The British Monarchy Post MEGXIT
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The Netflix series on The Crown has encapsulated the varied facets of royalty in a thought-provoking manner. The House of Windsor is a relatively young dynasty which is quite a thing to behold. It includes varied ideas of devotion to the crown, the superiority of the crown, the subordination to the crown and the shackles of the crown. This last facet is what has brought about a series of developments in the royal family in the past few days.
Brexit had taken centre stage for the past few months in the United Kingdom but what dropped like a bombshell was the stepping down of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as senior members of the royal family. The Duke of Sussex is sixth in line to the throne and the younger son of The Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales. Recently, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stated that they would make a transition this year by starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. This does not come as a major surprise as the Royal family has also witnessed a similar scenario about a century ago when Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor stepped down from his position as the King due to the constraints the Crown imposed on him.
Another major instance could be that of the internal dissatisfaction faced by Princess Margaret, the Countess of Snowdon, in the innumerable instances where her opinions, views and lifestyle came into question due to the constraints of the Crown.
In what is used as a new acronym for this event, Megxit has brought in a lot of hope, a set of criticisms and above all, a feeling of independence and freedom beyond the Crown.
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stated that the constant highlight in the media eye is one of the primary reasons for such an exit. Prince Harry stated that he is still reeling from the effects of the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, in the plane crash. A primary reason for such a stepdown is to protect his family from what his mother went through under the merciless constraints of the media eye. Prince Harry wants his family to have a simple lifestyle and more of personal growth.
Despite these reasons stated by the Duke of Sussex, there are a number of underlying and unexpressed reasons for such a drastic step. One major factor is the limited scope of royalty that restricts a person’s lifestyle within the boundaries of the Crown only. It demarcates the rights, duties and liberties of a person and any violation of the same would lead to immediate criticism and serious repercussions in the Royal family.
Another major feature is the hierarchy that the Crown sets in. An established line of authority is extremely crucial for the functioning of any authority but an extremely rigid policy of imposed hierarchy might lead to the detriment of many able and competent members of the Royal family who might be cut out for the pivotal royal roles but due to the restraints of the crown, have to take a back seat.
This can be another reason for his Royal Highness to have abdicated his royal duties and title. Continuing their role and duties as members of the Royal family would mean following a streamlined pattern of lifestyle without any scope for branching beyond the Crown’s horizon. It sets in a feeling of complacency that will not only affect one’s personal development but would also lead to the internal death of a skilled and competent person who could have created wonders, if not for the restricted scope of the Crown.
Way ahead post Megxit
What next? What changes will the Royal family encounter in its future course of events in the absence of its youngest Royal couple?
From a hierarchical point of view, there will be no substantial loss to the work and administration of the Royal family. There is a long way for the Crown to reach the generation of Prince Harry and the Crown will be passed on to Prince William. This entails the hierarchical nature of the Crown that bestows all rights to the eldest member while leaving the younger members of the family with a title but no power. However, there will always remain a deep void in the family from the sudden absence of the two important members of the Royal family.
All in all, the decision of the Duke and Duchess has come into the public light as a matter of criticism. But what people fail to notice is the gradual transition that is taking place from the restricted lifestyle of a prince to the liberated lifestyle of a successful individual. Irrespective of all these developments, one thing remains constant.
Men may come and men may go but the Crown goes on forever.
Views expressed are solely those of the author.
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About the Author
Ananya Satish is a budding lawyer and is currently pursuing B.A. LLB from National Law University, Odisha. She is a passionate speaker and has participated in many Model United Nations Conferences and debate competitions in the school level and also has many citations in her name. Ananya also enjoys the law school tradition of mooting and has developed a keen interest and passion for the same. She is an avid reader and has a taste for classics and crime fiction. She is a trained bharatanatyam dancer and aspires to pursue legal journalism post law school.