Alex Phillips: Britain faces the end of the Royal family

In an age of reality TV and constant online chatter, the Queen’s enigmatic approach of 'never complain, never explain' is under more strain than ever before

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They are the most famous family on earth. A little microcosm of British history exported the world over. Our Queen is Britain's longest living, longest reigning monarch, the longest serving female head of state in global history, the world’s oldest monarch, the longest reigning living monarch and the oldest and longest serving current head of state.

She is not just our Queen, but Queen of 15 other realms and the Head of the Commonwealth of Nations representing 55 countries, many, but not all of whom were part of the British empire. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is not only an enviable ambassadorial asset to our nation, but a much cherished and respected public figure the world over. To many Brits, she's our beloved Grandmother - God Save The Queen.

Yet her family has observed more twists and turns than an Eastenders’ plot line, dominating headlines at home and abroad. Even today, her son, our future King, is embroiled in a scandal over cash for knighthood allegations, as it is claimed Charles’ closest aide offered to help a Saudi tycoon get UK citizenship and an honour, reportedly with full backing from the Prince. His Royal Highness denies any wrongdoing.

Her other son is about to be hauled through American courts in his absence following accusations of sexual assault and abuse by a victim of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Her youngest son Prince Edward is the only one of the Queen's four children who hasn't divorced.

Meanwhile one grandson has fled to America amidst a flurry of dramatic accusations in a gaudy sit-down tell-all, which involved accusing the Royal Family of being racist and has catastrophically fallen out with her other grandson, who has stoically picked up the public relations baton with poise and dignity.

Wild conspiracy theories of plots to murder her daughter-in law-Diana, questions surrounding the father of Harry, a deceased socialite sister with an alcohol problem - it’s no wonder every cable channel and on demand TV site are clamouring to dramatise the story of our Royal Family. Every publisher would trip over themselves for a tell-all biography and every newspaper is regularly littered with gossipy column inches about what is really going on inside the palaces.

In an age of reality TV and constant online chatter, the Queen’s enigmatic approach of 'never complain, never explain' is under more strain than ever before. Yet her popularity fails to wane. Stark images of Her Majesty isolated, alone, head bowed, under a heavy rimmed black hat in the pews of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle at the funeral of Prince Philip broke the heart of millions, and ushered in a sense of the end of a generation.

For those outside the UK, it can be hard to understand why so many of us love our Queen unerringly. For others, there are growing calls for a public debate on whether a Monarch on the other side of the world can remain Head of State in countries such as Canada and Australia, with the number of those wanting a referendum on the issue growing year on year.

Now, as newspapers reveal details of Operation Bridge, the plans for the day that a lot of us can barely countenance, when our beloved 95 year old Queen passes away, many are left to wonder whether the future Royals can fill her shoes, or whether the end of the second Elizabethan era will be the end of an entire millennium of British history.

Today, we need to talk about The Royal Family.