Royal Baby - Opinion 1: British Monarchist Foundation
Part One of Joseph Perry's report on the coverage of the Royal Baby
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On the Sunday 10th May edition of TeenScope (with Joseph Perry), Joseph conducted an on-air, two-sided debate about the media coverage of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, the latest addition to the royal household.
In the debate he interviewed Thomas Mace Archer Mills, Chairman of the British Monarchist Foundation, and Graham Smith, Chairman of Republic. The topic being questioned was whether the royal family had exploited the birth of Princess Charlotte for their own benefit.
The results were as follow:
Here's what happened during Joseph Perry's first interview, with Thomas Mace Archer Mills, Chairman of the British Monarchist Foundation.
Joseph Perry: Why do you think so many people have been so interested and engrossed at the birth of a young girl who is, realistically, unlikely to yield too much power in this country?
Thomas Mills: It comes down to everyone’s individual thoughts on the monarchy. Many people look at it for ad s historical aspect; other people look at it as a popular, public aspect; other people, like me, look at it as a constitutional aspect in how important the constitutional monarchy and the sovereign work within our system of government. So, it really could be one of those three factors – it could be several more I haven’t mentioned – or it could be a perfect blend of all of those together.
Joseph Perry: How have you marked, personally and within the society, the birth of Princess Charlotte?
Thomas Mills: She was delivered with great fanfare, but that comes with every member of the royal family. This isn’t something new; this has been going on for well over a century. It’s also important to look at the growing interest from the media in the 60s, the 70s, then the 80s (with the Diana factor) – our royal family has this ‘celebrity status’. But, at the same time, being royal is very different to being a celebrity. They’ve had to mix both of those two lifestyles together to create what we see today.
Joseph Perry: I’m sure you’re aware that there will be some people thinking that there are, perhaps, more important things to focus on than this Birth…
Thomas Mills: People will think different things! We have to respect that, most definitely. Our royal family is not just our royal family to ourselves; they are the royal family to 16 nations in total, with huge media interest all over the world. Just look at America (although our royal family isn’t sovereign to their government) they are fascinated with our royal family!
Joseph Perry: I’m glad you mentioned the huge media interest globally. Do you think they were given a fair amount of coverage (especially given that the news of the Royal Baby sparked during the election campaign)?
Thomas Mills: It was a good break between all of the speculation and the polls and this and that! We are very blessed that we only have a month of election coverage – unlike other countries that start as soon as they’re elected and then they go through primary’s and when it’s six months leading up to that election day it’s non stop politics. We only had it for a few days and then the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth, then a couple of days after that, we were right back to business as usual.
Joseph Perry: I watched the news coverage on the day of birth and, for many people; the birth was something of a distraction.
Thomas Mills: Well, for some people it was a distraction but for other people it was an absolutely, bona fide, delivery of another member of our thousand year old monarchy!
Joseph Perry: We have no idea whether Charlotte is a supporter of the monarchy but pictures of her are being used to promote the royal family to the public. Do you think that’s ethical?
Thomas Mills: There’s a difference between being ethical and giving the public what they want. Our royal family is not a family unto themselves, they are family unto this nation and the 15 other nations that we share them with. If this is a question coming just of Princess Charlotte, we need to look back at the photos of Prince George, Prince’s William and Harry, etc… This is the way it is. Everybody wants to see the new royal baby. And it’s not just sitting it there and saying “Hi, I’ve popped out and born to boost my noble house”. That’s not what it’s about and that’s not what’s happened here. The media wants pictures, the public wants pictures. Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have purposely kept Prince George out of the sight of the public since he was unveiled on the steps of the Lido Wing. When he was presented at the door to go into the hospital and see his sister – that was only the second time that we have seen Prince George in the UK.
Joseph Perry: We did see him during that Australian state visit?
Thomas Mills: They visited Australia as the royal family of Australia, they have very different relationships with their media. We have only seen Prince George in public twice here in the UK. When he is on tour, in Australia, the media is very different there with different regulations and respects that we don’t have here.
Joseph Perry: Shouldn’t the media be refused photos of Prince George and Princess Charlotte until they are of an age whereby they can give consent?
Thomas Mills: That’s not going to happen at all. Personally, I think that they should but I am not the editor who is looking at sales of my newspaper. I am not the public demanding pictures and wanting to see them. This is what sales and, unfortunately, we’re looking at a media machine that is about being the first to get information and the first to sale that information for money.
Joseph Perry: The campaign Republic have called the media coverage: “an exploitation of a private event”. To me that seems quite an accurate description. In which way is it not an exploitation of a private event?
Thomas Mills: You’re talking about the second born child of the future king of this country and 15 others. This is not a private affair. This is something that has been going on for years, this is nothing new. These people are not so much their own people, their life is to service the state. This little girl, she does not know what she been born into. She is destined for a life of duty like those that have come before her.
Click here to read Joseph Perry's interview with Graham Smith.
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