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New book investigates the role of monarchy in growing global inequalities

Publication title: Running the Family Firm
Author: Dr Laura Clancy
Publication type: Book (Paperback)

A new book, ‘Running the Family Firm’, written by Dr Laura Clancy, from Lancaster University’s Department of Sociology, delves beyond the usual representations of monarchy to investigate what’s happening behind the scenes of charity visits, spectacular ceremonies and royal births and marriages. It argues that media representations of the royal family are the ‘frontstage’ of monarchy, whilst backstage and typically hidden from public view, a host of political-economic infrastructures reproduce our ideas of monarchy.

This book exposes a hidden world of wealth and power, from what wealth the monarchy owns, to who works for it, to the ideas about British society that monarchy is invested in.

The monarchy is back in the news again - from the lawsuit against Prince Andrew to debates about Prince Charles’s succession, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ‘exit’ from the Firm and ongoing updates about misuses of the Queen’s consent.

But what do we actually know about the British monarchy?

A new book, ‘Running the Family Firm’, written by Dr Laura Clancy, from Lancaster University’s Department of Sociology, delves beyond the usual representations of monarchy to investigate what’s happening behind the scenes of charity visits, spectacular ceremonies and royal births and marriages.

It argues that media representations of the royal family are the ‘frontstage’ of monarchy, whilst backstage and typically hidden from public view, a host of political-economic infrastructures reproduce our ideas of monarchy.

This book exposes a hidden world of wealth and power, from what wealth the monarchy owns, to who works for it, to the ideas about British society that monarchy is invested in.

“We usually think of the monarchy as an ancient institution with old-fashioned values,” explains Dr Clancy, “but actually it is very much in-keeping with today’s other corporate giants, such as Amazon or Apple, in that its key purpose is to reproduce its own wealth and power.

“Think of the Paradise Papers, for example. Here we saw the monarchy using the same tactics as these global corporations to avoid higher taxes.”

This book suggests that if we want to understand what monarchy is today, we need to think of it as a corporation too: the Firm.

Francesca Sobande, the author of The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain, said: “'Running the Family Firm is an incisive account of what propels the public image of the British monarchy and how it is shaped by issues concerning gender, class, colonialism, corporate power, social media, and national identity.”

The book will bepublished in September by Manchester University Press.
Regions: Europe, United Kingdom
Keywords: Society, Economics/Management, Social Sciences, Policy - society

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