‘Megxit’ has been the talk of the globe this week and much has been said about the dawn of a yet-to-be negotiated life for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their demand to become the ‘Claytons royals’ – the royals you get when they don’t want to be royals.
Of course, it’s all been about bullying and racism… blah, blah, blah! The usual self-appointed spokespersons for discriminated-against, disadvantaged, racist-targetted women of colour — always of the privileged variety themselves a la Afua Hirsch in the New York Times –- have been out in force spreading more of their white privilege gospel.
The narrative has also concentrated on Meghan as a strong, independent woman taking on ‘The Firm’ and the patriarchy, challenging old hat, restrictive norms and advancing the cause of feminists everywhere. She was to be the breath of fresh air that the monarchy needed yada, yada, yada.
So how has this zephyr become a raging storm?
It would seem that Meghan had plenty of warning about what a royal role would entail. Unfortunately, Harry and the life that comes with him has no express warranty and no cooling-off period. The long-known principle of ‘Caveat emptor’ –- let the buyer beware –- seems fairly obviously to apply to marrying a prince, too.
Meghan enjoyed all the trappings of the softly-lit goldfish bowl she purchased for herself; the one for a well-paid actress and minor celebrity feminist who could do as she pleased, promote her woke causes and progressive opinions to an uncritical audience and be idolized and lauded for, well, not very much, frankly. A modern-day mash-up of Katharine Hepburn and Joan of Arc she ain’t.
The aquarium of a highly popular 21st-century prince and his consort is flood-lit and much larger. You have to swim alongside unsleeping, unblinking sharks as well as the happy and welcoming schools of minnows. Your home may be watched by a clowder of salivating cats just waiting to pounce but the cats haven’t singled you out, they’re just doing what cats do. A spot of criticism is part of the deal. Unpleasant on occasions? Certainly. Unexpected? I would have thought not.
And what of the quid pro quos, the ample compensations for life in the royal aquarium? Great wealth and luxury, mansion safe spaces, oodles of servants, untold privilege, security on tap, the ability to lecture people from on high, take holidays in exclusive places and hang out with celebrity pals. And then, of course, there’s the only fairy tale of which the feminists approve; the prince hopelessly in love with a thoroughly modern woman of colour.
But now it seems that the life of service that comes with the territory in exchange for the before-mentioned compensations has all become too much for the Sussexes and the big question that’s yet to be answered in detail is how to untie that persistently pesky Windsor knot.
Meghan and Harry’s call for a ‘progressive new role within this institution’ and to ‘step back as senior members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent’may seem reasonable if one doesn’t dig too deep. But their application to simultaneously trademark ‘Sussex Royal’ is surely disingenuous. The Guardian reported:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are seeking to register the ‘Sussex Royal’ brand as a global trademark for a range of items and activities including clothing, stationery and the running of “emotional support groups”.
This is the ultimate in cakeism; a new age question about how to have your woke and spread it, too, on the back of the institution you wish to remain only partly tethered to. And on the backs of countless others as well if reports of Sussex Royal clothing are correct. God help us all. How on earth are the Sussexes to become financially independent from the royals, in the style to which they’re accustomed, without trading on their very status as royals?
Perhaps Meghan could go back to acting if the voiceover thing doesn’t work out, but like the voiceovers, that’s probably going to come from trading on her royal status, too. Let’s face it. If she hadn’t married Harry, since the demise of Suits she’d probably be just another unemployed actress tweeting about her heroic arrest at an anti-Trump demonstration. I hear that the newly woke Hallmark is looking to increase diversity in its ‘holiday’ catalogue so watch out for next year’s Christmas blockbusters. How could they bypass the ultimate royal love story?
But it is Meghan’s position as an arch feminist that I’d really like to address in this whole royal soap opera. Having jointly made a decision with her husband to wind down their role in The Firm what did our brave heroine do? Stand alongside her husband and face the royal music? Present herself and her decision for scrutiny by the public she agreed to serve? Explain their decision to the Queen in something more than a terse, unheralded statement of intent? Stick around to be part of the negotiations about resolving a situation she helped to create?
No, she buggered off back to the socialist safe space of Canada where she’ll be among friends, or at least people who sing from the same songbook. There’s nothing like preaching to the converted. A strong, independent woman, my eye.
Reports suggest that not long after Harry met with the family, leaving his 93-year-old grandmother to deal with the Megxit fallout, Meghan was hanging out with members of the ‘self-identified’ sistahood, visiting a women’s centre in Vancouver to discuss ‘women’s issues’. Where else?
Feminists, forget the Duchess of Wuss-ex as a role model. Might I suggest instead Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II?
Now there’s a strong independent woman who’s been going about her business for almost 70 years.
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