A member of Britain’s “royal” Windsor family has been booed at a soccer match, challenging the monarchist fiction that opposition to monarchy should be unthinkable.
William Windsor, who is known as “Prince William” and “Duke of Cambridge”, is the 39-year-old son of Charles Windsor, who is in line to become the country’s unelected head of state on the death of his mother. On the death of his father William will become head of state.
Mr Windsor is president of the Football Association and was jeered by soccer fans at a match between Liverpool and Chelsea as he was introduced to the players before the game. Some spectators made obscene gestures as the royal anthem was played.
Establishment politicians united in condemning these highly unusual expressions of contempt for a member of an institution that stands for hereditary privilege.
The Speaker of the House of Commons said that the behaviour of the fans was “dreadful”. Conservative MP Karen Bradley declared that the disrespect for a “royal” was “unacceptable” and that the Football Association should “pursue” those who had dared show such contempt for a beneficiary of hereditary privilege.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats , who himself uses the feudal title of “Sir Ed Davey”, showed a lack of respect for the republicans in his own party. He gave an unqualified expression of support for feudal privilege, declaring that “We have the most wonderful Monarch and those fans who booed do not represent their clubs or our country.”
The booing was probably a reflection of the widespread belief in Liverpool that the people of that city have been treated particularly badly by the British state over a long period. Now while Mr Windsor’s father takes more than £20mn annually from the pockets of the British people, many Liverpudlians have to use food banks.