The Royal family has become more of a business

In recent weeks, the British monarchy has taken center stage with the Meghan Markle and Prince Harry interview with Oprah Winfrey and more recently with the death of Prince Philip. On one hand, the worst impulses of the royal family were laid bare and on the other hand, the family mourned the loss of Prince Philip with all the pomp and circumstance of a royal funeral.

Although the interview exposed a wedge between the royal family and Meghan and Harry, it did not stop Harry from attending his grandfather’s funeral on April 17. However, after watching the interview with Winfrey, one wondered if they would ever speak to the royal family again. Adoring fans of the monarchy were in disbelief of the accusations made against the cherished family. 

The blatant racism that Meghan faced displays the lack of courage and support from family members. This lack thereof caused Meghan and Harry to abdicate their positions in the monarchy. Although they accused several family members of racism Meghan said, “The queen has always been wonderful to me.” 

Why is it that the queen did not protect her grandson’s wife, and her own great grandchild? It’s difficult to fathom that she would not have at least some sympathy for them, which indicates the level of control “The Firm” holds over this family. 

“The Firm—also known as ‘Monarchy PLC’—are the public faces of a $28 billion empire that pumps hundreds of millions of pounds into the United Kingdom’s economy every year,” wrote Ariel Shapiro and Deniz Çam from Forbes Magazine. “The lavish televised wedding, buzzy tours of Commonwealth countries and public displays of pomp and circumstance generate massive interest—and profits—for a global business enterprise that spans from prime real estate in central London to remote farmlands in Scotland.”

The entire concept of the “Royal Family” is actually more similar to a “Royal Business.” They’ve been strategically used to bring in revenue for the United Kingdom through excessive marketing, resulting in becoming the country’s largest tourist attraction; however the revenue is cycled through so that UK citizen’s taxes are used to financially support the monarchy. This cycle is outrageously unfair and has made people question and oppose it, but because the power relies within the government and monarchy, there is no plan to stop it. 

“In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020, the Crown Estate pulled in more than $700 million, with more than $475 million in profits,” Shapiro and Çam wrote. “The royal family receives 25% of the Crown Estate income, which is also known as the Sovereign Grant, and the remaining 75% goes to the British Treasury. The latest Sovereign Grant received by the royals was roughly $120 million, which the family uses solely for official expenses, which include payroll, security, travel, housekeeping, maintenance costs and IT expenses”

The UK, being one of the world’s most powerful and richest countries, should be more than capable of obtaining money and wealth without the monarchy. This could potentially allow for more investment in social programs and cease the colonizing and narcissistic behavior of the royal family. 

With the recent death of Prince Philip, the monarchy has been central in the media. People speculate that the cost of the funeral will be cheaper, but compared to past royal events there has never been an inexpensive one. However, this one was limited to 30 people in the church due to COVID restrictions.

“An exact cost of the funeral is yet to be released to the public, although the Queen Mother’s funeral arrangements in 2002 cost more than £5.4 million,” said Ella Kipling with HITC. 

In addition to royal affairs, it’s possible that the monarchy’s popularity will slowly deteriorate as the drama heightens and more is revealed about their exclusivity, racism and their manner of business. 

As seen from Meghan and Harry’s interview, there were challenges within the walls of Buckingham Palace, but no help was provided. The toxic manners of the senior royals were never addressed, and Meghan and Harry struggled. The Firm has taken control over the monarchy and created it into a multi-billion dollar capitalist industry that does not focus on the well being of the UK but exploits the working class, along with its own family members. 

It’s clear that the media, government and people need to be more focused on social programs instead of investing themselves in royal drama. Not only should topics of racism and mental health in the monarchy not be overshadowed, but they should also inspire individuals to advocate for the change of these issues.