A Royal Mess: An American’s Thoughts on Meghan, Harry, Oprah, and the Queen, Part 3

This is Part 3 of a series of posts on Harry and Meghan. Here’s Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 4 and Part 5.

I just added more gossip links about Harry and Meghan. Again, I don’t know how much is true, but I suspect some of it is true. Where there’s smoke… This morning, I’m going to tie up some loose ends and add some random thoughts before taking a day trip with Ian and Steve. I will, of course, have reactions to Oprah this evening. And then we won’t talk about this ever again.

The Wall Street Journal has a super interesting piece about how Meghan has to walk a fine line tonight, between getting the attention that she craves to build her brand without trashing her brand at the same time.

Of course, Meghan is getting a lot of praise from Woke Twitter, who have framed this whole thing as “person of color” versus “old white people”. They are going to get embarrassed. Oprah is going to get embarrassed. Meghan’s former assistants are all going to go on television and talk and talk and talk. It’s going to put Woke Twitter in a quandary — should they back the super rich boss or the young vulnerable assistants?

Woke Twitter might not have the pulse of America. I somehow got sucked into the Facebook comments section of TMZ, a US based gossip website. The comments were all negative. People can’t believe that such an enormously rich person is complaining about her problems at a time when so many people are unemployed or dead from COVID.

Also, Woke Twitter is put in a weird spot in regards to Meghan and Harry’s discussion of the press. We just ousted a crazy president who ranted for four years about “Fake News.” Woke Twitter was very much on the side of the press. Now, these two come along and aren’t happy with an independent press; they’re happy with press that they control, but they don’t want anybody writing anything about them that has been approved by their PR company. So, now Woke Twitter has to get into some fine distinctions between Good Press and Bad Press. That’s hard to do.

What exactly are Markle’s problems? We’ll find out more tonight, I suppose, but the teasers for the show hint that 1. Meghan wanted to be able to talk to the press directly, 2. Meghan didn’t like the press and wanted privacy (confused, see problem #1), and 3. Her staff didn’t like her and told lies about her. (Like what?), 3. Meghan wanted to get out of the royal family (Ok, fine. She’s gone. Now, what’s the problem?)

Donald Trump did massive, massive damage to our country in so many ways. One specific blow to our democracy is that he downgraded our expectations for our political leaders. Now, the public is okay with the fact that someone can be president without a day of experience in elected office, a less than distinguish work history as a television character, and a history of piggish behavior. Markle’s interest in politics — if the gossip blogs are to be believed — is just another sign that the public is okay with unqualified, undignified, stupid political leaders. Our democracy has been permanently damaged by Trump.

Aside from the sordid, trashy details in this story, this story touches on serious political and social issues — the role of the press; the role of monarchy in modern society; the problems with mixing celebrity/brands/business/money with politics; the erosion of democracy.

This story is more than pure gossip. Pay attention.

13 thoughts on “A Royal Mess: An American’s Thoughts on Meghan, Harry, Oprah, and the Queen, Part 3

  1. History doesn’t repeat, but it often rhymes…

    “1935:

    23 January
    Lunched with Emerald [Cunard] to meet Mrs Simpson, the maîtresse-en-titre of the Prince of Wales. She is a nice, quiet, well-bred, mouse of a woman with large startled eyes and a huge, huge mole.

    4 April
    We had a luncheon party here. The plot was to do a politesse to Mrs Simpson. She is a jolly, plain, intelligent, quiet little woman, both unpretentious and unprepossessing. But, as I wrote to [Prince] Paul of Yugoslavia today, she has already the air of a personage and walks into the room as if she almost expected to be curtsied to: at least she would not be surprised. She has complete power over the Prince of Wales.

    14 May
    Tremendous excitement about Mrs Simpson, who has banned Freda Dudley Ward and all her group from York House: it is war to the knife between the past and present mistress. I am secretly delighted. Mrs Simpson has enormously improved the Prince.

