By Luke Birch
A coronation comes around once, maybe twice in a lifetime, and we are told to relish them. But I hope this will be the last.
Britain is now the odd-one-out constitutionally, as the royal families of the likes of France and Germany have been consigned to history, the UK remains perhaps unsurprisingly alone and a relic to the past.
Despite this, Saturday’s coronation of King Charles III in London will be a flash show. On screens a beacon of Union Jack ostentatiousness will be thrown in the face of domestic and international audiences.
The champagne will flow, and a bank holiday will roll, appeasing most, but do not let it fool you, after all what we Brits do best is pretending everything is fine when it is anything but.
It is a narrative pushed to us all in the UK and worldwide that the royal family is the pride of the nation, but when many are struggling to feed themselves it begins to look flimsy.
The reality on the street is that it seems like all once great empires, the British Royal Family has run its course. According to YouGov, only 31 per cent of 18–24-year-olds, a group I am a part of, would like to see the monarchy continue.
This is a sentiment emanated by a generation voting with its feet. For a generation who do not have a say in something so unelected, so undemocratic, and ages ingrained to the constitution, their apathy is surprisingly widespread. If young people do not tune in, what are we paying for?
This is an issue that unifies, considering 41% of that age range wants an elected head of state, and it is growing.
Recent royal gaffes have opened the door for fresh waves of criticism. Every time questions are asked of the Royal Family, they seem to respond with more obfuscation particularly with regards to Meghan Markle, Prince Andrew, and their finances.
The voices of critique are growing louder, and the Palace has thus far failed to produce the answers. We have not learnt of what was in the Queen’s will, she unlike every other member of society is allowed to keep her will a secret. The gap remains firmly between them and us.
Young people have so much of the digital world at their fingertips. All kinds of content that can be produced by anybody, anywhere, at any time, compared to Kim Kardashian; King Charles III is not that Tiktokable.
Yet the royal family are still placed firmly on a pedestal. Charles whose role is largely considered to be ceremonial, has allegedly vetted land reforms that pertain to his tenants being able to purchase their homes from the King’s estimated £1 billion property portfolio.
It is believed he influenced John Major’s government over this issue, however the Palace has denied that he has ever done anything of that nature. He retains the constitutional ability to receive draft laws under a procedure formerly known as the Queen’s consent.
If Britain were to finally become a republic, not only would the public gain control of the constitution, but the vast wealth of the royals could be used for public good.
We are moving into an era which will require a lot of change to our society to avoid climate, AI, and nuclear catastrophes. All issues which will need various levels of investment and regulations. All may be more pressing than what dress Kate Middleton stands on her balcony in.
It takes a special kind of patriotism to want your country to improve, and the UK of the future belongs to the next generation.