After Elizabeth: Can the Monarchy Save Itself?

Bloomsbury Continuum. Nov. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781399406529. $35. POL SCI
Historian and royal commentator Owens (The Family Firm: Monarchy, Mass Media and the British Public) thoroughly and expertly examines the past and present of the British monarchy and offers recommendations for its modernization. His book is structured with four frameworks: “Ceremony, Spectacle, and Tradition”; “Duty, Service, and Philanthropy”; “Family, Celebrity, and Scandal”; and “Nation, Democracy, and the Constitution.” Owens argues that the monarchy is now complacent and short of fresh ideas. A major issue for the future is that the younger British generation is not as enthusiastic as their parents and grandparents were about the monarchy. He discusses the royal family’s recent missteps, such as the queen’s handling of media reports deemed racist for their statements about the Duchess of Sussex; when the Sussexes stepped back from their royal-family roles; and when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge toured Jamaica, Belize, and the Bahamas, where they were met with protesters demanding reparations and an apology for colonialism. Owens offers constructive ideas for change, including a proposal that King Charles step down as the head of the Commonwealth and turn the position over to an elected figure.
VERDICT Highly recommended and thought-provoking, with practical and well-informed ideas.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing