Royally Obsessed: Why People Still Love the British Monarchy

by Christina Charie '25 on September 29, 2022
Opinion Editor


Despite Prince Andrew’s sexual assualt allegations and Meghan Markle’s claims about racist members of the royal family, the British monarchy remains a cultural obsession. Accusations of this nature have toppled careers in many other prominent industries, but the crown still endures.

The public’s interest in the monarchy does not decline over outdated rules, such as pantyhose requirements and rather interesting hats. While many practices scream of a bygone era, people still find themselves reading entire magazines devoted to royal news or watching a royal wedding. 

The monarchy is ingrained in British society in a manner that Americans might not understand, even though many still engage in royal sensationalism. After hundreds of years, Britain cannot remember a time without a form of monarchy. The royal family brings about comfort and familiarity, an emotional attachment which often does not successfully preserve monarchies in other sovereignties. While many nations have overthrown their royal regimes, the United Kingdom has found a balance between democracy and tradition. This emotional connection allows the British public to overlook a long history of colonialism that has harmed indigneous populations and facilitated human rights violations. 

The crown is ultimately a symbol of cooperation and subjugation. With the rise of the media, however, the royal family has taken on a new role in the realm of pop culture.

From the Netflix award-winning drama The Crown to Queen Elizabeth’s cameos in the James Bond movies, the royal family has become a global sensation. While some aspects of the royal obsession involve copying Princess Catherine’s dress, others involve demanding openness about how the royal family influences public affairs. In a sense, the media industry has forced the monarchy to open Buckingham Palace’s gates to the world, even at times when the Windsors would prefer to retreat. The royals have become more relatable to the general public in recent years, which is central to the institution’s survival in the modern era. Queen Elizabeth’s cameo brings about a humorous and personal side to her image that is not conveyed during state functions. 

People idolize the British royals. While many see a part of themselves in one of the figureheads, the royals also represent a high society lifestyle that many still want for themselves. With custom designer outfits and a multitude of palaces, the public does not see the significant downside that comes with royal life. 

The media certainly has a darker influence. The press has often pushed the limits of its freedom when it comes to the royals. The global intrigue with Princess Diana arguably caused her tragic death 25 years ago. The public’s need to snoop on highly personal matters within royal affairs goes beyond simple democratic principles. While The Crown is fascinating for viewers, inaccurate information can ruin interpersonal relationships within the royal family. 

The royals may bring about their own demise in public opinion if they rely on tradition to save them. The public, however, may topple the constitutional monarchy through its obsession with the royals’ private lives. The crown does not make the Windsors invincible to the power of the press. At the moment, public opinion still favors royal sensationalism.