‘When Ant and Dec Met the Prince’: the Royal Family, Ordinariness and the Elites
‘A public fascination with a family possessing incalculable wealth should itself signify an interesting academic puzzle’ – Michael Billig
As Michael Billig’s classic study of how ordinary people talk about the Royal Family demonstrated, The Royals present an interesting ‘academic puzzle’. Yet, in recent years relatively little academic attention has been paid to the cultural and political significance of the Windsor family. As scholars working across both Sociology and Cultural Studies, Laura Clancy and Kim are both interested in how the Royal Family are mediated, particularly against a backdrop of austerity, ever-growing inequality and declining social mobility. As they show in this blog, academic research into inequality would be greatly enhanced by a critical examination of the Royals.
Elsewhere we have examined how the Royals’ position of immense wealth and privilege is justified and legitimated, arguing that constructions of ordinariness and authenticity are pivotal in erasing structural inequalities and enhancing public perception of the Royals. In this blog post we will further examine these processes by considering a recently aired television documentary, When Ant and Dec Met the Prince: 40 Years of the Prince’s Trust.