Edexcel history Part B Royal family

Do you agree with the view that the main effect of increasing media coverage of the royal family from the 1970s onwards was to damage the image of the monarchy? There is evidence to suggest that the main effect of increasing media coverage of the royal family from the 1970s onwards was to damage the image of the monarchy. However there is also a case to argue that increasing media coverage of the royal family had other significant effects.

Source 15 supports the view that the main effect of increasing media coverage of the royal family from the 1970s onwards was to damage the image of the monarchy when it says the slapstick gameshow 'It's a Royal Knockout', which many members of the royal family took part in 'seriously dented their dignity: the nation was not amused', which suggests the people of Britain lost respect for the royal family as a result of media coverage.

This is supported in source 16 when it says 'We hope the Windsors and their advisors are watching the mood on the streets and learning from it', which implies that the royal family should be careful how they act so they do not lose any further respect from the public. Source 17 also supports the view the main effect of increasing media coverage of the royal family from the 1970s onwards was to damage the image of the monarchy when it talks about a 'time of uncertainty'.

This suggests that due to the influence of the media, people were uncertain of how to view the royal family, as they were beginning to be portrayed as less high up in society, and therefore commanding less respect. This is supported in source 15, which says 'their magic began to wane'. This implies that although a certain amount of respect remained for the royal family, they were beginning to be seen as less remarkable to the British public.

Events such as 'It's a Knockout' were aattempts at modernising the relationship between the royal family and the people of Britain, but they reduced the mystique of the family and eroded respect. Source 17 contradicts the view that the main effect of increasing media coverage of the royal family from the 1970s onwards was to damage the image of the monarchy when it says that two programmes about the lives of the monarchy 'were two of the decade's biggest televisual events' suggesting that one significant effect of the increasing media coverage was to increase the interest and awareness of the royal family.

Previously, apart from Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953, there was little knowledge of the lives of the monarchy, and more media coverage meant that people could find out more about them, and see that they are actually normal people. This would allow some relation between ordinary people and the royal family, perhaps gaining them some popularity. This is supported in source 15 which says 'they could laugh at themselves', suggesting the royal family were increasingly being seen as regular, fun-loving people just like everyone else.

This is a stark contrast to how they would have been viewed in previous years, as they were viewed by the public as more traditional, conservative and perhaps even dull. Source 16 contradicts the view that the main effect of increasing media coverage of the royal family from the 1970s onwards was to damage the image of the monarchy when it says that the royal family have 'grasped the lesson of Diana's popularity', implying that the royal family's reputation is not being ruined by media coverage and rather that it is increasing their popularity.

This is supported in source 17 which says 'the monarchy was still respected as Britain's most prestigious institution' also suggesting that the royal family's reputation had not been damaged by media coverage, they had just become more popular and maintained their prestigious status in the meantime. From 1981 onwards there was huge media interest in Diana, Princess of Wales. This has a largely negative impact on the royal family, supporting the view that the main effect of increasing media coverage of the royal family from the 1970s onwards was to damage the image of the monarchy. Not only did it reduce respect for the royal family, making them more into 'celebrities' than well-respected figures, it also arguably led to the death of Princess Diana.

The Princess of Wales died in a car crash whilst being pursued b ya car full of paparazzi. This tragic event is a perfect example of how the image of the monarch ywas damaged by increased media interest; they were no longer really seen as real people, let alone respected. Newspaper articles about them were hugely sensationalised and focused on scandals, rather than trying to maintain the high status of the monarchy. For example, telephone scandals amongst the royal family were widely reported.

The 'Camillagate' and 'Squidgygate' stories concerned taped phone conversations that were evidence for extra-marital affairs, and were quite graphic in parts. This led to a dramatic change in how many people saw the Windsor family. It gave people a reason to look down upon them, and people did not think members of the family should engage in such acts when they were supposed to be setting an example to the country.

Another prime example of how media influence damaged the image of the royal family was when the Royal Family failed to publically display their grief for the loss of Diana. Previously, this would not have been a problem but such was the extent of the media coverage of the royal family by this time, people were expecting to hear from the Windsors about Diana's death. When a message of grief did not come, people thought the royal family were uncaring and rather out of touch with the public. In conclusion, I agree that the main effect of increasing media coverage of the royal family from the 1970s onwards was to damage the image of the monarchy.

Source 15 argues this case by saying the royal family were beginning 'to acquire a negative, less tasteful kind of glamour'. This source is from a textbook, so it is likely that the information is accurate and unbiased, and therefore quite useful as a source. However there is also evidence that increasing media coverage of the royal family had other significant effects, such as increasing the popularity of the royal family and interest in their lives.

This keeps the royal family relevant to our society as a symbol of Britain, so it is quite important. As well as this more coverage of the private lives of the royal family would have allowed people to relate better to them, and therefore support them more.

This is significant because a monarchy is often seen as useless in our current society, so for the royal family to continue existing there needs to be continual public support. This view is discussed in source 17 which says 'the monarch ywas stil lrespected as Britain's most prestigious institution', suggesting media had positive effects on the royal family rather that just damaging their reputation.

Source 17 is quite a reliable source as it is from a textbook, and seems to present quite a balanced view of the media's influence on the royal family. Source 16 on the other hand is less useful to either argument and talks in quite a patronising way about the royal family, saying they hope the Windsors are 'learning from' the 'mood on the streets'. It is an editorial from the Independent newspaper, so may be sensationalised and therefore less accurate.