Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, have a son named George who is third in line for the throne. But there’s growing reason to believe the British monarchy, as it currently operates, may not last until Prince George becomes king.
The monarchy is mired in scandal
Next year, Queen Elizabeth II, 94, will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years in power, which is the longest any British royal has remained in power. And in that time, the world has changed, a lot. Does the United Kingdom still need a royal family?
A new scandal has only made its citizens question their role even more.
A recent report in The Guardian revealed that the Queen meddled in the government to hide how much money she really possesses.
The investigation puts into question whether a monarchy can exist alongside a democracy, and makes people wonder why British taxpayers continue to pay so much to support symbolic rulers from a bygone era.
Prince Charles is expected to be an uninspiring ruler
Meanwhile, like his father and grandfather before him, Prince George, 7, is being groomed for the throne. But will the monarchy make it that far?
At 72, no one has ever waited longer than Prince Charles has to become king, and if he does end up sitting on the throne (which would occur immediately after Elizabeth II dies), there are some who believe he won’t have the support to rule.
According to Clive Irving, author of The Last Queen: How Queen Elizabeth II Saved the Monarchy, Elizabeth II and her father, George VI, were exemplary rulers, but those that came before them weren’t great. By the time Charles comes around, it could be a return to lame rulers from years past, and that wouldn’t be good news for the royals.
“Before you can assess how William, and later George, might work out, you have to allow for the way the monarchy will look under King Charles, and whether under him it can survive,” Irving told Express.co.uk.
“In my view Prince Charles is a reversion to the line of duds, falling far short of the standard set by his mother and grandfather.”
Irving added that once Charles becomes ruler, Britain could finally have a reckoning about whether it still needs a monarchy.
“All polling shows that younger Britons don’t find the monarchy relevant,” he said. “What is salient to this attitude is the impression that the Windsors are too many, too many freeloaders and palace dwellers.
As we’ve seen with Harry and Meghan, as we saw with Diana, the public is craving more and more of that authenticity and humanity in its leaders.
“Together the royal family occupies 15 state residences paid for by public money at the cost of at least 82 million pounds a year – in contrast Denmark, for example, allots around nine million pounds to its royal family.
“A pared-down monarchy – fewer palaces, no freeloaders and attractively modern family heads – might make a reboot work, but that’s impossible to judge right now.”
Prince George can still be great
This all could be bad news for Prince George’s chances at sitting on the throne — but it’s not a life wasted.
Growing up with all the resources he has, as well as two stand-up people in William and Kate to support him, Prince George has an opportunity to be great. Not necessarily a great monarch, but a great person who can use his resources and platforms for good and lead by example.
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