One of the things that Monarchists take pride in, is the pageantry of Monarchy.
The jewels, the palaces, the robes, the titles, the kneeling, curtseying, the portraits, the gold, the wedding, the wealth, the glistening tears trickling down Diana’s soft cheeks…*sniff*
Even I will concede that a few idealistic republicans (UK) frothing around in donkey jackets brandishing witty placards can’t hope compete with that kind of upper class spectacle..
It’s all deliberately theatrical, completely childish, invented tradition and of course, gruesomely compelling
So it’s no wonder dramatists lap up the torrid tale of The Windsor family.
And on holiday – forgive me Rebel Alliance – I watched The Crown.
It’s brilliantly made, expensive and reeks of fags and bitterness. The cinematographer makes the palaces look damp and depressing, perhaps even like prisons ( the characters are often silhouetted against windows). At £100m for a series, it’s expensive – though of course, at £334m per year, yer real life less exciting monarchy costs us all more ( and entertains us less).
And to my surprise – there is just a hint of skepticism in The Crown.
Amidst all the palace porn & landrovers, there’s the argument that the Monarchy is actually more damaging to the Windsor Family than anyone else. These people are locked in a never ending feudal freak show – they can’t marry who they want, they have to spend a life idiotically waving at plebs and being bovine (which, admittedly, the real Windsors do very well.)
The writer Peter Morgan said in an interview with Radio Times – “That’s the imprisonment of the institution. And the suffering of the family ripples out from the crown, inflicting profound abuse on people upon whom it’s assumed it only projects luxury. It’s a hideous thing for them,” he says, “but as a drama it’s got everything.”
This isn’t the most potent argument against the Monarchy, but The Crown milks the ‘Trapped-in-a-Golden-Cage’ trope for all it’s worth.
On a daily basis, the lumpen masses are encouraged to venerate the demi-gods of the royal family, but this drama tries to humanise them. That’s what counts for royal subversion on TV these days.
Of course, subjects can’t hope for too much. The drama is entirely in sympathetic with the Windsor family and falls into the category of “It’s Hard Living A Life Of Extraordinary Privilege” that will appeal to the Downton viewers in Ohio. It’s said the royals like it. I’m sure they do. Peter Morgan, already has a CBE for services to drama. So he’s already shown he’s happy to be in the Establishment Petting Zoo.
And yet en route The Crown exposes the stiff, starched idiocy of Monarchy – that Princess Margaret can’t marry some dull bloke, it hints at Phil the Greek being a shagger, and gradually reveals that – who knew – being walled up in a palace for your whole life damages those within.
This is a useful trope for republicans to remember when Big Geoff in the office mutters ‘oh leave them alone’.
The people who make the royal family’s life a misery are… monarchists.
These dullards wet their pants when someone takes a photograph of a royal kiddy, then buy the newspapers and announce their disapproval.
They are the people who always want more, more, more – fawning and clapping dumbly at every royal burp and fart.
If you really want to make Prince George and you want him to lead as ‘normal a life as possible’ then leave them alone.
Let the Windsor family go off and be boring toffs and hunt foxes without us having to pay for them.
Sympathy for the Windsors ? Become a Republican.