There is now enough in the public domain to offer a view on the spat going on between the UK Royal Family and The Sussexes (Harry and Meghan). The allegations of racism, wilful lies and deception, unfair treatment, and bullying levelled against the Royal Family in the Oprah Interview are as damning as they are heartrending.
A week ago, through several “Royal Sources”, the world had already been informed by the British media that Meghan, while still living as a Royal in the UK, subjected several staffers to bullying, leading to the resignation of some and removal of others. Unlike its usual stance of silence, the Royal Family issued a public statement on the allegations, vowing to investigate and get to the bottom of it. Clearly, a Royal tit-for-tat is playing out.
I feel sorry and sad for both sides. When Harry and Meghan got married in 2018, the world rejoiced at the first multi-racial marriage in the highly revered British Monarchy. It was supposed to be a fusion of cultures, a celebration of the multi-racial world that we now live in. It was to be seen as the ceremonial birth of “Global Britain”. Instead, it has descended into a Clash of Cultures, pitting the UK against America, Conservatives against Progressives, Father against Son, and Brother against Brother. In all of these is the media, each taking sides largely on the basis of geography and ideology, and feeding the fires with enough wood to keep it burning for a long time to come.
If I were to put a blame somewhere, it will be with the officials of the UK Monarchy. Knowing what we now know, it is my considered view that most of the issues could have been easily handled within the family, if “Palace Sources” did not go about drip feeding information (factual or not) to the media – especially the notorious tabloid media of the UK. Meghan’s complaints that she was informed that Archie will not be made a Prince at birth nor entitled to Police security could easily have been answered by letting her know the rules guiding these things. For in reality, based on the current laws that have been in place since 1917, he was not entitled to them. He will be later, but not until his grandfather (Prince Charles) becomes King and only if he choses to make him one.
The allegation of racism is more difficult to explain away. To start discussions around the likely colour of an unborn child, in the world that we currently live in, is asking for trouble. One has to hope that it was not a highly placed Royal making such a foolish error of judgment. Irrespective, it will seem that the Royal Family is prime for training in Diversity and Inclusion.
Queen Elizabeth has had a glorious reign. Nearly 70 years and counting on the throne. She has been Queen through multiple epochs – from the waning years of the British Empire to the Cold War to the Global Village of today. There have been troubles along the way, not least the unfortunate death of Princess Diana that, in many ways, laid the foundation for the events we are witnessing. Coming close to her 95th year on earth, she deserves better than to spend the last years on the throne dealing with such a troubling and deeply divisive situation. For her, and for the mental health of the whole family including the Sussexes, one has to hope that calmer heads will prevail and the royal rumble will be quickly ended.