I COULDN’T help but feel consumed by embarrassment amidst the coronation celebration.

Every time I walked past a TV, I winced at the thought of people across the world watching it, knowing that (even unwillingly) Scotland is associated in any way with it.

A petulant toddler in a 74-year-old man’s body paraded around London in a gold carriage with a face like thunder, hands gripped shamelessly around jewels looted from colonised lands.

Dressed head to toe in an outfit that wouldn’t have even won best dressed at a costume party.

The perfect summary of modern-day Britain in all its failure – a billionaire, whose only achievement is being born, rules from a golden throne whilst a child down the road goes to bed hungry and cold.

If it wasn’t such a travesty, the entire affair would be comical.

What unfolded before us over the weekend was an indictment of modern-day Britain – not a reason to celebrate it, and exemplified in the plainest terms the structural oppression and inequality that is the true ruler of these lands.

Britain is currently amidst the worst cost of living crisis in a generation. More children than ever are going to bed hungry. Life expectancy is ever declining. Public services are ransacked. And whilst it’s tempting to delve into the intricate failures of brutish Tory policy – which is undoubtedly a contributing factor – the fact is that it runs far deeper than that.

Inequality and the class divide have been the very fabric of Britain since its inception, both here and across the world – and the coronation proved that the ugly reality of Britishness is alive and well.

In fact, the ruling classes are thriving more than ever under the hot pot of monarchy, Tory government, an eroding democracy and a lack of opposition or indeed, any scrutiny whatsoever.

Britain is the nation of inequality. It runs through the veins of everything it prides itself on. And arguably, without it, it loses the entire identity on which it was built. An embarrassing truth in itself.

So whilst royalists urge us to celebrate – what exactly is it that we are celebrating?

The centuries of unforgivable wealth inequality and global humanitarian suffering that paved the way for this impressively unremarkable man to play dress-up in a multi-million-pound hat? I’ll pass on the tea cakes, thank you.

True to the nature of the brass-necked spectacle, the giant colonialism elephant in the room remained front and centre of celebrations. The Great Star of Africa shone from Charles’s sceptre – a diamond weighing more than 3100 carats that was stolen from South Africa in 1905.

His new Queen adorned herself with the “coronation necklace” featuring the Lahore diamond, stolen from Pakistan under the colonialist reign of Queen Victoria.

This opulence is not only distasteful, it’s utterly scandalous – and represents the very worst of British history. The fact that we are expected to not only celebrate it but pledge allegiance to it, exemplifies how broken and unreformable a nation Britain really is.

We have, however, been promised monarchy reform, and Charles generously stripped the senior royals of their tiaras in an attempt to prove his dedication to “slimming down”.

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The golden carriage made the cut, but the tiaras were a red line.

The reform that actually matters lies in the acknowledgement of and reparations for the suffering that is entrenched in the history of the British monarchy: the Nigerian Civil War; the Troubles; the Kenyan Mau Mau uprising; the partition of India and Pakistan – all them and more stamped with the hallmark of imperial Britain.

Heinous crimes were committed much more recently than we would like to admit – and if Charles is to meaningfully pursue reform and rescue the monarchy from its impending demise, he is going to have to divorce Queen Elizabeth’s British exceptionalist ways.

Whilst Charles did previously denounce Britain’s role in the slave trade, he still sits on stolen wealth acquired through slavery and empire.

His shameless parading of stolen jewels this past weekend cemented that the decades of economic and social devastation, suffering and loss pioneered by the British empire will, much like during his mother’s reign, likely remain unanswered.

Forgetting not the suffering the monarchy has inflicted across its own lands. Less than a year ago, Charles refused to pay inheritance tax on the hundreds of millions he was left by his mother – wealth redistribution that at a time of mass food bank usage and child poverty, could have been invested in the people he says he exists to serve.

Unsurprisingly, nothing so far suggests that Charles’s promises of reform are likely to materialise.

The popularity of the monarchy rests on a number of factors – not least individual character. And Charles himself is proving to be unpopular. The Christmas episode of Eastenders was watched by a considerably larger audience than his coronation – make of that what you will.

Try as he might, he simply does not have the same appeal that his late mother did – his treatment of Princess Diana has rightly followed him into later life and his dedication to royal pomp and procedure over his own son has made him more unrelatable than ever.

Not even on his coronation day – that the taxpayer footed an undisclosed amount of money for – could he bother himself to have a good time. Even William and Kate, once coined the nation’s sweethearts, are losing favour with the public.

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The embarrassment of this past weekend cannot be repeated and the monarchy faces difficult times of reckoning ahead if they are going to survive.

Heading a nation that places as the ninth most unequal of 38 OECD countries and with growing interest in Britain’s colonial history and the monarchy’s role in it, I find it difficult to imagine a future for this institution in its current form.

The trouble for them is that with so much suffering and unaccountability, is reform even possible?

The death of the Queen was always going to spell trouble for the future of the monarchy and its relevance in modern times.

If Charles wants it to survive – and similarly for those who want to see it end – we have to start engaging in honest conversation about its history, the pain caused by it and what role and purpose it has in a modern society, if it has one at all.

Britain is broken. It needs an entire reinvention of its foundation, purpose and political structure and it’s hard to see how another unelected head of state, wrapped in centuries of royal protocol and whose sole purpose is to uphold inequality and hierarchy, could ever possibly be the answer.