The wedding of Diana Spensor and Charles Windsor twenty eight years years ago was watched by nearly one billion people worldwide. Needless to say, the announcement of their separation on this day in 1992 attracted much attention too - even the Socialist Standard used one of its valuable pages to pass comment...
With no small amusement we have watched as one of the most sacred symbols of British ruling-class power has imploded ignominously. The farcical proportions of the Royal Soap Opera has reduced the pomposity of Great British nationalism to its rightful place in the gutters of tabloid gossip. In recent months we have been invited to scrutinise the topless Duchess, listen to tapes of a suicidal Princess and her secret boyfriend Squidgy, and read daily accounts of matrimonial infidelity within the family of the woman who is the head of the Church of England. If capitalism is a circus the Royals are its hapless clowns.
The ruling class owes its subjects a big apology. In 1981 the y had wage slaves dancing in the streets to celebrate the wedlock of their two parasitical Royal dummies. Royal mugs were sold to Royalist mugs. The mass media offered workers non-stop news of a fairy tale marriage made in Heaven. When the Socialist Party ran a street meeting in Glasgow to expose the reality of the Royal facade it was attacked by patriotically wound-up loyalists.
Now the wedlock has become official deadlock. The dream marriage has concluded in bitter separation. The mighty have fallen. All that is left are the Charles and Di mugs. The whole of British Royalty is currently surrounded by scandal, disgrace and ridicule. By the reasoning of their own defenders, who claim that those who rule were "bom superior", we could be forgiven for concluding that there is some defective Windsor gene which makes these people "bom" to have failed relationships. But we do not accept the reasoning of those who say that some are "bom" to rule or to fail; indeed, as good materialists, our best recommendation to the, Windsors would be a long course of intensive family : therapy.
In fact, socialists could not care less what happens to the Royals. They are of no practical importance to our lives. They are pointless scroungers, but so is the entire class to which they belong. We seek to abolish more than the monarchy. The entire parasite class must go. The social system whereby privileged idlers are free to enrich themselves by robbing the wealth producers of the fruits of our labour must go. And it is we, the workers, who must consciously and democratically put an end to it.
Socialism, the next stage in human history, will be a stateless, leaderless society of free and equal men and women. There will be neither monarchs nor Presidents; there will not be cabinets or politburos. Socialist democracy will mean that people, globally and in local communities, control a society commonly owned by all of us. To those who say that we need men and women of superiority to look up to, we say - Look at them; Laugh at them; and Learn to live without them on our backs.
(Socialist Standard January 1993 )