Dr Ed Owens is a Royal historian, commentator and author. He is an expert of the modern British monarchy and the House of Windsor.
A former lecturer at the University of Lincoln, Ed has published and broadcast widely on aspects of the monarchy in the twentieth- and twenty-first century, including his 2019 publication, The Family Firm: Monarchy, Mass Media and the British Public, 1932-1953.
He regularly commentates for the media on past and current royal events and his television credits include CNN, Netflix, Channel 4, Channel 5 and the BBC.
Ed is an Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Modern Monarchy at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is also a Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society (RHS) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA). His other academic interests include the histories of mass media, empire, national identity, emotion and celebrity culture.
Ed splits his time between the UK and France where he continues to teach, research and write about the history of the monarchy.
The Sunday Times (paywall)
The British monarchy has been through turbulent times of late. Rocked by scandal and strife, and without it seems a clear plan for the future following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, we have been left wondering: what happens next?
Nothing seems certain. Will the monarchy survive with its continuing echoes of an Imperial past? Will young people – disenchanted with the political status quo – find the ritual and practice of the monarchy quite so mesmerising as previous generations have done? What might a republican Britain look like?
Ed Owens argues that the monarchy must embrace reform and transform itself radically. No more private jets while preaching about the importance of the environment; no more secrecy obscuring royal influence in high places; and no more hangers on enjoying grace-and-favour homes. A major slimming down is essential. And it’s time the family archives were opened.
All these issues will have a direct effect on the common good of the nation as it tries to reinvent itself as a modern working democracy, and endeavours to equip itself for the coming decades. Ed Owens situates this critical moment of royal transition in its historical context in order to set out a vision for monarchy that is future-proof, but which would also see the crown play an integral role in the evolution of 21st-century Britain.