The Royal Family: what young Brits think

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 4, 2008 in Foreign Perspectives |

British Royal family at the Queen’s Diamond Wedding Anniversary celebration November 2007.

There is an international interest in the British Royal Family.

It’s a shame not everyone in the United Kingdom, or in England, or even in London was on board. But of course, this is an age of new traditions, where royalty sounds autocratic, imperial to some. Many of them young Brits, like a handful Sean and I ran into.

Sean’s brother Brian - a loveable, spry, 19-year-old with shaggy hair, Adidas skateboarding sneakers and otherwise a look that could make an indie punk rock band - has been studying audio engineering in London for a year. He has lived with three British teenagers - from Leeds, Birmingham, Salisbury (where Stonehenge is) respectively - and one crazed Brazilian 20-something for most of his time there.

They’re kind, cheery folks with cutting tongues and a penchant for following football (soccer) on TV with football (soccer) video games. They welcomed Sean and I to crash before we depart, which offered a great opportunity at making a cozy home in decidedly international quarters.

One of the more interesting conversations I got into - and there were plenty - was over the British Royal family. Adam, with a blonde mop top, sullen eyes and a deliberate, cautious tone, told me how the Royal family is, perhaps unsurprisingly, not much more than a joke to most young Brits.

Of the Queen herself, he told me she isn’t more than some American celebrity - fodder for the countless British tabloids and someone to bring Britain some attention.

“She doesn’t do anything for me, so I don’t do anything for her.”

That is certainly a generational thing, which reminds me of what I learned while studying in Tokyo in 2006. Sumo, the sport of giants so many of us associate with Japan, is a dying art for the young. Kids like baseball, soccer, even basketball. Sumo is something old.

Likewise, Adam told me the royal family is a tradition that won’t quit, though few young people seem interested in carrying on the tradition from their parents. He spoke of his own family’s thoughts.

“My grandfather loves them, like he’s supposed to… But anyone my age knows it’s just tourism dollars.”

Of course, the United Kingdom, I suspect, won’t give up on the tradition anytime soon, just for that reason. We spend money in London just for the opportunity to see that big castle at the end of the Mall. Snap a photo of a palace guard and know that fairy tales of princesses and queens lives on, in some form.

Photo courtesy of Royal British Family.

1 Comment

May 14, 2010 at 3:45 pm

hellle my the and famyli is english lol je pige ri1



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