Once again, we see an example of the British royal family living high off the hog at taxpayer expense.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are under attack for extravagance on Tuesday after the annual publication of the royal accounts showed they have already spent £2.4m ($3m) of public money renovating their new home, Frogmore Cottage—and work on the property is still not complete.
Courtiers have moved to defend the spending, saying that a significant portion of the money would have needed to be spent anyway to preserve what is, they argue, an important part of the country’s built heritage.
However, critics dismissed this argument, saying the house, which was previously divided up into five individual staff flats, was only converted at such huge expense into a single home because Harry and Meghan turned their noses up at the prospect of living in Kate and William’s shadow at Kensington Palace.
So a palace was not good enough for them? Or maybe it was too cramped because of the in-laws being there? Who gives a damn?
I have been baffled by the public’s fascination with, and acceptance of, a bunch of parasites who feel entitled to live grand lives at taxpayer expense purely because of accidents of birth. The main skill of the royal family has been its ability to convince not only large segments of the British public but also, inexplicably, significant numbers of Americans too that the minutiae of their lives are not only interesting but worth funding on a grand scale. They particularly seem to go nuts over their weddings and births.
I have had arguments with liberal friends of mine in the US who defend subsiding their lives as serving a useful function, though when asked to, they are hard pressed to find justifications other than that the family provides some continuity and stability in the political system.
I don’t get it. But I am a reasonable person and willing to compromise. If the Queen does serve a useful purpose as suggested by her supporters, I suggest that the British government provide just the Queen with an allowance that would enable her to live in reasonable comfort in an apartment somewhere so that she can perform her ceremonial duties such as give the throne speech and open post offices and whatever the hell else she is expected to do. But the rest of her family have to go out and get jobs and support themselves. And that would have included her layabout racist husband Philip when he was younger. As Hamdi Dabashi writes, “His xenophobic bigotry is pure, his sense of class entitlement undiluted, unencumbered, uncensored, liberated from any inkling of bourgeois inhibitions. He does not mean to be offensive. He just is. He is a walking embodiment of every layered lava of European racism summed up inside one royal head.”
Maybe the other members of the family are not as overtly racist as Philip. But they are undoubtedly imbued with the same sense of class entitlement as can be seen from the way they spend the public’s money to live lavish lives.
They all need to get jobs.