The Royals

Dr. Larry Burriss, MTSU School of Journalism


In case you didn’t get the memo, in 1776 the United States declared its independence from Great Britain.  The resulting war solidified that declaration, and to this day those bonds that formerly held us together have been broken.
Well, maybe.

There is currently a raging controversy in England regarding the private christening of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, seventh in the line of succession to the British throne. The thought seems to be that since Archie’s mother and father, Meghan and Harry, are supported by public taxes, all of their activities should be on display for all to see, including the christening.
But there is a precedent here for privacy:  Harry and Meghan excluded most of the media from the traditional maternity ward photography, opting instead to allow only a few pool reporters access for a 10-minute audience with the new mother and father.
And by the way, just for clarification, the child is not Prince Archie, nor is his mother Princess Meghan.

But the fact that the controversy itself, indeed, almost anything related to the royal family, is news in these former colonies is indicative there may still be a substantial number of monarchists who want to return to the 240-year-old good ol’ days.
And I really have to wonder, who is in charge of all of the news media outlets, beneficiaries of the uniquely American First Amendment, who are promoting these stories?  I suspect there may be a coven of lords and ladies secretly pushing the tory agenda.

Larry Burriss, a professor in Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Mass Communication and president of the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame, welcomes the crowd before the induction ceremonies at the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters conference in Murfreesboro for the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame. (MTSU photo by Andrew Oppmann)

Fortunately, here in the new world, the children of public officials are generally off-limits to media scrutiny.  They may be photographed when they appear in public with their parents, but private, family-oriented photographs are almost non-existent, except for those supplied by the relevant press office.
You have to all the way back to the Kennedy administration to see any real media interest in the children of the president.
It’s been said everyone is interested in the lives of kings and queens.  Even in countries separated by several thousand miles and more than 200 years.
I’m Larry Burriss.