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Queen Elizabeth II is on all Canadian currency. Image: Bank of Canada
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Society has changed

In an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry discussed the details of their experiences as members of the British royal family, including the palace’s failure to correct false tabloid reports about Markle, provide help when she experienced suicidal thoughts, and address racism within the institution. The interview exposed the Royal Family’s biggest flaws and proved why it is finally time to abolish the monarchy once and for all. 

While many have taken to social media to voice their disbelief of Markle’s claims, I found them convincing, after all, it’s easy to believe that an institution built on racism, classism, and misogyny isn’t jumping at the opportunity to discuss such issues. 

Although the monarchy is often cited as a representation of the British people, the Commonwealth, and a uniting force between the two, it is just the opposite: an elite group whose only purpose is to cause further division among the population for their own benefit. The only people they can claim to represent are the rich and white. 

The Royal Family has never had to think of the issues that the average person faces every day, never mind care enough to help solve them. They receive top education and healthcare services, they have personal chauffeurs, maids, and chefs to ensure that they never break a sweat. They live in palaces and wear actual tiaras and all of it is funded by taxpayer dollars!

Don’t let their titles confuse you, the term ‘working royal’ is an oxymoron. Hosting garden parties, banquets, and touring the countries their ancestors colonized isn’t exactly a grueling job description.

They know nothing of what it’s like to take unreliable public transport to a minimum wage job every day and still worry about affording tuition, medication, and rent. They surround themselves with those who are just like them: wealthy and privileged white people. This is hardly an accurate representation of Britain or the commonwealth, which are populated by diverse groups of people with different cultures, religions, languages, and experiences that the royal family couldn’t presume to understand.

Their very existence operates on the assumption that some people are born into higher positions than others based on the will of God and that no amount of hard work (or lack thereof) will change that fact. How can any nation ever achieve equality when its highest power rules by divine right? How can the monarchy claim to represent its people when they weren’t elected into power in the first place? Simple, it can’t. 

You may argue that the Royal Family’s philanthropic efforts are admirable and clearly they hope you focus on this, as their website mentions their links with hundreds of charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organizations. However, the numerous photos of the beaming royals posing in new hospital wings or with underprivileged children seem more hollow than heartwarming when you consider the fact that their outfits alone cost thousands of dollars.    

During her interview, Meghan Markle highlighted the hypocrisy of the monarchy when she described the isolation and suicidal thoughts she faced when she was in the royal family. Despite asking senior officials for mental health care, she was refused.

In recent years, the Royal Family have emphasized the importance of mental health, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge creating the Heads Together initiative, which is designed to “tackle [the] stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.”

Markle’s comments prove that the royals’ practises are inconsistent with the goals of their charities and that it’s likely they only take on charity work for the sake of grasping to a shred of legitimacy that confirms their places on thrones they never earned. 

Finally, the monarchy is already largely irrelevant, especially in Canada. In fact, except for the annual Christmas address, the only times people seem to care about the Royal Family are during scandals. From their affiliations with Nazis and sex offenders to lusty affairs and bitter divorces, the monarchy has become less of a form of government and more of a cheesy soap opera. Their misdoings only serve to weaken the image of Britain and Canada. 

Although the Queen is our head of state, she only really serves as the face of our money and an occasional visitor. Any of her duties concerning government can easily be carried out by an elected Governor General and/or parliament. 

It is clear that the Royal Family will do as they please regardless of how their actions may affect their image because there are few people who can hold them accountable for their actions. It’s outrageous that in 2021 a so-called developed country has been governed by the same woman for 67 years without ever electing her.

The British monarchy is outdated and out of touch with the people it is meant to serve. Members of the Royal Family live in luxury, while commoners struggle to make ends meet. They exemplify privilege and hypocrisy and only further divide us. It is time to abolish the monarchy.