Today marks the coronation of Charles III as king of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.

As a political institution the British monarchy ceased having any purpose back in the 18th century. Because of its near total irrelevance, and the expense of its maintenance, there have been frequent calls for getting rid of it. These have become more pointed recently, as Charles is not well liked and is 74 years old, which seems very old to finally be elevated to the position of even nominal head of state. At least until you realize that both Joe Biden and Donald Trump are older. When will we be rid of this cursed generation?

How much longer will the monarchy go on for? Will cancel culture ever come for it? I doubt it, but if it does I imagine it will be for the reason any long-running show finally gets the (metaphorical) axe: a fall in ratings.

The thing is, few people care at all about the monarchy anymore. According to one recent poll, a whopping 78% of young people in Britain fell into this camp. The Crown is more popular than the Crown.

Things were different just forty years ago. The marriage of Charles and Diana was a big deal, and a popular show. But then the funeral of Diana was perhaps the last TV special that drew an audience. The media put a huge amount of effort into selling Harry and Meghan, and the funeral of Elizabeth II, but these weren’t even blips on my radar. The coronation will receive enormous coverage, even in markets like the U.S. that severed their ties to the monarchy a couple of hundred years ago, but I wonder if anyone will pay attention despite all the play on CNN. I know I won’t be watching. And this really is the key point in our attention economy. If royalty aren’t celebrities then they’re nothing at all.


5 thoughts on “Crowned

  1. Not watching here either. I had a laugh at the fact that all the traditional old guard Earls and Lords who would have been expected to be at the ceremony have been snubbed in favour of Ant & Dec, Dynamo the magician guy and Nick Cave.

    Liked by 1 person

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