His comments came during a debate about the BBC’s decision to change its programming schedule to commemorate the death of Prince Philip. The final of MasterChef, among other popular shows, was affected by the change.
Jenkin was resolutely in favour of it, and said the decision was “a way of supporting them in their hour of grief.”
But, in reaction to his comments, viewers across the country took a collective spit take.
Anti-Brexit campaigner Femi Oluwole said:
Bernard Jenkin: "In some respects, the Royal Family are the least privileged people in the country."
I think I jus… https://t.co/HXaJyZyrpP
If you were in any doubt about the Royal Family’s privileged position in society, allow us to set the record straight.
The Queen’s net worth is around $500 million, according to Forbes and if that wasn’t enough, she also enviably owns all the swans in England.
The family are exempt from multiple laws including some taxes and – dangerously – do not need a driver’s licence and are allowed to break the speed limit.
Meanwhile, the government estimates that around 15 million people are in poverty in the UK, 700,000 of which fell into these straits due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While facing constant scrutiny and being unable to lead a normal day-to-day life is difficult, comments like Jenkins’ are, therefore, perhaps hyperbolic when considering the broader context of the country.
And other viewers agreed:
#bbcqt "In some ways they are the least privileged family in Britain..." . Christ.
“It’s not Brexit that is causing the problem,” he said - speaking about violence in the country caused in part due the Northern Ireland Protocol that was imposed due to...Brexit.”
All in all, it wasn’t the best performance on Question Time that we’ve ever seen. We look forward to Jenkins’ setting up a campaign for Etonians who haven’t been able to ski this year due to the pandemic.