Royal Family is 'destroying itself' from the inside

With King Charles's coronation only days away, a series of polls has indicated that the institution he leads is facing a popularity crisis. One recent BBC poll showed that only 32% of young people were in favour of keeping the monarchy; a separate survey last month showed that most British people (64%) are not interested in the coronation.

In Yahoo's 'Future of the Monarchy' panel debate hosted by royal executive editor, Omid Scobie, three experts discussed the biggest issues facing the Windsors today and how they can remain relevant to the public in spite of them: from their colonial past and their relationship with the press, to the family dysfunction which plays out on the front pages across the world.

Royal commentator Hagan noted that the family is currently its own worst enemy, saying: "He needs to be very worried about how the Royal Family is eating itself and destroying itself from the inside. If he wants the Royal Family to remain popular, then he is going to have neutralise some of these things".

Joining Omid were co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party Catherine Mayer, King Charles’ biographer and royal editor at The Evening Standard Robert Jobson; and journalist and broadcaster Afua Hagan.

Watch the full clip above.

Video transcript

OMID SCOBIE: It's safe to say that the Royal Family is currently fractured. In January, Prince Harry revealed that the issues with his father and brother remain unresolved. And reports that the King was too busy to see his youngest son during his recent visit to the UK, show just how much of the Windsors' family drama is still playing out in the public eye. Elsewhere, Prince Andrew's stock has fallen so low in recent years that according to a recent Yahoo poll, 68% of Brits think he should never return to public life.

Royal scandals, of course, are nothing new. The late Queen led the family through many of them but was rarely, if ever, touched by them herself. Charles, on the other hand, must navigate this period of familial dysfunction while being intrinsically caught up in the very dramas he's trying to resolve. So Afua, how worried should Charles be about the impact that this internal dysfunction could have on the long-term stability of the monarchy, itself?

AFUA HAGAN: Oh, he needs to be very worried about it. He needs to be very worried about Prince Andrew, and everything that he's been involved in, and how that impacts the Royal Family. He does need to be worried, as well, about how long this reconciliation may take between William and Harry, between himself and Harry, and how that impacts how people see the Royal Family.

Because if they continuously see them as this big dysfunctional-- [CHUCKLES] dysfunctional, excuse me, Kardashian-like celebrity family then people are going to continue to question why they are paying for them. Why are they paying for them to have all of these dramas playing out? And I think, you know, if you've got a poll that says 68% of people don't want to see Prince Andrew return to public life, that's a prominent member of the Royal Family, you have to take that into consideration.

And let's not forget, as well, there is quite a lot of people who are still not very happy to see Queen Camilla become Queen Camilla, who still have not forgotten the '90s and the War of the Waleses. You know, that is still something that a lot of people do care about.

The popularity that Queen Elizabeth II is-- had is not going to automatically transfer to King Charles II for many reasons. And one of the reasons-- one of the reasons will be his relationship with Camilla. What happened with Princess Diana, that still plays out for a lot of people. And I think there's a lot more people than perhaps we realize.

So all these things together make for this dysfunctional family. And so he needs to be very worried about how the Royal Family is eating itself and destroying itself from the inside. If he wants the Royal Family to remain popular, then he's going to have to neutralize some of these things.

I mean, you can't take away what happened in the '90s. You can undo all that. But make the family less dysfunctional going forward if you can. I mean, I'm thinking about Charlotte, and Louis, and George, and Archie, and Lilibet. When they grow up and they start dating, and we're gonna start talking and writing about them, I hope it's not gonna play out in the way that it did for Harry and Meghan.