5 Major Questions Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family Must Answer in 2020
The British royal family is in a state of transition right now. Prince Charles and Prince William are taking on more and more official duties as Queen Elizabeth gets ready for her historical reign to end, either through death or retirement. Over the past several months, we’ve seen a few central figures in the royal family step away from their roles. Lesser royals may be taking their places.
The one thing the queen values over anything is preserving her family legacy. Queen Elizabeth has spent decades carefully establishing the reputation of the royal family, and the last thing she wants to see in her final years is the whole thing fall apart because of petty feuds and unnecessary drama.
With the advent of 2020, the queen will be focused on a few key agenda items for the coming year. Here are the most pressing questions she’ll need to tackle.
What role will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle play in the royal family’s future?
Even though Prince Harry wasn’t ever going to be king, his role as a senior royal was significant for the family’s future. Now with his bombshell announcement that he and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are stepping back and creating new, unique roles on their own terms, all of those plans are ruined.
Queen Elizabeth did not openly chastise the couple for their decision, saying simply that she was “entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.” But she sent a strong message to them by stripping both of their HRH titles and promoting Prince William into a new position just one week after.
No one, including Harry and Meghan, knows exactly what the future will hold for the former senior royals. But the queen will need to do everything she can to establish the details of those new roles in the coming year if she wants to maintain any control over the situation.
Will Prince Andrew be shunned from the inner circle?
The only worse PR disaster than Harry and Meghan making a hasty exit from the family was Prince Andrew reluctantly giving up his role amidst a serious scandal. The queen’s son stands accused of being friends with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and even knowing about some of his shady past.
Prince Andrew agreed to an interview to help clear his name, but the resulting questioning did much more harm than good. The Duke of York announced his resignation from royal duties shortly after the interview aired. And even though he publicly announced his intention to assist law enforcement with the continuing investigation, a U.S. prosecutor claims he’s “not cooperating.”
The queen faced criticism for supporting Prince Andrew when she was spotted with him days after the news broke. Will Her Majesty continue to keep her son close despite the public’s perception of him?
Will Queen Elizabeth finally retire?
Queen Elizabeth will turn 94 this year and though she’s still sharp, spry, and frequently spotted on horseback, that doesn’t stop royal followers from wondering if she’ll turn the reins over to her son Prince Charles early. Her husband Prince Philip, 98, retired several years ago and some fans speculate she may want to spend more time with him.
The queen once said she’d never retire, but at the time she probably never imagined she’d live well into her 90s. Royal followers predict the queen will keep giving up more and more responsibilities like she has been until she can no longer perform her duties anymore.
A senior aide told Town & Country magazine that Queen Elizabeth as “no plans” of giving up the throne while she’s alive.
How will the royal family handle future scandals?
Queen Elizabeth faced criticism in the past for her reluctance to show emotion in public, even traumatic events such as the death of her daughter-in-law Princess Diana. And what’s worse, she has similar expectations for other royals going through their own crises.
Although 2019 was a trying time for the entire royal family, the queen kept her composure through every scandalous headlines that came along. Now the world is watching to see if she continues this tactic in 2020 even if things go from bad to worse.
Do we need the British royal family?
Sure, it’s tradition. But now that the royals are starting to be more trouble than they’re worth (to some), they may need to work harder to prove their worth to the citizens who support them.
Some royal followers think of it as the question that dare not be uttered. But with all the financial implications of supporting the royal family front and center, especially following Harry and Meghan’s big news, it’s causing British taxpayers to wonder why the monarchy exists at all.
It’ll be a crucial year for the royal family no matter what happens. We’ll be watching closely to see what happens next.