Are the Royals really that bad? (Kate Middleton and Prince William on tour in Canada, role models, and modernising the monarchy)

Prince William & Kate Middleton in Canada

As a Liberal, it may come as a surprise to some of you that I am a bit of an unashamed royalist. In the present day there are certainly anti-royalists around, but in general the air is more of disinterest rather than hate of our country’s heritage and in particular, our Royal Family. People simply are not interested; the Royals do not represent a modern, exciting or progressive society and many feel they are stuck in the past and a waste of money. A fair point from the everyday man who looks at a family adorned with castles, countryside retreats, jewels, designer dresses and a few odd shaped hats and rolls his eyes. The country used to adore the Royal Family when Queen Elizabeth II first came to the throne, so what went wrong? The answer is simple; it isn’t that the Royal Family is a bad, corrupt organisation looking to screw us over. In fact, the Queen has made ample cut backs over the past few years and the taxpayer now only contributes 57p a year to keep her. The problem is that despite this, the family continues to pretend to be something that it is not, and for this reason the public cannot connect. The Queen, especially, refuses to stray away from the traditional conventions, setting unreachable high standards for her family to adhere to. Again, this only pushes the public further away for two reasons: 1. numerous divorces and less than regal behaviour make the family look hypocritical, instead it should embrace who it really is and move on from its long gone image of perfectness. 2. A perfect family isn’t what the public want anyway, we admire those who we can relate to but are more interesting than us.

A lot of people seem to think that the Royal Family will never change and will eventually either die out or become a burden on our modern image. But since the royal wedding, I am starting to see a change. The wedding drew the Royal Family into the spotlight for the first time in a while and made people who only give the Queen a thought when they stick a postage stamp onto a letter notice its existence. This week saw the new royal couple, Kate and William embarking on their first Royal tour. Fresh from their time in Africa the couple arrived in Canada, a country which (generally) welcomed them warmly. I was surprised to see the love and warmth the crowds gave to the newlyweds; it is something that we have lost over here. It made me think back to the wedding in April when it came to light how obsessed and fascinated the people of America were by it all. I couldn’t believe how bothered they were when the feeling in Britain seemed to be ‘Well, go on then, if we have to. At least we get a day off’. The lack of street parties must have stung the Queen like a bee at the realisation that a huge royal event no longer brings communities together. People no longer share the celebration, instead they watch from a distance, vaguely interested.

The spotlight is now fast fading; the big day, the honeymoon, all over, and the Royal Family could easily sulk shyly back to their dusty grandeur. I was pleased to see, however, that Kate and William are not sulking anywhere. They appear on the news stylish and conservative in dress but not stuffy and old fashioned. They seem approachable and friendly and Kate never goes over the top with jewellery and hats. There is something a little bit perfect about them even though they don’t pretend to be. Everyone knows they lived their life how they wanted and had their ups and downs as a couple. Now they are grown up, mature but their youthful charms shine through. They bicker and tease each other. I think that this is a couple the public could grow to love and come to relate to. Watching them visit Canada on their tour was actually interesting and vaguely entertaining. They have no qualms about speaking to and getting involved with all kinds of people, from those who have suffered violence and abuse and are rebuilding their lives to the First Nation Canadians with all of their traditional rituals. Most of all, however, they are active and they join in, getting involved in more than just the usual. Sporty and youthful, whilst in Canada they had a shot at hockey and joined in with a dragon boat race. Kate, a keen rower playfully teased William, who’s team won the race, by pretending to push him into the water.

I think it is easy to find Kate and William endearing if you can get past the fact that they are Royalty and just see them as two representatives for our country. If you spend some time researching the charity work that Queen Elizabeth and

Kate Middleton graduating from St Andrews University

Prince Charles actually do, it is clear that they do work hard and achieve a lot. I hope that William and Kate can modernise the monarchy and make it something that the British people are proud to have. At the end of the day I would much rather have Kate Middleton, an educated woman who is active, well travelled, compassionate, and caring about issues around the world as a role model than most of the celebrities we call role models these days. Kate Middleton is a woman who respects tradition without allowing it to get in the way of her being herself. Perhaps she and William will manage to make the monarchy something that people are interested in. I’m fed up of seeing children look up to women in short skirts who have had cosmetic surgery on everything from their boobs to their bums. And I’m fed up of seeing men swearing, dressing sloppy and teaching our children to be disrespectful.  Do we really want to live in a society where we admire qualities of selfishness and superficial successes? If every little girl wants to be a princess, let’s hope our newest princess embraces modern society and creates a liberal but respectful model of what to aspire to that promotes self confidence, kindness, fun, and hard working ambition in the next generation.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Just turned on the news to find Kate and Will in America – Kate was painting a snail… I hope my point is still relevant haha.

