Prince Philip’s Passing and the Future of the Monarchy

The Coronavirus pandemic has thrown the United Kingdom into turmoil, and Prince Philip’s death adds to the sorrow in the UK.

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Prince Philip passed away at the age of 99.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth II, has died at the age of 99 on April 9th, 2021 at Windsor Castle in England. The United Kingdom continues to cope with the loss as well as with the Coronavirus pandemic. 

His death, however, does not impact the line of succession, as he was never going to take over the throne. Prince Andrew remains exiled, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle surrendered their royal duties last January 2021. Following her husband’s death, Queen Elizabeth II initiated eight days of national mourning, with the United Kingdom’s government following suit by flying flags at half mast. A somber mood engulfed the country. 

The stability of the monarchy must be questioned right now. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their departure from the British monarchy in 2020, stepping down from their roles as Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The late Prince Philip openly did not approve of their exiting from their duties. He reportedly said that the couple’s interview with Oprah was madness and no good would come of it. Still, Prince Harry attended Philip’s funeral, and briefly spoke with his brother, Prince William, before departing. There was hope that his attendance would help to mend relations with the rest of the family, but it does not seem very hopeful now. 

According to The New York Times reporter Mark Landler, “With the queen’s reign in its twilight, Charles has moved to streamline the royal family and reallocate its duties — a downsizing forced by the loss of stalwart figures like Philip.“ Charges of racism only further erode their public image. This begs the question – what is in store for the future of the monarchy? With the loss of Prince Philip, the state of affairs regarding Princes Andrew and Harry, and the health and future of the queen (95 years old), the stability of the royal family is looking precarious at best. Adding onto that, after the Queen’s eventual passing, the monarchy will fall onto Prince Charles, and he is not very well liked by the public, especially after he cheated on Princess Diana with his now-wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. 

This comes at an extremely unfortunate time, as the United Kingdom experienced one of the highest death rates in the world during the global Coronavirus pandemic. Reports show that 13-15% of children infected with COVID-19 have displayed long term symptoms, accelerating the need to approve the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for teens. With the United Kingdom’s controversial aid budget cuts, MSI Reproductive Choices, a leading reproductive health charity claims that many maternal deaths will ensue. A new variant, the Delta variant, which is both more transmissible and  resistant to vaccines, is leading speculations as to whether there will be a third wave in the United Kingdom on the way. 

Despite the seemingly critical situation that the royal family seems to be in, the United Kingdom still continues on. ‘The ‘Firm’ as Meghan Markle used to refer to the royal family during her interview with Oprah Winfrey, is more a business than a family. Business or family, the future of the British royal family remains uncertain, but for now, the only thing to do is watch and wait. 

Business or family, the future of the British royal family remains uncertain, but for now, the only thing to do is watch and wait. 

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