I never thought I’d say this but I do feel a bit sorry for the Royal Family this week. I haven’t watched the Oprah interview with Meghan and Harry and probably won’t. I think it’s inappropriate to share family disputes with an international audience and am puzzled why anyone would want to make already strained family relationships much worse.
I know we live in a world where people share everything online. I do it myself on my blog. But I wouldn’t dream of saying things about disagreements I’ve had with family. This wouldn’t be fair to them and certainly wouldn’t encourage a reconciliation which is what I and I’d have thought most people would want. The only person who has benefited from the interview is Oprah.
The daily podcast I listen to aired an episode this week about Meghan and Harry which I think gives a more balanced view than what you’ll see on Oprah. It discusses the bullying claims and although I was critical of the palace for announcing the investigation now because it looks like retaliation for the interview, I do think it should be taken seriously. The real scandal is why they didn’t do it sooner.
It’s baffling to me why Meghan would be denied mental health support. Harry himself has received years of counselling and has openly disclosed this fact with the media in the past. William last year anounced that he’d been volunteering for a mental health crisis service during the pandemic, responding to people via text who contacted the service for mental health support. Diana also sought the help of a professional for mental health issues when she was alive and indeed was encouraged to do so by Prince Charles. It doesn’t really make sense that everyone in the Royal Family be permitted to seek support for mental health except for Meghan. I think there must be more to it.
I don’t doubt that tabloid newspapers printed a lot of crap about Meghan. I never read those papers and I wish other people wouldn’t. You won’t find an abusive article about Meghan in The Guardian or on the BBC. Unfortunately people respond to click-baity headlines from trashy news sources. When Diana was alive photographers knew they could get a lot of money from selling a photo of her so they hounded her. The public was outraged by it but continued to buy the papers and magazines with her photos. They were willing participants and indeed the cause of the problem.
On the charge of racism, the statement by the Queen this week suggests their recollection of what was said is different to Meghan and Harry’s. In a very subtle and gentle way they have disagreed and William yesterday defended the family against charges of racism. There are always two sides to a story which makes it all the more important to go straight to the people with whom you have a grievance rather than to a TV talk show host especially when it’s your family. Just as Diana later regretted her Panorama interview, I think Harry will one day regret this. Indeed I can’t think of a single occasion when a member of the Royal Family has spoken to the media in a personal capacity where it has gone well for them.
And I always thought I was a republican. Maybe I’m turning into a monarchist. I just wish they’d replace their gas-guzzling SUVs with sensible electric cars.
Update: I just found this old post of mine from 2017 in which I was quite excited about Meghan joining the Royal Family. How wrong was I?