Over the course of the last few weeks, I have seen a subject on the ‘news’ that has been circulated widely across many news mediums that should make you question British society: The royal family.
We can all debate ‘what the news should be’, but more importantly if we look at what the news actually is, this in itself is much more telling and a greater insight into how our society functions.
When one reads an article about the new royal baby, the Queen’s thoughts on Prince Harry and Meghan or that Prince Philip is ‘OK’ in hospital, what they are actually reading is a reinforcement of an established imagined order, an order that you have no control over, that is highly undemocratic. It matters little what the Queens thoughts are, anything about Harry or Prince Phillip ad nauseum, what matters is that there is a Queen, a royal family and that you have no say in the matter and never will. It is a ‘truth’, a ‘reality’ not to be contested. It is of course in reality nothing more than nonsense and completely unjustified.
It’s very easy to not pay it any mind because if you were been born in the UK this has always been the order of things. There are them, and there are us, and that is the way it is, the way it must be, and how the order of things must stay. This is the message from the moment you leave the womb and set your little feet on British soil until your days are numbered.
So, there is a Queen, a royal family, why?
Can any reason be justifiable? Of course, there is a history for why our society is currently constructed as it is, but does that mean it should exist today as an established order that is sacrosanct and beyond question? Should we so easily accept it? Are we really to believe these people should have a better life than the majority of us simply because of their characteristics through birth amongst other ridiculous things?
As my girlfriend likes to remark, they are nothing but incredibly overpaid ‘professional wavers’, employed to sit in extremely expensive cars and move their hands back and forth to the insane who have stood in the British dull weather for 48 hours to get a glimpse of… well… an old woman, that is waving.
Some may argue having a Queen, a royal family is good for the country, but to counter that argument, is it good to have a country that claims to be democratic while having an established order that no citizen has any control over and sell it through the idea of patriotism and tourism? Surely only those who choose not to question would agree to such a contradiction.
What it comes down to is this: how much do you value and believe in the idea of an egalitarian society?
I personally have nothing against each one of them, I don’t know them, but a system that clearly denotes a class structure that is so evidently unbalanced I do disagree with, and the fact that it’s so easily accepted and barely questioned gives a clear indication of the foundations and functions of British society.
We can also see that the ‘news’ in itself is a servant to power. Rarely do we see articles challenging the status quo, but repeatedly we see articles reinforcing the order of the royals. It is essentially nothing short of gossip.
Now I won’t be anytime soon standing outside Buckingham Palace dressed in a beret and Che Guevara t-shirt with a megaphone spouting anti-royalist sentiment or rhetoric about us being a republic, the imagined order is too firmly established in the minds of many and there are far too many other pressing worthwhile causes to dedicate my time too.
But for once, just once, wouldn’t it be interesting and enlightening if we could all collectively agree and acknowledge what British society actually is: a highly undemocratic system, rather than pretend with the utmost self-congratulatory pomposity that we are the greatest country on earth, the leaders of the world, while insecure, melancholic and suffering in our empire patriotic hangovers.