A role, a role, my kingdom for a role

What Does The Queen Eat On Christmas? Royal Family's ...I used to be a socialist. Most of us are when we’re young. Along with that went republicanism and abolition of the monarchy. In later years I came to respect the argument that the monarchy provides continuity and a figurehead for the country. I noted that countries with presidents rather than monarchs weren’t any different from the UK. I rejected the argument that they didn’t earn thier position. So what? All other roles are filled by either election or selection. A few roles filled on a hereditary basis adds randomness to the oppressive orderliness of modernity. I liked the argument that if we didn’t have a monarch it would not be possible to create one. Use it or lose it. So am I a monarchist? Hell no! I’m just not that bothered.

The palaver around Harry and Megan didn’t worry me. I have no affection for the royal family so what do I care if they all fall out? It provides entertainment for the masses. When Andrew was linked to Epstein I sympathised with The Queen as a person. She’s done a good job throughout her whole life and now, just as she’s about to shuffle off, the shit hits the fan. How upsetting. But now Andrew’s has been excommunicated it reminds me of what happened to Edward VIII. What we are witnessing in the final days of QE2 is not frailty and distress but flinty eyed self-preservation. Monarchs have always been ruthless when defending their position.

In the 21st century the monarchy finds itself in an unprecendented position. Their antics used to be known to only a select few while the rest of us were fed fairy tales. With nothing else to go on, the fairy tales were accepted, at least on a subliminal level. Today technology and our global perspective reveals the monarchy in the cold hard light of day. Those on centre stage may be hardworking but what of the rest? Rich privileged twits with a lifetime of nothing to do but hobnob with the rich and powerful. The parties might be fun but the next morning, when all their friends are back at work, what then? Another day of entertaining the Daily Mail? The monarchies might have been designed as institutions for creating bounders.

The monarchy is a weird singularity. They are wealthy but not as wealthy as many others. They are a powerful but their power is vague and tenuous. They are a family but their monarchical role trump their familiar ties. They are essentially private yet must present a constant public image, a performance. Every day like some dreadful rerun of the Truman Show.

Who would want the job? The poor, yes, if you were very poor you would want their wealth but what if you have a job and somewhere to live and a few quid to spend? Would you want the role of The Queen or Prince Andrew? I fucking wouldn’t!

The question may not be: How long will the British people tolerate the monarchy? The question might be: How long can we expect anyone to endure the idiotic life they lead? Putting aside the current controversies, what if The Queen popped her clogs tomorrow and everyone in succession ahead Jeremy Corbyn refused to accept the throne?

There’s a contiutional crisis.