Harry and Meghan have done something remarkable. They broke from the British crown.
Not since Edward VIII abdicated some 86 years ago has Buckingham Palace been thrown into such a quandary.
The royals, led first by Queen Elizabeth II and now by King Charles III, have circled the wagons, as they say in the American West. They are going all out to isolate and –through proxies — discredit the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
A bevy of media sycophants, led by the entirely despicable tabloid journalist Piers Morgan, have directed a steady stream of condescension and invective at Megan in the press. So, much so Morgan has been accused by critics of having an “unhinged obsession” with the Duchess.
In his most recent broadside, he claimed Meghan, 41, is “systematically trying to damage the Royal Family and the monarchy.”
“At her core, you’ve got somebody who is quite malevolent,” he said of Meghan. He was equally critical of Harry.
“As someone who was brought up as a fierce royalist, I find it offensive and it has to be stopped. So if I have a platform, I’m going to use it because it’s damaging. And I think Harry’s basically the same.”
But from an American perspective, their break is refreshing and bold, a strike for independence. They thew off the yoke of British rule not unlike rebellious, 18th century American colonists.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. “
Those words were incorporated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence and served on King George III. More than any other in that historic document, they struck at the heart of Divine Right and the rule of kings.
That is the American ethos, and from a U.S. perspective, Harry and Megan, symbolically, have embraced it in their own quest for freedom.
A coterie of so-called royal experts have focused heavily on the more salacious whispers of so-called “palace insiders.” Now they’re turning Harry’s book on its head to attack him for lack of discretion and disloyalty.
Harry certainly pulled few punches. He revealed details about his mental health struggles, sexual experiences as a lad, early drug use and his decade-long military career. But a theme is emerging from all the coverage that tantamount to the proverbial cry “The king has no clothes!”
In short, the monarchy is meaningless.
Its irrelevance has been displayed over and over again by the palace’s intense focus on the pettiest details of royal life. The crown’s protocols, traditions, rituals and restrictions smother any sense of self worth or individualism.
On the flip side, its easy to see why such rules exist. Without them, what would you have? The royals are so devoid of real power, they cling to stifling hierarchy and protocols. It’s the only way to justify their existence.
After all, what good is being king, if you can’t rule over the princes, princesses, dukes, duchesses, lords and ladies? The royal family would be nothing more than another example of the feckless rich, a “Real Housewives of Buckingham Palace.”
Instead of commanding armies and ships at sea — the realm of real royals — today’s monarchy obsesses over who wears what dress, dons what tiara, lives in which house and where to stand in a royal receiving line.
Such a stifling life might be tolerable if you are a would be king like William. His time will surely come.
But Harry is the kind of person who would chaff at a life relegated to the second row at royal events.
He could never be another Prince Andrew or Princess Anne, forever condemned to dwell in the monarchy’s shadows while William, Kate and their children basked in the sunlight.
Harry explained his relationship in a telling interview. He branded William his “arch-nemesis.”
“There has always been” a sense of “competition” between himself and the Prince of Wales and he thinks they have naturally fallen into the dynamic of the heir and the spare, an old saying referring to the fact the eldest child will inherit titles and power and a second sibling is purely there in case anything happens to the first-born.
In a preview clip for Harry’s upcoming interview on “Good Morning America.” Michael Strahan asked: “There’s a quote in the book where you refer to your brother as your ‘beloved brother and arch-nemesis.’ Strong words. What did you mean by that?”
Harry replied: “There has always been this competition between us, weirdly. I think it really plays into or always played by the ‘heir/spare.'”
Frankly, Princess Diana didn’t raise him that way.
Diana enjoyed a close relationship with her sons before her tragic death in 1997. She wanted them to have as normal an upbringing as possible. She sent them to public school and frequently took them on outings to get away from the palace and mingle with real people, according to one biography.
Harry writes about his deep love for his mother, so it’s no surprise that he’s searching for a way to fulfill the promise she instilled in him. In that regard, Megan has been a catalyst and loyal companion.
At some point, he had to come to the realization he would never have the life she wanted for him, if he remained in the royal family.
Thus, the real tragedy is the way the palace has chosen to attack and ostracize him instead of embracing his desire to live his own life.
There is no reason Harry needs to be estranged from his family. He, more than anyone, embodies the “modern monarchy” that King Charles professes to want. He should be celebrated for charting his own course.
Diana would have wanted it that way, and Charles would be wise to honor her.
Perhaps, Americans understand that more than anyone else.