On 6th May 2023, millions of people worldwide watched a new king being crowned, but many question whether the monarchy is an outdated institution. Are the Windsors an essential piece of the tapestry of our nation or should we be considering a review of our British ‘ancien regime’?
Watching the crowds gather in the streets of London and hear of the huge global television viewings was proof indeed that the British royals are “crowd-pullers” in the extreme. Our monarchy is a global brand and an incredibly valuable export. The UK tourist industry is worth an estimated £106 billion and many of those tourist attractions are directly linked to the monarchy: Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, The Tower of London, The Changing of the Guard. The ‘pomp and ceremony’ that republicans loudly scorn may cost rather a lot (our late queen’s coronation in 1953 cost 20 billion in today’s money), but many argue that the institution more than pays for itself, generating a huge amount of profit for GDP.
In addition there are the 2Hs : history and heritage. Are they not the very two words upon which our great nation was built? Our long-standing monarchy (over 1000 years old), royalists argue, provides stability and security, and we must do all we can to preserve and uphold the unbreakable bonds to our forefathers. If nothing else it turns the Americans green with envy! In a world where politicians come and go and finding a trustworthy, competent Prime Minister seems an increasingly difficult task, doesn’t the monarchy provide a source of reassuring ‘otherness’, something above the petty squabbles of Westminster? Aren’t the royal family a group of solid people who really do have the interests of the country at heart and in whom we can really trust?
by K McCallam