British monarchy could end in two generations, says novelist Mantel

LONDON, Sept. 11 (Reuters) – The British royal family, whose history dates back more than 1,000 years, could disappear within two generations, writer Hilary Mantel said in an interview published on Saturday.

The monarchy traces its history back to at least William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066, but also claims ties to the mosaic of kingdoms and principalities that spanned what became England, the Scotland and Wales well before that date.

Mantel, best known for her Wolf Hall trilogy which traces the rise of blacksmith’s son Thomas Cromwell to Chief Minister of Henry VIII, then his downfall and execution, said she admires Queen Elizabeth’s dedication , 95, and his heir Charles, Prince of Wales.

“I think they do it as well as anyone could, take it as seriously as anyone,” Mantel, 69, told The Times.

But when asked how long the monarchy was left, Mantel told The Times his “back of the envelope” calculation was only two generations.

“It’s very difficult to understand the thinking behind the monarchy in the modern world when people are just seen as celebrities,” she said.

If her point of view turns out to be correct, Elizabeth’s great-grandson Prince George, 8, who is third to the throne after her grandfather Charles, 72, and her father Prince William , 39, would not become king.

Mantel sparked anger in Britain earlier this month by telling La Repubblica that England is now a washed-out place that runs on “the memory of power.” She described Brexiteers as callous and often ridiculous opportunists.

“I would like people to stop screaming and start listening to each other,” she said of Britain. “I think in this country right now it would be a change that could save us.”

Although polls suggest that a clear majority of Britons continue to support the monarchy and above all respect and admire the Queen, an opinion poll in May showed that young Britons would now prefer an elected head of state.

A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge Editing by Gareth Jones

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