Film, TV + Theatre

Pawn Takes Queen: Why is it so hard to question the British royal family?


By Sanjeeva Suresh

Pawn Takes Queen: Why is it so hard to question the British royal family?

It may have been a dream many of us had growing up. Marrying a prince “charming”, getting a royal title, having a fabulous wedding and adored by millions around the world. Combine that with never having to work and being served by staff while living in a palace and now you’re really living that Tai Tai fantasy lifestyle. But as Meghan Markle said in her recent interview with Oprah, “xx isn’t xx”

There seem to be two staunch stances when it comes to the recent royal controversy surrounding the British royal family. It is either that Meghan Markle is entitled xx xx and that she’s wrong and anyone who says otherwise is completely disrespectful to the queen. Or that racism plagues the British royal, Meghan genuinely went through a hard time and she was never fully accepted as part of the xx.

To really get into this, let’s take a journey back a few hundred years. The British Empire colonialises half the world on the back of slavery. In India, xxx and here in Malaysia. While yes British colonialism did bring some benefits (uniting Malaya as one and giving us a British educational and legal system to follow) it left a wake of xx.

Fast forward a few centuries later and slowly, royal families across Europe fall victim to revolution. From the French revolution xx in France to the death xx in Russia. But why? In a nutshell, it’s because these royal families didn’t adapt. To Monaco. They couldn’t please their people and so, people revolted and centuries-old monarchies were brought to their knees. So what did the British royal family do to subvert this? They pandered to the public and made their engagements, weddings and births a spectacle. For millions to witness across the world. It boots the nations tourism, helps business sell memobilioa to adoring tourists and as a result, helps the British ecomomy. Kate Middletons wedding was watched by xx Queen Elizabeth the second is smart. If you look back in history, James the first was beheaded in 17xx , because he wouldn’t listen, he wouldn’t adapt. But the royal family today does.

So what happens in 2018 when a beautiful, interracial actress by the name of Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry? Before the wedding, British tabloids went into attack mode. Everything was questioned, scrutinised and judged. From the dress, to the wedding flowers and the bridesmaid’s dresses. Quite the stark difference from Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011. This wasn’t the first time British tabloids took aim at a royal. Lest we forget what happened to the late Princess Diana. Princess Diana was hounded by the British press up until her untimely death in 1997 all while the Queen of England sat rather silent on the matter (sound familiar?).

There are always two sides to every story and in this instance, the two sides couldn’t be more different. “xxx”, says the Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail xx and xx are generally conservative papers owned by Rupert Mudeoch who.. has close connections to the British Royal family. So how does the media cover? It’s all about the angle. Make Meghan look like an ungrateful granddaughter-in-law. Instigate rumours that she made Kate Middleton cry, xx all in the hopes that it will take your eyes off what’s really going on.

It’s a move called “false consciousness”. It is actually a Marxist theory which is generally defined as when working-class people are tricked into accepting their exploitation. So let’s say, you read a headline that says Meghan Markle isn’t happy and that there is racism within Buckingham Palace. To deflect from this, tabloids will then release headlines brandishing Meghan as “ungrateful”. This makes the reader point their anger in another director. For example, having a smear campaign leading up to the Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview. Where the best they released claims stating xxx

Fair point to some of the criticsm. There is a global pandemic where people are dying and families are struggling to put food on the table, is now really a good time to talk about how you are no longer going to be financially supported? Then again, there is never a “perfect time” to speak your truth. 

If you bring attention to the public away from xx, then you keep them distracted and don’t have them question issues like say, an alleged sexual xx allegation and one royal family member? We clutch our pearls and gasp at the mention that the Royal family could exhibit racial bias. Really? This is an institution that was founded on the backs of Colonialism. Queen Victoria’s Crown tiara was made from a diamond found in India…

We hardly ever question the royal family because we never thought to think differently. Why does an institution that been around for centuries have to change? Well, where would slavery be if we had that mentality, where would social justices be if we had that mentality be? Above all, where would we as a society be if we just look at something and say, “it’s fine, it’s always been that way, let it be and move on”. Well, maybe not today, not this time.

Why does it have to be so black and white? Surely we can point out flaws within the monarchy without this notion of “abandoning queen and country”.

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