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The Monarchy: Is it time for a change?

On Saturday, May 6, 2023, the people of the United Kingdom and The Commonwealth, and well-wishers from around the world celebrated the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey. The ceremonial rites call back to the coronation of Edgar the Peaceful on April 5, 973, at Bath Abbey. That ceremony, and the rule of King Edgar, helped to establish the authority of the British monarchy.

But right on cue, in spite of the historical significance of the ceremony, Twitter’s trending hashtags became a litter box of dissenting opinions. As always, people made a fair point but missed it at the same time.

Early on during the live event, I noticed that accounts tweeting negative comments were only talking about King Charles III and his family. Positive remarks were made about other monarchs arriving at the event. I thought it was interesting that people were not objecting to monarchies on principle. Maybe they were upset about something taking the attention they wanted for themselves?

What I felt while watching the event was discomfort with the ostentatious transfer of generational wealth. And I felt that way because I grew up in a culture where skin colour was conflated with social status. Sure, efforts were made to represent dark skinned folk at the coronation. But that was because the Royal Family was made to feel self-conscious about asking the public to celebrate nepotism and baked-in social inequality.

The former Prince of Wales did a tremendous amount of work with the Prince’s Trust. Thousands of young people have benefited from his work with the charity. We should never forget that. Certainly, in light of this, continuity and stability are at the heart of the King’s coronation. In more prosperous times, in a just world, this would be an opportunity for celebration and renewal.

But how can we look to the future with hope and optimism knowing that any one of us could have been born that way?

The United Kingdom and the nations that make up the Commonwealth have a long and contentious history. In other words, to celebrate British culture and heritage, we have to acknowledge that in the past, there was looting of national treasure and natural resources.

However, to abolish the monarchy is not to abolish the oppressive systems that rule our world today. There are few industrialised nations that do not have a record of invading other countries. In fact, many financial and political institutions have worked to facilitate the plunder of resources from poorly defended groups. And every day, we lose more of our freedoms to leaders who collude to maintain the unfair advantages they have always enjoyed. The word they use for that is “meritocracy”, but they are the ones who decide who is worthy.

During the coronation, some people with these opinions may have felt isolated from the rest of society. The pomp and pageantry might have amplified their feelings of loneliness. But there is no need for anyone to feel insecure about their place in society. For my part, I do not strive to ‘belong’ in an unjust world.

Upon reflection, the coronation is a reminder of our shortcomings as a civilisation. We give up too much of our authority in order to avoid the burdens of decision-making. And then, we complain when people hold power over us.

We keep monarchies alive because we have been hypnotised into imagining what we could potentially do with the power that comes with a crown. Perhaps, instead of wishing to have an unfair advantage over others, more of us could strive to find peace and contentment in ordinary life.

Of course, it’s complex, and cannot be accomplished without a tremendous amount of time and effort. But if we want to change this society we live in; if we hope for true justice and equity, that is a more helpful and consequential example we should be setting for others.


Life is short, so let’s be decent.

10 replies on “The Monarchy: Is it time for a change?”

My thoughts Nicole are that, no, it’s not time for a change. Yes, I’m part of the Commonwealth and I won’t have a problem should we cease to be a part of it. However, the British Monarchy, with its many ups and downs, has, under the House of Windsor embraced supporting the people not just at home, but the world in general.

As a side comment: the coronation was slimmed down substantially. I thought it was fabulous to see “living history.”

We need to look at the substance regarding the Royal Family, not what has been in the press, social media and so on. Public service is still needed and will be forever more. What it looks like will always be the issue.


Thank you so much for adding your thoughts, Sean. It’s great to hear from someone who wants the royal family to play a substantial role in national life.

This was not added in my presentation but I love reading about British history. I thought it was a moving ceremony and I wished more people had treated it with the solemnity it deserved.

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As an American I have no standing to weigh in on this subject but from where I sit, I think it is time for a change. Elizabeth seems to have been a near perfect monarch but is it reasonable to expect that future rulers will attain her level of selflessness and commitment? It seems very unlikely and unless sovereigns are flawless, the people soon seek to do away with them.

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Carol, thank you for adding your thoughts. Quite a number of people pointed out that it wasn’t necessary to have a glitzy coronation ceremony. I really loved the positive warm atmosphere and people gathering together. But at some point we have to face reality. The world needs an upgrade in leadership.


It is ridiculous to have monarchy in the twenty first century. For a rich and privileged family to hold even a titular position as head of state, all their luxury paid for by the taxes of the citizens of that country, is, quite frankly, insulting.

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Thank you for adding your thoughts Mick. In japan, when the monarchy was abolished, quite a lot of wealthy landowners donated the bulk of their holdings to local governments in order to benefit the people. The country’s Emperor is a traditional holdover and people here really pay attention to how their tax dollars are spent.

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Thank you Tony. Ultimately, this is a matter for the people of the United Kingdom to decide. My point here was that quite a number of people who have no interest in the matter were saying cruel things in order to take attention away from what is really important to think about. Power goes by many names – The Monarchy, The Church, The State, The Group of Companies. Those who covet power might welcome a name change but won’t willingly release their access to it.


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