Why Elizabeth II’s message on the 70th anniversary of her accession matters

Elizabeth II’s message to her people, published to coincide with the 70th anniversary of her accession, is remarkable for a number of reasons.  First of all, it bears all of the hallmarks of the royal public language carefully crafted by Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Lang and Clive Wigram, private secretary to George V, back in the mid-1930s. With its emphasisContinue reading “Why Elizabeth II’s message on the 70th anniversary of her accession matters”

What next for the monarchy?

A lot of overheated media commentary at the time of Prince Philip’s death insisted that his passing marked the end of an era. Certainly, he was the last British royal to have meaningful connections to a wider network of royal families – a result of a culture of European dynastic intermarriage that persisted through the firstContinue reading “What next for the monarchy?”

A royal love story that might never have happened

As first published by Talking Humanities in April 2021. Prince Philip, who was one of the most popular and long-serving members of the House of Windsor, has died aged 99. Dr Ed Owens, historian, royal commentator, and author of The Family Firm: Monarchy, Mass Media and the British Public, 1932-53, looks back at a royal love story.Continue reading “A royal love story that might never have happened”

Another annus horribilis? ‘The Family Firm’ one year on…

As first published by Talking Humanities in November 2020. In a speech marking the 40th year since her accession to the throne, Elizabeth II described 1992 as her annus horribilis. In the 12 months prior to this, three of her children’s marriages broke down in full sight of the public and a fire tore through Windsor Castle,Continue reading “Another annus horribilis? ‘The Family Firm’ one year on…”

In profile: Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II

As first published by History Extra in October 2020. The only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Anne has often been a stalwart face of duty and (relative) normality throughout many of the royal family’s more turbulent periods. Yet the Princess Royal’s own life has not been without its challenges. From an infamous kidnap attemptContinue reading “In profile: Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II”

The family firm falters part 3

As first published by Talking Humanities in April 2020. The coronavirus presents the British monarchy with a set of unique short-term and long-term challenges. In this third and final article, written in connection with the release of The Family Firm, Dr Ed Owens reflects on the royal response to the Covid-19 crisis and the consequences ofContinue reading “The family firm falters part 3”

The family firm fights back

As first published by Talking Humanities in October 2019. Dr Edward Owens, author of ‘The Family Firm: Monarchy, Mass Media and British Public, 1932-53’, reflects on the current relationship between the British royal family and the press. Prince Harry has done something extraordinary. He has loudly and emotionally condemned some of Britain’s leading newspapers forContinue reading “The family firm fights back”