Initially, I had zero interest in watching the interview with Meghan, Harry, and Oprah. But inevitably, like 20 million other people, I got sucked in. The public reactions were just too fascinating and polarizing not to see what all the fuss was about.
Why my initial disinterest? Well, because who really cares? I mean seriously – people who want to live out of the limelight – don’t give a sensationalized interview to Oprah. Plus, we are one year into this f’cker of a pandemic. MM & Harry are a bit gratuitous and self-indulgent for choosing this as a good time to put their feelings out to the world.
But I still fell down the rabbit hole. And of course, now I have an opinion.
As a Commonwealth gal, I’ve watched the Royals my entire life. When I was 7-years-old, my mom woke me up at the crack of dawn to watch the “Royal Wedding.” I still remember how young and nervous poor Diana looked. The pomp and circumstance were so intoxicating though – it was like breathing in a chapter of a fairy tale.
The eighties and the nineties press was then consumed by Royal news. The troubled marriage, births of the Princes, the affairs, Fergie & Andrew, and the inevitable split between Charles & Diana. Sadly, it all culminated with Diana’s shocking & tragic death. That was 1997, Harry was twelve, and William was fifteen.
After that, I feel like the world jumped into William & Harry’s corner. They’d suffered the most immense loss and were deserving of a bit of sympathy and some goodwill. Even their Granny, the Queen, seemed to cut them some slack.
By their twenties, the Princes had developed a tight brotherly bond and seemed to be thriving – they both graduated from Eton. William attended university, and Harry attended military college Harry served for 10 years and did two tours in Afghanistan. His final tour was as an Apache gunner.
Sure, there were some hiccups along the way. Most notably when Harry decided to dress up as a Nazi for a costume party. Was that racist behavior? I don’t think so. Just dumb. There was also the naked billiards incident in Vegas. Again, Harry not using his best judgment. But really, the boys came through most of their youths unscathed.
William courted and then married Kate. Harry seemed to date, everyone. Was the British press kind to Kate? Hell no. They trashed her like they did Diana, Fergie, and all who dared to date or marry into the Royals. Kate was called a “commoner” and deemed too “middle class” for William. Then she was called: “Waity Katie” and judged on her every move. Once married she was snidely called “Duchess Dolittle”. Even when William broke protocol (he was the first to do so), and pleaded with the press to leave her alone. Still, they stalked her. Keep in mind while they were dating, Kate was in her early twenties. There was no protection for her. They literally hounded her and she was on her own. But now ten years into being a Royal – the press is generally kind to her and they actually seem to admire her.
Harry Meets Meghan
Oddly, when Harry met Meghan, the press was initially pretty kind to her. Which was shocking because she was an American actress and divorcee. Her biracial heritage was a footnote. The focus was on the fact that she was beautiful, divorced, American, charming, and slightly older than Harry. Everyone loved her and could see why fun-loving Harry was smitten.
The Royals even seemed to welcome her with open arms and threw another beautiful royal wedding for them. By Meghan’s own admission – the Queen gifted her a pearl necklace and earring set. Which to me is a very sweet and welcoming gesture.
Some cocked an eyebrow about the wedding guest list. Only one member of her family (Mom) was there. We all know about the rift between Meghan and her Dad & Sister. So strike them off the list. But not one cousin, godparent, or a longtime friend of Meghan’s was in attendance. Yet, every A-lister in Hollywood was there. Certainly begs a few questions:
- Does Meghan have problems maintaining relationships?
- Is there an agenda? Why the heavy Hollywood roster?
Back to their wedding, which I watched (of course). As I was cheering for them. I liked what she brought to the normal doldrums of the Royals. Let’s also not forget who walked Meghan down the aisle – the future King himself. Prince Charles was also overtly kind and protective of Meghan’s Mom that day. He fussed over her and was the perfect gentleman – it almost made me like him. And Charles is tough to like.
After the wedding, things went sideways for MM & Harry. The Brits were pissed about the expensive cottage renovations. Then some unsavory personality traits cropped up and she was deemed “Duchess Difficult”. She was found to be – demanding, unreasonable, and attention-seeking. Yet, in every scenario that ensued. Meghan claimed no fault. But instead triangulated herself as the victim. She never took the blame or shared in the blame. And that’s where it all fell apart for me. Nobody is that perfect and everyone else isn’t always wrong. Apparently, that’s where it fell apart for the press as well. They launched on her with venomous fangs.
The UK press unleashed a shit storm of disparaging articles against her. As is their normal MO. They can be ruthless. We’ve all seen it for decades. Most of it is completely ridiculous. They blathered on about baby bumps, avocado toast, wardrobe faux-pas, royal etiquette, and general nonsense that nobody really gives a shit about. But here’s the thing – I don’t believe it had anything to do with the colour of her skin or her biracial heritage. It’s the fact they began to see her as a “narcissistic” and demanding bitch that never seemed satisfied. Harsh? Maybe. Was their behaviour kind? No. But it was definitely not novel.
Meghan might also be overzealous with her use of the race card. Boom! I said it. I’m not saying she didn’t face any discrimination, or that some asshole reporters didn’t throw some disgusting racial slurs her way. None of that is okay. Nor should any of it be ignored. But you can’t really take a few dickhead comments and paint the whole of the UK press (thousands) as racist. Nor should you assume that someone speculating on what your children might look like is racist, and then deem their whole extended family as racist Every family speculates on what traits kids will have ie. freckles, hair colour, eye colour, height, skin tone, etc. Perhaps, there was genuine speculation of the baby being dark-skinned. But, could it have been just that – curious speculation? Maybe even worded stupidly but without malice? Let’s face it – there are some rather homely physical traits in the Royal genes — who wouldn’t want the “baby” to favour the gorgeous mom? Also remember, this is the same family that raised Harry. They gave him his moral compass and ideals, and he is certainly not a racist.
