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Illustration: Hayley Warnham

Roadmap to a republic

Why the monarchy can’t just ‘carry on’ after Elizabeth II

By Tom Clark   June 2021

It was the adjective that got me. On Saturday 10th April, the headline on Radio 4’s normally impeccably factual evening news bulletin was “Prince Charles has spoken movingly about the death of his father Prince Philip.” There had already been 36 hours during which every flick of the radio switch had brought a new line that could have come from a Chris Morris satire: “a man of action, a man of ideas, truly a renaissance man,” someone intoned in the first hour or two. We heard courtiers asked whether they thought the Windsors had had the kind of marriage “where the Queen might have discussed the Duke of Edinburgh awards?” The Duke’s jokes about “slitty eyes” were too famous to write out of the script, but were reconceived as “ice-breakers” that had been taken the wrong way. The news itself became infused with emotive judgments of a kind I…

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