Royalists may get the feeling that Meghan Markle is deliberately destroying the image of the British royal family. No, let’s be honest, the British monarchy is facing its toughest challenge since Lady Diana’s death. According to Time, the royal family then invested millions of pounds and a huge effort to regain the public’s trust.
Now the royal family is facing problems again, this time caused by Meghan Markle. I think there is almost no doubt that it was Meghan who made the decision to leave the royal family. Harry may have been fine with it, but the decision came from her.
A new crisis is unlike the previous one: more invisible, deeper generation gap
The new crisis is unlike the others in several ways. You have to understand that the British monarchy faces challenges from time to time, but is usually very successful in overcoming them. But the new crisis may go much deeper than that:
- As blasphemous as it may sound, let’s face it, for a great many Britons, the prestige of the monarchy rests on Elizabeth II. And no one knows how society will react to a change of monarch.
- The new crisis actually demonstrates the clash of two different cultures: the free American (we might even say global) culture and the old-fashioned British culture.
- The problem is that as the world becomes more global, the younger generation in Britain becomes more and more like the same-aged people in the US or any other place around the Globe.
- For these people, the story of Meghan and Harry is not a story of betrayal, as it appears from inside Buckingham Palace, but the story of one girl’s struggle for freedom from custom.
And I can say without a doubt that in time it will do very tangible damage to the reputation of the British monarchy.
British monarchy still should exist
When people argue about whether Britain is ready for a republic, people forget that very often the British monarch plays a decisive role in resolving problematic situations. I will not delve into history, I will give only the most recent example. In August 2019, the Queen sent the British Parliament into recess to allow Boris Johnson to resolve the Brexit issue. We can debate all we want about whether this was the right thing to do, but since the British were still intent on leaving the European Union, I can say that it was the best option to let Brexit happen.
So anyway, even though the royal family is worth about $100 million each year, I’m sure that amount is reasonable when you look at it from a political stability perspective.