THE REAL BREAKDOWN OF THE King’s coronation
The weekend of the King’s coronation was a historical one, with many in this country and around the world witnessing such an event for the first time. The British taxpayer had the honour of footing the bill for this, with many media outlets reporting that the cost to the taxpayer for this magnificent event was around the £100 million mark.
According to research carried out by the Guardian recently, King Charles III inherited assets that pushed his already sizeable wealth to just shy of £2 billion. So, is it any wonder there is unrest amongst Brits when a billionaire is not funding his own party? Are the royal family so out of touch? Are most Brits any better?
The royal family and its insiders are insisting the new King is keen to “modernise” the monarchy. As comic Frankie Boyle quipped in his new programme ‘Farewell to the Monarchy’: “Starting with a radical redefinition of the word ‘modernise’ to mean keep exactly the same.”
Research carried out by YouGov in April found that over 51% of Brits asked did not want the government (or taxpayer) to pay for the coronation. Which seems reasonable given the difficult times many people are living through.
In February 2023 it was reported by the charity Shelter England that at least 271,000 people are homeless in the UK. With 123,000 of those being children.
In 2021/2022, around 14.4 million people were living in poverty in the UK. This is according to the government’s own annual ‘households below average income’ report.
These statistics make for grim reading, @stuartwarwick on twitter said: “if we’re asking God to save anyone, it should be the 14.4 million living in poverty, not the king.”
It is not just in this country where people have voiced their disinterest in the King’s coronation. ITV’s report by Rohit Kachroo on 3rd May 2023 showed how little those in Jamaica, a country rapidly heading towards a republic and away from its colonial past, care about the royal family. Some Kingstonians stated that they cared more about Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes “The British Royal family? Irrelevant!” The sentiment is shared country-wide, with the coronation only serving to quicken Jamaica’s separation from the current head of state.
Reports like this show how the world is moving on from the days of colonial powers. For example, Queen Elizabeth II inherited over 32 overseas territories in her coronation in 1952. King Charles III is set to have 14.
There were also a disturbing number of arrests, which the Mayor of London has recently asked the Metropolitan Police to clarify, on anti-monarchy protestors. Many who were silently protesting were handcuffed and escorted away from the event. Criticism of the police also stems from their controversial use of facial recognition cameras on the protestors.
Viewing figures published by the BBC tells of almost 20 million Brits tuning in to watch the King’s coronation. With a population of almost 70 million, many will see it as telling that much less than half watched it. There is no doubt that the eyes of the world descended upon the UK on 6th May, and many will say they saw the country “at its best”. The real doubt is how many more of these ‘historical’ events this country has left in it, and if it will start to run away from the past like many other countries are doing.
Words by: Liam Smith