For a British citizen, society revolves around the names Kate, William, George and Charlotte. For an American citizen, society revolves around the names Kim, Kourtney, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie. One family has declared authority over an entire country. The other has millions of supporters that follow their every move. When you think of the British royal family, you may think of power, money and beauty. The Kardashians may bring up those same thoughts. And why is that? It’s simple: they both have it all.
The year 2007 changed the entertainment industry for better or for worse (depending on your affinity for mindless reality TV). Keeping Up With The Kardashians (KUWTK) welcomed everyday Americans into the bougie and dramatic lives of proclaimed American royalty. As the saying goes, they’re “famous for being famous” and most of the series consists of relationship drama and highly contrived plotlines. The show has an appeal that can only be described as cultish. Eleven seasons and more than 150 episodes in, KUWTK is one of the most successful programs to ever grace the eyes and ears of the American public. Not only has it won a multitude of audience awards, but it also has won over many hearts, skyrocketing the Kardashian name to a whole new level. In addition to starring in one of the highest viewed television programs, this family has gathered unconditional love from millions of pulsating hearts through clothing and fragrance lines, movie appearances, best-selling books and spokesmodel opportunities – that’s royalty if you ask me.
While 2007 brought to fame this American "royal" family, 2011 was the year of the British royal family, marked by the highly anticipated wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. Every news organization had live and extensive coverage of the wedding, making it one of the biggest events of the century with hype across the globe, combining the intensity of 10 Super Bowls into one event. As literal royalty, the public knows each and every move they make – whether that’s meeting with South Pole explorers or Prince George’s first day at nursery school.
Sure, an official title was conferred on Prince William by the Queen of England, but his power nearly pales in comparison to that of the Kardashians. He flies helicopters and dabbles in charity work while “supporting the Queen” in all her endeavors. Meanwhile, Khloé instantly trends on Facebook for showing off her abs in a new Instagram photo. The Kardashians and the Windsors reach millions of people and both have an absurd amount of power over their respective subjects.
British officials estimated that around two billion people across the globe would watch the royal wedding ceremony on April 29, 2011 – breaking the current record of one billion people who watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in 2008. Over two million Americans actively watch KUWTK (which is a ridiculous amount of avid watchers for debatably bad television programming). If power was a numbers game, it’s pretty comparable.
And where did that power come from? They’ve got lucky blood. Power wasn’t individually earned, it was passed on. Prince William, after all, was born into royalty, and so were the Kardashians. Kim, Khloé, and Kourtney found themselves in the spotlight because of their father’s notoriety after the infamous O.J. Simpson trial. After Kim’s sex tape was leaked, the rest became history.
The Kardashians are undoubtedly America’s royal family, giving the British Monarchy quite the run for its money. One has a throne. The other has a pop culture empire. Both have a dynasty.