No One Wants To Be King
Heavy is the head that wears the crown. It’s not all tea parties and kicking up your heels at Buckingham Palace. The Queen’s job comes with many onerous responsibilities, and she’s been doing that job for so long it seems like everyone’s freaking out a little about what will happen when she’s not around to do it anymore.
In an in-depth interview with Newsweek, Prince Harry essentially admitted that everyone standing in line for the throne is dreading the possibility of having to sit in it. Is there also an implicit acknowledgement that perhaps the very notion of a monarchy is extremely outdated and weird? Probably not, but read what you want into this statement:
“The monarchy is a force for good,” he said. “And we want to carry on the positive atmosphere that the queen has achieved for over 60 years, but we won’t be trying to fill her boots.”
Times have changed a lot in 60 years, and Newsweek states that William and Kate want to “drag it into the 21st century.”
At this point, Harry is pretty far down the line, but he appears to be on board with the whole modernization of an ancient, largely ceremonial power structure. He also seems happy that he almost certainly won’t be taking over, because no one wants to:
“We are involved in modernizing the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people. Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”
The duties of the royal family include a visiting schedule so intense that people thought it had killed Prince Philip, when he was really just retiring. Harry explains that he thinks he can never be an “ordinary bloke” because people need the royal family to look up to and gossip about, basically.
“It’s a tricky balancing act,” he said. “We don’t want to dilute the magic. The British public and the whole world need institutions like it.”
What a modern notion: the whole world need a king.