In the biggest TV programme of the year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex exposed a racist undercurrent within the royal family. Meghan claims that amongst the family, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”
Meghan also said that the royal family denied her mental health treatment because it “wouldn’t be good for the institution”.
What really ‘wouldn’t be good for the institution’ is the confirmation that the public is being represented by an monarchy with outdated and unacceptable views.
Buckingham Palace published a statement shortly after the interview. This said they were “saddened” … “[concerned]” … and that the issues raised “will be addressed by the family privately”. With allegations of racism facing the family, I’d suggest this is a weak and inconclusive reply. It leads to further conspiracy and uncertainty amongst the British public.
Meghan has divided opinion throughout her short time as a senior royal. Many saw her introduction as signifying a shift towards a new era for the royal family, one that reflects an ethnically diverse British society. Others saw her as a naïve and manipulative intruder.
Many will argue it’s an unfortunate coincidence that the first person of colour to marry into the family has been treated in such a way. Some would go further and question if Meghan’s claims are even true. Such views have since cost Piers Morgan his job on Good Morning Britain. I would suggest we are still a nation that’s divided over race. We’re grossly inefficient in the handling of mental health problems, and we are nowhere near reaching gender equality. Unfortunately, the royals’ treatment of Meghan is reflective of our wider societal problems.
There’s only one winner here; Prince Andrew. The negative media attention Meghan’s attracted during this ‘royal pandemic’ showcases the press’s priorities. These are ultimately guided by what the public wants to hear.
Harry’s claim that his “family literally cut [him] off financially” raises further questions of the royal’s role in wider society. This shows how disconnected the family are from the people they’re meant to represent, 20% of which live in poverty. A couple claiming to be facing financial difficulty, whilst sitting on combined riches in the £10’s of millions is an insult to the British public battling through a pandemic.
I would argue that it’s time for the rest of the monarchy to hand in their titles, not just Harry and Meghan.