Understanding The Royal Family

Libby Robinson

Royal weddings, coronations, thrones, and castles are all things often seen in movies and television, but are they all based on real families? According to Forbes, almost 29 million people watched the most recent British royal wedding. However, many of these people do not know the backstory of The United Kingdom’s long standing monarchical system. 

The current British royal family is a part of the House of Windsor. The current family has been in power since the ascension of King Edward VII in 1917. For the past 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II had reigned and become very well-known across the globe. 

The Queen recently passed on Sept. 8, 2022. When The Queen’s funeral occurs, the sequence of events are treated like a bank holiday; the country’s functions are canceled, many people don’t go to work, and the Queens’ citizens spend time mourning her death. This event meant that Charles III took the crown and is now King of England. The death of the Queen means that many new changes are potentially on the horizon. The royal family is always a topic of conversation, especially with this tragedy bringing even more attention to them. Harry is fifth in line for the royal crown. Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, joining her to the royal family in 2018. They had a royal wedding after only knowing each other for around two years. Compared to Harry’s brother, his name is William Arthur Philip Louis. William is now first in line for the crown, and knew Kate Middleton 10 years prior to marrying her. Both couples are young with children and the future of Britain’s monarchy. 

Harry and Meghan have been a focus of the media’s lens in recent years. Meghan Markle is American-born as of Aug. 4, 1981. She was an actress in movies such as “Remember Me” and the seven-series long show “Suits.” Her career was just taking off when she met Harry but fell in love and eventually put it on pause. Harry and Meghan have appeared in their own Netflix original series called Harry & Meghan in this show, they dive deep into their point of view on their position in the family. The star show is a documentary series where they explain an inside look on their point of view and journey in the royal family that has never before been explored. 

Before this series aired, Meghan and Harry stepped down from their role as senior royals in January of 2020. The general public had many theories about why this was, however their interviews on Oprah and their Television show uncovered their thought process. They mentioned hostility, citing that their family questioned their child’s race, safety concerns regarding being free from the pressing media. They had both been in the public eye and decided that the best option for their family was to escape it. 

They also suggested that a part of these issues came from Meghan’s background. Meghan’s father is white, and her mother is black, she is also the only American to join the family. This has never before occurred anywhere in the royal line up or history, and it has added a level of controversy for their family.

Meghan’s addition to the family has also changed things for American citizens. It now seems possible for an American to join the crown. This intrigues many Americans and continues the fascination we see with shows like “The Crown” circulating on TV and Instagram, popularizing the idea of the British Monarchy. Netflix describes “The Crown” as showing the “drama chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to modern times…” Mr. Baker, an AP Government and Economics teacher here at Terra Linda, shares, “The British Royal Family exists and seems to persist in this traditional existence based on white and Royal bloodlines. Meghan is a challenge to this.” Along with mentioning that “The Royal Family very much tries to control their image.” This image that the Royal Family is obsessed with is why Meghan is the “challenge.” She has been changing this image set for so many years. The crown has been unaltered for many years, stuck in history, while the world around it has been changing rapidly. Sophia Smulewitz, a senior at Terra Linda says, “It’s really interesting to see the Royal family grow and change as the years go on.” Representation in any way whatsoever regarding ethnic diversity has been something the crown has lacked due to its nature. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Harry and Meghan leaving the family and talking openly about these topics have helped to uncover many topics that would have otherwise gone unspoken.