    17 May
    The royal romance surpasses all else in interest: the Prince of Wales is madly infatuated with Mrs Simpson. She is madly Americanly anxious to storm society whilst she is still his favourite, so when he leaves her – as he leaves everyone in time – she will be secure.

    24 May
    I joined [Lady] Honor [Guinness, Channon’s wife] for cocktails at Mrs Simpson’s little flat in Bryanston Court. The Prince of Wales was charm itself; boisterous, gay and wrinkled. He is exceedingly au[x] petits soins with his lady, whom he calls Wallace [sic]. He shook and passed the cocktails, very much the jeune homme de la maison. London society is now divided between the old gang who support Freda Ward, whom the Prince now ignores, and Emerald Cunard[’s set] who are rallying to the new regime.
    31 May
    We went to the opera, Barber of Seville and were joined in Emerald’s box by the Prince of Wales and the ménage Simpson. I was interested to see what an extraordinary hold Mrs Simpson had on him. “

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  2. I agree about the magnetic hold that both Meghan and Wallis had over the various Windsor men.
    And how truly irrelevant their lives were once they’d moved out of Britain – despite still being favourites of the gossip columnists of the day.

    I do feel profoundly sorry for Harry – he’s lost his family (especially William to whom he was very close) and his ‘job’ (all those ceremonial heads of organizations) – which he valued. He has nothing, except Meghan. And who knows how long that will last.

    Wallis Simpson had no alternatives once she was married and in exile – ditching the ex-King who gave up this throne for her, was never a possibility which would fly (no matter how much he irritated her).

    Meghan has more choices (younger, prettier, and most-importantly in her home town, where her power base is). If she isn’t too badly damaged by the revelations from the staff (jury’s out on this), and sees a better prospect prepared to marry her, she’ll ditch Harry (and hold the kids hostage), in a heartbeat.

    I think she’s already started the groundwork for this – your family didn’t support me (and, therefore you didn’t protect me from them). And every ‘attack’ from the UK, will be laid at his door.

    And, she knows that the kids are the ultimate hold over Harry. She’s been *very* careful not to take Archie back to the UK, where she risks him being held. He’s a UK citizen, and a member of the royal family, and I’m pretty sure there would be a strong legal argument that he’s being alienated from his country – I think that the Queen has to give assent for a member of the Royal family to travel – and certainly to live abroad. While she’s done this for Harry, if he wanted to come back, then she’d rescind permission for Archie to reside overseas, instantly.

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    1. Ann said, “And, she knows that the kids are the ultimate hold over Harry. She’s been *very* careful not to take Archie back to the UK, where she risks him being held. He’s a UK citizen, and a member of the royal family, and I’m pretty sure there would be a strong legal argument that he’s being alienated from his country – I think that the Queen has to give assent for a member of the Royal family to travel – and certainly to live abroad.”

      Oooooh!

      I have heard that the queen is technically Archie’s guardian. Not sure if that’s true.

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      1. I don’t know about legal guardian, but the rules for people in the line of succession for the throne are different to the rest of us. For example, they can only marry with the monarch’s consent (bet, she’s regretting giving it, now).
        And, while Archie is currently only 7th in line (Charles, William, 3 kids, Harry) – realistically, that’s a believable scenario (car-crash taking out William and kids – you don’t even need a terrorist scenario) – to put Harry and Archie right back into the succession.
        Of course, in that case, MM would freeze onto Harry forever…..

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      2. Link to a UK law blog (NB: he says he’s not a constitutional lawyer – but likely to be more reliable than gossip columnists…)

        The Queen is unlikely to retain (if she ever did) legal guardianship.
        http://www.alternativefamilylaw.co.uk/blog/will-harry-and-meghan-have-custody-of-their-own-children/

        However, not tested in court. And suspect in this (as in many other child custody cases) possession is 9/10 of the law. International custody cases drag on for years in the courts.

        If Meghan did bring Archie back to the UK, there would be temptation to require him to remain…. *especially* if she ditched Harry……

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      3. Just gone down the rabbit-hole of constitutional law in the UK…..
        Interestingly, there is an 1937 law about regencies (if the heir to the throne is under 18) – which specifically excludes people not domiciled in the UK. The regent is the next in line to the throne – so long as they are over 21 and resident in the UK.

