A picture is really worth a thousand words.
It is Sunday, March 7 2021. At 8pm US eastern time, a 2-hour prime time interview special with the Queen of Talk Oprah and former working royals Major Harry Wales and wife Meghan Markle is set to air. On a small insular island, all hell has broken loose and the airwaves are filled with horror stories of impending doom, threats and warnings of wrath.
It’s been a tumultuous four year journey since Harry and Meghan were first known to be dating, through several milestones to their exit from life as working royals. A lot has been said and written of missteps, affronts, protocol breaks and what not. While every conceivable grievance has been made in reference to almost all senior members of the royal family, an unhealthy number have revolved around or involved in some way, the Cambridge court.
Spare: Kept in reserve as for possible use.
The whole concept of having a spare to an heir is that, in the rare and unfortunate event that the heir is unable to ascend the throne, the spare would step in. Ideally you carry a spare tire in your car should you have a flat. In any properly functioning organization, there are deputies to leadership roles. It’s for continuity. Seems practical to have something in good working condition or someone who is competent, depending on the circumstance, to fill the void should the need arise right?
Apparently not so in the BRF. The spare is the person who is theoretically supposed to be the heir’s back-up, but in reality is the one that all resources are expended to ensure is weakened sufficiently, as not to pose a threat to the heir. In other words, if push comes to shove, you’re designed to step in BUT in the meantime, lets disable your ability to be a suitable replacement. It is weird to me but maybe it’s a peculiar British logic.
That is my summation of the Monarchy’s historical obsession with minimizing, sometimes even crippling spares. Prince Harry’s story is no different. Since he was a child, there has been a concerted effort to cast him as a rouge character, not mindful of duty, a person of lesser substance than his brother William- who has imbibed the perfect king persona to megalocephalic effect. Primarily, the BRF has used it’s alliance with British tabloid media to this end.
For The Sake of The Crown
Is it really that critical to the survival of the monarchy to eat their young? You will hear the argument made, that hierarchy is king and there can only be one star and that’s the monarch. Isn’t the whole premise of the royal family that their line is chosen by God himself, separated for that high honor, superior to all others, just by virtue of lineage? Why isn’t that enough? Why can’t they rest in that unshakable fact of birthright? Why must there be extraordinary measures to create an artificial star? By that, I mean dimming all other lights so that one may appear to shine brighter.
As a native of Ghana (a former British colony and current Commonwealth nation), where we have traditional rulers; kings, queens, chiefs and queen mothers, I am confounded by this way of thinking. Our traditional royal families take delight in the stature of its members. It is a source of pride, for the family to point to the king’s relative who is well accomplished. It is in the interest of the royal family to see that their members do well, as it reflects on the success of their line.
The king or chief doesn’t have to be the most handsome, or whatever attribute you prefer, the respect and reverence of his position is duly accorded because he occupies the stool or skin. He rules because it’s his birthright.
So from that perspective, it perplexes me that the British royal family or some of its members will take an active role in sabotaging Harry’s profile( later the couple’s) within or outside the fold.
Imagine using the media to paint Harry as someone who is not bright, not serious, weaponizing his teenage misadventures against him, and then sending him on a whirlwind tour abroad to represent the Monarch. What sort of calculus is that?
Through all the machinations, the spare would start the process of building his body of work, a legacy. His family, along with sections of the population don’t take him seriously because they believe their own spin. He’s on his way, but they are blinded.
Overshadow, a word that needs to be retired for its sheer abuse in royal reporting. Why is the BRF so obsessed with or afraid of being overshadowed? By definition, they’re supposed to be IT. Top of the line. And yet, they cannot marinate in that security.
To me, all that fragility and insecurity tells me that, they are keenly aware that their profile is more hype than reality. It is artificially engineered by suppressing those around. To that end , they engage tabloid reporters who focus on baubles and fluff rather than substance. It has thus become a necessary condition for survival of this pathological state, to suck up all the life from the rest of the group. Here lies the malignant ego.
Before Harry and Meghan were married, Harry was still more popular than William, but Billy was happy to let Harry be the third wheel in that crutch of a trio. Harry will be his charming self that buoyed the group. William and Kate could “just be, rather than do”, until the crutch was no longer, upon Harry & Meghan’s marriage.
Not so fast. Send them to “somewhere in Africa”. Why did you post on Instagram today? My bots are more than your followers. We love captions too. Our stories are better than yours because we’re on watermelon sugar highs. Yes, we’re cool like that. You made a speech? Sure, ‘royaling’ is not just speech-making, but you should also know that we’re in the golden age of Kate and she has finally found her voice! Even if it’s in mumbles more suited for “ibble dibbles” than “transforming the lives” of the future generation.
It was the never ending story of the Sussexes overshadowing the Cambridges, with the admonitions of “it’s not the done thing” and “there’s a hierarchy”. Which begs the question why they never complain about William overshadowing Prince Charles. After the queen, Charles should have prominence( according to their rules) before William but if you ever got the impression that William will go ahead of his father, you would be justified. Yet that’s not frowned upon. Instead, the courtiers and their media friends have to skip over three heirs in succession to find someone to complain about.
