*Disclaimer-I am not from the UK and never lived in the UK, although I do have friends in the UK. My genealogy says I have a lot of ancestors from England way back in the 1500s/1600s but I am not in touch with any relatives as anyone left in England at this point would be too distant.*
My wife is a HUGE royal watcher and lover of all things Queen Elizabeth II. And so that means we watched the first three episodes of the Harry and Meghan documentary already and we are watching the Crown. She’s behind on that, but we talk about the royals often anyway.
I didn’t find the documentary to be overly revealing so far, other than clearing up some of the nonsense that made no sense with Meghan’s father. It still makes no sense because it looks like a huge mess. Her half siblings are also a damn mess and I really feel like they’re using Meghan and her marriage to Harry to get some free publicity.
I am sure the truth is somewhere between what Meghan and Harry say and well, the silence coming from the palace. But the misreporting that is so obviously present is really starting to bother me. First off, both princes were born into some weird contract that their entire life would be on display and public. And his description of life as royal where the taxpayers pay for their life and in turn, they “perform” for the taxpayers, and are exploited.
That’s sickening on a bunch of levels, but at the same time I struggle to have pity for any of the royals being royals. They think they are anointed by god to be kings and queens. WTF ever. They are uppity, although less so now than previous generations. I cannot stand the idea that these people think they are entitled to a lavish lifestyle at “average” people’s expense.
There’s also the even more problematic issue of British imperialism. That could be an entire series of posts about all the negative impacts imperialism had around the world. I really think that it’s impossible to have any conversation about royals without mentioning this, especially as the overt racism in English history plays a part in Harry and Meghan’s life. No one can deny that racism existed and still exists in the UK and around the world.
Diana endured so much from the British tabloids. She was the object of their fascination for so long. Her life was on display no matter what she wanted. It was no secret that Charles wanted someone else, and Diana suffered with him and put everything she had into her sons once they divorced. She always seemed uncomfortable in the spotlight and she did not want the boys to always be on camera. She wanted them to have some semblance of a normal life at certain times, like on vacation.
Harry definitely did some dumb things in his younger days, but he always felt less royal to me. Kinda like he always knew he would be just another lame royal with no hope to ever be king. I can’t imagine the stress and pain of knowing your whole life that you will be king one day, but it has to be even worse growing up next to that person, knowing you will never be as important as your sibling. But at the same time, Harry didn’t have the same kind of pressure from such a young age.
I always liked Harry with Meghan. The documentary only confirmed that they truly love each other and there’s nothing put on for show with them. I remember thinking when they first started dating that the media was really messed up making so many references to Meghan’s race. It was all that they ever mentioned. It seemed pretty cringeworthy that the entire focus was Harry dating a black woman. It was what, 2016? Why are we trapped in noting nothing more than someone’s race? There was less about fashion than with Kate. If she smiled, she was smug and loved the attention. If she ducked around and tried to get out of the spotlight, she was embarrassed about her family. She could not win, no matter how she played it. I remember terrible articles about how much she “messed up” when she met Queen Elizabeth. It all felt so nasty to me right from the beginning.
I watched the Oprah special last year and there was so much in there that I found disgusting. Someone was worried about the color of their son’s skin? That’s foul. And with William’s godmother’s recent, well, fuck up at an event, there is no doubt in my mind that racism is still very prevalent in those snobby royal circles. Who in this day and age thinks it’s acceptable to repeatedly ask someone where they are from and tell them they are wrong when they don’t tell you the answer you want to hear? She was older, but that’s no excuse. There is no excuse for racism, plain and simple.
And that’s what all of this is. I have read multiple opinion pieces on what people think Harry and Meghan are trying to do with this documentary. There might be more to it, but I really think they want to share their story. The “Firm” of Buckingham Castle is real and those staffers are charged with keeping the traditions and the royals have ALWAYS been decades behind on everything. I am not sure they planted things against Meghan and Harry, but I wouldn’t say that’s impossible. It’s likely, I suppose, especially if they were trying to chase Meghan away. But they did not do enough to protect Meghan and help her assimilate into royal life. They kept her outside on purpose. They did not defend her like they do everyone else.
I’ve always liked William, but I don’t think he’s perfect in this either. He’s supposedly upset that Harry chose to use footage of their mother’s interview that he did not want to ever be seen again. Sorry, William, that’s also Harry’s mother too and if he wants to use any footage of her in his story, you need to deal with that. Some people want to be private about their pain and others feel best putting it all out there. That interview still lives in other’s people’s minds and everyone knows Diana was tricked into doing that interview. That doesn’t take away from her legacy or how she touched people’s lives. Why hide her away when her impact lives on today? Why pretend she wasn’t fabulous? Let Harry determine how he wants to honor her in his life and yes, if he sees similarities in Meghan, that’s not offensive or taking anything from anyone else.
This got way longer than I intended for it too, and I wouldn’t say I’m on one side or another because the impact this has on my life is zero. But I do think that Meghan and Harry were not treated fairly by the royal family and the media. I am interested to see more of their story in the second volume of the documentary.