Inside the battle to find a reason to crown King Charles

In 1997, after attending the Royal Gala, Geri Halliwell kissed Prince Charles on the cheek. According to royal protocol and etiquette, you can only shake hands with the monarch, so the scandalous moment hit the front pages of tabloids and entered pop culture history. Now, instead of Ginger Spice daring to kiss Charles a second time, the Spice Girls avoid him entirely.

The band is one of a series of British pop artists who turned down the opportunity to play his coronation concert in May. It was also reported that Adele, Harry Styles, Robbie Williams and Elton John had been invited to play and turned down the offer. when Rolling Stone When asked why, all of those artists’ bands declined to comment, Elton John’s Bar, who confirmed that they were asked but were unable to play due to scheduling issues. Musicians used to be lined up practically outside the palace to perform at any major royal event, but that’s changed. The audience was wondering: would any major star agree to play the coronation of King Charles III?

The ’90s was a very different era in British pop culture. It was New Labor, and everyone was funny and a little bit of a seed,” explains Michael Cragg, author of The Workplace reach for the stars, A book about British pop music in the 1990s and 2000s but, says Cragg, “that hoax is gone. Now we really want to know who they are and what version of the royal family we recently learned through Prince Harry’s book and how it was handled.” With the Prince Andrew scandal – the reality is terrible. You can’t be the greatest team in the world. “The world is now and you’re walking around and planting a kiss and still running.”

To perform at a royal event in 2023 means to align yourself with an outrageous scandal. Recent allegations regarding Prince Andrew’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and an alleged sexual relationship with one of Epstein’s victims are still fresh in people’s minds. So was Andrew’s disastrous 2019 interview with BBC Newsnight about the allegations. But before people had a chance to reconcile their feelings for Andrew, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, publicly announced that they were stepping down from their royal duties. In the years since, Harry and Markle have made several allegations against the British royal family and the press, alleging that their treatment of Markle has led to concerns about her mental and physical health. The rhetorical and growing rift between the couple and the institution is well documented in Harry’s 2023 memoirs. additional and the couple’s Netflix series Harry and Megan.

Simon Jones, PR at Little Mix, Niall Horan says: “The royal family has had a number of PR disasters recently and anyone involved with the show will need to consider whether there will be a backlash from the appearance among their fans.” And Louis Tomlinson.

Likewise, it would be a very obvious decision to turn down an offer to perform from multiple artists. Kingsley Hall of political band Benefits, whose 2022 anti-royalty single ‘Flag’ hits No. 1 in the official week of the UK’s Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, illustrates the British cultural temperature: exposure of royalty – jubilees, weddings, feuds and allegations of racism , and major deaths, accusations of being a sexual predator — in what I would classify as a short period of time. People are tired of it and probably won’t participate for that reason.”

For many millennials and Gen Z fans in the UK in particular, ownership is a dirty idea. Meg, head of Britain’s leading music PR firm, points out that both Styles and Adele are at a point in their careers where they need to define themselves after a decade of success in music. “For them now, storytelling is really important,” says Meg, whose real/full name is withheld at her request. These great symbolic links carry a lot of weight and are literally entered in the history books in bold and underlined font. I can understand why there is a huge PR debate about which artists do or don’t. “

While the Queen was once viewed by the public as an ancient grandmother of the nation, Charles is less the grandfather of the country than an empty slogan for the royal family. I don’t know what artists would gain from being associated with it,” says Meg. “With the Queen, it was just amazing and magical for some people. Charles adds nothing: there is no legacy of his that anyone would want to come to terms with. It’s televised, so a lot of people will definitely hear your songs, but in terms of a long-term PR strategy, I don’t know if the performance would add positively to the artist’s story unless it was staunchly pro-monarchy.”

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A Buckingham Palace spokesman did not immediately respond Rolling StoneComment request. Rolling Stone He also contacted the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which is organizing the coronation ceremony.

This crucial high point comes in a year when the cost of living crisis in the UK has reached its peak. “You return in a red and gold dress, and you find a country where parents have a choice between feeding their children or keeping them warm,” says Ellie (whose real/full name is withheld upon request). How Much Money Does the Coronation Tax Payer Cost? It sounds like a political statement to play.”

Naturally, any artist who rejects them will have their own political motivations based on their British affiliation. As noted by Grace Martha from London, who is a big fan of Adele, Adele is a working-class titular heroine from Tottenham, one of the most ethnically diverse regions of Britain. “The glamor and money that this coronation costs does not represent his values ​​at all,” says Martha. This problem is specific to our culture; Americans might think, “Oh, she’s from London and Connie, why not? He doesn’t reside in the royal family anymore.”

The colonization of the British Empire has been a major point of discussion over the past two years. This is why we struggle to secure first-rate British artists, says Huck Baker, a London-based musician: the best to avoid is a barge pole. Now we are more aware of the past. They are not exempt from recognition. I think they’ll find it difficult.”


Han Mi of Manchester band Hot Milk emphatically agrees, calling it an “anachronistic institution” that does not represent modern Britain. “Leave it in the past,” he says, “it’s old, old and expensive like the whiskey it backs, but without the strength and cool.” “She loved Liz, but she had to die with her—a coronation was a kick in the teeth when this country was nothing but a bullshit show.”

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The real question is, why do the royals need this entertainment value? “Nobody talks about the date or the guests,” Meg explains. “The headlines around the coronation right now are who the musicians and musicians are coming out with, emphasizing the importance of music and what the symbolism is of being endorsed by one of these great artists.” It seems that in 2023, the Royal Family needs musicians more than musicians do.

Maggie Benson

"Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator."

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