Why Does the Royal Family Try to Stay out of Politics as Much as Possible?

The latest issue of Vogue magazine has caused a split in the United Kingdom. Edited by Meghan Markle, some feel that the issue is too political for a royal. But why would this upset people? Why can’t royal’s use their platform for political change? There’s a very important reason why royals must remain apolitical. Let us explain.

Royal Family
Prince William, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Kate Middleton | Paul Grover- WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan Markle angered some with Vogue issue

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We are proud to announce that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the Guest Editor for the September issue of @BritishVogue. For the past seven months, The Duchess has curated the content with British Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful to create an issue that highlights the power of the collective. They have named the issue: “Forces for Change” For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness. The sixteenth space on the cover, a mirror, was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective. The women on the cover include: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington We are excited to announce that within the issue you’ll find: an exclusive interview between The Duchess and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, a candid conversation between The Duke of Sussex and Dr Jane Goodall, inspirational articles written by Brené Brown, Jameela Jamil and many others. Equally, you’ll find grassroots organisations and incredible trailblazers working tirelessly behind the scenes to change the world for the better. • “Guest Editing the September issue of British Vogue has been rewarding, educational and inspiring. To deep dive into this process, working quietly behind the scenes for so many months, I am happy to now be able to share what we have created. A huge thanks to all of the friends who supported me in this endeavour, lending their time and energy to help within these pages and on the cover. Thank you for saying “Yes!” – and to Edward, thank you for this wonderful opportunity.” – The Duchess of Sussex #ForcesForChange

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Markle spent her maternity leave editing the September issue of Vogue magazine, but the end result left many British citizens feeling lectured by the duchess. The issue split the United Kingdom in two, with some feeling proud of Markle for using her platform to bring attention to issues such as equality and racism, and others feeling the issue was one big push for radical, liberal politics — and inappropriate for a member of the royal family. 

The main problem with the Vogue issue for critics was Markle’s choice of 15 Women Trailblazers. Instead of choosing a wide range of women, from all political spheres, Markle only chose women who were “Trump-hating celebrities from the far left.”

Markle’s editing of Vogue can be seen as both political and non-political, depending on who you speak with. But the issue isn’t about whether or not it’s political, just the fact that some people claim it’s political is a problem for the royal family. As Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe told the Sun: “Royals have not only got to keep out of politics but they have got to be seen to keep out of politics.”

Why does the royal family stay out of politics?

Why is it important that royal stay out of politics? After all, some argue that the royal family could use their position to bring important political change if they wanted to. And that could happen, but only if the royal family stopped caring about the longevity of their reign. 

The British royal family has a shaky hold of the crown. Unlike in the days of history, where a king or queen could practically do anything their heart desired, today, the royal family only holds their position by the grace of the British citizens. Many countries around the world have abolished their monarchy because it was seen as outdated. But in the United Kingdom, the citizens love the royal family, and they cherish the organization as an important part of British culture. 

However, this only works because the royal family keeps out of politics. Their role is to be a figurehead for the entire country and to work through charities to promote causes that benefit everyone. But they must not divide opinion, or they could find themselves in the same position as the abolished royals from other countries. 

British citizens pay for the royal family’s lavish lifestyle through their taxes, because they love the family. If all of a sudden, the royals began acting like politicians, they would no longer have the support of the majority of citizens- and that’s a problem when they’re paying for your livelihood. 

It would be easy for the United Kingdom to decide they no longer need a royal family if they were no longer serving the purpose they’re meant to serve. And the crown knows this — that’s why they are always on their best behavior, and they must always be aware of public opinion. And they must stay out of politics. 

Could Meghan Markle bring down the royal family?

It’s possible that if Markle’s behavior continues, she could permanently damage the royal family. At this point, she needs to decide what’s important to her, being political or being a royal, because she cannot do both. Even if Markle is not intending to be political, she’s angering the public with her decisions, and if she doesn’t become more aware of how she’s perceived, it could cause big problems for the royal family.