The marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has, very unfortunately, become a bit of a soap-opera of late and, the Royalist that I am, it upsets me – it’s all so unseemly.
I appreciate that there are some big news stories out there and that some of them, Iran/Iraq and the Australian bushfires to name just a couple, are more pressing that Harry and Meghan’s ‘announcement’ (that they intend to cease working as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family) but that, for me, doesn’t make this a non-story. I see Britain drifting; the Royal Family, in particular The Queen, is, for me, like an anchor, an anchor to a better Britain, to better times, a symbol of GREAT Britain.
My overriding feeling, emotion, is sadness, sadness that, whilst I understand Harry and Meghan’s decision, I think it is so desperately sad that they feel that they cannot live happy, fulfilling, meaningful lives and remain in – as King George VI called his Family – ‘the Firm’.
I’m not surprised that we are seeing people have a go at Meghan, accusing her of fracturing the relationship between Harry and Prince William, accusing her of breaking up the Family. Pure conjecture and, without evidence, only tittle tattle, that is unfair and it’ll only serve to convince them that they have made the right decision.
Prince Harry has, I think we can say since his mother, the Late Princess Diana, died in a car accident in 1997, when he, Harry, was, I think, just 12 years old, he has been ‘lost’. Some people argue that his position is ‘better’ than his brother’s, that, unlike Prince William, he is not being forced into a role, that he has freedom because he is not the future King. There is, of course, something to that but the other side of the argument is that he has to find his own role, he hasn’t been handed one. Princess Margaret had the same problem as did, it seems, Princes Andrew and Edward (I think Princess Anne has made a meaningful, fulfilling life for herself). It cannot be easy, being watched by the world’s media, to find a role with all of the conditions and restrictions that will, of course, apply.
Prince Harry has a qualified freedom, freedom in chains.
Prince Harry has very qualified privileges: IMHO he lives in a gilded prison.
I understand the decision they appear to have taken, they may well be at a mental breaking point, unhealthy for them personally, unhealthy for their marriage and, of course, unhealthy for their son, Archie.
I have no doubt that The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William want Harry, Meghan and Archie to be happy, even if that means that they need to, on some level, get away. I get it.
BUT, what we are hearing and reading today, Thursday 9 January 2020, (again, lots of gossip/tittle tattle) is that the announcement was scripted and put out last night without prior consultations/discussions with The Queen, Prince Charles or Prince William. In the last hour, it has been reported in the media that The Queen was consulted but that she didn’t want Harry and Meghan to put that announcement, as scripted, into the public domain.
I hope that Harry and Meghan did not bulldoze their way through the system.
Professional duty, respect, loyalty and courtesy dictate that a decision like this, and an announcement, happen only after discussions, and consultations, with those who are more senior to Prince Harry: The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William (I think it’s ok to leave Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis out of it!).
Family respect and loyalty dictate that Prince Harry should have spoken (maybe he did!) to, discussed and consulted with, his Grandmother, The Queen, his father, Prince Charles, and his elder (and only) sibling/brother, Prince William.
If (and, again, we don’t know what happened) Prince Harry and Meghan ‘went it alone’, that is, to say the least, bad form.
Prince Harry wants some freedom, freedom that he feels he cannot get as a ‘senior’ member of the Royal Family – ok – but a lot of people are ‘stuck’, a lot of people would love to just up and leave. Prince Harry is very fortunate to be able to do that, is very fortunate to have the wealth, THANKS to being a ‘senior’ member of the Royal Family, fortunate to have the wealth that will allow him not just to up and leave but to do so without any financial worries.
Prince Harry, according to the announcement, intends to be financially independent: he and Meghan already are but, ignoring that point, I’ll be very surprised, if this all goes ahead, very surprised if he makes money in ways which have nothing to do with his being Prince Harry.
The point I’m making is clear, I think: Prince Harry feels claustrophobic, as does Meghan. He feels that he has to get away. I think it’s sad but I do understand it. For what it’s worth (nothing), I respect his, their, decision BUT if they have ‘gone it alone’, if they have not discussed it with The Queen and Princes Charles and William, or if The Queen asked them to hold off for a bit, they have overstepped the mark to the extent that their actions are deserving of serious consequences.
Their privileges come with responsibilities and duties. If they have disrespected The Queen, and Princes Charles and William, they should lose their privileges. The British public would not – should not! – accept Harry and Meghan having their cake and eating it. If they want to, and are to, remain on the payroll, they need to fulfill their responsibilities, attend diligently and professionally to their duties and behave appropriately. They only need to look to their grandmother, The Queen, to see how it’s done!
There are lots of ifs, lots of, as I said, gossip and tittle tattle surrounding last night’s announcement by Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
I sincerely hope that the ugly tittle tattle is just that, tittle tattle.
I have not walked in Prince Harry’s, nor Meghan Markle’s, shoes – nor would I want to! I’d face quite some derision were I to attempt to walk in Meghan’s high-heels! I envy neither of them! I appreciate, much as I am a Royalist, much as I’m a big fan of Britain’s Royal Family (though I criticise when criticism is due!), I concede that life as a Royal, particularly as a ‘senior’ Royal, cannot possibly be a bed of roses. A lot of people who criticise the Royals are jealous of them – yes, lots of people have harder, much harder, lives than Prince Harry but I reckon that a lot of the jealousy is misplaced (even if you take Princess Diana out of the equation).
I feel for all of them, for The Queen – and Prince Philip – for Prince Charles, seeing all the discord, for the brothers, once so close, now enduring so many complexities. Prince Harry, and Meghan, must have suffered to have arrived at this point. There is SO SO MUCH that none of us know and we should remember that before judging. I also appreciate that whilst I’m saying that I hope there have been discussions and consultations within the Family, there may well be, and there probably are, complications which have made that less than easy.
This must be hurting all of them but my heart goes out mostly to The Queen who is currently having to steer the family through the Prince Andrew controversy and is now having to deal with the fall out from Harry and Meghan’s announcement. Let’s not forget that Her Majesty, the very personification of duty, responsibility, professionalism and grace, is 93 years old!
From the bottom of my heart, I hope that this mess does not spiral out of control and that it ‘all comes out in the wash’.