The birth of a certain future king has dominated headlines and conversation since he emerged from the hospital with his radiant mother and beaming father. Whether you love or hate them, nobody can deny that The Royal Family does a splendid job of keeping their country talking.
Controversy over the monarchy has flared since the christening of young Prince George, even over trivial matters, such as the prince’s christening gown. Republicans scoffed that it looked like a dress, while royalists defended it for being traditional. Even over something as mundane as an outfit, the argument between royalists and the opposition sent sparks flying.
While the divide in opinions is understandable, there are definitely more reasons to love our royal family than to loathe them. From an objectively cultural point of view, the British monarchy is one of our most historical assets. In a world preoccupied with revolution and change, having an age-old monarchy is something unique and invaluable. This quality is something that is recognised by the rest of the world. Many republicans claim that The Royal Family is a drain on the British economy. However, a recent survey has shown that London’s monarchic tourist-sites draw in £500m per year from foreign visitors. This is not only something for British citizens to be proud of, but is also incredibly beneficial in today’s recession.
Being historical and financially profitable are not the monarchy’s only qualities as the Windsors are quite lovable. As a family, they offer us endless entertainment. At one point or another, many of us have laughed at the expense of Her Majesty’s suit ensembles, Prince Philip’s cringey foot-in-mouth comments or Harry’s latest scandal. Moreover, anyone who claims that little George isn’t adorable has a heart of stone. Of course, our monarchy is not perfect, but nor is any family, and this is what makes them so endearing.
Although the public is often unable to relate to the lifestyle, the Royal Family is not exempt from life’s struggles. As individuals, and real people, we can understand their faults. Like everyone, each member of the House of Windsor has suffered loss, grief, disapproval and pressure, and they have all handled these things with the stoicism expected of them by their nation.
Critics argue that The Royal Family are obsolete role models, claiming they have done nothing to deserve such a luxurious life and are an outdated institution. However, irrespective of a rise in democracy, capitalism has and always will be unavoidable to some extent. In addition to this, stately life does not merely consist of polo, shooting and cuddling corgis. Our monarchy work very hard and at almost 90 years of age, Queen Elizabeth II attends regal engagements on a daily basis alongside Prince Philip who is 92. While Prince Charles is heavily involved in charity work and forestry, Prince Harry defends England and Prince William was an RAF pilot. With these careers, family commitments and royal duties, it is quite clear that having a title does not guarantee pure luxury.
As well as the financial and inspirational good that the monarchy brings, they also unite community. Remembering back to the wedding day of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, I was huddled around a portable television in the kitchen of the restaurant where I worked. The tables were practically empty, except for the few elderly ladies despairing about Kate Middleton “signing her life away.” On my walk home, I passed several street parties andthought it was simply lovely. It is true that the monarchy brings people together, be it family on Christmas day in front of the Queen’s speech or neighbours on a bunting-filled summer’s day.
I strongly believe it is crucial to our future as a country that we preserve our heritage. The Royal Family is unique to our British identity, as are seemingly trivial treats such Earl Grey, scones, red telephone boxes and tweed. Regardless of whether you like them or not, our monarchy is a key property in the shaping of our history and way of life, and in my eyes, this should not be uprooted.