  2. CJ says:

    Do we really want to live in a society where we admire qualities of selfishness and superficial successes?

    No. But the royals are just that ^^^
    I’m 16, if a friend ever refers to the royals as hard working, I start a debate.

    1. How exactly are they selfish and superficial? They give up their entire lives to the country, and have to spend everyday living in the public eye and putting rhe country above their own wishes. And they do work incredibly hard on worthwhile causes. Also, they pay their way and, the Queen especially, makes more money for the country than she receives:

      If they modernised and moved away from the conservative, jewels and riches sterotype they could be very worthwhile role models.

      1. I couldn’t”5 disagree more. That video (which I’ve seen before) doesn’t actually behold the true cost of the royals. The genuine cost, which includes the round the clock security costs (from police and at events etc) isn’t includded in that video, neither are various other factors that aren’t usually included by royal bankers because they (for reasons unbeknown to me) don’t apply to the rules of what you have to release on spenditure.

        The actual estimated cost of the monarchy last year was roughly £200million. Last year £200million was spent not the cancer drug fund, that amount of money could increase the number of nurses in the UK by 9260 a year. As for “tourism” is a bit of a red herring. For instance the top 50 tourist attractions of last year in the UK, only included 2 royal establishments. Winsdor castle made it in at number 17…Windsor legoland was number 7.

        And as for the superficial…they may seem to some as nice role models. But inside the £10,000 savile row suit that represents the monarchy in this metaphor…lies a moth ridden shirt. This shirt representing the racism within the royal family. The queen mother for instance was a supporter of the apartheid in south Africa and well, we all know about prince phillips racist comments that he regularly states with stupidity and pride. As well as the racist ideology of a monarchy, that is, inherited power.

        They work hard you say? Well, I will agree with you there. It’s mad to think that they dedicate part of their time (let’s agree it’s not a constant job) to freely visit massive concerts, receptions and ceremonies all over the world, which in some cases are put on especially for them…flying in private jets and enjoying all the luxurious items the planet has to offer. It really is a hard life for them, tough job being incredibly wealthy.

        My real point is, do we want these white Protestants representing the culturally, ethicnally and religiously diverse UK? I don’t understand the need to idolise and celebrate a monarchy. They live in multi-million pound estates, drive incredibly expensive cars, wear designer clothing that costs thousands…all the while children die of starvation all over the world every few seconds and people in the UK struggle with the failing economy caused by the filthy rich, that remain unaffected by the problem they have caused.

        So, no. They aren’t good. They represent the sheer imbalance of the world and also highlight the basic lack of equalities in the UK and worldwide.

        But, I suppose we’re all welcome to our own opinion and I will say that I don’t intend to offend anyone.

      2. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the royal family and their expenses so until I have time to check the facts (final year of university dissertation stresses are kicking in at the moment) I will take your word for it.

        I can completely see why people do not like the royal family and find them out of touch and pretentious. Just because they’re white though, does that mean we should shut them out? I don’t really agree with not liking people just because they are a certain race or religion. As a LibDem, I believe we should tax the rich to contribute to sorting the economic problems out. The royal family have made huge cutbacks though and whatever you say they do pay their worth and actually benefit the economy.

        The role model thing – well they do charity work and there is the national trust etc and the DOE award off the top of my head. They contribute to international relations and generally don’t make an embarrassment out of the country. These are positive things and I would rather look up to people like that than a lot of the celebrities little girls want to be like these days.

        I don’t particularly like the monarchy as it right now (other than the Queen who I think has been incredible to take on that role so young and do such a good job) but I can see it slowly starting to modernise and improve. Give it time and I think it will become something we cal all be proud of as a nation and not resent anymore. Or maybe I’m just an optimist…

  3. Haha, no worries, i did tonnes of research for an AS level piece of english coursework which led me to your site…apologies for the original and slightly smarmy comment! I see your points and I sort of understand where you’re coming from, and it’s good to be optimistic in a way…but I still think there are many non-false celebrities to look up too that aren’t famous because they’re famous…if that makes sense. I don’t think it’s because they’re white, but they don’t really represent the UK, because there are many non-white people. So…anyway I’d much rather see an activist that spends all their time committed to good causes having the light shined on them for just five minutes than the queen?

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