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The Queen’s Death: What is next for the monarchy?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bristol chapter.

With the Queen now laid to rest, after tributes up and down the country, is it time for the country to re-evaluate it’s monarchy? In the wake of Prince Andrew’s sexual assault scandal and the racial discrimination of Meghan Markle, the Royal family can no longer hide behind the loveable Elizabeth to maintain public favour.

On the 8th of September 2022, at the age of 96 and after a reign spanning 70 years, Queen Elizabeth the 2nd sadly passed away. The news prompted public displays of grief up and down the country. Immediately, the news sources became saturated with images of the famous 5-mile queue to see the Queen, stories of Paddington toys being left outside Windsor and Buckingham Palace, and people sharing their personal stories of how the Queen affected their lives for the better. Patiently, we now wait for the coronation of King Charles the 3rd to occur. However, it is still not clear how the monarchy will continue from this point.

Now may not seem the best time to discuss the country’s future as a republic or a monarchist country. It may seem inappropriate to consider considering the Queen’s death as recent as it is. However, change is the best time to consider the monarchy’s future. The Queen was a beloved lady by many. Now that the Queen is gone, this may be a suitable time to examine the royal family objectively. The monarchy is more than the Queen, and it is time to consider what it means to have one.

Already we are seeing doubts in the public surrounding King Charles’ future as monarch. Unlike his mother, Charles has never been the most favoured royal. Arguably, this stems from his tumultuous marriage to Princess Diana in which he notoriously cheated on with his current wife and now Queen-Consort Camilla Parker Bowles. Moreover, the royal family in general are finding themselves in more and more hot water, which can no longer be hidden in the publics love for the Queen. This includes the racially fueled treatment of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, with reports of a royal family member being particularly concerned over the skin colour of their son Archie. Other controversies include the sexual assault allegations the now King’s brother Andrew has been faced with in recent years, sprouting from his association with prolific sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

According to a June poll, 62% of the public are in favour of the monarchy. However, there has been frequent protests against the institution in the past month, which have lead to interesting debates over freedom of speech and whether anti-monarchist views are allowed in this democracy. In Edinburgh, King Charles was welcomed with a group of protesters turning their back on the monarch and declaring ‘no consent.’ A woman has been arrested for disturbing the peace due to her holding a sign that simply wrote, ‘F**k Imperialism.’ And many are turning to twitter and other social media platforms, each mimicking similar cries of ‘not my king.’

It would be naive to think that the Royal Family are not aware of these protestations, and this could be the reason for the rumoured changes about to hit the monarchy. Sources have been saying that Charles wants a ‘slimmed down’ monarchy. Not much is known about what this means, though many theorize it will result in the monarchy only having 7 working royals who will be paid for by the state and a smaller coronation for the King in comparison to his mother’s one 70 years prior. Evidently, these changes could give some favour back to the monarchy; however minimalised monarchy may make a transition to republic even easier for the nation.

No matter what happens to the monarchy, it is clear big changes are in store. Charles’ ‘slimmed’ down monarchy is only the start and as people become more disillusioned with the royal family now that the Queen is gone, the country must decide whether the monarchy represents them anymore. And, as we nationally challenge racial and classist ideology, it would be foolish to think the monarchy, an institution built on both, is safe in this current climate. Does the monarchy fit into the future when it’s clear that they don’t fit the present anymore? No, they do not.

she/her I'm Charlotte, though most people call me Charli. I am currently studying English BA.