‘They’re expensive and I don’t understand what they’re doing’: What the Queen’s subjects think of her heirs

A Scottish curry house may seem a world away from Windsor Castle, but it’s home to some of the Queen’s biggest supporters.

“I’ve met the Queen four times, and I just think she’s a very inspiring and energetic woman,” says Matin Khan in the dining room of his restaurant Dalkeith.

Matin moved to the UK as a young boy from Bangladesh during the early years of the Queen’s reign and now he and his family run several restaurants in Scotland.

The venue is adorned with numerous certificates of culinary awards, but a photo of Matin meeting the Queen in 2015 is also in the spotlight.

Matin Khan when he met the Queen in 2015 in Scotland.(ABC News: Andrew Greaves)

“He’s someone to respect, someone to look up to as a country,” said Matin’s 26-year-old son Habibur.

The royal family may represent old-world Britain, but Matin’s restaurant is a picture of modern life in the UK – and it holds lessons for the survival of the monarchy.

Local Scots of all ages take their places for dinner service, ready for their favorite curries, spiced meats, breads and chutneys.

A bald man in a suit stands in the kitchen of a restaurant.
Matin Khan in the kitchen of his Edinburgh restaurant.( ABC News: Andrew Greaves)

Britain has changed enormously during Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign. It is now home to an additional 17 million people and is much more culturally diverse.

Attitudes towards many social issues – including the monarchy – have changed.

“We have very different attitudes now than we had back then, especially on the role of women, gay rights and also attitudes towards diversity,” said Steve Ballinger, of the British Future think tank, at the ABC.

But changing societal opinions may spell trouble for the Royal Family as support slips in parts of the UK.

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