Monarchy end: How Harry and Meghan opened Royal Family up to criticism like never before

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THE MONARCHY was once seen to be above mockery or criticism, but those days seem to be at an abrupt end. But why has Megxit made this situation worse?

The Royal Family have traditionally been respected and admired, rather than openly mocked. But in recent weeks it appears to be open season on the Royal Family with several celebrities taking the opportunity to publicly laugh at their expense.

The British Royal Family has opened itself up to criticism on a larger scale in 2020, perhaps related to the planned departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Several celebrities, such as Brad Pitt, Ricky Gervais and Rebel Wilson have taken shots at the Royal Family in recent weeks.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in particular count a number of famous faces as friends, but that has not stopped other celebrities from taking shots at the royals.

Earlier this month, Joaquin Phoneix made headlines after a video emerged showing him curtseying to Prince William at the BAFTAS.

The move sparked debate about whether the actor was being sincere or was undermining William and the Royal Family.

Royal news: The Fab four

Royal news: How might Megxit spell out the end of the British monarchy? (Image: GETTY)

Royal news: The Royal Family

Royal news: Prince Harry and Meghan will begin their new lives this spring (Image: GETTY)

William himself appeared unfazed and praised the star’s ‘brilliant’ work in The Joker.

While Mr Phoneix’s move could be seen as either mocking or considerate, other celebrities have been much less ambiguous.

Brad Pitt is another famous actor who has hit out at the couple.

In his acceptance speech for the BAFTAs to accept his Best Supporting Actor award, his Once Upon A Time in Hollywood co-star Margot Robbie picked up the gong in his stead and she read out a speech on his behalf.

Ms Robbie said: “He says he is going to name this Harry because he is really excited about bringing it back to the States with him. His words, not mine.”

The camera immediately panned to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who were sat in the crowd and laughed along with the joke.

Royal news: William and Joaquin

Royal news: Prince William with Joaquin Phoenix in February (Image: GETTY)

Royal news: Rebel and Ricky

Royal news: Rebel Wilson and Ricky Gervais both made jokes at the Royal Family’s expense (Image: GETTY)

Actress Rebel Wilson made a quip about Prince Andrew during the ceremony.

Prince Andrew stepped back from royal duties last year amid the controversy surrounding his connection to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

While presenting the Best Director award, Ms Wilson referenced the controversy.

She said: “It is really great to be here at the Royal Andrew… uh, Royal Harry… no, sorry, Royal Phil- at this royal… palace place.”

This joke did not appear to be received as well as Mr Pitt’s with William and Kate looking stony-faced after she delivered it.

Ricky Gervais also used the Prince Andrew controversy as the basis for a joke at the Golden Globes on January 5.

In his monologue, the comedian used the royal’s controversial relationship with Epstein to make a joke about Leonardo di Caprio’s string of younger girlfriends.

He said: “Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere and by the end, his date was too old for him.

“Even Prince Andrew is like, ‘come on Leo mate, you’re nearly 50, son’.”

Anti-monarchy group Republic has said this pattern of mockery could spell out the end of the British monarchy.

Republic spokesman Graham Smith said: “The Royal Family is in trouble and with the next succession on the horizon their problems are only going to get worse.

“As politicians have learnt in the past, mockery can be lethal.

“The increase in mockery opens up more serious questions and makes people query what the Royals are doing and what their purpose it.

“I believe this type of mockery is presenting them with a serious problem about their status generally.”

Royal news: Cambridge couple

Royal news: Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge at the BAFTAs (Image: GETTY)

Mr Smith also said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bombshell announcement was crass and self-serving.

Spokesman Graham Smith said: “This really is wanting to have your cake and eat it. They have said they will dip in and out of royal duties as it suits them but won’t stop taking public money until they find other sources of income.

“To suggest that they’re not already financially independent is incredibly crass and belies a sense of self-entitlement and a lack of self-awareness that is common among royals.

“What should be more concerning is that the royal family’s star couple have effectively bowed out of their leading role, and that raises questions about the monarchy’s future.”

Etiquette expert William Hanson said that the royals are currently an “easy target” for celebrities.

He told the Daily Mail: ‘It is inevitable that the Monarchy’s appeal will ebb and flow over time. We have had years of the royal family being admired and adored, with no one able to do any wrong.

“Arguably, the pendulum is swinging in the other direction and the Hollywood stars, who will never understand the nuances and heritage of royalty, are using the Queen’s family as easy targets for their humour.”

Mr Hanson added: “Currently, the tiding of magpies that flock around Hollywood see The Duke and Duchess of Sussex as the shiny new toys. It won’t last.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK