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America is obsessed with the Royals. So we make our own

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Sometimes we seem to want our own royal history in the United States. But without monarchs to talk about, we elevate our closest options (politicians, presidents, and famous families) to imaginary thrones.

The British monarchy, of course, occupies a special place in the American obsession. The Windsors are far enough away from our own society to appear more as celebrities than as heads of state. However, there is also a closeness, a personal interest in their stories that is justified by the intertwined stories of our two countries.

The numbers don’t lie: 17 million people in the United States tuned in to watch them The interview that talks about both Prince Harry and Meghan with Oprah in which they assumed that Meghan, of mixed race, received racist treatment.
In 2018, 29 million people in the US he awoke at dawn to see her marriage. Some 23 million watched Prince William and Katherine marry in 2011, with an overall vision of about 2 billion.

“The Crown” is one of Netflix’s most popular shows and there are so many documentaries, books, stories and shows about the life of Princess Diana that it remains a hyper-relevant part of American culture more than twenty years after her death.

Even if you don’t care about the Royals, many Americans do.

“Royalty stands out for being so unique, sometimes so glamorous, so rich, so historic,” he says Frank Farley, Professor of Psychological Studies at Temple University. “They have a continuing relevance against the backdrop of the often-passing celebrity and fleeting fame.”
The Queen of England has been at the forefront of British identity for seven decades.

When these people, enchanted in such a rare way, face the universal challenges of life (marriage and family, divorce or discrimination), it is natural for the public to be able to pull their neck out to see how it will be handled.

Farley, who specializes in media psychology, points to this as a type of parasocial relationship, when we create a perceived connection with a person, such as a movie star, an athlete, or a prince, that we don’t have. We care about these people, even though we don’t really know them at all.

“We live in an intense media age, which means there will be many who identify with the Royals’ problems and are interested in how such rich and famous figures who live in a historical historical context face life, ”says Farley.

It so happens that in the Windsor dynasty there are innumerable cases of controversy, mysteries and, yes, happy endings.

These events are perceived differently by the British public because, well, it matters more in their lives. For Americans, it’s like looking out the window at our very glamorous neighbors.

How we make our own American royalty

Supporters of former President Donald Trump often see his family as an example of American royalty, a perception encouraged by Trump himself.

In the United Kingdom, the monarchy has a ceremonial role separate from the political role played by the British Parliament. In the US, we don’t have that ceremonial aspect.

What we do have is a love for wealth and spectacle that can surpass our concept of real royalty and, well, just a simple fame. Powerful families are “dynasties“i”Royal Americans. “The most famous and accomplished among us are the kings and queens of their trades.

Presidents, of course, are the easiest to imagine this way.

Former President Donald Trump, for example, was especially invested in being perceived as royalty. Seva interest in royal families is well documented. Immortal images of the family golden penthouse of the Trump Tower in Manhattan they radiate the same level of opulence as any palace. Many of Trump’s most ardent supporters dream of a future where several members of his family to hold office in a long line of succession.

While seeing presidents as kings has terrifying consequences for our democracy, each administration inspires a fascination (often minimally political) among the American public similar to that of a monarchy. Much of this interest revolves around the personal and family character of a politician, and there is a clear reason why.

President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jackie Kennedy and their families occupy a type
“In the United States we have compartmentalized the roles of the ceremonial and the political,” says Arianne Chernock, an associate professor of history at Boston University. “The president does politics, the partners do the ceremonial.” That’s why the details of, say, a first lady’s dress or the private interests of our politicians are so important. They tell an American story with their choices, just as the British monarchy tells a British story.

“The monarchy is essential to British national history,” Chernock says. That is why Queen Elizabeth, who has held the throne for 68 years, is much more than a monarch for many Britons. “They anchor people to an increasingly attenuated notion of what it means to be British.”

Similar narratives have framed American identity for generations. The Kennedys, often called dynasties. The Obamas, whose influence and popularity have affected every corner of our culture. The Reagans, a Hollywood story, arrives in Washington. We see ourselves in these families and in what we desire most: perhaps wealth and power. Or perhaps a deeper sense of belonging to our nation, a plan of what it means to be American.

How this shapes our culture

The late Princess Diana is considered an icon of celebrities, which attracts fascination with her fashion and personal life.  However, she is also a lasting humanitarian and social icon with a legacy of charitable acts.
When we apply celebrity conventions to politicians, the way they influence popular culture changes and an aesthetic function arises alongside a policy. Even while in office, popular politicians find themselves straddling politics and entertainment. Many take advantage of this space, connecting celebrities, politics, and identities into a powerful and often confusing mix.

“In a very complicated culture, with so many moving parts and so many uncertainties, we need political leaders who stand out and position themselves on issues, and these qualities attract strong media attention and therefore create celebrity status,” says Farley.

The British monarchy also does much of their most influential work in the gray area, between the power with which they were born and the fame they attract. Princess Diana may have been a fashion icon and a enduring enigma, but she was also loved for using her status to draw attention to under-represented social issues. Princes William and Harry, his sons, have extended their legacy discussing issues that until now were taboo such as mental health.
The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, according to Chernock, was full of important symbols and signs of a changing monarchy.

“Certainly, the monarchy has modernized in the way it relates to the media and the people.” Chernock says. “At the same time, the attractiveness of the institution depends on its traditions.”

It’s no different in the United States, even if the titles aren’t there. For better or worse, leaders know that people observe all their movements with interest, adoration, or criticism. They know that what they do will be imitated and what they say will resonate throughout history. And even if they sit in the White House instead of on a throne, they still feel the presence of an invisible crown.

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