Meghan and Harry are human beings. They are not perfectly rational, fully-fledged robots or invincible superheroes. Holding them to an obtusely high standard is pointless. I shall argue that we should accept Meghan and Harry’s decision on a moral basis and broaden our perspectives on the Royal Family.
It is important to clarify what has actually happened, because so far, the focus has been on ‘Megxit’. Namely, it seems the narrative has focused on Meghan making the choice of wanting to be independent, and that she somehow forced Harry to join her. Harry must have had a say in this, as they themselves mentioned speaking about becoming independent for a long time. The very fact that the blame is focused on Meghan, is an example of why she no longer wants to remain in the limelight – the press just cannot get enough of her, and she rightly shouldn’t have to go through that anymore.
My mum is an Uber driver, and she overheard a family talking about this exact debate. One of her customers, to my dismay, claimed that Meghan wanted this, because she was unhappy with her income levels as a royal. I am not sure how persuasive this is, because Meghan’s material standards of living were pretty sound. There are other issues she had to deal with and if we tried to be more empathetic, maybe we would realise that. On Meghan’s side, alone, she had to deal with negative attention, the incessant dissection of her working life as an actor, racism, the restriction of her freedom of speech and more. We do not know of everything she has gone through, because her input in this debate has not been great so far. She also has to deal with Harry’s trauma of having his mother killed by the same brutal tabloids who would go onto oppress the wife he loves. It is precisely what they have been through, uniquely as individuals, that has driven them to want to be independent. Their pain trumps any principled arguments about the duty of royals.
The very fact that the blame is focused on Meghan, is an example of why she no longer wants to remain in the limelight – the press just cannot get enough of her, and she rightly shouldn’t have to go through that anymore.
Piers Morgan claimed that all the women of the Royal Family have been annihilated by the press, so Meghan should suck it up. But they all had uniquely different experiences. The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, or ‘Waity Katie’, shall I say, was criticised over her choice of waiting so long for Prince William. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, was criticised for her unappealing personality and past. However, these women were criticised for the choices they had made. Meghan was born mixed race. The child she loves with most, if not all of her heart, was compared to a chimpanzee. No one should have to deal with that. It is difficult to describe the pain of discrimination, if you have not been through it. It is like being boiled alive, when you have the knowledge that you have been banished from feeling free and happy.
Harry is going through hard times. His uncle has been accused of cavorting with paedophiles and sex offenders and, worse, is accused of being one himself. It is uncomfortable to think that the family we look to for stability in this country have just rocked the justice system, and surely just as uncomfortable for the family involved. The press has been accused of killing his beloved mother, Diana, who was an incredible woman, seeking justice for all those who were born unlucky and underprivileged. We know Harry has had to deal with this trauma, because the focus his royal duties has often been mental health.
The narrative since the beginning of their engagement was focused on Harry protecting Meghan, not the Royal Family as a whole, working together to ensure the couple would live in peace.
Of course, we shall also consider why all of this hardship actually led them to go independent without consulting Her Royal Majesty, the Queen. They clearly did not support the two enough, nor did they want to show sympathy. The amalgamation of these acts may have led Harry and Meghan to feel as though they themselves are in the wrong to be unhappy, when they are not. This feeling can very quickly turn to anger, when they have realised that they should not feel that way. The narrative since the beginning of their engagement was focused on Harry protecting Meghan, not the Royal Family as a whole, working together to ensure the couple would live in peace. Perhaps that peace can only be found outside the oppressive fold of ‘The Firm’, and who are we to deny their right to achieve it.
Image Credit: Mark Jones, Flickr