Wednesday, December 1

UK Republicans Cheer On Recent Royal Trials | Monarchy


It has been another series of weeks in which the open sores of the royal family have become known around the world.

Prince Andrew was confirmed to be a “person of interest” in a new American investigation into the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. Days later, it emerged that a new epilogue to a biography of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claims that the couple believe the royal family did not take responsibility for the concerns raised in their interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Separately, there was an unwanted development of a different kind for royalty on Sunday when a charity founded by Prince Charles said it was launching an ethical investigation into “cash for access” claims, the allegation that intermediaries accepted payments to prepare dinner between wealthy donors and the future king.

It is a backdrop that leaves those defending the case for a republic in the UK, often lonely, convinced that they are quietly advancing, not only by claiming a recent surge in formal support, but also by reacting to a advertising campaign designed to get people talking about your cause.

A set of billboards deployed by the Republic campaign group it is unprecedented in calling for the abolition of the monarchy.

And he has achieved one of his desired goals, to provoke a reaction, even if that includes at least one being vandalized. New billboards, including one showing Andrew as “Wanted,” will be installed in the near future.

But while royal controversies continue to indirectly help the cause, less appreciated and perhaps counterintuitive factors are also driving new recruits into the Republican fold, including television giant The Crown.

Richard Crane, 23, a doctoral student at York University who joined Republic two months ago, credits the series with starting his journey from being a “half-monarchist” to someone who actively supports the abolition of the institution. .

“It prompted me to do a little more research on what their role is and what systems exist in other countries like India and Ireland, which made me realize a lot of things,” he said.

Another who joined last year, Henry Beach, a conservative-minded 29-year-old Londoner who works in marketing, is an example of how the campaign goes beyond the silos of the center-left, even though it remains small.

“My interest actually skyrocketed during the purchase of the apartment where I live with my girlfriend,” he said.

“It is on a lease basis and there is a landlord on top of that, which seems quite wrong to me. It really sparked the idea that we still live in a feudal system and everything that follows from that. “

Republic CEO Graham Smith expresses satisfaction with the impact of the last campaign and says the winds are beginning to turn. And he attributes the furor around Prince Harry and Meghan as a trigger.

“Opinion is divided again. I think there are a lot of people who like them and a lot of people who really want to leave, ”he said.

“But I think a lot of people were quite shocked by the accusations of racism, towards Meghan’s health, for example.”

Smith said Republic’s primary focus remains preparing for the opportunity around royal succession. He said a potentially much less popular King Charles presents a headache for those seeking to preserve the monarchy.

“I don’t think a constitutional crisis is inevitable, but I think it is a very serious problem,” he said. “We think it will be very difficult for you to keep your mouth shut and not say anything about the issues that matter to you. I think he has a kind of complex messianic form, he feels like he’s here to save us from ourselves. “

Polls consistently underscore the popularity of the monarchy in the UK. Three in five Britons (61%) still support the monarchy, according to YouGov polls in May, a small drop from the previous year. However, the same poll found that 41% of 18-24 year olds say Britain should have an elected head of state, while 31% continue to support the monarchy.

Malcolm Turnbull, the former Australian prime minister who led his country’s Republican movement in a failed 1999 poll, emphasizes that this is a key moment on the other side of the world as well.

“The death or abdication of the queen will be a historic milestone, and we cannot be sure what attitudes there will be on the other side,” he told The Guardian.

“In the UK the argument has to be egalitarian. In a modern democracy, Republicans will argue, all offices should be open to all citizens. Why does the taxpayer spend a fortune to support a family in such incredible greatness? “

He added: “In the UK, I think it’s harder to sell, but the message in Australia remains the same and I think the view in London, among most people and certainly in and around the royal family, is in awe that Australia is not. a republic now “.

Turnbull is also confident that the aura around a new generation of royals will not be enough to save the monarchy in any future vote in Australia.

“There are a lot of people who think there is such enthusiasm for younger royalty and that will overwhelm them, but I think that mistakes the enthusiasm for celebrity for something completely different,” he said.

“Americans are big fans of real gossip and the glamor that goes with it, but they are not about to become members of the British Commonwealth.”


www.theguardian.com

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