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DAN MACKAY: 70 years is good going – but monarchy is past its sell-by date

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The Real Mackay by Dan Mackay

Is it time to consign the monarchy to history?
Is it time to consign the monarchy to history?

No one likes party poopers, that’s for sure.

And how could anyone berate the Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Her Majesty the Queen after an unprecedented 70 years of steadfast constancy to the service of this country and commonwealth?

But times they are a-changing.

According to a YouGov poll, 41 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds now say Britain should have an elected head of state, while only 31 per cent would like to see the monarchy continue.

It is certainly something of an anachronism that in this, the 21st century, an old ‘firm’ like the royals should still exist.

Probably no-one more than the Queen herself has witnessed, from her key vantage point, such radical changes throughout the period of her tenure.

Britain’s population has expanded hugely over the years. From 1995 to 2020 it grew by 9.1 million and is expected to reach 71 million by 2045. The Christian bedrock of British society is in decline whilst secularisation is on the rise. We now live in a diverse, multi-cultural society representing a broad range of people of faith – and of none. Our very Britishness is changing.

Speaking as a republican I have no great issue with the royal family as individuals. Many, in their own ways, are to be admired, whilst others, like any family household up and down the land, have had their issues.

It looked very much like a divided family with only ring-side places being made available to a select few on the balcony at Buckingham Place. Others, for a whole host of reasons, were deliberately kept out of the limelight. How the mighty fall! But, overall, it seemed rather mean and petty for them to be excluded.

It seems the public image of the royal household must not be tarnished at any cost!

I’m a proud Scot first and foremost but I am also proud of my British heritage. One senses the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Scotland were a much more mooted affair than they were south of the border.

I believe after the Queen’s day – and let’s not deny hers has been a reign of exceptional service – that it's time to say enough is enough.

Of course that won't happen, but we are told that Charles and Camilla will run a much more streamlined monarchy. And when William and Kate’s turn comes, who knows how much pomp and pageantry will remain?

More and more countries across the commonwealth are demanding formal apologies for past colonial grievances. Kate and William experienced this first had on their recent Caribbean tour. As well as the demands of those countries who want to become independent republican states.

The government in Australia has just appointed a minister to oversee the country’s transition to a republican nation.

I would certainly hope that a respectful and dignified transition to a fully civic society could be accomplished in Britain, too.

We can still recognise and honour the dedication of those individuals who serve their communities but all those gongs of British Empire baloney need to be consigned to history!

Spare a thought for those recipients of the only growth industry in the UK. Not for them celebratory cake but rather essential hand-outs from the thousands of community food banks up and down the country.

It’s time to re-assess the role of an outdated monarchy in a modern progressive society.

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