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The Prospect editorial—recasting the Crown

The monarchy—and its role in our democracy—must change

By Tom Clark   June 2021

Every one of England’s monarchs since 1066 is said to be descended from William the Conqueror, weaving an indispensable thread through Our Island Story. This, of course, is tosh. The Conqueror’s own nickname, William the Bastard, prompts one set of doubts about what may have happened to the royal bloodline over the dozens of generations since. And there have been so many brotherly blood feuds, cousinly coups and dead branches on the family tree that the residual connection is nothing special. Indeed, some genealogists have ventured that a quarter of the English may now be related to the old…

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