Craig Murray: That’s Enough Monarchy for Now, Thank You

Coverage of the demise of Elizabeth II provides a glaring example of the unrelenting media propaganda by which the establishment maintains its grip.

Queen Elizabeth II waving to crowds in Queensland, Australia, 1970. (Queensland State Archives, CC BY 3.0 au,Wikimedia Commons)

By Craig Murray

No doubt millions of people felt a heartfelt attachment to the queen, which will be displayed fully in the next few days. But the anachronistic nature of monarchy is also fully on display, in the obvious absurdities and pantomime procedure, with Heralds Pursuivant and royals buckled with the weight of their unearned medals. 

Yesterday some BBC stenographer had to type with a straight face the strapline “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Are Now the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge,” which would even 50 years ago have already been absurd enough to be a line in a Monty Python sketch. Still more absurd is the millions in feudal income that goes with that title, all real money paid by actual ordinary people as feudal dues.

The plans for the queen’s demise were organised decades ago and it shows. The BBC, ITV and Channels 4 and even 5 stop all entertainment in favour of pre-prepared sycophancy, as though we still lived in a world where people could not switch over and watch Gordon Ramsay on Blaze instead — and that’s ignoring Netflix, Amazon and the entire internet. 

I watched a few minutes of the BBC last night, up until a “royal commentator” said that people were standing outside Buckingham Palace because the nation needed to draw together for physical comfort in its great grief. There were a couple of hundred of them. Broadcasters kept focusing on a dozen bouquets left on a pavement in a desperate attempt to whip up people to produce more. 

I do not doubt this will all work and there will indeed be big crowds and carpets of flowers. Many people felt a great deal of devotion to Elizabeth II, or rather to the extraordinarily sanitised image of her with which they were presented. 

Balmoral Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8, shown here in 2004 with royal standard of Scotland flying. (Stuart Yeates, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Two State Visits

I witnessed her at very close quarters working on two state visits which I had a major part in organising, to Poland and to Ghana. She was very dutiful and serious, genuinely anxious to get everything right and worried by it. She struck me as personally pleasant and kindly. She was not, to be frank, particularly bright and sharp. I was used to working with senior ministers both domestic and foreign and she was not at that level. But then somebody selected purely by accident of birth is unlikely to be so.

[Related: Craig Murray: My Day With Prince Philip]

Key staff organising a state visit get by tradition a private, individual audience of thank you. They also get honours on the spot. I turned down a LVO (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order) in Warsaw and a CVO (Commander of the Victorian Order) in Accra. Because of the unique circumstance, I am one of very few people, or possibly the only person, who has ever refused an honour from the queen and then had a private audience at which she asked why! I must certainly be the only person that happened to twice.

(I had earlier in my career been asked if I would accept an OBE (Order of the British Empire) and said no. As with the vast majority of people who refused an honour, I very much doubt the queen ever knew that had happened.) 

Anyway, in my audiences I told the queen I was both a republican and a Scottish nationalist. I should state in fairness that she was absolutely fine with that, replied very pleasantly and seemed vaguely amused. Instead of the honour, she gave me personal gifts each time — a letter rack made by Viscount Linley and a silver Armada dish. 

I later auctioned the letter rack to raise funds for Julian Assange. 

The purpose of that lengthy trip down memory lane is to explain that I found the late queen to be personally a pleasant and well-motivated person, doing what she believed to be right. We are all shaped by our environment; I would have turned into a much more horrible monarch than she, had I been born into it, certainly a great deal more sybaritic (as the rest of her family appear to be). 

Opening the Borders Railway in 2015, on the day Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch. In her speech, she said she had never aspired to achieve that milestone. (Scottish government, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

So, there is no personal malice behind my prognostication that the party will be over very soon for the monarchy. It is not only that the institution and pageantry seem ludicrous in the current age. So does its presentation. The BBC is behaving as though we are in the 1950s and apparently will do so for many days. The entire notion of a state broadcasting platform is outmoded, and I suspect a lot more people will see that.

In the U.K., 29 percent of the people want to abolish the monarchy, excluding Don’t Knows; in Scotland that is 43 percent. In the U.K. as a whole, 18-to-24-year-olds are 62 percent in favour of abolition of the monarchy, excluding Don’t Knows. They will be further alienated by the outlandish current proceedings. Only the loyal will be reinforced — a large section of the population will snigger as the absurd pomposity grows. I found myself yesterday on Twitter urging people to be a bit kinder as the queen lay dying.

