Prince Harry and Megan Markle were supposed to herald the “modern monarchy” until it collided head-long, that is, with the traditional monarchy.
After all, bereft of its traditions, what is the monarchy, except a “business” as the royals and palace insiders cheekily call it.
But what kind of business?
The fact is the monarchy hasn’t been relevant since the death of Queen Victoria, the last monarch who truly wielded power–not just influence.
Since then, the “business” has survived by clinging to the one thing that separates the royal family from average blokes–stifling traditions, protocols and pretensions to symbolize the nation-state.
Kings and queens have done the same to maintain their authority down through the ages. But once you’ve been stripped of power like the British monarchy, it all really becomes a charade.
If the monarchy truly had power nobles would still fight for the throne.
That happened last in 1485. Henry Tudor slew Richard III on Bosworth Field to take the crown. Richard had murdered his deceased brother’s two children to take the throne himself.
Now, that’s when the monarchy meant something.
Can you imagine Harry declaring war on William and murdering his children to put himself in line for the throne?
Not in the “modern monarchy.”
Harry and Megan saw their future and realized they would be nothing more than regal puppets. The palace would hold the strings.
They would be compelled to suffer all of the palace’s stifling traditions and protocols simply to maintain the royal façade.
Megan was being forced to pay a terrible price–sacrificing her freedom and dignity– to satisfy the whims of the palace. Apparently, it dictates almost everything, from her skirts to her hair style and beyond.
Had she been a Brit, she might simply have carried on with a “stiff upper lip.” But Megan, an upstart America, bristled under the palace’s thumb.
Princess Diana was the first true member of the modern monarchy.
She felt just like Megan once she realized she was nothing more than arm candy and a suitable brood mare for Prince Charles, the once and future king.
After her divorce, she pulled back the curtain on Kensington Palace’s hypocrisy, and rumors still persist, to this day, that she was murdered for it.
The braying, sycophantic British press is having a field day picking apart Megan for her uppityness. After all, she had the audacity to expect privacy after her marriage.
The 39-year-old Duchess, who has a son Archie, 22 months, and is expecting a girl, said things might have been different had she been accorded a modicum of privacy.
“I think everyone has a basic right to privacy. We’re not talking about anything that anybody else wouldn’t expect,” she said in an unaired portion of her Oprah Winfrey interview.
Perhaps, not surprisingly, Diana, who was no more ready for the monarchy than Megan, said the same thing.
But that’s not how the monarchy works and Megan, as well as Diana should have known better when they married into the royal family.
The monarchy is all about publicity. It could not survive without its charities, little parades and dress-up celebrations to justify its existence.
When Henry and Megan decided to bolt, the palace should have wished them well and been done with them. Instead it chose to take a stand on the very things that exposed its hypocrisy, pettiness and perfidy.
Megan went even further in her interview. She pulled the scab off a wound the has long festered in the royal family. The royals are essentially racists at heart.
That should come as no surprise to historians or anyone else who follows the monarchy. The British empire was founded on racism.
After all, the great poet of Britain’s imperial era, Rudyard Kipling coined the phrase “white man’s burden” to justify 19th century colonialism.
In the darkest days of World War II, King Edward VIII and his successor, George VI were all for negotiating an armistice with Hitler after the fall of France. Only Prime Minister Winston Churchill stood in the way.
“You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime,” he declared in parliament.
Now that was real power.
In Meghan’s tell-all interview with Oprah, she and the prince both confirmed they felt pushed to leave the UK because of racial abuse. And she isn’t even African-American. She’s bi-racial.
Of course, Harry blamed the British press. But where does it take its signal but from palace insiders and hangers-on.
The couple accused an unnamed member of the royal family of asking about Archie’s skin tone before he was born.
“That was relayed to me from Harry. Those were conversations that family had with him,” Megan said.
“[Racism] was a large part of it,” Harry told Oprah. “I remember the Sentebale fundraiser. One of the people at that dinner said to me, ‘Please, please don’t do this with the media. They will destroy your life.’
“I said, ‘What do you mean by that?’ Obviously I knew. They said, ‘You don’t understand, the UK is very bigoted.’ And I stopped, and I said the UK’s not bigoted, the UK press is bigoted, specifically the tabloids.”
Harry’s reaction was unsurprising. His mother had raised him to treat all people equally. It was part of the foundation of the modern monarchy.
Princess Diana would be “incredibly proud” of her son, according to a royal expert. Diana conducted her own tell-all interview in 1995, two years before she died in her car crash.
“If there’s one thing Diana stood for, it was telling your truth and having a voice and making sure others have a voice,” royal expert Omid Scobie told E News!
“So I think to see her son find his voice and be unafraid to use it when really everything is at stake, I imagine she would be incredibly proud.”
Harry told Oprah his mother would be “very angry” with their treatment by the palace. “All she’d ever want is for us to be happy.
“I think she saw it coming. I certainly felt her presence throughout this whole process.”
After days of thrashing about and screaming tabloid headlines, Queen Elizabeth II finally issued a statement. It was as if she were raising a white flag.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the 94-year-old monarch said in a statement.
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members,” she added.
If she had only shown that kind of grace and humility a year ago when Harry and Megan left, all this might have been avoided.
The monarchy would not have suffered another needless blow to its fragile claim to legitimacy.
As the old saying goes, “the last generation ultimately bows to the next.”
Now maybe Britain can truly get on with the “modern monarchy.”