Readers of this blog will already know my views on the monarchy. They will know that I consider it an outdated and ugly institution, which lives and breaths to simply maintain its own position and survival. It reflects the past, not the present or future. It belongs in a museum. It would be totally meaningless and irrelevant if it wasn’t receiving so much public money, public attention and a formal role in the constitutional arrangements of this country.
I spend very little time thinking about it but when I do it grates on me as someone who believes in democracy and meritocracy. I believe you should receive power, status and influence through your skills, hard work and values not who were your parents. But I live with it. I ignore it for the most part. I wish we had the courage to say thank you when Her Majesty passes away and introduce a democratically elected President – look across the Irish Sea to see how it can work – but I know that we won’t.
My ability to give it little thought is challenged when there is big royal news, such as the engagement announced yesterday. As a human being – and someone for whom marriage is the best thing to happen to me – I can highly recommend it – I wish Harry and Megan every happiness together. They look like a couple very much in love and very much together – good on them. But the noise – much of obsequious and nauseating – that has accompanied the announcement reminds me how strongly I feel about my preference for a republic.
One thing that has fascinated me over the 24 hours is how the narrative – well-crafted and presented by the royal communications people (paid for by my taxes) – has focused on how Megan represents change and how “the firm” has modernised and reformed. Her mixed race heritage. Her American birth. Her history in show business. Her attendance at a catholic school. So what happened today? She is becoming a British citizen. She is ending her career. She is being baptised and confirmed in the Church of England.
The ‘change’ spin is great; the reality is more of the same. The usual, royal fayre. Outdated. Misplaced. Tired.
Photo taken from BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42156565