Monarchy Madness: Why are we so hung up on royals?
It's arguable that the British royal family obsession started long before Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle married into the royal family. Some may argue that their popularity started with Princess Diana of Wales and her untimely death.
But it’s clear the fascination doesn’t begin there. The famous Netflix show, “The Crown,” attracted 3 million viewers — thus hinting that there is a firm fanbase for Queen Elizabeth as well.
But many Americans ask: Why?
Why is there an obsession with the British monarchy when there are more than 30 other monarchies across the globe such as Spain, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and more. Also, the Revolutionary War was fought over our freedom from Britain.
So why the obsession with them? Are we secretly longing to get back to our roots as a colony under them?
Experts think that Americans have kept up with the British Monarchy — even though it no longer has power over us — due to the fact that our ties to the royals have never left us after the war. The connection we have to the royal family was strong before the war and continues to be so strong that it survived the Revolutionary War. This connection deepened even more during World War II.
Others think that Americans continue to keep up with the royal family because to us they seem like a modern fairy tale coming to life. Disney movies and fables from our childhood have helped us be exposed to the concept of "happily ever after," and have embedded fairy tales into our culture. What makes the British family so alluring is the fact that they seem as though they are a real-life fantasy or Disney prince and princess come to life.
Following the royal family can also be an escape from American politics. Former President Barack Obama has even stated “I think it's fair to say that the American people are quite fond of the royal family ... They like them much better than they like their own politicians,” according to an article by The Guardian.
Due to America’s distaste and pessimism toward politics, they look at Prince Harry’s wedding to Markle or Middleton’s pregnancy, for example, as a distraction. By looking at them, we are distracted by our own politics and focus on theirs instead.
But others claim that we're obsessed with the royal monarchy because in a way that is how our president is elected. If you’re one for conspiracies, there is one called the “most royal candidate theory” in which our presidents are elected based on the amount of royal blood in his or her lineage.
The theory was proposed by a man named Harold Brooks-Baker who believed that candidates, who did not have royal blood in their lineage or simply had “more royalty” or closer ties to the British, royalty won the elections. The (very) unlikely legitimacy of that viewpoint aside, it still demonstrates how strongly we have ties with the British monarchy.
Whether it be Middleton’s second pregnancy or the excitement of Markle revealing her baby’s name — we will always have our connections to the British monarchy because it, in part, helped build the nation that we are today.
Although we are now independent from them, the fact that we are still drawn to them in this way shows how the Revolutionary War still impacts us today and how important escapism, fantasy and fairy tales are to us.
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