Down with the royals

Quinn Riordan, Art Director

The British monarchy has long been a symbol of the United Kingdom and its history and traditionsboth within the nation and around the world. Over 17 million people watched Oprah Winfrey’s interview of Megan Markle and Prince Harry, where they explained their reasons for leaving the Royal Family. 

Markle revealed that she struggled with her mental health and had suicidal thoughts while pregnant with her first child, and when she went to the royal institution for help she was denied. The couple revealed the racist remarks Markle faced and the intense hatred and falsehoods the British press published. 

The interview highlighted the harsh divide between the British monarchy and the rest of Britain, as well as the problems within the monarchy. The monarchy represents the top social class in Britain, and it exemplifies the stark class division within the nation. Abolishing the monarchy would not get rid of the class divide overnight or remove the racism or other problems within Britain, but progressing to a republican form of government would allow for true representation of the people. Abolishing the archaic and, at times, corrupt institution would allow Britain to at least have merit in their principles of democracy and equality. 

The monarchy, at its core, secures privilege, wealth and whiteness at the top of the state and society. By definition, the monarchy represents the importance of heritage in Britain, which obviously trickles down into all areas outside of the royals. When a nation puts such significance on a group of people that have always held wealth, privilege and isolation above the realities of the general population, it leads to a group of people that are so unlike the large majority of the population. Yet, a large portion of the population still strives to reach a status similar to that of the Royal Family. Throughout history, class has largely been determined by wealth which all impacted one’s status and how one was treated in British society, and these inequalities still shape society in Britain today. 

Furthermore, there is nothing democratic about the monarchy, which guarantees, by law, that the Royal Family receives taxpayer-funded money, palaces, special protections from criminal justice or arrest, and political influence. The taxesthe moneyof the British citizens are paying the monarchy which only promotes class divisions and status. The state-sponsored extravagance of the royalty could be overlooked if the members of the Royal Family set a good example for the general population in terms of  equality, charity and stability. 

Yet, the Royal Family does not generally set a good example, and their wrongdoings are publicized over all the tabloids. Members of the Royal Family have donned Nazi uniforms, had friendships with alledged pedophiles and sex traffickers, have promoted racism, and have injured citizens in car accidents. Moreover, the monarchy, as an institution, is racist and represents the years of British colonialism and the carnage and destruction of 25% of the world. The Royal Family should not represent the British people when they themselves can’t even embody the values of equality, democracy and acceptance. If Britain and the British people want to remain a global power and maintain their international influence, they should want to progress to a more equal society. 

In monarchical Britain, oppressive social expectations and divisions are accepted, while all their misdeeds are excused. The British people are funding the gross expenses of the monarchy, and in turn they are only receiving a family that represents privilege, racism and corruption. The British monarchy should be abolished to allow the British people greater control over the direction of their country’s future.