I’m sure you’ve read (if not already heard about) the controversy involving the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. Tensions between the couple and the British Royal Family grew steadily after Meghan’s marriage to Harry on May 19th, 2018.
Formerly an American actress, Markle claims that she felt very improper starting the life of a British royal. She alleged that Harry once asked her, “Right, do you know how to curtsy?” Markle understood that curtsying to the Queen in front of the crowds was an honorable gesture, but the idea of bowing in the privacy of Buckingham Palace was foreign to her, among many other customs. Harry explained that Elizabeth II was not only Queen but his grandmother and curtsying was a sign of respect.
Another shocking part of the interview was the discussion of race. Meghan Markle has answered the media countless times stating, “My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white.” The couple’s son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was being ridiculed even from inside his mother’s womb. Markle mentioned that one senior royal in particular questioned the pigmentation of her baby’s skin. She said she wouldn’t name the royal to maintain their reputation.
In addition, Markle’s mental health was another reason the family forfeited their positions in the British monarchy. She remembers trying to ask for help and being denied several times. Even the palace’s human resources department couldn’t be of any assistance to her.
Without name-dropping or hurting the esteem of British Royals, Meghan and Harry managed to clear up the unknown about their succession from the Family. They are beginning a “new” life with their son, Archie, in California and announced Meghan’s pregnancy, celebrating a baby girl due in Summer 2021.
Recently, my sister and I have started the Netflix series, The Crown. It displays a fairly accurate picture of life in the Buckingham Palace, from the Queen’s wedding in 1947 to present day, especially given the remarkable privacy maintained by the Royal Family. Many parallels can be drawn between the Queen and her charming relationships with relatives. It will be interesting to see if future seasons contain episodes covering this situation and the aftermath of Britain’s rulers.
See highlights of the interview here.
— Paige Smagala