Royal Rumpus: Time For Change

The rubbish written and spoken by commentators and the media about the Harry and Meghan affair has damaged the so called Royal Family, but not in the way its supporters think. There is absolutely no reason why a mature couple should not have the power to decide how to lead their lives, provided they are not in receipt of public funds.

The notion of this family at the apex of the State is relatively new and certainly not to be confused with the institution of the monarchy, which has evolved over a millennium. The purpose of the monarchy is to provide an impartial Head of State, who is the guardian of good governance and the rule of law. Above politics in the party sense, but not detached from the political responsibility for the maintenance of effective government and the protection of citizens rights.

The problem now engulfing the family itself, as well as the nation at large, is that it has  been revealed  by recent events to be politically useless, whilst living in a world of pampered luxury and privilege, beyond the comprehension of the vast majority of ordinary people who help pay for it. For three years the country suffered government paralysis over Brexit, while the economy near flatlined and public services in every direction faltered and failed. In any other western democracy, the Head of State would have demanded of political leaders a better performance in government and parliament, or would have dissolved both, so that the people could choose  new ones. But here the Queen was constrained by ‘convention’ to the point of wringing her hands and watching.

The storm broke first with the scandal of Andrew and the paedophile. Then Meghan declared she had had enough. Harry was torn, but chose his own immediate family of wife and son, over the notion of Royalty and his place as the now distant 6th in line to the throne. His brother is the king in waiting. Harry is the redundant speare, because now William and Kate have produced three heirs.  The petty discussion over tiles and prefixes in a world of food banks and housing shortages, where ever more details of scores of footmen and lifestyle details of what is closer to a soap opera than a public need, has caused many to raise questions about whether time is up for this whole thing.

That is the damage. It is not about Harry and Meghan, who remain hugely popular among the rising generation on both sides of the Atlantic. It is about the rest of it. If it is to survive it has to be cut down to size and brought up to date.

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