Celebrity Or Royalty?
April 7, 2012
By: Rhianna Campbell
With the Queen’s recent visit to DMU still fresh in everyone’s minds, a divide has become apparent in the student body. There are those who care about the Royal Family as our country’s monarchy, and those who are completely indifferent to the Royals unless their faces are gracing a glossy magazine. With such a distinct division in society’s views, should we view them as celebrity or Royalty?
Years ago it would have been heinous to admit you had no interest in the Royal Family. In 1953, an estimated 20 million viewers watched the young Elizabeth II crowned. Years later, in 2005, the second wedding of Ken and Deidre Barlow on Coronation Street drew in a staggering 12.9 million viewers, whilst viewing figures show Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles’ wedding attracted a measly 8.7 million in comparison.
What has provoked the sudden nosedive in concern for the monarchy? A De Montfort student said:
“I think the Queen and the Royal Family are good for other countries’ benefit, as something to associate Britain with. But then again, the same could be said about fish and chips, or tea and biscuits.”
It’s shocking to suggest that the monarchy are no more important to our country than what we eat or drink, but is it, in fact, the truth? It’s somewhat ironic that nowadays, the Royal Family are available on more platforms than ever before, but fewer people bother to watch. In the 1960s, 70% of the population tuned into the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day, but viewing figures dropped from then on, finally levelling out in the early 2000s.
Are we now down to the monarchist hardcore who seek to maintain their former glory amongst today’s apathetic British citizens? Or have we reached an entirely new era, where royalty merges with celebrity?
Whilst interest in the Queen herself seems to be diminishing, the attention has turned to our future King and the young Windsors. Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding was watched by a total of 36.7 million viewers, whilst his grandmother’s Christmas speech attracted less than a quarter of that amount. (8.2 million, if you were wondering).
Could this be due to the younger royals’ frequent appearances in gossipy magazines such as Hello! and Heat?
It would be naive to deny that the line between celebrity and royalty has blurred. Recent press involving the new Duchess speaks less of the expected, i.e. her alliance with the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee tour, and more of things such as being “spotted in second hand frocks, high street coats and pieces pinched from her sister” and what she named her new dog. (Lupo, just fyi).
Peter Phillips is not a prince, but as the Queen’s eldest grandson, he’s as close as it gets. According to The Telegraph, Hello! magazine paid a whopping £500,000 for 20 pages of exclusive, intimate snaps of Phillips and his fiancée, Autumn Kelly, the night before their wedding.
It’s safe to say most of us wouldn’t know the first thing about the young Windsors without these sorts of articles. Or, if we did, we’d have to have a genuine interest in the monarchy as just that: the monarchy. The British public today seem more interested in Prince Harry’s latest scandal, or what dress the Princess is seen out in, rather than them as Royal figures who head our country.
What are you views; celebrity or royalty?
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