The Royal Frenzy

Queen Elizabeth II at the naming of HMS Queen Elizabeth – Thomas Tam McDonald via Wikimedia Commons

The recent death of the Britain’s Queen Elizabeth ll has taken the world by surprise, devastating people around the world. International programming was interrupted with announcements of her death, and news blasts were live streamed on social media detailing updated information about her death as it was released. If a serving Prime Minister had died and Britain had to invoke rarely seen methodologies of succession, the frenzy would be understandable. 

The Queen’s death, however, does not alter the daily life of citizens in England, as the Queen did not actually do a whole lot for England.

One must first think about what the Queen (or any monarch filling her role) actually did. The Queen was responsible for appointing Prime Ministers and other ministers, but she did not actually rule, create laws, or serve in any judicial role. As the Queen herself  has acknowledged, “I do not give you laws or administer justice. But I can do something else. I can give you my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.” 

[The Queen] is not responsible for the progression of England’s economy and society, yet she is pampered by the perks of archaic tradition both in life and in death.

The Queen serves more as a representative of England, a role into which she was born, but she was not an actual lawmaker or politician. She is not responsible for the progression of England’s economy and society, yet she is pampered by the perks of archaic tradition both in life and in death.

Moreover, the Queen’s existence was depleting England’s resources. According to The Royal Family’s Sovereign Grant Reserve of Buckingham Palace holds over one hundred million pounds. In other words, citizens pay portions of their hard-earned salaries to a monarch who has never had to drive a car or cook a meal. 

According to Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, a group advocating for the abolition of the British Monarchy, “the real annual cost of the monarchy—when you count security, lost income from property assets and costs met by local government—[is estimated] at more than £300 million.”.

These numbers are staggering, especially considering nations around the world are still trying to recover from the extended impact of the pandemic and their own pre pandemic plights. England is neither a nation with an available surplus of resources nor a nation with a shortage of problems and like all major countries in the world, there are multiple initiatives which should take financial priority. ​

As such, the Queen’s death should not receive any more attention in the media than the deaths of other public figures such as movie stars, athletes, and other celebrities. They too seem to receive round the clock newsfeeds chronicling the details of their death, but for shorter periods of time. While the Queen is a beloved figure whose death should be mourned—as all human lives should be—her death received more attention from the media than necessary. Before we blindly worship public figures, we should consider why we value and respect them so much.