Modern Monarchy in Global Perspective Research Hub – Seminar Series 2022
The Modern Monarchies in Global Perspectives Research Hub will be hosting a series of online seminars. Join us as experts tackle key issues in the research of modern monarchies.
Representing the Family Firm: the enduring power of the British royal family
Dr Laura Clancy, Lancaster University
In recent decades, the global wealth of the rich has soared to leave huge chasms of wealth inequality. Yet the British monarchy is usually ignored in studies on ‘the elites’, positioned as an archaic institution, an anachronism to global corporate forms of wealth and power, and therefore irrelevant. Drawing on research from her new book, Running the Family Firm: how the monarchy manages its image and our money, Dr Laura Clancy argues how the British monarchy can be understood as a corporation – the Firm – committed to accumulating wealth and reproducing power, alongside other corporate giants like Amazon and Apple. Meanwhile, in media culture we see representations seeking to obscure institutional and corporate power – the Cambridges as an ‘ordinary, middle-class family’, for example, or the Queen as an elderly (great-)grandmother. Dr Clancy argues that these representations of the royal family are a prism: a central ideological project designed to distance the monarchy from capitalist vulgarity and aristocratic debauchery, and reproduce monarchical power by ‘producing consent’ (Hall et al., 1978) for the monarchy in the public imaginary.
The talk will also reflect on the effect of the Queen’s passing on the corporation, and what the Firm might look like under the reign of King Charles III.
Laura Clancy is a Lecturer in Media at Lancaster University, and author of Running the Family Firm: how the monarchy manages its image and our money (2021, Manchester University Press). Her work on monarchy, media, and inequality has been published in journals such as The Sociological Review, Cultural Studies and The European Journal of Cultural Studies.
You can follow her on Twitter: @Laura__Clancy.
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To find out more, visit https://global-modern- monarchy.sydney.edu.au/