DURHAM, N.H. — Nicoletta Gullace, associate professor of history at the University of New Hampshire, who studies 20th century and modern British history, is available to discuss the significance of the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II for more the 70 years; what this means for the queen, the future of the monarchy and mending the family split with Harry and Meghan.
“Amidst all the drama, Britons sympathize with the anguish of the Queen, who has lost the man she loved faithfully and intensely from the time she first saw him when she was 13 years old,” said Gullace. “Athletic, witty, competent and handsome beyond compare, Prince Philip and his beloved “Lilibet” enjoyed a love match rivaled only by the passion of Queen Victoria for her adored husband, Prince Albert. Sadly, the Queen will not only have to contend with her own personal grief, but with yet another family drama as she tries to mend the rift caused by Harry and Meghan’s departure from the royal family.”
With a private and small funeral planned, and Harry traveling home to attend, many observers are asking whether the occasion of Prince Philip’s death will allow the royal family to come together and heal. The public and faithful royal watchers will be closely scrutinizing the tense interactions between Harry and his brother William.
“Body language experts and viewers of the televised funeral will no doubt read meaning into the brothers every look and gesture, not to mention scrutinizing the demeanor of Prince Charles, who was apparently not happy by the Oprah interview,” said Gullace. “While many Britons support the queen herself, Harry and Meghan’s accusations of racism and insensitivity to Meghan’s mental health have resonated with many youth and people of color in England.”
Given the sympathy and support some of the public has expressed for Harry and Meghan, there is quite a bit of speculation around the fate of the future monarchy, especially after the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Prince Philip’s passing may shift the focus from the old guard and could accelerate a younger more modern monarchy with new values and attitudes.
Gullace can also address the historical importance of a racially inclusive monarchy. She points to the fact that the British Commonwealth was built around cultural and linguistic ties between Great Britain and its former colonies, which are home to millions of people of color, who have chosen to maintain sentimental allegiance to the Crown.