Think seriously on this. Twenty nine percent of the population want to abolish the monarchy. Think of all the BBC coverage of the monarchy you have seen over the last decade. What percentage do you estimate reflected or gave an airing to republican views? Less than 1 percent?

Now think of media coverage across all the broadcast and print media. 

King Charles III, then prince of Wales, in 2017. (Mark Jones, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

How often has the media reflected the republican viewpoint of a third of the population? Far, far less than a third of the time. Closer to 0 percent than 1 percent. Yes, there are bits of the media that dislike Meghan, for being black or are willing to go after Prince Andrew. But the institution of the monarchy itself? 

There can be no clearer example than the monarchy of the unrelenting media propaganda by which the establishment maintains its grip. 

The corporate and state media are unanimous in slavish support of monarchy. Thailand has vicious laws protecting its monarchy. We don’t need them; we have the ownership of state and corporate media enforcing the same.

One final thought: I do not expect this will amount to much, but it is fun to speculate. King Charles III has let it be known he intends to attempt to wield more influence on government than his mother. He comes to power at the same moment as a new government under Liz Truss, which is utterly anathema to Charles’ political beliefs. 

Charles is a woolly liberal environmentalist with a genuine if superficial attachment to multi-culturalism. He has let it be known he deplores deportations to Rwanda. He is now going to be fitting into his role while government in his name is carried out by crazed right-wing ideologues, who want a massive push to produce more fossil fuels. Could be worth getting in the popcorn.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

This article is from

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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37 comments for “Craig Murray: That’s Enough Monarchy for Now, Thank You

  1. Eddie S
    September 11, 2022 at 23:11

    The British monarchy is primarily a vestigial remnant of a bygone era, with the individuals primarily functioning as a master-of-ceremony, a tourist attraction, and and an object for those poor souls who try to draw some meaning in their lives by living vicariously through these near-mythical figures.

  2. September 11, 2022 at 19:03


    What are the feudal dues people still have to pay?

    Monarchies are a good reminder of how a lot of capitalists got their start: put a fence around something that used to be used by everyone and start charging rent.

  3. Altruist
    September 11, 2022 at 12:08

    In the final paragraph, Craig Murray makes an argument in favor of preserving the British monarchy, noting that Charles III has rather more progressive views on the environment and immigration than the Neanderthals who have been occupying 10 Downing Street, so the palace could provide a positive counterbalance to the parliament.

    Royals educated and prepared for the job may perform better than the (usually) corrupt political hacks appointed as heads of state in parliamentary republics. Looking at the heads of state in Continental Europe, most are nonentities, one exception being Sergio Mattarella of Italy. But, as Murray points out, royals are far from immune from venality, a prime example being Juan Carlos of Spain. And it’s luck of the draw – look at some other members of the Windsor or the extended Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family. But the better royals should be guided by convictions of noblesse oblige or service and country above self, unlike the bulk of corruptionaires generated by our so-called democracies.

    Queen Elizabeth II served as head of state in an exemplary fashion over many decades, showing unusual discipline, hard work and ability. Regardless of one’s views on monarchy, her service deserves the highest of respect.

    There is a way of reconciling Scottish nationalism with monarchy – namely by repealing the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Acts of Union 1707, thereby restoring the Stuart line to the throne of Scotland – currently represented by Franz von Bayern, the head of the house of Wittelsbach. As Franz is gay, Catholic and German, this could liven up Edinburgh, though admittedly he is only about a decade younger than the late Queen.

    (As an aside, I recommend reading Murray’s entertaining book “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo,” where he describes the rather odd entourage and staff working for the British royalty.)

  4. bardamu
    September 10, 2022 at 22:17

    Royalty has died before;
    It helps no one if you prop up more.

  5. Grad
    September 10, 2022 at 16:35

    I am in agreement with most of what Consortium News has published as criticism of the late Queens’s reign. However I would have appreciated a decency in the form of holding those articles back till after her funeral. After all a massive amount of people are emotionally positively connected with her image. I am saying this as a Dutchman living in the UK.

  6. September 10, 2022 at 16:17

    Craig take heart
    the seeds of of anti-monarchy go back 350 years to the great parlmentarian Major General John Lambert who was both Cromwells roght hand man and prevented Cromwell from becoming king. I am proud to say. John was my ancestor.

  7. Marie-France Germain
    September 10, 2022 at 14:37

    As a French Canadian, I deplored having the queen’s mug on our money, but now Charles? I will have to ensure that I never take any coinage or twenties to avoid having to be reminded of the brutal royals. The one thing I will admit, is as the queen was coronated the year I was born it will be strange to think of flappy eared Charles as king.

