Since the beginning of the queen’s reign, the post-industrial world has morphed into a post-modern world of instant global communication led by entities such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Intel, Skype, Tik Tok, and Instagram. Indeed, Cysco’s slogan “welcome to the human network” has now become an international reality.
One of the innovators who revolutionized post-modern society is Mark Zuckerberg. It is significant that Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, is now thirty-seven years old while Zuckerberg is thirty-five years old. Notably, Prince Harry and Mark Zuckerberg are the same age. Our new world of extraordinary social media and high technology are familiar to the Prince William-Mark Zuckerberg-Prince Harry generation.
On the other hand, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned one year before the first electronic color television was introduced—a time which appears light years away from the present.
Certainly the ruling establishment and tradition-centered nobility in the United Kingdom are aware of the magnitude of this generational shift in world civilization.
One must ask oneself the following questions: How can tech savvy teenagers who admire pop singers Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber relate to a monarch who personally remembers a long ago historic figure like Winston Churchill? How can Facebooking and Googling youth relate to a leader who is older than many of their great grandparents?
We now live in a complex world which is based upon fractal-shaped social networks that operate on principles similar to controlled chaos bordering on barely structured technological anarchy. The online world has become the real world.
With instant online broadcasting on YouTube, virtually anyone can declare themselves to be royalty within their own social media kingdom. Recognizing this new technological world, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated the Dutch throne in favor of her young son, King Willem-Alexander.
Our post-modern world risks perceiving the very concepts of monarchy and royalty as outdated ideas from George Orwell’s book 1984. The old top-down, trickle down hierarchy has given way to outbreaks of individual independence which raise new questions such as: Who has more influence—the pop singer Taylor Swift or the Prince of Wales? Who has a greater impact on world civilization: the creators of Twitter, iPhones, and video games or Queen Elizabeth II?
To embrace this new influence one need only upload a video to YouTube which has the culture-shaping, self-enhancing tagline “Broadcast Yourself”.
In order for the British Monarchy to preserve itself in the age of future-looking revolutionaries it may be time for Prince William to become King William.
In short, the United Kingdom may need a monarch who can relate to Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook generation; a young leader who will lead us boldly into the future.