We don’t need to tell you that 2020 hasn’t been an easy year for anyone.
And while we have no special sympathy for the British Royal Family — after all, they were spared the economic anxiety that characterized the past nine months for so many — the Queen and her inner circle had their most trying year in recent memory due to a seemingly endless string of PR crises.
The year got off to a rocky start thanks to the notorious Prince Andrew interview, in which the Duke of York attempted to distance himself from the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, but wound up making matters much worse instead.
The Windsors may have found it difficult to imagine that things could deteriorate from there.
But believe it or not, the end of 2020 may have been even more damaging for the family’s reputation than the beginning.
The year has been capped off by two scandals, both of which call attention to the ways in which the family’s self-imposed distance from their public and famed “stiff upper lip” policy have begun to come across as entitlement and insensitivity toward the plight of their subjects.
First, there was the controversy over the fourth season of the Netflix drama The Crown.
The series offers a fictionalized account of the Queen’s time as sovereign, and the latest installment focused largely on the tumultuous relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
The royal family was said to be infuriated over the manner in which the marriage was depicted, and the situation was made all the more complex by the fact that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently signed a $100 million deal with Netflix.
And that’s not the only way in which Meghan has found herself, through no fault of her own, involved in her in-laws’ latest media controversies.
The other involves Meghan’s tragic miscarriage, and the Royals’ surprising non-response to the situation.
Social media users were vocal in their criticism over the Queen’s refusal to comment on the heart-rending and deeply personal essay that Meghan penned for the New York Times.
For many, the situation has raised a question that has been on the minds of anti-royalists for decades:
Should the British Royal Family be confined to the dustbin of history?
Is this outdated clan of taxpayer-supported figureheads truly necessary anymore?
That’s long been the feeling among a sizable portion of the UK’s population, and even larger portion of those living in the British Empire’s overseas holdings.
In previous years, there was a strong feeling that the aristocrats with inherited titles and no real power should not be born into the posh life simply because of antiquated traditions.
These days, public opinion seems to have hardened even more, and you’d have to turn to stodgy purists like Piers Morgan in order to find vocal defenders of the institution.
As though unaware or unconcerned with the rising tide of anti-royal sentiment, the Windsors have harbored an accused pedophile, while alienating the beloved Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Harry and Meghan’s move to America may have been prompted largely by their frustrations with the British tabloid press, but constant criticism from Harry’s family certainly factored into the decision.
This week saw another reminder that the public has largely sided with the Sussexes in their ongoing clash with the Windsors.
Kate Middleton — formerly a darling of the British press and public — unveiled the results of her Five Big Questions survey, which was touted as a landmark study on early childhood development, the largest ever of its kind.
It was meant to be the crowning achievement of Kate’s career, but much to her chagrin, the public seemed largely uninterested.
As has been the case for much of the past few years, Brits and the global community in general were much more interested in what was happening with Meghan.
For decades, it’s been widely assumed that hostility toward the royal family would be its eventual undoing.
But now, it appears that public apathy might be the nail in its coffin.
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