By Emma Kidger
From a drama filled interview to the death of a royal family member, the British monarchy and royal family have been through a whirlwind of events, exposing their fragile private life to the public eye even more than usual. The biggest priority of the monarchy has always been: put the crown first and protect it at all costs, however, this has been challenged time and time again.
In 2016, a Netflix drama television series called The Crown premiered, opening peoples’ eyes all over the world to the sacrifice it takes to be in the British monarchy. While the drama chronicles many historical aspects of Queen Elizabeth II and her life, most of the show is fiction. The show hit its ultimate peak in 2020 when it began focusing more on Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana in their wavering marriage. The cast and creators of the show know The Crown is only based on true events, but the viewers and fans, on the other hand, are so intrigued with knowing the ins and outs of the Royal Family, making the line between fiction and real life very slim. Due to the various accusations the show makes about certain situations and events in the family’s private life, all types of claims have been made against the family and have sparked outrage against the monarchy as a whole.
These outrages have only increased after Prince Harry, grandson to Queen Elizabeth II, and his wife, Meghan Markle, left the royal family. Harry and Megan spoke out about the situations they were put in during their interview with Oprah in March 2021. This famous interview sparked a discussion of racism in the monarchy and many comments made reflected poorly on various members of the family. Most of all, the public was outraged by Meghan’s disregarded mental illness within the institution and concerns about their child’s race. The interview turned everyone’s eyes towards the royal family and forced many statements to be made on behalf of the Queen to stop the growing accusations and negative views towards the family and institution as a whole. One of the statements mentioned how the family is “saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” and continues to state how they want to continue these conversations privately.
Meanwhile, the health of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, or more popularly known as the Queen’s husband, redirected many conversations and criticisms about the existing British monarchy. Amidst the interview scandal, Prince Philip went through various surgeries, and the poor health of the duke caused more of the media to focus on him, rather than his grandchildren. While he stayed in good spirits for the following months, he passed away on April 9th. His funeral followed the following week, which meant all members of the family, including Harry, finally came together after months of tension due to the Oprah interview amidst accusations made in The Crown.
As the life of a royal becomes more unbearable, protecting the crown and the future of the monarchy has been challenged throughout the past years. More importantly, the muddled monarchy has a long way to go in order to come together and support the commonwealth without letting prejudices divide the most historic family in the world.