Give your gran a hug, Harry!

Ruthless headlines in the British tabloids (some of which have been overtly racist), concerning similarities to Princess Diana’s own battle with the British press and ensuing mental health issues: One can understand why Prince Harry and Meghan Markel want out of the Royal Family, at least on a professional basis.

The news came as a shock to not only the public but also members of the British monarchy, who had hoped to discuss the couple’s plans privately before announcing their decision.

International media are now juiced up with the terse words of a disgruntled queen. Buckingham Palace’s official statement certainly seemed to suggest that she was blindsided:

“Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through,” the statement read.

But the Queen, characterized by her prevailing stiff upper lip, is surely nursing a chip in her armor right now. A sudden split from the Royal Family is a blow not only to the Queen of England but also to Harry’s grandmother, to whom he has always been reported to have a close relationship with. Us commoners can relate to that at least; family is family.

Plus, hasn’t the Queen gone through enough family drama this year?

Most of the British public, and of course the British press (mostly the less reputable kind like The Sun) have very strong opinions of Meghan Markle. Her difficulty with royal life has been evident, while Harry’s problems with mental health, stemming from the death of his mother, have come to the surface (in part, by his own brave admission). I do feel for them. The Royal Family is elite but unenviable; to be an effective member of it seems mighty hard, tortuous even. For that reason, I respect Meghan and Harry’s decision to step back. Both of them, despite stirring the pot, deserve a compassionate ear.

However, they also deserve some criticism. They will still be sharing some royal duties, splitting their time between North America and the UK, and while they have stated that they are striving for financial independence, the British tax payer will likely be funding their security, accommodation and other expenses for the foreseeable future. The “have their cake and eat it too” grumblings have merit.

But for now, we can only hope that Meghan and Harry, and baby Archie too, will find the happiness they crave; that blue blood is thicker than tabloid mud; and that the crown, thorny and binding as it may be, shall carry on reigning over a land bracing for the unbraceable: Brexit (yup, that’s still happening).

Carry on,

Anna

 

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