The Monarchy and it’s Controversies


Anna Serratos, staff

Crowns, palaces, fancy clothing, amazing trips…These are just some of the luxuries that come with being part of the royal family. In particular, the British royal family is known for its lavish lifestyle, and while its members are revered and loved by most people, opposition to the institution of the monarchy is not rare.

The British monarchy has had thousands of years of history, with its beginnings dating back to the 10th century. From William the Conqueror who conquered England in 1066 to Henry V who united England after defeating the French to Queen Elizabeth I who lead the country during the fight with the Spanish Armada, the British monarchy has experienced numerous victories. The accomplishments of its kings and queens have served as an inspiration to other monarchies around the world, and, in a way, has allowed it to endure for so many centuries.

However, as much as it is acclaimed, the monarchy has not been spared from harsh criticisms and attacks. Take the English Civil War for example. The conflict began as a result of the dispute regarding the power of the monarchy and the rights of Parliament. Those in support of Parliament fought for control of the government and those who supported the king attempted to maintain the power they held, which ultimately failed. Even though the Parliamentarians overthrew King Charles I, the British monarchy was reestablished not too long after.

Besides this event, the English royal family has encountered countless setbacks and the scandals have been far too many. Some of the most famous ones include King Edward VIII’s decision to abdicate the throne in order to marry a divorced American woman, Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s chaotic relationship and more recently Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Throughout its extensive history, the world has been witness to how the monarchy has gone from having a more authoritative role to having their power regulated by Parliament. Today, Queen Elizabeth II has the title of Head of State, but the ability to make and pass legislations remains in the hands of an elected Parliament. Despite no longer partaking in an executive or political role, the sovereign still plays an essential part in the life of the nation.

“I think the monarchy brings the UK together,” junior Victoria Avila said.

Not only is the Queen responsible of performing various state duties, but she is also a symbol of national identity, unity and pride. Additionally, she brings stability as well as recognizes success and excellence.

Aside from what it is meant to represent, many argue that in these modern times the monarchy has ceased from being relevant. They believe that the hereditary principle of the monarchy is undemocratic and elitist. Moreover, individuals complain that a large portion of their expenses are utilized to pay for the expenses of the monarchy. They also fear that the sovereign could enforce more often the royal prerogative, a power that grants the Prime Minister the ability to declare war or sign treaties without a vote from Parliament.
“Considering the recent scandals, I don’t think the monarchy will last much longer,” said junior Anita Romeu.

The view points on this subject matter vary greatly, with some saying the time for the monarchy to end has come while others firmly state this institution is not going anywhere any time soon. One thing is for sure though: if the monarchy were to be abolished, the way England is viewed by other countries will be significantly different.