The Monarchy

The Monarchy

A Critique of Britain's Favourite Fetish


As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex bring renewed focus to the monarchy, now is the perfect time to re-examine Christopher Hitchens’s powerful polemic.

In this scathing essay, Christopher Hitchens looks at the relationship of the press and the public to the royal family, unpacking the tautology and contradictory arguments that prop it up. In his inimitable style, Hitchens argues that our desire not to profane or disturb the monarchy is a failure of reason and a confusion of reality. Fealty to the magic of monarchy stops us looking objectively at our own history and hinders open-minded criticism of our present. It is time we outgrew it.

With the recent birth of royal baby Archie, during a time of austerity and national inequality, Hitchens’s 10,000-word critique is even more relevant today than when it was first published in 1990.

'Christopher is one of the most terrifying rhetoricians that the world has yet seen' Martin Amis

About the author

Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. He was a columnist at Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, World Affairs, The Nation, Slate, Free Inquiry, and a variety of other media in a career that spanned more than four decades and made him a prominent public intellectual, and a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits. His books include The Monarchy; Blood, Class, and Nostalgia; No One Left to Lie Toand God Is Not Great. He died in 2011.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more