In 1913, the British Empire commanded 23% of the world’s population. Under British imperialism, millions of innocent people died. The British monarchy has a sordid and violent past. With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, we take a look back to reflect on her legacy and the legacy of the British monarchy. We didn’t know her as an individual, we knew her as a figurehead so we have to examine her legacy as such. She was reigning during several British atrocities including the Malayan Emergency where over 3,000 civilians died, the repression of the Mau Mau rebellion where over 100,000 people were in detention camps, the British secretly funding a war in Yemen, and Bloody Sunday when Irish protesters were murdered. And even though a (mostly) representational figurehead during this time, she still stood for British Empire. In the same way, Joe Camel might be a likable character, but he still helped to sell and humanize a dangerous product.

Also, come on, did we learn nothing from our Founding Fathers or even Hamilton? Overthrow the monarchy! Throw tea in the ocean! Powder your hair! Here are 14 facts about the British monarchy that might have you quoting a certain Chumbawumba song.

King Charles II drank human skulls

CRACKED.COM King Charles II drank human skulls King Charles II paid a lot of money to drink a tincture called The King's Drops. Made from human skulls from Ireland, the cannibalistic alcohol mixture was thought to be medicinal.

Source: Gizmodo

Buckingham Palace banned people of color from working in clerical jobs

CRACKED.COM Buckingham Palace banned people of color from working in clerical jobs In 1968, the Queen's chief financial officer said that it was not, in fact, the practice to appoint coloured immigrants or foreigners to office jobs in the royal household. The first record of people of color working in the royal household was in the 1990s. The Queen hired her first Black assistant in 2017. She was personally exempted from discrimination laws for over forty years.

Source: The Guardian

The Queen actually did influence proposed legislation

CRACKED.COM The Queen actually did influence proposed legislation It's not well-known, but the Queen's Consent is a procedure in which the British government has to ask the monarch's permission in order for parliament to debate laws that will affect them. There's strong evidence that the Queen used it several times during her reign, including influencing a draft of race relations legislation in 1968.

Source: The Guardian

The British Monarchy was sympathetic to Nazis at first

CRACKED.COM The British Monarchy was sympathetic to Nazis at first УБ Prince Edward (Queen Elizabeth Il's uncle who would become King for less than a year) had a friendly meeting with Hitler in 1937. There's evidence that he visited the early stages of a concentration camp. A 1933 17-second video leaked of Queen Elizabeth II as a child being taught to do a Nazi salute.

Source: BBC

Around 6 million enslaved people were taken on British ships

CRACKED.COM Around 6 million enslaved people were taken on British ships The Royal African Company was established by the Duke of York (who would become King James II), with help from his brother King Charles II. Between 1690 and 1807, an estimated six million people were taken from Africa to the Americas on British or British American ships, with the protection of the British royal family and parliament. The profits of the trading of enslaved people helped to fund the Treasury, Britain's industries, and the royal family's wealth.

Source: The Guardian

The royal family has never formally apologized for slavery

CRACKED.COM The royal family has never formally apologized for slavery In 2022, Prince Williams expressed profound sorrow for the British slave trade during a trip to Jamaica. The comment directly addressing slavery was unusual for the royal but fell short of what many activists demanded. The Royal African Company shipped more enslaved Africans to the Americas than any other company and was owned entirely by the English Crown.

Source: Washington Post

The Queen was estimated to be worth $442.92 million

CRACKED.COM The Queen was estimated to be worth $442.92 million In 2016, the Sunday Times estimated her net worth. The royal family gets a chunk of money from British taxpayers called the Sovereign Grant, which was estimated to be $107.1 million in 2019. That money goes towards property upkeep, utilities, payroll, and travel. About another $27 million comes from the Duchy of Lancaster, which is a portfolio of real estate that's been in the royal family for hundreds of years.

Source: Insider

Diamonds in the Crown Jewels were probably stolen

CRACKED.COM Diamonds in the Crown Jewels were probably stolen The 1.37-pound Cullinan Diamond was the largest diamond ever found, discovered in South Africa and now split into several diamonds that are a part of the crown jewels. Buckingham Palace says they were a gift from the British colony of the Transvaal Republic, but Black township leaders in South Africa claim they were stolen and demand their return.

Source: Snopes

Queen Victoria used to proudly display looted artifacts

CRACKED.COM Queen Victoria used to proudly display looted artifacts In 1897, Queen Victoria had an exhibit made in Windsor Castle as a museum of relics of past sovereigns. Artifacts from India, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, and across the British Empire were displayed for visitors to see. The long history of looting makes us wonder the full history of both the Royal Collection and the royal's private collections of art and artifacts. The monarch is exempt from the 2017 Cultural Property, which makes it an offense to obtain unlawfully exported cultural property.

Source: The Guardian

Prince Andrew settled a sexual assault lawsuit

CRACKED.COM Prince Andrew settled a sexual assault lawsuit Still eighth in line to the throne, Prince Andrew settled a lawsuit in which he was accused of raping a teenager while she was at the notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's mansion and a private island. The financial terms of the settlement, including where the money came from, are unknown.

Source: New York Times

Prince Philip was notorious for saying racist things

CRACKED.COM Prince Philip was notorious for saying racist things What were often noted as silly gaffes in the British press were actually incredibly offensive statements, including one time telling a British student studying in China, By the time you go back home you'll have slitty eyes, and another time asking an Indigenous Australian person, Do you still throw spears at each other?

Source: The Guardian

No one in the royal family visited their mentally disabled family members

CRACKED.COM No one in the royal family visited their mentally disabled family members Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon (the Queen's first cousins) were sent to Royal Earlswood Hospital in 1941, when they were 22 and 15, respectively. The 1963 Burke's Peerage reported the sisters as dead. There's no official record of anyone in the family visiting or sending gifts or cards. Nerissa died in 1986 and Katherine in 2014, both in the hospital's care.

Source: Esquire

Royal boys have to wear shorts until they're 8 years old

CRACKED.COM Royal boys have to wear shorts until they're 8 years old Okay, by no means a terrible offense, but it's truly wild that for tradition's sake, boys in the royal family must wear shorts in the middle of winter.

Source: CBS News

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