Let’s take a look into some of the most prevalent arguments against the monarchy and the royal family and why some are calling for their end
( @theroyalfamily / Instagram )
As a massive fan and aficionado of the royal family, this article is not only difficult to write but also a bit hypocritical. I have always defended the royal family and the institution because, to me, they really had no political influence. They were truly just figure-heads for the U.K. and the Commonwealth — a bunch of cool celebrities who encapsulated a quintessential part of what it means to be British. This, however, is not an accurate representation of what the family is.
In its purest form, the royal family is a controversial family business of culturally-significant celebrities. They are a reminder of the UK’s imperialistic reign and serve as a keepsake of the racism that has and still exists in the UK.
In a way, this family is like the worlds’ Kardashians… but on steroids.
As a self-appointed expert on the Royal Family after watching The Crown (jokes, relax), they are quite the rowdy bunch. For one, the family is headed by Queen Lizzie who’s been on the throne since 1952. To put that into perspective, she literally saw the rise and fall of One Direction right before her eyes. In all seriousness though, that's a LONG time to be the HBIC. Since her ascension to the throne, her powers have constantly become more and more limited to the point where she's just this cool little granny that everyone kind of loves.
However it;s important to note that when Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne, BRITAIN STILL HAD COLONIES!!! That’s why to some people, especially those in former colonial countries, the Queen and her family represents nothing but the legacy of imperialism. Actually, the fact that she’s the head of the Commonwealth, composed of former British colonies and territories, rings a little vexatious to some. (Look at me using big words.)
Building on the former idea, imperialism and colonialism is indeed purely tied to racism and a sense of European (white) superiority. Thus, there shouldn't be much of a debate as to why some of the same people who view the monarchy as being imperialistic also regard it as being a racist institution. While no one is accusing Queen Lilibet of being racist, we are saying that the system she represents is.
To some this may sound inflammatory, but former members of the family literally made us aware of this fact. When Meghan Markle sat down for her tell-all interview with Oprah, she informed us that, as the first person of color to make it into the family, there were “concerns” over what color the baby’s skin would be. Although she refused to name anyone specifically, it sounds pretty fucking racist to me. The institution’s comment is giving off very “one-drop rule” energy.
Lack of Mental Support
[TW: eating disorders and suicide]
Time and time again, history repeats itself in this family and no one seems to learn anything. The story is simple: girl marries royal boy, media bullies girl, girl needs mental help because of bullying, royal family can’t help because???
It happened with Princess Diana, it happened with Fergie, and, most recently, it happened with Meghan Markle. If the family wasn't willing to publicly defend these girls against all the hate the media was giving them, the least they could’ve done was provide some sort of mental support to cope with the hate.
It’s a bit absurd that, even after Princess Diana’s struggles with eating disorders, the institution wouldn’t have a system set up for these kinds of situations. It's a bit absurd that even after the royal family launched their OWN mental health campaign, that these issues are still occurring. Meghan shouldn't have been in a place where she wanted to end her life due to lack of protection from the family, nor should her issues have been dismissed when she was begging for help.
Back to the original question: should the monarchy be abolished? I honestly don’t know and I think it’s up for each person to come up with that solution on their own. While they tend to do a lot of good philanthropy and truly don’t have much governing power, they are also representative of a system that subjected millions to their will and still tend to internally struggle within their own family with racism and dealing with mental health. So yeah… like the worlds’ Kardashians… but on steroids.
Luigi Bencosme is an online writer at Rowdy Magazine. When he's not frantically swiping through Twitter or Instagram, he's indulging on an iced coffee while blasting all genres of music. You can reach out to him on Instagram @luigibenc or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org