#Megxit: What the British royals can learn from their fellow Nordic royals
Are you tired of the #Brexit controversy? There is now Megxit.
You know, the royal exit (sort of) of the Sussex royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It’s everywhere in the newspapers, magazines and the internet. People talk about it and everyone wonders how it’s gonna end. Like a reality show. Or a drama. The Netflix way, like The Crown.
But does it really have to be like that? Shows are for TV entertainment. Monarchy is real though. And can sometimes spark people’s attention, as it is a serious issue. Or not? The British royals and fans can just take a look to the east. Scandinavian countries also have kings and queens.
And although Nordic people love them (or tolerate monarchy or simply don’t bother to care), at the same time, they do not take everything about it so seriously. Except for when it is about taxpayers’ money.
Let’s find out what the British royals can learn from their Nordic fellows.
We are not talking about the Norwegian weather. We know it’s like that popular scene from Game of Thrones. There is another thing perhaps cooler than that. Norwegian attitude.
If you ask their Nordic neighbours “How are the Norwegians like?”, most probably you will get answers like:
“The happiest looking people on the planet”.
“They laugh a lot and do not take things very seriously. They have their bunads to worry about more.”
And the same goes for their take on their monarchy. They have a good relationship with this institution. The royals do not intervene in state issues but are glad to help with social issues and the international relations of their country. Fair enough, right?
So, what is it that intrigued us to write about the Norwegian royals? What lesson can the British ones learn from them?
You all know how creative of people the Nordic people are. They don’t leave any stone unturned. And although the Norwegian royal family enjoys a positive vibe from the country’s people, they decided to take a new perspective on their crown. It’s not above all and anything. Ahem…
They decided to be flexible and go semi-royal and semi-independent. But who are they? Well, the King himself. And the wider royal family in general. Monarchy is something inherited from the past. But in order to survive, it needs to adapt. Right, Duke of Edinburgh?
First things first, Norway’s King is Harald V and his wife is Queen Sonja. Next in line for the throne is their son, Prince Haakon. As the future King, he lives a mostly royal life, with quite a lot of duties. But he has also ranked in the army and cofounded the ” Global Dignity ” NGO for protecting human rights.
He chose a non-noble and single mother already as his wife, Mette-Marit. She has only a few royal duties (because of a chronic illness she suffers from) but has admittedly lived a “rebellious phase” when younger.
Haakon’s oldest sister, Märtha Louise, was supposed to be first in line for the throne but back then, the law dictated that the male children come first. Since then, things changed and if it were today, she would become the next in line. She now lives an independent life, almost royal-free, as a successful businesswoman, with her royal highness title taken away.
As you can see, they do not see the things with the monarchy too seriously. For example, see the Crown Prince dancing and singing at this father’s 80th birthday. Hilarious!
Different house, same rules. This time, the Swedish King himself, Karl Gustaf, decided to strip some of his grandchildren of their titles. Five of them, to be specific. This took place in October 2019, when the Royal Court of Sweden announced with a statement that these five (former) royal highnesses lose this title and will no longer need to perform royal duties.
They can still be called dukes and duchesses but not royal highnesses. Oh! And they will not be entitled to their annual sum, called appanage in Swedish, anymore. The Swedish royals receive this as a kind of compensation for their royal duties.
The royal family of Sweden minus 5 small royal highnesses is much cheaper. The family has grown so much than ever before in the last 100 years and Swedes are not that willing to pay so much money for the numerous royals. Plus, the small children who lost their royalty, so to say, will be able to grow up as normal kids. And become independent by working for themselves.
That is so Swedish, right?
For or against the monarchy, we need to appreciate it as part of the history and tradition of a country. And not all kings and queens are bad as Maleficent, right? Especially if they make speeches as embracing and inspiring as this one.
It took place in Norway, on September 1st 2016. During his annual garden party, he talked about what Norway as a country is. And about who is Norwegian.
Only to finish off this amazing speech with his biggest concern / wish. Watch the video to find it out!
Image: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se