The vital Royal role in post-Brexit, Global Britain
The world keeps turning despite COVID-19, and the role of the Royal Family -- a hugely important national asset -- will serve us well as we rebuild a truly global Britain even in these difficult times
While the only story we have heard come out of Buckingham Palace for the last few months has been the exit of Harry and Meghan from the Royal Family, this is a story that will pass, and the country will move on.
However, one of the most prominent issues where the Royal Family – including Prince Harry – still have a very important role to play is in the promotion of so-called ‘Global Britain’ in the post-Brexit international community.
When it comes to promoting the UK overseas, the Royal Family is one of the strongest assets we have as a country, and this is something we should not be afraid to utilise during this pivotal time.
While the Royal Family cannot take overtly political stances on major issues, they can still promote the ‘brand’ of the United Kingdom, a brand which has long had its voice supressed due to our membership of the European Union.
The Royal Family is in a unique position with their ability to reach out across the world and break through the established barriers which currently exist, whether through the Commonwealth of Nations - which has 54 global members - or simply by their status as an easily recognizable symbol of the UK around the world.
This comes largely from their political neutrality, enabling them to spread the message of the UK being open for business, while not facing a political backlash. While other countries try to broaden their horizons through trade envoys and other officials, the pomp and circumstance which only the British Royal Family can command, gives us a vital advantage when it comes to bringing foreign nations around to our way of thinking.
A prime example of this happened just last month, when Prince Charles led the welcome party for the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, during which nearly £2 billion-worth of deals were agreed between UK business partners and Africa’s growing markets. All this despite controversies about disputes between the UK Government and select African Leaders.
Instead of the latter being the focus of the Summit, the presence and composure provided by the participation of a senior member of the Royal Family led to a smooth running conference which only served to bolster the UK’s position in the world.
This doesn’t only work with developing countries, but also the biggest economies in the world, including the United States of America - a fact which should never be underestimated in the upcoming trade talks between the UK and our best ally. Modern American leaders have found it difficult to say no to requests by British Royals who the American public have so much affection for. With the US presidential election looming, this is something that cannot be forgotten in what are bound to be tough negotiations.
There is no doubt the job of the Royal Family has become harder with the loss of a major working royal in Prince Harry, however, they have not in any way become obsolete as a result. Even Harry and Meghan as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may still have a role to play with their continued involvement in international organisations such as the Invictus Games and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, where they will always be known as former front line Royals and be associated with the United Kingdom, regardless of their current separation from ‘The Firm’.
As we Get Britain Out of the EU and look forward to promoting ourselves on the global stage, we as a country need to look no further than Buckingham Palace to find our best cheerleaders who are welcomed with open arms into almost any country in the word.
Now more than ever we must embrace this unique opportunity and utilise it to its fullest extent. It has been decades since we have been able to really speak for ourselves on the world stage, and the Royal Family has one of the biggest megaphones available to make sure the whole world hears us as we return to being a truly ‘Global Britain’.
Joshua Mackenzie-Lawrie is a Senior Research Executive at the grassroots cross-party campaign Get Britain Out
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