The British Royal Family refers to the group of people related to the current ‘Monarch’ (or Royal Ruler) of the UK and all those who have been ‘on the throne’ (as in, king or queen) in the past and their families. This ‘line’ of people ‘stretches back’ over a thousand years with each monarch being related in some way to the previous monarch – going back in this case to William The Conqueror – a Frenchman who invaded and conquered Britain in 1066 AD.
You might find it odd that the current ‘Royal line’ started with someone who was not English or British and in many ways it is extremely odd but it is also very common in regards to the British Royal Family.
Until 1917 the royal ‘house’ (essentially the name for the royal family) was ‘Saxe-Coburg and Gotha’ – a Royal Family or ‘Dynasty’ originating in German! The house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha has not only produced royals for the UK (and Germany, of course) but also for the Kingdoms of Portugal, Bulgaria, Belgium and even the empire of India!
Our current queen, Elizabeth II (who enjoyed her 90th birthday this month) is of German ‘heritage’ and her husband, Prince Philip is of Greek ‘descent’ – hardly British at all!
Whilst the monarchy of the UK has a great many traditions and a long history, many British people think that is time to ‘scrap’ or get rid of the monarchy altogether. The queen (or indeed any modern UK monarch) is not the ruler of the UK anymore and has little to no say in how the country is governed. You might understand people wanted to get rid of a king or a queen in the modern world if they controlled the country but recent monarchs have merely been ‘figureheads’.
One of the major complaints against the royal family is that they are largely funded by taxes taken from the British people. Many are unhappy about giving money to a family which owns so many splendid houses and palaces and who seem to have a far better lifestyle than that of the people who pay taxes to them.
There is certainly an argument for keeping the royals based on tourism – many international visitors are drawn to the UK because of the royals and in seeing attractions such as Buckingham Palace. Many, however, argue that it is not enough to justify paying taxes year after year. Others also argue that having a monarchy and a royal family is ‘backwards’ – which means that is too focused on the past and ‘outdated’ ideas and systems and does not help us ‘move with the times’ and become a truly modern nation.
In any case, I believe that the monarchy will be not be ‘abolished’ in my lifetime, though the ‘passing’ of Queen Elizabeth will surely be a ‘deciding factor’ in the future of our once-powerful British Monarchy.