Royal hoax hand wringing misses point

The nurse found hanged following a prank call in connection Kate Middleton’s hospitalization in London was buried in her native India on Monday. was Jacinta Saldanha’s suicide has sparked outrage, mainly directed at the Australian radio hosts Mel Grieg and Michael Christian who called the hospital posing as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. But the disc jockeys, already fired and abjectly apologetic, are merely symptoms of a larger problem.

A much loved woman killing herself and leaving two children motherless over a perceived disservice to the British royal family is the most compelling reason yet to abolish the monarchy. My five year old daughter believes in the fairy tale world of princesses; it’s long past time for Britain to drop this ludicrous mythology. The monarchy is a vestige of times when nations were ruled not by laws and consent of the governed, but heredity reinforced by lies. Pretending there’s a royal family more worthy than the rest of us by accident of birth and frequently flawed marriages insults both people’s humanity and intelligence.

Britain has long encouraged and exploited interest in its royal foolishness. This year’s royal wedding was just the latest example of how Britain uses (and lavishly funds) the monarchy to spur tourism and domestic consumption. Complaining about media violating royals’ privacy is as hypocritical as going to a porn movie and complaining because there’s nudity.

Banishing the British monarchy to the dustbin of history could provide the added advantage of exposing the world’s remaining potentates to the cold light of reality they and their subjects deserve. All people are created equal; accepting that now will avert future tragedies and let all people, not just handsome princes and fair young maidens, reach their potential. We don’t need to keep believing in fairy tales to create happy endings.

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.