Here we go again. I find myself bombarded by the world’s media proclaiming the birth of a royal child. Once more the Windsor cult dominates the small minds of those who think this important or newsworthy. Why, whenever a royal breaks wind or a prince talks to plants, do we do this to ourselves?
The BBC alert which popped up on my computer screen proclaimed: ‘It’s a boy – a beaming Prince Harry says mum and baby “doing incredibly well”’. Is the BBC not supposed to be neutral? Yet for years it has slavered over the Windsors; Just look at the BBC’s live updates page on the birth of this poor child, whose life in the dysfunctional Windsor family will be as burdensome to himself as to those of us who roll our eyes at the moist cult of monarchy. We are informed by the good folks of the BBC that the boy shares a birthday with George Clooney. Come on!
Why on earth do we allow our dignity to be insulted by this absurd piffle? This nonsense really does try men’s souls, to annex Thomas Paine in a different context.
It is nothing new of course. The BBC has always celebrated the royals rather than simply reporting on them, while the rest of the world coos and croons as royal babies are born and wells-up as princes marry American actresses. The anti-monarchy case has been complete for centuries- just read Paine or peruse the Republic website and be done with it; that the Windsors and some others pathetically hang on should be an embarrassment.
Alas, abolishing the monarchy by law would not be enough; the world is too caught up in the ‘mystery’ and the ‘magic’ of royalty to examine the phenomenon critically. We need to mature before casting off the Windsors.
The monarchy may no longer be the tyrannical force it was in the past, but it is insidious. With little power it still leeches money from the state (and, by the way, it is a myth that it makes up for this by bringing in tourists) and provides a spectacle for the public and the elites to fawn over. Yet, through showbiz-esque magic, still we are convinced that it provides ‘stability’ and that the Queen is a ‘figurehead’; that modern royalty also invites vulgar tabloid harassment is merely the flip side of our debasement.
Elizabeth Windsor may be a dutiful woman, but the hereditary principle means that however many sensible rulers you get you are sure to get just as many vacuous fools on the throne like the Prince of Wales. Perhaps a King Charles III, chattering with plants while extolling the virtues of homeopathy, will make people reconsider their allegiance to the House of Windsor, but I doubt it.
This is because the younger generation of royals- Harry, Meghan, William, and Kate- are popular, even though the latter are as boring as one could imagine, and the former are nothing more than a celebrity couple. That the Windsor family has married into American celebrity is another sign of both its decay and its strength – it debases itself yet proves adaptable.
This just demonstrates its emptiness and opportunism. A black feminist in the royal family will not make social inequality disappear, and the parading of this fact as progress is merely a veil for the rottenness at the heart of the institution.
The Windsors provide a cheap shot of magic to the masses but this is nothing more than a fig leaf concealing some squalid truths about British politics and life, and hardly justifies the cretinous adulation we foist upon them. I pity the child. The Windsors themselves are victims of their positions, sacrificed on the altar of populism and hounded by a ravenous press which attacks them as well as worships them. Magic and misery are one in the weird world of the Windsors.
I expect to be called a killjoy, but if this mindlessness is joy then we are very far up a certain creek. In short, this silly spectacle serves no one and is a sign of a cultural and intellectual malaise; it is long since past time for the Windsors to retire and fade into z-list obscurity and for the British public and the world to put away childish things and grow up.