The Royal Leaving
Once MM fell into life as Royals. It apparently was too hard. The schedule was too demanding, and nobody was asking Meghan if she was okay. She obviously wasn’t okay. For whatever reasons led her to have suicidal thoughts. The woman was not okay. We have to take her at her word. That needs to be honoured – regardless of your opinion of her.
Other things were also unraveling. Harry wasn’t allowed to go shooting or stalking (hunting in Brit speak) anymore, and he stopped hanging out with his mates. More friction ensued between the “fabulous four”, and Harry and Williams’s relationship became openly fractured.
So the Sussexes decided to step down as senior Royals and move to the lovely Commonwealth of Canada. And the first thing Meghan did was give an interview. Hmmm. What about the coveted quiet life?
There was also a lot of kerfuffle in the Canadian press about who should pay for their security. The Canadian answer: not Canadians! They were not Royal dignitaries – thus they did not warrant the cost to the Canadian taxpayer. However, I don’t believe they ever intended to stay in Canada. It was simply a segue for them to move to California without looking too damn obvious.
Throwing The Royals Under The Bus
Happy people living their best and most authentic lives don’t do scathing interviews and drop nukes on their families. That is not woke. That’s tone-deaf and self-serving.
So why did they do it? Why not live their coveted “private” life across the pond with their chickens and their babies, and nestle into life as a non-Royal? If they’d actually done that – there would be nothing more to talk about.
Instead, a year after their departure when the media was pretty much leaving them alone. They came out from their California alcove and trashed the Monarchy. Sure, they avoided bad-mouthing the Queen directly. Instead, they shit on everything her life has stood for.
As Head of State, The Monarch undertakes constitutional and representational duties which have developed over one thousand years of history. In addition to these State duties, The Monarch has a less formal role as ‘Head of Nation’. The Sovereign acts as a focus for national identity, unity and pride; gives a sense of stability and continuity; officially recognises success and excellence; and supports the ideal of voluntary service.
In all these roles The Sovereign is supported by members of their immediate family.
They may not be senior Royals anymore – their choice. But they are the Queen’s immediate family.
Meghan lied right out of the gate. Remember when she said she had no idea about the Royal Family or Harry? That has to be a bald-faced lie unless she grew up without a TV, and had no access to news outlets through her childhood. The US may not be a part of the Commonwealth, and the Royals may get less press than in other countries. But the British Royals have always been world news. Meghan came onto the scene in her mid-30s, she was not a young and naive girl.
In the next segment – she even said she was friends with Princess Eugenie before meeting Harry. Hmm. Bit of a disingenuous start. I’m not even going to entertain that whole nonsense about not being primped for the role. Was she expecting a script and an acting coach?
I think her obvious difficulty with telling the truth at the start of the interview set the tone for many people. So when she spoke of her suicidal ideations – she’d already lost some of her credibility with the audience. But this deeply personal admission of hers cannot be dismissed or made light of. When someone says:
I don’t want to be alive anymore.
You must listen and act.
So I commend Harry for loving his wife, and for keeping her safe. I think there were other avenues that could’ve been explored that would’ve been less drastic. I also don’t think Meghan was denied all forms of help. She was told she could not “go away”. Big difference. Also, Harry admitted that he never told his family of Meghan’s struggles because he was ashamed. So you can’t condemn them for not helping with something they knew nothing about.
But Harry was terrified by his wife’s admissions, and with good reason.
History could repeat itself.
So the Sussexes made their choices. Now they must stick by them.
They are not deserving of a stipend, salary, or funding from the Royal family. You don’t get the paycheque for not doing the job. Harry retorted by saying:
We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.
That all sounds great, but that “YOLO-philanthropy” is undermined by their multi-million dollar Netflix and Spotify deals. Also you don’t get to tell the Queen – how you’re going to “work” for her.
As for little Archie, and his unborn sister. They will get their titles when their grandfather becomes King, or maybe they won’t. It’s certainly not for MM or Harry to decide.
The rest of the interview was pretty much a nuking of the Monarchy and everything that Harry has been groomed for his entire life. It was ballsy to say that his father and brother were trapped. I really doubt that the future Kings (Charles and William) see it that way. They are committed to a life of service and all the pitfalls and benefits that come with it.
Never complain, never explain.
As for his “great” relationship with his grandmother, the Queen. Pretty sure she won’t be taking his calls anytime soon.
I liked the Queen’s response to the Interview. Especially this line:
Although recollections may vary.
Reminds me of the saying: There are three sides to every story – mine, yours, and the truth. Everyone believes themselves to be right, and neither party actually is.
Life After Oprah
I think much of the world remembers the devastating image of little 12-year-old Prince Harry walking behind his Mother’s coffin, and they want his story to have a happy ending.
The Duke of Sussex has given up a lot. Most of which is not recoverable. All his royal trappings have been forfeited.
I hope if and when needed, Harry will have Meghan’s unwavering support and that she always stands by him, as he stood by her. If that’s the case – this will be a grand love story. Otherwise, it will be more akin to a Shakespearean tragedy.
However it ends up – it won’t likely be a private journey free of the press.
The above are my observations and/or opinions. I’m not a racist or a hater of any kind. I also think Andrew should be hung out to dry. But that’s another blog.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. Don’t live your struggle alone. Reach out to your loved ones, and tell them what’s going on with you. You matter!
Alternatively, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.
Thanks for reading!
Love, Kate. x