There’s a fair chance everyone you’ll ever meet knows who Princess Diana or Queen Elizabeth II is. There is no doubt about it, but is it a trend, or a cultural thing? As non-British citizens living in London at TWC, we asked ourselves why the British royal family became a common topic of conversation at our local pub, and whether there was something we were missing out on. Whilst we found out a lot in our research and by asking around, these main points are not as surprising as you would think, especially when you realize the geographical scale to which the Queen reigns.
We challenge you, try to walk around London without noticing a royal family souvenir around the corner. Difficult to imagine the same scenario in any other monarchies, so how exactly has the British royal family kept their high profile? For one, monarchies in Europe and near England have disappeared since the beginning of the 20th century, leaving Queen Elizabeth II as one of the biggest fascinations worldwide. Who here doesn’t own a cup with the Queen’s face on it? I thought so!
We still remember visiting London for the first time and either getting a red bus, a phone booth or Queen keychain. But as mentioned in other articles, the British royal family branding itself is not a “Britain only” concept but can be found on an international level. We recently flew to South Africa, only to find Elizabeth II keychains at the airport! They’re a worldwide fascination, not to mention how many of us were in awe at Prince Georges’ first day of school photos. That’s right, we all shared it on our IG accounts! So do you need to be British to love the royal family? We don’t think so.
Although we per se have never met the Queen in person, many have met her thanks to the events she attends, such as the Royal Ascot, London Olympics, Wimbledon, and more. This interaction between the Royal family and the rest of the world has made them much more accessible and familiar to the public. Who remembers the Queen’s epic contribution to the opening of the London Olympics? Below is a video to refresh your memory.
The Royal Family has the duty of maintaining a united community but also recognizing important charity work. This gives them a real social responsibility to represent people’s businesses, charity events, and overall state dinners and lunches. Apparently, the royal family answers personally over 100,000 letters each year. If that doesn’t show you the effort they put into maintaining public relations, I’m not sure what does! But on a serious note, do you have your personal invite to Ascot yet?
In 2011 for example, millions of people tuned in to watch Prince William and Kate’s wedding on TV. What was Kate going to wear? And Pippa? And not to mention Diana’s years of being a fashion icon across the world. It’s easy to understand why they’d be designer’s best models when looking at their attention and spread in the media, but have they transformed into fashion icons? Without a doubt.
Diana simply had it. She had a natural sense of style and happened to be the Princess of Wales. Now walking in her footsteps is the Duchess of Cambridge, and not forgetting the immense influence Queen Elizabeth II had before them. Over the years, each royal lady has adopted their own fashion statements. Starting with the Queen’s head-to-toe colored skirts with matching hats, Diana’s playful first lady style and the Duchess of Cambridge’s fitted dresses. We believe their influence in the fashion industry has a huge impact on their popularity, adoration and interest, not to mention economic impact on the fashion industry.
16 Queens in 1
Remember the Queen is not only Head of the Church for one or two countries, but represents the whole Commonwealth, which contains over 15 countries. 16 to be exact, with over 2.1 billion people, from Australia to Antigua and Canada to Jamaica, which covers a lot of land with the Queen at its head. This could explain the extent of her popularity on a geographic basis.
When the BBC sent out a questionnaire asking England’s citizens whether they wanted Great Britain to become a republic, 18% of the population voted for, and the rest against. So why is the English population so obsessed with their monarchy? The monarchy gives Britain a sense of community, and brings it back to its traditional roots, especially in times of change. For example, Queen Elizabeth II was coronated during a hard and financially tough time just after the war, yet the British public saw no harm in a glamorous and expensive event.
It brought them hope and pride, which we could compare to today’s situation of political uncertainty regarding Brexit, immigration, globalization, amongst others. The Royal family retains what it means to be a proud British citizen, and is something that hasn’t changed throughout the decades.
What are your thoughts on the British Royal family? Although they’re known for their sense of style, are there other aspects you particularly enjoy? In the meantime, read more about our love for kitten heel boots to channel your inner Kate Middleton?