News·4 min read

Daily Skimm Weekend: Future of the Monarchy, Midterms, and Camping

Buckingham Palace
Photo: Getty Images
Sep 10, 2022

The Future of the Monarchy

Changing of the Guard: This week, the UK’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died peacefully at Balmoral Castle. While many mourn the loss, many are also asking a tough question: Could this be the beginning of the end of the British monarchy?

The Story

When Elizabeth became the queen in 1952, the British Empire spanned 70 overseas territories and hundreds of millions of people. But India had recently won its independence after a long fight — and during her reign, all but 14 other territories followed. What was once a global empire shrank to “a medium-sized northern European country.” Now, without Elizabeth...

Time might also be ticking for the monarchy?

You said it. Particularly since more former colonies could soon become republics (see: AustraliaJamaica). And even Britons seem less certain about the monarchy’s continued reign: Just 39% think it’s still likely to exist in 100 years, according to a poll. While some of the UK seems to be changing with the times (see: its most diverse Cabinet ever), the royals remain a symbol and a living embodiment of Britain’s past. Which includes centuries of planning and profiting from colonialism and slavery — which they’ve never formally apologized for. Before that, there was feudalism, which also had lasting effects. Meanwhile, the newly proclaimed King Charles III has said he plans to scale back on the pomp and circumstance. Meaning, fewer working royals, which would reduce the taxpayer money needed to support them. But in the 21st century, it may become more difficult to justify the public footing any bill. Especially as the UK faces its most serious economic threats in a generation (think: inflation, soaring energy costs, a possible long recession). And as scandals (think: Prince Andrew) continue to tarnish the royal family. 

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For better or for worse, Queen Elizabeth II will be celebrated and remembered as “the woman who saved the monarchy” even as the British Empire dwindled. Now, only time will tell if people will stay loyal to the royals.

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Downtime

Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Here’s one idea for making the most of your weekend.

Still struggling with the end-of-summer scaries? Yeah, same. One way to cope is to plan your next trip. And there’s no better time to go camping. 

Summer camping gets all the good press — but autumn camping is the way to go. You’ll be surrounded by stunning fall foliage. The days will be long enough to enjoy, but the weather will be cooler and more comfortable. There’ll be fewer bugs. Plus, campgrounds tend to be less crowded after Labor Day. Important, since a growing number of campers has made it difficult to snag campsites at popular parks in recent years. 

If you’re ready to follow the call, here’s what to know before setting up camp:

  • Pre-book your campground. Public spots managed by a state or the gov (which can be booked through sites like Reserve America and recreation.gov) are great options. If those are filled up, you might have luck with a tech savvy startup like HipcampTentrr, or Harvest Hosts. All three include private landowners who rent their land to campers. 

  • Pack extra gear. Even during the early days of fall, temperatures can be dramatically different from day to night. So, as your camp counselor would say: Always bring layers. To stay snug while snoozing under the stars, make sure you have a three- or four-season tent. And if the days are going to be shorter, buy a high-quality headlamp and a rechargeable or solar-powered lantern. (Of course, you can also use the flashlight on your phone in a pinch. Just don’t forget a portable charger.)

  • Plan your meals. Unless you plan to eat dried trail mix all weekend, bring some cooking gear. Start with the basics (think: a camp stove, pots, pans, plates, cups, and cutlery). Then add other items depending on what you plan to make. Great options include breakfast taco foil packs, grilled chicken, and pasta salad. And, yes, s’mores for the campfire.

Eyes On: The 2022 Midterms

The midterm elections have a big impact on the policies that affect our day-to-day lives. So we’re here to help you Skimm Your Ballot. And Skimm what’s going on next week…

State(s) of Play: On Tuesday, September 13, voters in Delaware (House), New Hampshire (Senate, House, Governor), and Rhode Island (House, Governor) will head to the polls for the final round of primary elections.

The Talkers:

  • In New Hampshire, Sen. Maggie Hassan is one of the vulnerable Dems up for re-election. No surprise since she won by just 1,017 votes in 2016. So Republicans are eager to put up a good challenger — which, up until last week, seemed likely to be far-right candidate Don Bolduc. But after a last-minute spending spree in support of a more moderate rival, it’s now TBD.

  • In Rhode Island, competitive fields of Dems are facing off in two of the state’s races. The first is to fill the seat of Rep. Jim Langevin (D), who’s retiring. The second is to try and replace Gov. Dan Mckee (D), who ascended to the office when then-Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) became the US commerce secretary. 

PS: The results of these elections are up to the voters. Click here to learn more about how to make your vote count.

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