Balmoral Britannia

March 31st 2024 By Aaron Wise 2 minute read

The Royal family has been under unprecedented scrutiny over the past couple of years. From the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s permanent move to America and the release of Harry’s memoir Spare, to Prince Andrew’s infamous BBC Newsnight interview, the controversy has been tenfold for the royals. Even recently, the Princess of Wales came under fire for ‘editing’ family photos – whilst unfounded rumours spread like wildfire online.

While heavy media attention isn’t unusual – just look at Princess Diana – and in truth it should be expected with the family’s unique status, but what is changing over time is the rise in people’s discontent with their rule. According to a survey last year, only three in ten Britons (29%) felt the monarchy was ‘very important’ – down from 38% in 2022. Negativity towards it continues to grow, especially among younger generations, with many believing a republic would be better suited following the late Queen’s death. Furthermore, looking beyond our shores, more and more countries within the Commonwealth are exploring independence.

So where has the love gone? What happened to all those flag waving royal fanatics of ‘Cool Britannia’ in the 90s? Or even 2012 and the glorious combination of the London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee when the monarchy (and modern Britain) seemed to be at its zenith? While the sentiment may have changed, and we should absolutely always scrutinise those in a position of power, I personally find it quite sad that the family seems to be increasingly leaving a sour taste in the mouths of those observing them. 
Balmoral Castle
King Charles and Camilla
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the Windsors. Whilst they may be in choppy seas, the ship still sails on and there’s definitely still a widespread fascination for the monarchy. The decision to open up Balmoral Castle to the public this summer for the very first time has seen tickets sell out within 24 hours. In what could have been a timed PR move to help spread some positivity following recent fallout, it’s shown there is still a lot of love for the monarchy, with people happily snapping up tickets starting from £100 to tour the late Queen’s favourite residence throughout July.  

Those who visit the castle have been promised ‘a historical journey through several of the beautiful rooms within the castle’, and the chance to ‘travel through time’ from the Victorian era to the present day, according to the tour's publicity materials. Those who succeeded in the frenzy for tickets can also enjoy afternoon tea in the castle. 

While the reality is we may see further decline in support of the royals in years to come, I – a proud supporter of the monarchy – take solace knowing there is still a core (albeit dwindling) backing for ‘king and country’. Huzzah! 

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