So I finally sat down to watch “Harry and Meghan,” and it was with a cynical smirk that I pressed “play” to begin the six-episode documentary.
I’m no longer cynical, or smirking.
Disclosures: I’m American. I’m liberal. I’m a feminist. I hate gossip. I believe in education. I think mental health, communication, and real engagement is critical to healthy relationships.
And this is why I now despise the British Royal Family.
My bud, Audrey Campbell, has been poking me about this for years. America’s love affair with all things British, including this in-bred group of idiots, is really pretty astounding when you think of how many men died in the Revolutionary War, and in the War of 1812, to be free of a monarch’s tyranny.
Lest you believe I’m suggesting our country is superior to the United Kingdom, I’m not. No way, no how. America is neither morally superior, nor superior in any other way except, perhaps, in per Capita consumption of McDonalds hamburgers. The UK has much to be proud of, has been a strong ally to America pretty much since the moment we broke up, and if it weren’t for Britain, we might all be speaking German. England, I love you (even though I know almost nothing about you except that there is a large clock tower in London, a monster in a loch in Scotland, and that we speak mostly the same language).
But your Royal Family? That has got to go.
Let’s start with this idea that the monarch was anointed by or descended from God.
I don’t even believe in God, but no, no, he/she isn’t. Even if the first ancestor of the current royal family (don’t care who it is, not gonna even bother to google it) were indeed divine, his or her progeny were still born of mortal man and woman, and whatever divinity might have at one time been present has been so diluted as to be akin to me being related to King Tutankhamen, which I am, on my mother’s side. (You can’t prove I’m not).
But this “ordained by God” nonsense is laughable, when the future King of England – who had to marry a virgin – was permitted later to divorce and subsequently remarry a divorced woman after committing adultery. You know, like it says in the Church of England’s Book of Shit it’s Okay to Do Even if the Commandments Say Otherwise.
So no, Royal Family, you are NOT touched by God.
You are also not worth the money the taxpayers pay to support your ridiculously luxurious lifestyle. Sure, it’s important for morale to have ribbon cuttings at municipal water treatment facilities and openings of meat packing plants, and royal weddings and Trooping of the Turnips, or whatever it is they do when everyone in the family puts on their fake military medals and marches around like they single-handedly took out Mussolini.
And don’t you feel better knowing that Princess Catherine of Wales (or Princess of Cambridge or Princess of Uptight Asstown) is now the Honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards? You know she’s going to be up every morning at 4:00 a.m. with her soldiers, doing CrossFit and SEAL training and special ops simulations right alongside them. Who are the Irish Guards? you may ask, and why do they need an Honorary Colonel?
But the real problem with the Royal Family is that they are a f***ed up family, like so many other families, and also, they are not well-educated, or, if they are, have never had to live or work in a world where people do not immediately bend to their will and blow smoke up their butt, no matter how ridiculous or outrageous their behavior.
Which means they do not know how to communicate, or compromise, or consider that they may be wrong. Because their entire existence depends upon the perpetuation of an obsolete and unnecessary institution that has no real value. They cling to it for all the are worth, for if the Royal Family were to cease to exist in its current state, William would have to get a job selling insurance (something he has probably never heard of), and Sophie of Wessex would divorce Edward so quickly, all you would see would be a blond blur as she and the gardener jumped into his Citroen and gunned it for Surrey.
The Harry and Meghan documentary makes very clear – and whether you believe them or not about anything else, on this all people must agree – that the British tabloid press is the main reason they ended up leaving England. Whether you also believe that the Royal Family was behind most of what appeared therein about Meghan, as she and Harry do, is up to you. Harry explains that the British public have always had an unspoken contract with the Royals: We pay your salary, so we’re entitled to invade your privacy. And that’s why the tabloids exist.
It’s a little more complicated than that. Each Royal has their own communications, or “comms” office, and some of those offices have official contacts at the tabloids to whom they feed juicy tidbits – especially if there has been negative press about their principal, and they want the heat off their boss.
So when Harry and Meghan returned from a wildly successful trip to Australia, H & M posit, someone was angry about being the less popular prince, and that person started an anti-Meghan campaign that never stopped. (HINT: IT WAS WILLIAM). For the next two years, Meghan couldn’t poop right for the Royal Family.
And then there was the issue of race.
When things got bad enough, Meghan and Harry decided to take a hiatus and spent Christmas 2019 in Vancouver. During that time, they tried to figure out a way to leave to England without leaving Royal Family so they could get away from the tabloid press. Prior attempts to serve the Royals from a household in New Zealand or South Africa had failed. This time, they proposed to do so from Canada.