  8. Alex Cox
    September 10, 2022 at 12:15

    Spain has laws against insulting the King. The rapper and political activist Pablo Hasel is still in a Spanish jail as a result. As the monarchy becomes more unpopular in Britain (and I think you are right, it will), what’s the likelihood that the Tory government, with keen support from Sir Kier Starmer, will institute similar laws, punishing republicans and those who disparage the royals, with jail sentences?

  9. doris
    September 10, 2022 at 09:58

    Excellent article, Craig Murray! Monarchies are truly outdated. I’ve always thought it was crazy that people should feast or starve in Britain, depending on which vagina they were birthed from.

  10. R. J
    September 10, 2022 at 06:52

    The author wrote:

    “He is now going to be fitting into his role while government in his name is carried out by crazed right-wing ideologues, who want a massive push to produce more fossil fuels. Could be worth getting in the popcorn.”

    This is the kind of total rubbish which long ago caused me to long ago lose any interest in Craig Murray.

    In what universe is there anyone – anyone at all – in the UK Cabinet, or anywhere among Tory or other MPs, who is a ‘crazed right wing ideologue’?!

    There is not one single person in the Cabinet (or anywhere else in the UK political establishment) who is even ‘right-wing’ – let alone a ‘crazed right-wing ideologue!’

    What we have in this government – and every UK government for several decades – is a bunch of globalist / WEF puppets, all of whom take their orders from the globalists / WEF / Rothschilds, global corporations et al.

    It makes absolutely zero difference who is PM – or which political party any UK government is! The UK, and almost all Western governments, are nothing more than pretend ‘democracies’: they have different political parties, and elections, and a ‘Parliament’ – but it is all a piece of meaningless theatre to deceive the masses into believing that they live in a democracy.

    Prince Charles is a die-hard WEF / globalist puppet, just the same as every member of every UK government for decades.

    I suppose this is why the criminals who run the UK for their globalist masters are pushing this funeral like crazy – because doing that helps to conceal the fact that Britain is no more a country, in any meaningful sense: like all other Western countries, it is no more than an area of land in the Davos empire.

  11. September 10, 2022 at 06:09

    Being a former Episcopalian, I can say from experience that the pomp and circumstance and self-assured superiority of clergy and bishops is deeply imbedded in the church–part of its monarchical DNA. As for the USA, while there is no monarchy, our “republican” form of government (as is blatantly obvious at least to every CN reader) is wholly corrupted by a nation obsessed with celebrity and worship of the oligarchs. The only difference on this side of the pond is the eternal hope that we can move from our lowly station to the wealth and greatness of the Buffet/Gates of the world. Worked for the Obamas after all.

  12. chris
    September 9, 2022 at 19:14

    Excellent article of the sovereign in the cold light of true journalism, “I later auctioned the letter rack to raise funds for Julian Assange.” Now that is a truly noble gesture in the real human sense!

    Ever since I remember, I had always been politely agnostic toward “the queen” and the monarchy in general until I read her comment on Assange I think from 2020 where she apparently said that she would not comment on his fate or treatment as this was a ‘political matter.’ It turned my stomach to read that – a journalist is being tortured in a British prison is a damnable blot on British and all Western society which accepts such a thing.

    That a monarch, the supposed head of a church, should mouse her way out of any and all moral responsibility, and shirk even the vaguest form of humanity I found downright repugnant.

    To be fair, it couldn’t have been lost on her that it may not have been a great idea to get on the wrong side of the US’ legal establishment, given “prince” Andrew’s own entanglement with that “body,” however, the mildest allusion to a fair treatment for Assange could not possibly have jeopardized anyone; and simply as a human being she should have made even a symbolic gesture in that direction.

    After that point I could not take the royal charade in any way seriously anymore. And it becomes all the more revolting for me, a non-British “subject” to hear about all the royal paraphernalia and the emotional weight it tries to insinuate on its “subjects” with all this empty symbolic nonsense it apparently constantly doles out like cheap promotional gifts.

    In the final instance, maybe she should have spent less time and energy playing “queen” for the cheap adulation of “her people” and been a better mother to her wayward children. Maybe then she would have been able to hold on to a little more of her humanity.

    • chris
      September 10, 2022 at 05:50


      That this moral midget should be laid to rest like some benevolent God who has showered humanity in goodnesses is like a sick joke and a barometer of the moral confusion of our age.

      Unlike our predecessors, we actually do have all the information necessary to make a balanced judgement of her actions. In the end, she was nothing more than the the cheap lipstick on the swine of British body politic.

