Matt Castoral in one of his writings notes that there are things in life that are mostly certain for the British populace: death, taxes, and the British monarchy. Indeed and for long the British monarchy has been a constant but will not be so any longer. Much as the British royals have dominated headlines world over, however as noted by prominent royal experts, serious real blunders committed by the past monarch have put the British empire on the journey of the end of it.
Whereas 62% Britons have claimed to have stood behind Queen Elizabeth before her passing, there have been a growing number of dissenting voices calling for the disbandment of this monarchy. These voices may and will be louder now that the Queen, a pillar of the monarch is gone. It is important to note that most of the British populace supported the Queen herself but not necessarily the institution of royal rule.
Some experts in the United Kingdom fear that public sentiments will shift King Charles now on the throne. This is because the 13th king of the United Kingdom has not been universally beloved. In fact, I agree with Castoral that in comparison with his son, and age not being on his side, the British populace may prefer a young king in William than his father King Charles. At 73 years, King Charles may not have a long time to really change Britons attitudes and perceptions towards the monarchy. Prince William is young, and has progressive ideas which they may support, however, there will keep question marks of their minds as to why they should keep supporting a monarchy such as the British empire, of what point is it anyway? Is an unelected family useful to the British populace, whom do they represent in this ever increasing democratic United Kingdom?
Dr. Anna Whitelock says “As older generations who are generally more wedded to the monarchy die out, the question of the future of the monarchy will become even more pressing and then potentially more critical voices will come to the fore.” the fact is that, the royal family does not play any vital role in the functioning of United Kingdom, despite the Monarch’s duties in bestowing honours, and appointing the Prime Minister. These two are the only real significant roles that they play. In vacuum, a ceremonial leader like the monarch would seem almost fun to have around Britons, however, have to pay dearly for this “privilege.”
The royal expenses are always paid by the people of Great Britain including flashy banquets, designer dresses for the royals, private jet flights, and this comes from the taxes paid. For example, Prince Harry’s wedding was funded at 45.8Million Dollars. This costed the Britons. Currently, United Kingdom is grappling with fuel prices and other economic challenges yet knowing that they have a burden to pay for a certain category of people-the royals for luxuries maybe unacceptable the near future. Yes, having royals and royal sites add high values to tourism revenue but when you compare on the value generated and monies allocated to the royal family, it is startling! Official reports from the palace claim that annual royal expenses only amount to around 58 Million dollars for serving purely ceremonial purposes. However, other sources have placed these costs as high as 468M dollars, making the departed Queen and her clan alone one of the most expensive royal families in Europe.
The crown comes with burdens. This is a fact. Real disintegration of the British Monarchy will come from the royal family itself. The dissent of Prince Harry and issues associated with his marriage to Lady Markle were not handled so well. This led to his relocation to the USA thereafter however much he was summoned back to Buckingham palace before the Queen’s death, those issues will mark the beginning of the end the mighty British Empire. Any more slip up on the part of the high profile royals could disintegrate the entire dynasty. They are now under the constant watch of the camera. If the Prince and Duchess of Sussex managed to shock the world by announcing their exit from the royal family. If the monarch failed to support their own when they left the palace, why should they expect the British and the people around the world to continue supporting the crown?
The other reason would be the woes of Prince Andrew, the youngest of the late Queen’s children and his association with Jeffrey Epstein. For starters, Jeffrey Epstein is a United States citizen and businessman who has been involved in illicit activities, sex trafficking operations and so on. Epstein’s association with the royal Prince caused a lot of public embarrassment to the British Monarch. The royals had managed to repair their public image when Prince William married Lady Kate Middleton, the birth of their children, however, the ball dropped again in 2019.
In order to remain relevant, the royal family has to come down, be in touch with the populace, show more relevance in the affairs of the British citizens, provide viable solutions if any to the growing needs of the British. Failure to do that will definitely be the beginning of the fall of the British Empire.
The writer is a Ugandan Citizen