So Harry and Meghan flew back to London in early 2020 so Harry could meet with his grandmother to discuss his future. Moments before he landed at Heathrow, however, Harry learned that the appointment had been cancelled, and that he would not be allowed to meet with his grandmother alone.
Instead, Harry was required to attend a meeting with his brother, father, grandmother, and their many advisors, and was told he was either “all in” or “all out.” There would be no halfway measures, no “you can still be a Royal, and serve Her Majesty, while living within the Commonwealth in Canada.” It was their way or the highway. Stay in London, and allow your wife to be ripped limb by limb by the tabloids with material WE will personally furnish to them, or get the F*** out.
They chose to get the F*** out.
After returning to Canada, with paparazzi breaking through the fence that surrounded their rented home, paparazzi in boats gunning past the shore in front of their cottage, paparazzi in helicopters buzzing in the skies. Harry received news that the Royal Family intended to cut off their security detail. ￼”They would never do that,” he thought.
It was at about this point that contact with the Royal Family stopped, too. Meghan called Tyler Perry, who had sent her a note of support during some of the roughest times in England, and he offered his home high in the Los Angeles hills until they could make other plans. Harry and Meghan ended up staying for six weeks, until paparazzi found them, at which point the peaceful canyon turned into a battle ground of dueling paparazzi.
Harry and Meghan eventually relocated to Santa Barbara, and after a miscarriage, had a second child. They made a final trip to London to cap off their official Sussex duties, pack up their home, and end their lives as Royals.
They now seem to have a fairly quiet life in California, although they appear to be devoted to aiding humanitarian causes. They have a multi-media deal that includes the Netflix documentary, Harry’s upcoming bio, “Spare,” and other projects.
Some have called them opportunists. Meghan has been labeled a gold digger, a woman who went into her marriage with Prince Harry eyes wide open, but couldn’t stand the heat. People have said she was subjected to no worse than any other person who has married into the Royal Family, but one need only compare how Meghan and William’s wife, Catherine, were covered, during their pregnancies to see that this is plainly untrue. The British Press argued she was bossy, a diva, a bully…descriptions of her that no one who ever knew or worked with her before could square with the Meghan they knew.
The truth – to the extent one can find any here? Someone in the Royal Family didn’t like that Meghan was biracial (I suspect Camilla); someone didn’t like her more casual American way, her warmth, and her desire to fit in (I suspect Kate); someone has always been a little bit jealous of Harry (William); and someone has been waiting WAY to long to be king (Charles).
Harry and William probably both resent their father (and the Royal Family) for what happened to they mother), but William, who has to stay in line, because he IS next in line, seethes with anger at what he can’t say and can’t walk away from. And NO ONE EVER TALKS TO ANYONE ABOUT ANYTHING.
In the documentary, it’s Tyler Perry who makes the most profound observation of the entire Harry and Meghan saga – one I am surprised more have not leapt upon:
What the Royal Family did to Meghan Markle (and to Diana before her), was nothing short of spousal abuse. She married the Royal Family, and the Royal Family beat the shit out of her until she almost killed herself.
When she tried to leave, it tried to isolate her, then withdrew all forms of support (in this case, much-needed security). It fed gossip about her to the tabloids, knowing exactly what that would mean, it gaslighted her, it demeaned her, and when she tried to get help, the Palace told her she wasn’t an employee and was not eligible for health care coverage.
That is the Royal Family. It’s an angry, impotent, irrelevant spouse, intimidated by a strong, beautiful person who knows her worth and had already been a voice for equality and justice in her pre-Royal life.
She had an education, she had worked her way up from modest beginnings to make her own money and earn her place in the world based upon her accomplishments well before she ever met a British prince. Meghan Markle is surely smarter than every member of the Royal Family combined, and she tried to do the job she was asked to do, even though no one would tell her what that was, and made sure she knew that they despised everything about her that was American.
Royal Family, America got rid of you once pretty decisively, but then we made up and decided to be friends. We have been friends for a long time, and the part of your country that isn’t you, I like just fine.
But you need to go. You need to step down. The Queen is dead, we all watched the non-stop coverage of her funeral for days, out of respect for you, and we get it. We were really sad, too, when they stopped making the McRib sandwich.
But enough, already. Charles is a petulant dick, and William is a bully who cares more about being king (because what else is he qualified to do, he and his 78 pound Stepford wife?) than he does about maintaining a relationship with his brother, who appears to be a fairly insightful guy (but I guess that’s what happens when you move to California).
Jealousy moves people to the worst behavior. Charles allowed it to kill his wife. Harry saw the future and got the hell out.
Kate Middleton probably sits at home and wishes she were Meghan.
And Meghan, I hope, is now free to be Meghan.