      That we should honor this moral ship wreck, who bequeathed knighthood onto that lowlife scumbag Tony Blair, a first class lackey, instrumental in leading his and other nations into an unjust war which killed maybe millions is the final proof of her utter moral bankruptcy and of the system that this cheap tramp ran tricks for.

      (I sincerely apologize for the coarseness of this eulogy to people who have been emotionally ensnared since childhood into this literal fairytale but do urge them to wake up to the agency which adulthood eventually requires.)

    • Annie MCSTRAVICK
      September 10, 2022 at 06:39

      You are mistaken. The Queen made no comment whatsoever about Julian, nor was she ever asked to do so.

        September 10, 2022 at 15:28

        Incorrect. Buckingham palace spokesman responded to a petition regarding Assange on her behalf. hxxps://

        • September 10, 2022 at 19:03

          Thanks a lot for providing that link.

          I had previously saved a quote of her response because I had been so incensed by it but didn’t add it with my comment because I thought it was common knowledge by now.

            September 11, 2022 at 19:15

            Of course the significance of the palace response is that it called the Assange case a political matter, while the US and UK argue it is not political otherwise Assange’s extradition would not be allowed under the US-UK extradition treaty.

  13. Valerie
    September 9, 2022 at 18:59

    “.I later auctioned the letter rack to raise funds for Julian Assange”

    A worthier cause i cannot imagine.

    • chris
      September 10, 2022 at 02:38

      Absolutely agree, Valerie!

      And in the last moral crusade, the queen failed to even lift a finger.

  14. Mike
    September 9, 2022 at 18:43

    Growing up in post ww2 Britain in relative British poverty (though not as I have since learned, worldwide – we did contribute pennies for the missions), I gained some solace in knowing that our queen was one of the richest people in the world. On the one hand, there is little doubt that her majesty loved ‘her people’ but she also loved the life of a monarch and her wealth to hand over to her heirs. The price to pay was that, in her last hours, she had to stand in pain and greet ex- and new PMs whose positions were brought about by governmental chaos and seedy infighting. Whatever becomes of them, ‘they were making history’.
    The BBC and others have been able to plan for this moment for years so that, within minutes, the vast swathe of history and (essential) personal stories swept into play. This Monarchrome-fest has at least 10 days to play out with the rich and powerful watching on and waving (down) as the masses swear their allegiance.
    As in many western countries, wealth ‘earned’ from overseas ‘adventures’ is questionable. Indians are now asking for the return of Kohinoor – but who will grab the spoils – were the royals to hand it over?
    Unlike Craig, Meghan, who was probably a committed republican at one time, is aghast that her children might not be princes and princesses having had their ‘royalty’ status downgraded. Perhaps she should try putting a pea under the mattress.

  15. Daedalus
    September 9, 2022 at 18:37

    I remember watching the coronation of Lizzie as a kid in the USA.
    That was a long time ago, and it was a spectacle, not an event that had any meaning. Sadly, Britain has done quite a bit of damage since then. Perhaps she had no power to stop it.

    • doris
      September 10, 2022 at 09:45

      So the queen didn’t have the power to stop the nation’s damage to the world? Sorry, but that doesn’t compute. She had the power to release Julian Assange, or at speak out on his illegal incarceration, but she didn’t even get involved.

  16. September 9, 2022 at 18:31

    Good points. Monarchy bad; republic good? Valid criticism of personality and competence of named monarchs. Total lack of commentary on potential presidents, given the examples offered by the US and other countries. Why? Billionaires elected with the complicity of vested interests? Not particularly bright? Biased? Male? Female? LGBT? Morality? Sexual fidelity? Elected by 51%, leaving 49% dissatisfied? But replaceable — after 1 year, 3 years, 5 years — again given examples from elsewhere? A vital focus for whingers and media coverage — in contrast with sterile models offered by presidents of the EU and the UN? Republicanism in Australia exemplifies the challenge: a “good bloke”? an archetypal “tall poppy”? a former PM (Morrison, Gillard, Abbott, Rudd)? a First Nation archetype? Forget the focus on “republic” as a highly desirable Plan B to repair the ills of democracy; a shortlist of possible candidates would focus a real debate and highlight the ills for which republicanism would currently be as ill-advised as monarchy.

  17. Realist
    September 9, 2022 at 16:55

    The woman was nearly a centenarian and the inevitable was at hand. (At least she was spared the taxes part of our two universal human certainties.) The entire media, including our American carnival barkers, have been acting like perfect drama queens purporting to save the world from impending doom because Queen Lizzy has left the building and her geriatric son Charlie now takes the stage of castles and princesses where only posturing and posing takes place rather than any form of governance. And, a good thing too about that latter bit!

