The announcement of the summit alarmed everyone. They didn’t know what to make of it. What would happen? So, as the key players gathered, many held their collective breath. Others dismissed it as the usual pomp and circumstance. Again, interested parties wondered, what would come of this?
Was it another meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin? Had the World Court convened to mediate yet another dispute between Israel and Palestine? Did México’s president finally agree to pay for that border wall?
No, it wasn’t anything that dramatic – except for the tabloids. Queen Elizabeth II had summoned members of her immediate family to discuss their royal duties. More specifically if Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, really did plan to step back from their title-bound obligations. And, once again, the American press focused so much of their time and energy on this sudden turn of events.
Yet, amidst the chaos, I have to make a very simple inquiry: WHO CARES?!
Seriously! With all due respect to my British friends, acquaintances and fellow writers and bloggers, the average American citizen doesn’t give a damn what happens with the British royal family! And I suspect many average Britons don’t care either.
But here we are – AGAIN – with several American media outlets wasting more of their – and our – time telling us what that group of entitled bluebloods are doing. A while back they spent a great deal of time revealing that Prince Philip had decided to retire from his royal duties and remain at Buckingham Palace, the Windsor family’s primary abode; an 800-room monstrosity that dates to the 18th century. How does one retire from duties that really aren’t a job?
My mother retired from the insurance industry at age 70. She gets two pensions, plus social security. She literally worked for half a century – dealing with gender and racial harassment; gossipy coworkers; rude customers; and unsavory managers. I recall her bringing work home sometimes, just so she could get caught up – although she didn’t get overtime. That was on top of helping my father raise me and tending to the house. She also had to deal with migraine headaches, which often struck in the midst of meetings and conference calls. Gosh, did Prince Philip have to deal with that shit?
Ever since Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer wed in 1981, the American press has held an incredible fascination with the British monarchy. I have to concede that Diana had more class, grace and style than the entire Windsor family combined. I’m actually glad that her sons, William and Harry, inherited both her looks and her sense of generosity.
But, if you take away all of their regal extravagance, the Windsors would qualify as little more than trailer park trash here in the U.S. And, in all fairness, I’ve known people who lived in trailer parks and had more class than the Windsor clan.
Since the United States has such a close relationship with Great Britain – it’s from their tight grasp that we were born – I suppose it’s natural many of my fellow citizens would be enamored with British royalty. After all, we aren’t similarly obsessed with the royal families of India, Japan, the Netherlands, or Spain.
But, as an average American whose taxes help fund the livelihood of the First Family (in this case, the Trumps, already among the wealthiest families in the world), I have to point out that it is average Britons whose tax money funds the livelihoods of the Windsor family. While Great Britain suffered through severe economic downturns in the immediate aftermath of World War II and through subsequent national events – such as IRA bombings and coal miner strikes – money was still being sucked out of the paychecks of working people so the Windsors could move from one grand home to another and gallop across the globe. It’s British taxpayers who finance those extravagant state dinners at Buckingham Palace where only the rich and powerful can partake of exquisite meals.
Twenty years ago Prime Minister Tony Blair made a concerted attempt to tackle child poverty in the U.K. At the time officials estimated approximately 34% of children in Great Britain lived in households impacted by poverty. Blair’s goal was eliminate poverty – or at least severely reduce it – within a generation. Sadly, results have been mixed. But at least he tried.
The U.S. president is more intent on spending billions of American dollars (tax-payer money) to build a wall along our southern border to keep all those varmint Mexicans out. Never mind that my Indian and Spanish ancestors had dominated the region long before there was a United States or a Trump family. That, of course, is a different history.
I suspect much of the child poverty in England could be resolved by pulling money out of the coffers of the Windsors and inserting into health and education programs specifically aimed at children and working families. The U.S. could do something similar with taxes levied against the largest corporations and wealthiest families who already don’t pay much in taxes. Families who – much like the Trump clan – feel they’re somehow entitled to their luxurious lifestyles; an existence for them that comes at the expense of we lowly peons who struggle with increasing costs of living on a daily basis.
I don’t know what will come of the aforementioned “royal summit” and, of course, I DON’T CARE! Plenty of English citizens are opposed to the Windsors and to the general concept of a royal family. We certainly know what France and Russia did to their monarchies. I don’t wish a similar fate to befall the Windsors. But it wouldn’t hurt them to relinquish Buckingham Palace to the city of London to be transformed into a museum. Their plethora of jewels possibly could fund complete renovations of every single school building in the U.K. Elizabeth and Philip could sell off the bulk of their homes, and the entire clan could settle quietly into a single multi-room estate and write books about their privileged lives as a source of income.
See! If we average people ruled the world, there would be no war, poverty, sick and hungry children or overpriced state dinners. And everyone would have a place at the table!