Not those republicans.
British citizens who oppose the monarchy are having a moment after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex used the sit-down to throw shade on the royal family.
The couple‘s comments ranged from accusations of racism and bullying to a general lack of support, and some think it’s time for the 1,000-plus-year-old monarchy to go.
The hashtag #AbolishTheMonarchy was trending on Twitter on Monday, which upset some supporters, such as Piers Morgan, who then was trashed when the Twitter account for the British anti-monarchist group Republic wrote back, “Don’t whatever you do retweet this and keep that trend going.” The interview dominated social media chatter for much of the day, with everything from jokes about what Ireland is thinking to references to Princess Diana’s bombshell 1995 BBC interview and allusions to colonialism.
Among the traditional arguments against keeping the House of Windsor in place are the expense, the undemocratic power the family wields, and the backwardness of the institution itself. Supporters of the anti-monarchist movement want to see the monarchy replaced with an elected head of state.
In a statement, Republic said the Oprah interview reinforces the need for an “honest national debate” about the institution’s future. “Now people are getting a much clearer picture of what the monarchy is really like. And it doesn’t look good,” the group said. “With the Queen likely to be replaced by King Charles during this decade the position of the monarchy has rarely looked weaker.”
However, plenty of others want the Queen & Co. to stay where they are. According to an online Ipsos MORI poll conducted on Wednesday and Thursday (read: before the Oprah interview), 43% of people say abolishing the monarchy would be worse for Britain’s future, whereas 17% say it’d be better and 34% say it would make no difference.
Queen Elizabeth II has ruled since 1952 and is the longest-serving monarch alive. The now-94-year-old great-grandmother took over upon the death of her father, King George VI, in 1952. Her son Prince Charles, who is Prince Harry’s father, is next in line for the throne.
Sunday’s interview was seen by more than 17 million people, and CBS says only the NFL and Super Bowl Sunday had more livestream viewers this season.