With the Cambridge’s returning from Australia, I am sure that regardless of whether or not you are a royalist, you will agree that their visit ‘down under’ has been a success in drumming up support for the royal family.
This could be down to several things. It could be that Australians are a naturally warm and friendly people. It could be Prince William and Catherine are the ‘it’ couple at the moment as they often appear on the covers of glossy magazines, and newspapers. Or it could be the fact that unless you have a heart of stone, you will have been warmed by the cuteness of baby George and his interactions with creatures great and small.
I however put it down to something else, and that something else is that we are now looking to the future, this is despite the global population getting older, and there are more and more of the younger generation growing up in a ‘modern’ world.
One could argue that whilst the current monarchy does have a certain appeal to the younger generation, those who are between 10-35 naturally find it harder to relate to those who are 65+ than those of their own age, regardless whether they are heads of state or not.
With the birth of baby George, the British public as a whole looked to the future. As expected, some papers wrote lengthy arguments as to what sort of king George would be, forgetting that it is possible (and quite likely that he is third inline) that George may not get to the throne until his 60s or 70s.
We therefore have a problem, an ever growing population that is ageing, and being thrust into a world that is getting younger and younger through technical advancements and outlooks on life. Those joining the world find it hard(er) to relate to the older generation, and the older generation who tend to feel younger and younger are unlikely to be able to (or unwilling to) change their ways.
The monarchy is not the only area that is likely to see its levels of support change over the next few decades, the followers of religion are also likely to fluctuate.
National newspapers and media have printed frequently as to how the attendance at Church has dwindled, and that fewer and fewer people when asked identify themselves as having a faith, or being part of a religious following.
The vast majority of religious beliefs are steeped in traditions, traditions that have been handed down from generations to generations. From this you could say (either rightly or wrongly) that religion takes a ridged form, with some saying that what was written in The Bible, Torah or other holy scripture cannot, and should not be changed. Some considerations are made, but as a whole, the vast majority of religious observances are inflexible.
In a world that is very different to that of thousands (or even hundreds) of years ago everything has changed, and whilst some would think that it would still be nice to get a horse and cart to work, travelling the 30 mile distance to get to the office would make it not only an uncomfortable ride travelling in a cart with no suspension, but also make for a very tired horse, not to mention the problem of where to park it!
If we look at this example further, when the car was introduced, I am sure that there were people who thought it was the world of the devil and refused point blank to change their ways. However as time passed the inconveniences of not having to buy carrots for your mode of transport, or clear up after it were long forgotten, and the ease of being able to travel for further and quicker embraced.
The future generation was thought of, and change was embraced.
Yes those who had used horses would have been upset, but those who were younger needed to progress and to have the tools to adapt to the way life would treat them in the future.
Here could be the reason as to why attendance in religious places of worship is dropping, and the support of the Monarchy could potentially drop as well.
They are steeped in tradition, but are unable to (or unwilling to) make concessions to take into account the changes that we all face. For instance whilst it may have been practical to spend upwards 60 minutes each day dedicated to prayer, the busy lives which we now have means that this in many cases is no longer an economic use of time.
Yes having a Monarch who was brought up 50-60 years ago can be related to if you are of that age, but the vast majority of the working population, will be much, much younger. I doubt very much that the public would vote for a Prime Minster that was 65+ for the same reason.
The same applies to religion, how can you expect a younger generation to be able to relate to, and understand something which was enshrined in a period of time that is getting further and further away from them?
I am not saying that I think that it is right for baby George when he is older to embrace the younger culture of today (which typically involves being a father by his 18th birthday, have a string of ASBO’s before he has it puberty, and ‘happy slap’ his grandmother for the purposes of putting it on YouTube), or for ministers to deliver their sermons by Skype.
What I am saying however, is that unless these two ancient establishments are able to, and willing to adapt better to modern life, it is unlikely that their survival and support will continue for much longer.