May 18, 2018 1:26 pm

Roy Green: Meghan and Harry aside, for how much longer is the monarchy still relevant?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend an Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey on April 25, 2018 in London, England.

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The Royal family today seems more about pop than pomp. Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth has been required to preside over a crew routinely the subject of late night TV one-liners and frequently bereft of the public respect commonly demanded for members of the House of Windsor.

During the early years of her reign, the Queen crushed her sister Margaret’s wish to marry dashing and distinguished fighter pilot Peter Townsend. Townsend was divorced and a union with a princess in line for the throne was unthinkable. Rules were rules.

That was then.

Now a trail of broken marriage, rumoured extra-marital trysts, divorce and remarriage, all dragged through the public square, take a seat at the Kensington Palace dinner table.

WATCH BELOW: Royal Wedding pop quiz — How well do you know the Royal Family?


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They’re Canada’s royal family still, but for how much longer?

An Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News last year reveals Canadian feelings about the royals are mixed and enthusiasm is cooling.

Half of Canadians are of the view this country should sever its ties with the monarchy when the Queen’s reign comes to an end. Even more (61 per cent) believe neither the Queen nor the Royal Family should perform a formal role within Canadian society. “The royals are simply celebrities and nothing more” is the verdict from the colonies.

READ MORE: How Canada could break up with the monarchy

Quebec occupies a front-row position in any debate about Canadian ties with the Palace. Quebecers informed Ipsos they are decidedly anti-monarchist.

Should the rest of the country join Quebec’s determined “non merci” attitude, writing London out of Canada’s business will be a challenge. The reigning monarch is constitutionally enshrined. To reverse this, the constitutional amendment would require unanimous approval of the provinces.

Unanimous? Canada’s provinces? Bonne chance!

WATCH ABOVE: What Canadians think of the monarchy

Any public debate concerning a move toward abolishing the Queen as Head of State or the ascension to the role by her eventual successor would result in traditionalists’ howls of outrage so pitched that politicians with aspirations to remain in office would cower and pray for Supreme Court intervention.

Let’s say we somehow reach the unanimous decision to excise Buckingham Palace from Canada’s future. Where would we turn?

READ MORE: Prince Harry once ‘wanted out’ of royal family, considered giving up title

One visceral response would be to follow the lead of the United States with Canada becoming a republic, with at its head, a regularly elected president.

Some in Canada may be giving howls of outrage at this column. After all, this is the occasion of the marriage of Prince Harry, sixth in line to the throne. Yet it is this same Prince Harry who gave serious thought about renouncing his own place in the royal family.

The day will come when the debate over who should fill the role of Head of State for Canada truly does spill into the public square. It will be neither calm, nor polite, and will be followed by consequences we cannot predict, or perhaps imagine.

Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.

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