How Prince Andrew sex scandal and Prince Harry in exile make the case for slimmed down Royal family after Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – GP Taylor

EVEN as an ardent republican, I have recently felt quite sad for our Royal family. I have to admit that the Queen has done an amazing job over the years and I highly respect her as an ambassador for our country.

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee is being overshadowed by the civil sex case being pursued by Prince Andrew.
The Queen's Platinum Jubilee is being overshadowed by the civil sex case being pursued by Prince Andrew.

Her Majesty is a woman of grace and style who is sadly let down by some members of her family, especially the recent and as yet unproven allegations against her second son Andrew.

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The Queen's Platinum Jubilee is being overshadowed by the civil sex case being pursued by Prince Andrew.

The Queen has endured much and I have been very impressed by her response to the Covid crisis, becoming a national lead for how we should all behave. It is therefore sad that in this special year for her that she has to endure the sex life of a child being aired in an American court room.

It is unfortunate that Andrew didn’t realise that mixing with Jeffrey Epstein would bring him under suspicion and become an easy target for accusations that could incur a huge financial and personal cost. The man has now been stripped of his title and offices and faces court as a private individual.

Due to this, and ‘Megxit’, now could possibly be the best time to overhaul the monarchy and its role in our society. The Firm has always been top heavy with princes and princesses popping up everywhere. It is beyond my understanding as to why we should have so many. If we are to have a Royal family, surely it would be best to limit the HRH status to the heir to the throne.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue to divide public opinion.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, now resident in Los Angeles, have done nothing to improve how many people see the junior members of the family.

A slimmed down monarchy is fitting for the modern age. Sweden, Denmark and Belgium have grasped this concept quite well. They have royal families that provide a ceremonial and representative role with duties regulated by the constitution

These modern royal families fit in well within the republican system. They still have the kudos and respect, without the baggage.

God forbid that we in Britain would ever have to endure President Boris, Starmer or Blair. That would be a nightmare.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall - will support for the monarch dwindle when Charles becomes King?

Even in a republic it would be important to have a non-political head of state, devoid of any power or influence over Church and Government.

Crucially, if as I suspect, the Royal family is soon going to be overhauled, it must relinquish the role the monarch plays as head of the Church. Now is definitely the time for the Church of England to be disestablished and its bishops removed from the House of Lords.

Even as a parish priest, I could never understand the link between state and church. It appeared to be a hangover from a bygone age with no place in a modern society.

The Church should be made to go it alone in the modern world and sink or swim with what it has to offer. The concept of Defender of the Faith should be abolished and the state become completely secular without interference from any religious groups. Having a king or queen as the head of religious group is a medieval concept that should be dispatched to history.

The monarch rules with the consent of the people and a growing number of people, especially those under 30, believe that things must change. A YouGov poll indicated that 
41 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds want an elected head of state.

Surely, the country should decide for itself on the future of the monarchy. Can we not have a referendum where we can vote once and for all on what kind of Royal family, if any, we want?

When Charles ascends to the throne, it will be the ideal time for a detailed look and overhaul of our royals.

There are 16 countries around the world that see the Queen as their head of state. It is very possible that, with the succession of Charles to the throne, many if those countries will drop the monarchy, like Barbados has done.

Admittedly, William and Kate are doing a fine job of reviving the status of The Firm amongst ordinary people. They have done so well that, for the monarchy to survive, some believe it would be a good thing for the Crown to jump Charles and go directly to William.

The ghost of Diana opening her heart about her marriage 
still haunts many people and 
has deeply affected how many people see the Prince of Wales and, in turn, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Possibly, a younger, slimmed down bunch of royals may be strong enough to take it into the next century. However, I firmly believe there will come a point where society says that things must change and the monarchy, and all those involved in it, will be assigned their place in history.

GP Taylor is a writer and broadcaster. He lives in East Yorkshire.

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