Following the recent Megan Markle interview with Oprah, people across the globe have been discussing the British Monarchy, its modern-day influence, and the ramifications of their power. Although the British Monarchy seems to have abdicated much of its active political influence in the United Kingdom, its social influence seems to stretch beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. The increased conversations surrounding the monarchy have made so many people ask, what role does the monarchy have in a modern democratic context? For many people outside of the United Kingdom, the importance of the monarchy may be overlooked. However, its importance to citizens of the United Kingdom must not be overlooked and should be studied and analyzed.
The populace of the United Kingdom has mixed views of the Monarchy.
Just to remind my readers, the United Kingdom is made up of four nations. These nations being, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island. The United Kingdom as a political entity is defined as, “a political union between, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Although the UK is a fully independent sovereign state, the four nations that make it up are also countries in their own right and have a certain extent of autonomy.” (1) These unique nations within the United Kingdom allow for different sentiments towards the British Crown. Generally speaking, because of Scotland’s mixed history with the crown, Scottish people view the crown in a more negative light than citizens of England.
The Queen technically holds some political influence.
Legally speaking, the United Kingdom remains its historical status as a Constitutional Monarchy. Therefore, the Queen has some political obligations assigned to her. For example, according to the Crown’s official website, “The Queen also has a special relationship with the Prime Minister, retaining the right to appoint and also meeting with him or her on a regular basis.” (2) So although the Queen has no actual legal or political influence in the United Kingdom, she retains a strong presence as a social and diplomatic leader. The Queen regularly visits former colonies on diplomatic missions to maintain strong economic and political relations with the United Kingdom’s former colonies.
We should push to decrease the relevancy of the British Crown.
Even before the interview with Megan Markle and Oprah, the British Crown’s outdated and historically ignorant traditions should have been evident to anyone who knew anything about the British Monarchy. The royals still live rent-free on the backs of taxpayers. And although their legal political authority has decreased throughout the decades, their social influence is so strong and creates both strong positive and negative emotions attached to it. Unfortunately, the British Crown is still a relevant force in international politics, and as modern democratic citizens, we should encourage the irrelevance of the Crown to ensure that their outdated and traditional norms are no longer upheld. Instead, we should push for progressive policies that make monarchies irrelevant and encourage societies to instead revolve around having people move up in society using their own willpower.
The monarchy is historically oppressive and the United Kingdom’s countless overseas colonies are a testament to this. Although it may be interesting to follow the social, romantic, and political endeavors made by members of the Royal Family, it is important to understand that this is an outdated system that should be eradicated. Just like our forefathers removed the monarchy’s influence from the 13 Colonies, we should remove the social, political, and economic influence exerted by the British Crown.