8 Reasons Why Americans Are Obsessed with the British Royal Family

From babies to weddings to fashion, Americans care more about what happens in the British monarchy’s life than their own government.
May 10, 2018
8 mins read

Prince William and Duchess Kate welcomed their third child, Prince Louis, on April 23 and Americans went crazy at the news — so much so that they couldn’t wait four days for the name to be announced. Bets were placed, speculations started and opinions were expressed. Their wedding brought in 23 million views from Americans alone.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are tying the knot on May 19 and Americans are waking up in the wee hours of the morning to watch the ceremony and host royal wedding parties. Considering Markle is an American actress, this royal wedding is bound to break records amongst Americans.

The late Princess Diana was a public figure and beloved by many Americans. 33.2 million Americans watched her funeral in 1997 and 17 million Americans tuned in for her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981, becoming one of the most-watched television events of the 1980s in America.

Season two, episode one of Netflix’s “The Crown” attracted 3 million viewers in the U.S., which chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II.  

In 2015, when Prince Charles visited the White House, former President Barack Obama stated, “I think it’s fair to say that the American people are quite fond of the royal family. They like them much better than they like their own politicians.” The crown prince didn’t believe his statement. A survey by YouGov proved the former president to be correct.  

No other royal family of any other nation has sparked the same level of celebration. So why are Americans so obsessed with the British royal family and not so much with their own government?

They grace the covers of American publications and bring many views to websites. From coronations to fashion to babies to weddings, Americans have an obsession with the British monarchy and here are some reasons why.

1. A fascination with childhood fairytales

Fairy tales have been part of society’s makeup since childhood. Growing up on Disney Princess movies and fairytale stories, the royal family portrays everything little kids dream to be when they grow up and, somehow, that appeal never goes away.

Americans live out their fantasies through the royal family. The dream of marrying a prince became realities for two women who have no royal blood and isn’t that every girl’s dream?  

2. It is so different from American politics

The life of the royals seems so elegant, delicate and perfect. Compared to politics in the U.S., the British monarchy rarely comes with problems, controversies or division — at least on the outside. Most Americans feel pessimistic about the state of U.S. politics and the royal family is an escape from all of that.

3. Obsession with Celebrities

Born with the status of “celebrity,” the royals are just as, if not more, famous to Americans than Tom Hanks and Ellen DeGeneres. They love the royal family and care about what Kate wears when attending royal events and each detail of Harry and Meghan’s wedding planning. Americans care deeply about celebrities and pop culture and the royal family is just another celebrity family.

4. Canada is so close to the States

Queen Elizabeth II also rules over Canada. With the country being on the same continent as the U.S., Americans can almost touch the feeling of fairy tales and a better government. Crossing the border, Americans can enter a whole new world.

5. There is a human element to it

Unless someone marries into the family, the Royals are born into all of it — the rules, line of succession, etc. — and they have to make the best of the circumstances, even if it is a difficult one. It is a lifelong role that they have to figure out as they go along and that makes them more human.

With shows like “The Crown,” Americans get to see inside the family’s personal life and that also adds human elements to it. Starting with Princess Diana, the Royals seemed to be more relatable to the people — shaking hands with aids patients, wearing jeans instead of dresses, etc. When the royals act like everyday people, they become more likable.

6. You’ve watched them grow up

Queen Elizabeth II has been queen for over 60 years. America can go through 8 or more presidents in that time. This generation has seen the queen through many decades and has grown to her and her mannerisms. The late Princess Diana was just 20 years old when she married Prince Charles and the people followed her until her death at 36.

The people have watched William and Harry grow up since birth, and now William’s kids are growing right before your eyes, so the fascination has always been there because Americans have grown up with the royal family.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth (2nd L) waves as she stands with Prince William (2nd R), Prince Charles (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (R) (Image via Reuters)

7. America and the U.K.’s relationship

The short-lived British colony was formed in Virginia in 1584 and permanent British settlement began in 1607. After the American Revolutionary War ended, the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1785. The relationship was broken when the U.S. declared war on Britain in the War of 1812 but soon became allies again in 1815. The United Kingdom is the U.S.’s closest ally.

8. Years of History

The royal family has always been in the spotlight because of their lineage. The family has ruled the United Kingdom for a long time and despite many scandals, the prestige and appeal are still there.

Maybe it’s their accents, the fairytale aspect of it, or the “celebrity culture,” but Americans will always follow the life of the British royal family, especially now that an American actress is getting married to the world’s most eligible bachelor.  

Brittany Sims, Temple University

Writer Profile

Brittany Sims

Temple University


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss