‘I pity Harry and Meghan’

In this dismal time, our country is facing a plethora of real, unavoidable issues: climate change, racism, a failing healthcare service, and a buffoon as prime minister (subject to opinion),  to name a few. However, issues of immigration laws and Brexit consistently rise to the top of our headlines. Therefore, I was shocked to see that some Brits seem worried about an immigrant leaving the United Kingdom as opposed to complaining about their presence in our society.  The immigrant in question is Meghan Markle.

This is due to Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to move away from their royal duties by spending half of their time with Meghan’s family; independent from the “soul crushing” royal protocols they described to the press, and the vast amount of public money received by the royal family that they both disagreed with. While this was all the couple wanted, the decision to strip the two from their HRH duties was made final last week. This was a shock to Harry: “Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations without public funding. Sadly that wasn’t possible.” 

Harry followed with: “I’ve accepted this knowing it doesn’t change who I am, or how committed I am. But I hope that helps you understand what it had come to, that I would step back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life.”

The decision was surprising, however, the response from the British public was far more displeasing. The keyboard warriors of Facebook were quick to jump on the topic, using a litany of racist and sexist slurs. Reading through the comments of a Facebook post from The Daily Mail, I felt disgusted. Among the biggest criticisms is the money the couple received for the wedding and the refurbishments to Frogmore Cottage, refurbishments they claim they’ll pay back the cost of.

But, of course, we don’t care. Us Brits always want something to blame, and a feminist, mixed race, strong woman seems a good target. We love to be angry and we will not consider how Harry may have had a part to play in this decision, by simply wanting a “peaceful life” for himself and his family. We will turn a blind eye to the prospect of having a child under surveillance of the public, the journalists at their doorstep, the sadness it must cause. We will ignore the real sexism within the royals, the claustrophobic protocol and how Meghan may have disagreed with it (as most the public say they would too) and quite rightly so. We will not mention how Harry may have been affected growing up in a family that ultimately caused the death of his mother – not in terms of the conspiracy but the press following her as an ex-royal before the crash. We will ignore the fundamental traits of two caring people and we shall blame them for all of the financial issues of our country, of course as the fellow royals continue to be publically funded. 

Why? Because we are British, we are Royalist and we hate change. We shall destroy the life of one family before we take into account the wider issues in our society, in our royal system, and in our care for one another as human beings. I pity Harry and Meghan and I hope their move sparks peace and privacy for themselves and for their child. They are people, with feelings and with love, love they would like to keep out of the public eye and the front pages, and with how they’re being treated, can you blame them?


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Emily Webb

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December 2021
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