I didn’t watch the Royal (ex-Royal?) interview, though I heard and saw some snippets, inadvertently. I can’t get really interested in Royals until they’re played by proper actors (https://bernardjporter.com/2020/12/01/the-crown/), and preferably with their lines written for them by Shakespeare. But I understand that it has re-ignited calls for the abolition of the monarchy. Which of course is a nonsensical institution, especially on the scale – and at the expense – it takes on in Britain (Sweden’s is much more modest); and so is difficult to defend as an institution, in – as they say – ‘this day and age’.
But… Can you imagine whom we might get as Head of State if he or she were democratically elected? After the Brexit vote I’m not sure that I’d trust my British compatriots – 51.9 per cent of them at any rate – to make a wise decision. We’d probably get a popular footballer or stand-up comic; or a ‘national treasure’ like Delia Smith or Dame Judy Dench; or – God forbid – Nigel Farage; or even our present amusing prime minister, for the next tenant of Buck House. At least Liz and her offspring (and her offspring’s offspring) are saving us from that. No; better leave it to the historical chance which landed us with the present bunch of hapless and unhappy misfits and their heirs, maybe cut down to size, like the ones here in Sweden. If, that is, they’re still willing to take on the job. I wouldn’t be. And clearly Harry isn’t. Good for him.
From what I gather – and I’ve not been a close student of this – my sympathies must lie with the (ex-) royal couple, both out of admiration for the fact that they’ve had the gumption to escape from their gilded captivity, and also because their main persecutor (as I understand it) has been the British tabloid Press, which I have no love for either. Abolish the monarchy if you like, and if you can find a way of finding some inoffensive old buffer or dame to take its place. But please find some way of democratising the Press first.
The interview is all over the Swedish media as well today. The latter is not very respectful – in case you imagined that her monarchy bestowed any ‘dignity’ on Britain as a nation. It doesn’t; any more than it would if it were made up of the cast of Coronation Street. Who might, if you think about it, make rather a better job of it. I don’t think even a future Shakespeare could get any real drama out of this boring lot.
Interestingly, the interview brought ‘colourism’ into this particular episode of the Windsor Soap Opera, as ‘someone’ (three guesses) in the Firm raised the issue of the possible future complexion of the young couple’s child before he was born! Apparently, he will not be allowed a princely title nor given security although whether on the basis of the colour prediction is unclear. However, in The Guardian at least various combatants in the culture wars have already ascribed colourism to imperialist attitudes, slavery, plantation behaviour, and colonial social systems. There’s doubt that gradations of colour were important in some colonial societies, but is its relationship to a silly enquiry as above really so certain, or when victimhood is being claimed is everything fair in love and the culture war.
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I think only the children of the direct heirs get to be princes and princesses. William’s children were always going to get those titles, whereas Harry’s were not. Harry’s son is entitled to be an earl, which is a fair consolation. (The royals have a very strong sense of entitlement.) Perhaps if William predeceased Harry then the latter’s children would get an upgrade.
Harry is an heir to the throne, and his son should get a princely title if and when his father becomes monarch. Prince Andrew’s daughter is a Princess after all, but Meghan alleges that Charles intends to slim down the Royal Household and her son will not get a princely title. But what am I saying, I’m a republican.