hoo-ha whenever they were dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, and if Charles was not next in line to the throne… then maybe I would agree that they are of some use to us, especially in the tourist department. Until then, however, it is about time we waved a right royal adieu to that privileged bunch.