  18. Donald Duck
    September 9, 2022 at 16:31

    Yes, the Royal Family, the Windsors, ie. Saxe-Coburgs have been last existing monarchy in Europe, after the now displaced Ottomans, the Hapsburgs, the Romanovs, the Hohenzollerns and the almost remaining royalties in Romania, Bulgaria, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy, have, for the good of humanity, also made their exit. The United States was spared this foolery from the outset.

    It should also be noted that the Queens consort, Prince Phillip, was an avowed eugenicist who noted upon his death he would like to come back of some virulent virus which play a positive role in culling humanity. This was just a joke – just!

    • NoOneYouKnow
      September 9, 2022 at 20:42

      Charles is very much a creature of the WEF. I doubt Phil was kidding.

      • onward
        September 10, 2022 at 20:44

        Charles openly encourages public support for the World Economic Forum; Klaus Schwarb (author of the book ‘The Great Reset) who boasts about his Young Global Leaders infiltrating local and national governments since 1992, to dismantle democracy and establish a totalitarian state, where the Davos crowd, the rich elite (corporations, central bankers, think tanks) control national govt policy, not the population of those national states but the global elites, who will own everything and the rest will own nothing (
        Every citizen should establish that every WEF member of local and national govt reveal themselves so we the 99% know not to vote for them, and recognise the sovereign state we belong to and we the people decide what govt policy we live by, not decided by policy of the 0.04% global elite. This will disappoint Charles but freedom from oppression is paramount.

    • michael888
      September 10, 2022 at 08:20

      There are 43 countries, including 12 in Europe, where monarchs still rule (mostly as anachronistic figureheads, but they suck up a lot of money for their pomp and circumstance– better than the MIC though!)

  19. Georges Olivier Daudelin
    September 9, 2022 at 16:24

    Les Québécois n’aiment pas la monarchie canadian.

    Fuck the Queen! Fuck the King!
    Fuck the canadian Balrog!

    Il y a des êtres encore plus anciens et plus répugnants que les Nazguls, les Uru Kaïs, les Orques et les Trolls, dans les profondeurs infernales du monde occidental, ce sont les Balrogs.

  20. Caroline
    September 9, 2022 at 16:23

    Down with the monarchy.
    As an English born Australian citizen I just want Australia to be a republic and get out of nappies.
    Just disband ‘The Firm’ and put them into receivership.
    End the English (and all other) monarchies.

  21. Ian Sinclair
    September 9, 2022 at 16:09

    The obscenity of privilege will only be eclipsed by education.

    • Realist
      September 10, 2022 at 00:59

      And, improvement in teacher instruction, student performance and affordability of the long term costs through a university degree are certainly not the trends, at least in American education, now are they? Alas, the path to upward social mobility seems deliberately blocked, does it not? Besides, you might not appreciate your true place in the societal food chain if ever enlightened with the facts, which is basically diametrically opposite of being “woke” with shitlib propaganda. The elites wouldn’t want you questioning any of the “received wisdom” they shovel out to you.

  22. The Great BooHoo
    September 9, 2022 at 15:30

    Even in the US, before the very start of the first National (American) Football League (NFL) game of the season last night, broadcast to a national audience in primetime, paid tribute to Queen Liz. It was shameless event on this side of the pond: both of our societies have the same unnatural effectuation for the British monarchy. This likely explains why its a faux pas among most ‘mericans to criticize the wealthy, including the obscene billionaire oligarchs. Its repulsive. I shake my head in disgust.

    • NoOneYouKnow
      September 9, 2022 at 20:41

      The US is increasingly an aristocracy overseeing serfs. No wonder the elites are thrilled by the UK’s decrepit institutions. The republic is tottering.

    • Rob Roy
      September 10, 2022 at 12:44

      What’s disgusting about the NFL is the field-sized American flag. The UK has its ridiculous monarchy, but the US has its patriotism for wars, hence the war symbol at games. Rah, rah…and the UK monarchy backs up our illegal wars. A pox on both countries.

  23. JeffB
    September 9, 2022 at 15:24

    I dare say, through many periods over the last thousand years or so, the numbers supporting abolition of the English monarchy has greatly exceeded 29%.

  24. Tobin Sterritt
    September 9, 2022 at 14:57

    I had to smile at the sentence, “I later auctioned the letter rack to raise funds for Julian Assange.”

    Evidently the emblems of British monarchy can, in a small, indirect fashion, serve the greater good.

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