If the Prince Charles is bothered by his heirs posturing, its not too obvious as he’s probably consumed by his work.
The Cambridges were called lazy and boring by the British media and did not generate much interest before the Sussexes showed up, and it seems their injection of energy proved too much. We must cut them down to size and “move pieces” to get them out of here.
For Lack of Vision…
But why is there such a disparity in the level of interest in the two couples? Is it just because The Sussexes have a natural ease with people? I think it’s about influence, which translates to convening power.
Looking at William’s portfolio, there really isn’t much that is remarkable. He’s involved in some environmental initiatives but I really couldn’t tell you anything noteworthy about it. He dabbled in an anti-cyber bullying program, but that was a bust. He’s ventured into diversity and racism but the temperature was too hot.
My theory about his inability to gain traction is that, he lacks strong conviction about issues enough to take a stand that manifests in words as well as deeds. Because there is no conviction, there is no staying power. Either because there’s no passion or the deeds negate the words.
You cannot advocate against cyber bullying when you sanction a coordinated media attack on your brother and sister in-law, which circle back to your social media platforms in the vilest of comments that are left unmoderated.
You cannot be a serious mental health advocate and then publicly label your own brother as mentally fragile, stigmatizing him in the process.
You cannot position yourself as an early childhood advocate, touting the importance of maternal well-being for fetal life, and simultaneously be the beneficiary of the media harassment of your pregnant sister-in-law for things she never did to you.
You have no business talking diversity and racism when all you’ve done is be hostile to the only non-white person in your family. You become the joke, as William found out at last year’s BAFTA’s because you have no credibility, and therefore not respect. Respect that cannot be contractually obligated as William thinks. It has to be earned.
Because there’s no concrete why, there’s no initiative or innovation. And so they end up chasing shiny objects; a garden bench today, a sofa or power suit tomorrow. Better still, co-opt other people’s research or piggy back on the credibility of a nonagenarian with a questionable shark tooth. Followers, not leaders.
William and Kate have the full support of the monarchist and their army of sycophants. Everything they do will be hailed as manna from heaven, but it’s not enough. They want more- that elusive global spotlight. Sadly undermining Harry and Meghan won’t get them there. No serious collaborator is impressed by an expert saboteur. They have no track record of building anything. Only tearing down.
I doubt that it’s a requirement for them to even take on anything. They will get a pass . So why can’t they just live and let live?
Toxic Alliance: Palace-Media-Tory Axis
To prosecute their hostile agenda to “dim The Sussexes’ light”, enter tabloids and right wing media with a sprinkle of Tory spice. So much has already been written about the media campaign against the Sussexes, particularly Meghan.
A circuit of palace leaks and fabrications fed into an avalanche of negative stories, which stirred up a hostile sentiment in readers. Readers comments were recycled into articles supposedly showing how displeased Britons are with Meghan and Harry. When in doubt, they could always count on YouGov, that seemingly has a sole affinity for Sussex-related topics, to churn out some spurious data to boot.
They have gullible readers and viewers so brain-washed that some have voluntarily parted ways with any sense of reason or logical thought. In some cases, the Queen’s subjects have lost their grasp of English vocabulary, totally flummoxed by words such as consent, privacy, agency, visibility and invisibility. Otherwise serious and respectable leaders shed their masks in a heartbeat. It is quite something.
Once they generate all that online hate, the royal reporters mainstream it by harvesting troll terminology from the M*xit trolls they openly communicate with, and introduce it into normal parlance. Then to cap it off, leave it to a major network live the BBC, to discuss tabloid stories without any due diligence, further legitimizing the outright lies and negative narratives. If that isn’t your cup of tea, maybe a comedy skit portraying Meghan as a Knife-wielding trailer trash who is out to stab the keen duchess will do just fine.
Trying to cozy up a right-wing American president? Well sir, we have a common enemy. They stoked controversy with Meghan’s years-old constitutionally protected speech about a presidential candidate she wasn’t enthused about, drawing political conclusions not implied by her statements. Who can forget the “woke wars”. It was a perfect mix , usually delivered to divert attention from stories the Royal family( Hello Billy & Andrew) or the Current Tory government will like to go away.
Through a Forked Tongue
Perhaps the most stunning aspect of this saga is to see the duplicity of the monarchy laid bare.
They say it’s all about hierarchy but they’ve overseen the ballooning of William’s overblown yet fragile ego, which seems to be at the center of the issues leading to the Sussexes’ exit. The institution has basically put its resources into encouraging this royal hissy fit instead of reigning it in, largely to their own detriment.
We’re told of a family, led by a matriarch who’s described as a loving grandmother. A waffle maker sounds nice and likely makes some delicious waffles, but taking a stand against the dehumanization of an infant is far more valuable.
Don’t tell us that the Commonwealth is a sign of you prioritizing diversity when you mobilize your human resource to assist the legal opponent of the only non-white person in your family. If you prize the diversity of the Commonwealth and value them so much, why have you ensured it continues to be lead by a monarch, instead of rotating leadership among member nations , as it should be?
