On June 2nd, Her Majesty The Queen will be celebrating the record-breaking Platinum Jubilee. She has been Britain’s head of state for seventy years.
As a result, there will be an extended bank holiday weekend until Sunday. At a time when many of her loyal subjects are suffering from the cost of living crisis, ranging from higher prices for food and basic supplies, to increasing utility bills, from long COVID to increasing unemployment, from the long-term effects of the UK’s departure from the European Union to the anger at how our Prime Minister Boris Johnson is governing the country, the public are supposed to be distracted by this spectacle. TV, radio, newspapers and the internet will have column inches broadcast and written about it.
The Queen is 96 and she is not long for this world. When she eventually dies, her eldest son Prince Charles constitutionally is expected to replace her, but some royal watchers could suggest that Prince William should step up because of his relative youth. There needs to be both a frank and open discussion in the UK about whether there needs to be a monarchy and questions need to be asked:
- Should there be arrangements to slim down the size of the monarchy?
- Should we replace the monarch with an elected head of state?
- Indeed, will any government even consider holding a wide-ranging referendum, with the potential constitutional issues that it could cause?
Sadly, any hopes of changing the way the UK is governed will never change anytime soon. Although many people may not like the monarchy and how it operates, there isn’t a lot of support for abolishing it, and of course, there are more important issues to be worried about.