YOUNG people hate the Royal Family, or do they?
A poll for the BBC’s Panorama says 78 per cent of young people have no interest in them and that a third of 18 to 24-year-olds would do away with the whole tiara-and-palace palaver and replace it with a groovy elected head of state.
Then how to explain the crowds of REALLY young people — schoolchildren — in Liverpool who came out to cheer Charles and Camilla on Wednesday?
Those patriotic schoolkids in their red uniforms easily drowned out the sourpuss republicans with their dreary homemade “Not My King” posters.
And this just in — OF COURSE young people question the existence of the monarchy.
The young question everything!
I speak as a formerly young person who floated down the Thames with the Sex Pistols in 1977.
Johnny Rotten and I were ready to storm Buckingham Palace and instate Sid Vicious as head of state.
But young people change their mind.
We grow up.
We learn a bit more about life.
We realise that we are blessed that someone like Joe Biden or Donald Trump is not our head of state.
The overwhelming majority of the British people support the monarchy because it functions better than any alternative.
A hereditary monarchy makes no rational sense.
But it works.
During the long, hard years of Covid, the most important public figure in this country was the Queen.
When she promised, “We’ll meet again,” it carried more weight and meaning than anything that Boris Johnson said.
When the Queen told us, “Our streets are not empty. They are full of love,” we understood the role of a monarch in this country is far more than merely symbolic.
Queen Elizabeth II is an impossible act to follow,
But the new King will make this country a healthier, happier place than it would be if we had some power-hungry politico as head of state.
Ironically, many of the causes King Charles champions echo the concerns of the young.
Charles was an advocate for the environment, climate change, conservation and all that green stuff decades before it was fashionable.
One day, some of those “Not My King” protesters may wake up to the fact King Charles III is on their side for many of the issues they claim to care about.
The monarchy binds us to our history.
Next weekend’s Coronation will be the first in the lifetime of anyone under the age of 70.
There will pomp and splendour to take your breath away.
But the Royal Family is more than the greatest show on Earth.
As we saw on the King’s triumphant tour of Germany, the monarch has the power to rise above the toxic partisan squabbles of political life.
They have the power to heal the raw wounds of history.
And as the living embodiment of our country, the monarch gives a stability and continuity to our national life that we would be very wise to cherish.
The ragtag republican rabble has every right to squeak, “Not my King.” It’s a free country.
But if you are expecting this country to abolish the monarchy, best not hold your breath.
Those cheering children in Liverpool reveal why the British monarchy still exists.
Because after a thousand years or so, the British people want it to.
On the kid’s table
THE audience at the Coronation will include Han Zheng, the Beijing hardman recently appointed Xi Jinping’s deputy, and Sinn Fein’s scary Michelle O’Neill.
Presumably they have only been invited to sit either side of Prince Harry.
My’s a bikini belter
AFTER reinventing the white bikini on I’m A Celebrity 17 years ago, Myleene Klass returns to the jungle, modestly insisting she now looks totally different as a 45-year-old mother of three.
“I was in my 20s when I first came into the jungle and now I’m in my 40s,” says Myleene.
Dr Klass (Royal Academy of Music, University of East Anglia), protests too much.
The damn-near-identical white bikini that Myleene just modelled for Next tells a very different story.
So does the one she sports while playing the piano to raise thousands for charity.
If you compare Myleene under the waterfall in 2006 with the Myleene who tinkles the ivories in her bikini today, you struggle to tell them apart.
If anything, the venerable Dr Klass looks even better now.
A pipe dream
THE new SNP leader, Humza Yousaf, says he is willing to prop up a Labour government if Sir Softie will grant yet another once-in-a-lifetime referendum on Scottish independence.
Humza, mate, do you really want a referendum right now?
Your predecessor, Nicola Sturgeon, describes the current implosion of the SNP, rocked by financial scandals, sliding down the polls, a mysterious £110,000 motorhome turning up on the driveway of Sturgeon’s 92-year-old mother-in-law, as beyond her “worst nightmares”.
If Scotland has a referendum any time soon, as Humza Yousaf demands, it is likely to secure the UK for a generation.
And either Humza Yousaf knows it but he is trying desperately to keep the increasingly desperate Scottish Nats happy.
Or this bargain- basement Braveheart is an idiot.
Either way, his demands for a referendum look daft.
They call Humza the human bagpipe.
Which seems a bit harsh on bagpipes.
Biden’s back again
Joe Biden, who is 81 in November, is going to run for a second term.
Biden says he wants to “finish the job”.
Mr President, if you serve for a second term, sir, the free world will consider itself lucky if you can finish a sentence.
The right choice for Emily?
MODEL Emily Ratajkowski is admirably blasé about getting filmed snogging Harry Styles in Tokyo.
The way Emily explains it, these are the perils of the modern dating game.
“I’m just a person who has gone from a three-year relationship (with musician Jeff Magid) to a four-year one (with ex-husband Sebastian-Bear McClard),” sighs Emily.
“So this is the first time in a long time I’ve been in a dating stage.”
I do hope she swiped right with Harry Styles.
AFTER The Guardian produced documents revealing the King’s 17th-century ancestors had links with the slave trade, Charles has stated his support for research into the monarchy’s historical links to the slave trade.
Yes, let’s educate ourselves about this repulsive trafficking.
But let us learn the full story.
Let’s hear how the British abolished slavery in 1807, more than half a century before the US.
Let’s hear how the Royal Navy’s West Africa Squadron spent decades combating the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Let’s learn about the thousands of British sailors who died fighting slavery.
Let’s learn about African tribes who had the slave trade as their main income.
Let’s learn that slavery was never all about the wicked British.
Or wouldn’t any of that fit what The Guardian would call “the narrative”?
Len top of his class
LEN Goodman, who has died at the age of 78, was a lovely man, a warm presence on Strictly and a wonderful ambassador for dance.
He was also that great rarity on primetime BBC – someone with a working- class accent who was not a continuity announcer.
Len was a real working- class hero.
He was the son of a greengrocer, grew up in London’s East End and worked as a welder.
Len only took up dance when a doctor recommended it for a foot injury.
Before he co-presented Len And Ainsley’s Big Food Adventure with chef Ainsley Harriott in 2015, Len had never eaten Chinese food, pasta or curry.
Now that’s old school!
There was something else that was very old fashioned about Len Goodman.
His decency, courtesy and soft-spoken kindness to even the most hopelessly clod-hopping Strictly celeb.
If you are from a working-class family, then in Len’s warm smile you may have glimpsed the ghost of a beloved dad, or grandfather or great-grandfather.
If anyone ever deserved an 11, it was Len Goodman.
Mot on top
THE late John Motson has been voted the greatest football commentator of all time.
The man in the sheepskin was football’s voice for half a lifetime.
When we think of a football commentator, we think of the iconic Motty.
But my vote would go to Kenneth Wolstenholme, for that one unforgettable sentence in the summer of 1966.
“There are people on the pitch. They think it’s all over – it is now!”
But then that’s not really football.