        It was clearly designed to exclude the Duke of Windsor (if George VI died before Elizabeth was 18).

        But would now apply to Harry (if Charles and William both died before George was 18). George’s regent would be Prince Andrew, or if he was unable to serve, Princess Beatrice.

        There was an interesting amendment over Elizabeth’s children – who would have had the Duke of Edinborough as Regent rather than Princess Margaret (probably doubt over her capacity – as well as a sop to him).

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      4. Ann said, “However, not tested in court.”

        Even if the queen did technically have the right under UK law, it would be a public relations disaster.

        “If Meghan did bring Archie back to the UK, there would be temptation to require him to remain….”

        Wow, that would be a mess.

        “George’s regent would be Prince Andrew.”

        NOPE NOPE NOPE!

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      5. Don’t think that they would do anything at this stage to encourage Meghan to move back (i.e. asserting that Archie needed to be resident in the UK).
        But if she ditches Harry, all bets are off…..

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  3. The Danish royals are rather boring in comparison, even if the local tabloids and gossip rags have tried their best. Prince Henrik, Queen Margrethe’s now deceased husband, was quite a party, though, when he was alive and he went out in style by not wanting to be buried in the Royal Mausoleum in Roskilde. Slightly awkward.

    The alleged rivalry between Crown Prince Frederik and his younger brother? Nah: Things you would see in every family. And their spouses are careful to maintain a strictly professional role. While he’s waiting, Frederik sponsors a yearly national running event.

    I think the Norwegians are the most entertaining of the lot these days.

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    1. Jacob Christensen said, “I think the Norwegians are the most entertaining of the lot these days.”

      You can’t just put that out there without details!

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      1. Märtha Louise, the daughter of the royal couple, has generated one or the other story during the last decades due to her involvement in clairvoyance and similar stuff. Neither the Danes nor the Swedes can come up with anything remotely similar (Sadly, the Princess’ ex-husband suffered from severe depression and committed suicide some years after the divorce. Here, the Norwegian royals performed admirabily in dealing with the event) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Märtha_Louise_of_Norway

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  4. I don’t see the political career going anywhere, so that’s not something I’d worry about. The people complaining about the different treatment of Meghan Markle vs. Prince Andrew are treating them like celebrities, rather than members of the royal family. Andrew is in the line of succession; Meghan Markle is not. Like it or not, Andrew is 8th in the line of succession. There isn’t a “creep” exclusion from the act of succession.

    Harry had at least two serious girlfriends before he married. (Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas.) It has been obvious for a long time–since Prince Charles was looking for a bride–that marrying into the British royal family is very, very difficult. It was difficult for Diana and Kate Middleton; it has been difficult for Meghan Markle.

    On the other hand, for all her complaints, the outlines of the duties were very clear–and maybe a reason for Harry to have remained single for so long. Marrying the Spare would mean being in the public eye forever. Not only that, but the rules about social practices mean Harry’s wife is not the star of the Royal Show; she’s a bit player, somewhere amidst the crowd.

    If you want to read people who really don’t like Harry & Meghan, search for “Harry Markle Blog.”

    I think Prince Phillip’s health is on everyone’s mind. The Oprah interview would probably make it excruciatingly difficult for Harry to come back to Britain for any public ceremony. The palace even talking about allegations of bullying means they have Had Enough.

    Funnily enough, there has been a long-term attempt by The Firm to concentrate the spotlight more on Charles and his descendants, leaving Charles’ siblings to transition to royal relatives rather than stars in the public eye. Gossip articles claimed that was causing tension with Andrew (long before the Epstein news was public.) Given that Harry is now 6th in the line of succession, there would have come a time when he and his family would have had to agree to be less prominent. Of course, hiring lots of PR bigwigs does not align well with seeking a quieter life out of the spotlight.

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  5. Here’s another gripe I have with M & H:

    They seem to find it impossible to stay out of court for any length of time.

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