Don’t get me started on the values BS. They beat Harry and Meghan with this stick for building an enterprise to support themselves, all while the queen, the head of the church of England goes to extraordinary lengths to protect her credibly accused son Andrew, from accountability for child sexual abuse allegations. Those are the values on display.
Right out of the gate, Meghan was not only diminished for her profession but for being divorcee, yet the house of Windsor is teeming with divorcees. She was called an interloper by KP mouthpiece Rebecca English and the media-read palace sources- are always trying to compare her to Wallis Simpson. Projection much?
The issue of divorce is moot so, apart from being American( unless they want to claim xenophobia), what else has Meghan got in common with Ms. Simpson? Like Wallis, it wasn’t Meghan who was married and having an affair with the Prince of Wales. That was Gladys.
The American? degree wife? Holding out hope that Harry would return to the UK without her? That their marriage will fail? No, they didn’t welcome her.
We now know that publicly extending support to The Prime Minister’s pregnant girlfriend and inconsequential things like denying obvious Botox and Hair extension usage take precedence over supporting/ protecting their bi-racial in-law from media harassment while pregnant and a new mom. That will be done behind the scenes right? God forbid the public get the idea that Meghan’s in-laws would love if she was given some peace to enjoy and nurture her newborn.
The sad thing is that, Harry has always extended grace to his family, publicly coming to the defense of Camilla and Kate when she was pregnant. Even when he answered Tom Bradby’s question about a rift between him and William, he did so graciously without throwing William under the bus. But it seems when Harry has needed his family’s aid, he was found wanting.
Disheartening though it is, I believe this is the providence in the Sussexes’ match. They get each other. They know what it is to be exploited by family. It turns out, the Markles(Thomas & co.) and the Windsors are two of a kind; its just that the Markles are bold and shameless, while the Windsors pretend to have class and be above the fray. Having found in each other partners who are fully in their corner, Harry and Meghan will guard their growing family with all that they’ve got. From the very beginning, he said they were a team, whatever way you slice it. But folks keep underestimating his resolve because they are programmed to disregard his autonomy.
So after a bunch of crests and troughs, the Sussexes took the exit of the island. All should be well with the islanders now. No?
A Pyrrhic Victory
Having left, a certain couple have discovered that the spotlight followed Harry and Meghan. Now without any control over their schedules, the future king and his family will just have to lick his wounds and learn to deal. Or can they? They’ve gone from the new fab four , through Ford Fiesta to a magnificent something.
The world’s lenses are still trained on the Golden state, where big things are happening and new life is growing. So the media starts making noise; what about the renovation costs? Here you go, and here’s rent for x number of years.
What about their titles? Sorry those are staying. Patronages are returned as requested, we can still serve though. Can we strip them of their citizenship? Remove them from the line of Succession.
What are they going to want eventually? To exsanguinate the royal lineage out of their veins? It will never be enough. There will always be something, because it was never what they did, but the essence of who they are.
They used the media to push The Sussexes out of the “spotlight” but the British media’s drunken Sussex obsession will ensure that the spotlight eludes them. Because more than the harassment, its unfortunately profitable. So when they should be focused on the precious royal family their attention will be in the US.
Commonwealth day is celebrated on the second Monday of March every year in the UK, with a church service that is broadcast live. Due to COVID restrictions, the service has been cancelled this year. In its place, a televised program featuring Elizabeth R. and her posse, the magnificent 7( yes that’s what they call them), not on commonwealth day when the service should have taken place, but on the same day as THE interview they would very much like to disappear, positioning and framing it as some sort of competition. Again, I don’t know who keeps making these decisions but…
When you appraise the events of the past four years, you cannot miss what a spectacular failure the royal family has made of a unique opportunity to broaden their reach and appeal. A few months ago, they were doing cartwheels, trying to convince the world that the Crown season 4 was way off base in its portrayal. Unwittingly, they have validated the key takeaway of the season; that the monarchy is hostile to outsiders and those who align with them, and will go to ruthless lengths to make it known.
That image is theirs for the keeping. For an institution that thrives on optics and public perception, they have screwed themselves over big time.
In seeking to show Harry and Meghan up, they showed the world their true nature.
In their bid to do them in, they have done themselves in.
For years we’ve heard all that was wrong and imperfect and offensive about Harry and Meghan. Tales of “family” that have dropped them like a ton of bricks, distanced themselves, supposedly embarrassed by Harry and his wife. Even at this eleventh hour, the royal family seems to be stuck in this doom loop, making one questionable reactionary decision after the other. They certainly give the bumbling Lord Berbrooke a run for his money. Small glasses indeed.
An African proverb, famously quoted by the novelist and poet Chinua Achebe says, “Until the lions have their own historian, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter”. Harry and Meghan will give an account of their experiences over the last few years. We finally will hear DIRECTLY from the couple. Whatever it is, it will be made plain tonight and the chips will fall where they may.