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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Why You Should Care About the British Royal Family


In a world where political instability has become increasingly prevalent, one constant has been the presence of the British royal family. While their standing in British politics and society has been intermittently challenged over the last twenty years, their popularity continues to rise steadily. According to YouGov polls taken two years ago, the majority of Britons felt that the British royal family was good for Britain and would still be in place a hundred years from now. However, despite popular opinion, the future of the monarchy still remains unclear. What does the future entail for the royal family? How have they managed and how will they manage to stay relevant in a world which is seemingly straying more and more from its traditional roots?


The British royal family over the past hundred years has adapted to the changing times by listening to the pulse of the people and rebranding their image when necessary. After the death of Princess Diana the monarchy had to adapt their normally stoic and standoffish behaviour to fit the people’s demands for retribution after the death of “their princess”. Henceforth, political figures and institutions can draw inspiration from the royal family and their ability to maintain their image whilst still upholding the traditional values that Britain holds dear. In addition, politicians can learn how to act in a manner which maintains unity and harmony within the nation’s population, as opposed to projecting divisions.


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The British monarchy has been in place for just under a thousand years. The monarchy started as the main governing body of Scotland and England, but with the drafting of the Magna Carta, the political power of the King was reduced. As Britain’s empire expanded, as did the reach of the British monarchs. Today, the Queen is not only the head of state for the United Kingdom but also for the entire commonwealth, which encompasses fifty-two states and 2.4 billion citizens. As the reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth is not just a figurehead. She has precise constitutional duties in connection with the forming of governments and the dissolution of parliament.


In looking at how the monarchy will stay relevant a hundred years from now, it is crucial to consider how the younger generations of the monarchy have been appealing to the public. Prince Harry and Prince William, continuing the legacy their mother left behind, are advocates for mental health issues and helping injured soldiers returning from war. In using their influence to help others and forming their own charitable organizations, the Princes have managed to gain the support of the British public. Both brothers served in the British army and fulfilled their patriotic duty as Britons further influencing public opinion of the pair, which is mostly popular. These reasons are among some of the most significant as to why some British citizens wish that the crown goes directly to Prince William and not his father Prince Charles, after Queen Elizabeth passes away.


Regardless of who takes over the throne, Phoebe Thomas, a British student at WIS, underlined that for her it is most important that the royal family continues to act as a moral example for the British population as well as acting as a piece of living history. Thomas also believes that one of the reasons the monarchy has managed to stay popular amongst their population has been due to their lack of involvement in British parliament and their avoidance of inflammatory or derisive statements. For this reason, Thomas thinks it is possible that the royal family will still be prevalent a hundred years from now.


However, according to fellow WIS student Ian Carpenter Suhy, one of the ways for the British monarchy to have more of a global outreach would be for them to have more political power, although majority of people would not agree with non-democratically elected people governing the country. From Suhy’s perspective, as an American, one of the reasons that he does not know or think about the British royal family is because they have, arguably, no significant involvement in parliament. In looking towards the future and how society will change, it will be interesting to see how the monarchy will continue to adapt its public image.


If, like Suhy, you do not know anything nor wish to know anything regarding the history and future of the British monarchy, it is important to remember what they represent to British people in our international community. To some Britons, like Thomas, they “help keep up ideas of morals and the way people should act”. After the events this summer when an apartment building in London was burnt down, killing over eighty people, the first ones to visit the site were the British royal family. In grieving with the communities affected by the horrific events, the monarchy represented what it meant to be British, and what it meant to be upstanding global citizens. Though their relevance on the global stage has declined over the years, the monarchy continues to act as figureheads for the British population and maintain the ideals they hold dear.

By Katrine Westgaard

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    Patriot1Jan 10, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Are we, the American people, really interested in the British Royal, or are we just being indoctrinated into accepting them, by the media/elite? It seems like we are being force-fed.