The royal household is desperately trying to create a perception of control over Harry and Meghan’s new life. Don’t buy it, it’s just an anemic display.
We’ve just entered the sixth month since Harry and Meghan officially transitioned into their next chapter. All indications are that, the couple are moving ahead with their plans to be financially independent while charting a philanthropic course. The other party in this separation, the institution of the monarchy aka the firm, somehow hasn’t quite come to terms with the fact that, Harry and Meghan are on to bigger and better things.
Anyone who has paid even a little bit of attention to the reporting around Harry and Meghan, while they were in the royal fold( as working members) through their well-publicized departure and afterward, cannot have missed a common theme. Always present, albeit paraded as one slight, gaff, misstep or another, has been the need to exert control on The Sussexes’ choices, actions, speech, work, living arrangements – everything.
While they were working members of the royal family, the British media, which is in lockstep with the firm and has largely become it’s propaganda arm, has never missed the opportunity to tell all who will listen how Harry and Meghan don’t know their place, or how they cannot upstage X, Y or Z. The subtext has always been to clip Harry and Meghan’s wings.
Among other things, Harry and Meghan were told they could no longer use SussexRoyal or the word royal because, apparently the word royal is protected in the UK. While this may be true, it was obvious from the reporting that, this move was expected or projected to handicap the Sussexes.
Remember how they tried to convince us that, Harry and especially Meghan wanted to monetize the SussexRoyal brand, hence the need for copyrights? Never mind that all the other working royals who have charitable foundations also have the same or similar copyrights, whose purpose is protective. So how were Harry and Meghan supposed to make a living since according to the propagandist (and I imagine some in the institution), Harry’s and Meghan’s market value was tied to their royal status?
After Harry and Meghan finally left the UK, there were a plethora of stories detailing how irrelevant Harry and Meghan now were, in the age of coronavirus lockdowns, zoom bingo and awkward once in 12 years video visits to patronages about to give up the ghost.
Who can forget the protracted public and dangerous litigation of their security arrangements – Since you’ve decide to leave the firm, you’re on your own. We won’t pay for your security!
When their temporary living arrangements became known, without knowing the exact details – whether it was a short-term rental or on loan, – the new script was dispatched. Essentially, the message was that Harry and Meghan couldn’t even afford their own place and have to subsist on the benevolence of Tyler Perry. When it suited them however, Harry and Meghan were living too large for “Eco-warriors”. Also, if you hadn’t figured it out, Harry was supposedly feeling trapped and miserable in the lavish mansion (with its numerous bathrooms) and missing his U.K life. What is the British media’s obsession with bathrooms anyway?
The media and their puppeteers, hoped that all who read these stories would appreciate the power of the royal institution, no matter where one’s sympathies lie. If you were of the monarchy or suicide denomination who agitated that, the couple should leave if they won’t “fall in line” and are now besides yourself that Harry and Meghan basically told them to shove it, then you might feel somewhat vindicated that outside of the institution, they appeared, through the media’s lens, to be struggling.
On the other hand, if you were rooting for them and did not have any other concrete information to the contrary, you might have been concerned for their welfare and wondered what impediments could be in their way courtesy of the firm. Either way, the firm would look powerful. Hold that thought.
In the meantime, Harry and Meghan, just as themselves, were ploughing away, doing amazing and impactful work. Whether it was a zoom discussion or a day volunteering at a charity, they put one foot in front of the other, garnering significant global attention in the process. Whatever they did was newsworthy – from South Africa to India, New York to Dubai.
Hmmm… It looks like these two may have it together after all. The world seems to acknowledge it. Maybe we should play nice a little.
“There is room for Harry to return to the UK for a limited schedule of events, a few times a year. It will help ease the workload on the remaining senior royals”. Oh really? You don’t say! Ok, I’m not shy to beg. “Harry and Meghan, please forgive our (press) bad behavior and come back. The Monarchy needs you. Your relatives can’t do it alone”. What do you say?
Boom! We bought a house. An estate, actually. We’ve found our happy place and are planting roots. The last six weeks here have been heavenly.
Roots? What do you mean roots? There is a one year review, where your mea culpas are expected. By the way, how did Harry and Meghan afford such a spectacular slice of luxury?
We’re going to pretend that Meghan didn’t have any money of her own before marriage, and has not been receiving residual income from her acting work, so lets focus on Harry. We know he inherited money from his great grandmother and his mom, but unlike most people who invest and grow their money, Harry probably stashed his inheritance in a mattress for safekeeping, so it’s unlikely that he can afford such a property. Prince Charles probably chipped in.
Let it be known that, not a red cent of the Prince of Wales was party to the acquisition of this property. They have a mortgage. What? How? So they really are doing this?
Ok, so about that big fat mortgage, do they realize that they have to make a lot of money to be able to pay the monthly installment which we have no knowledge of? Emily Andrews, can you call upon your crystal ball and do an annual expense sheet for us? Copy. I’m on it. I love this stuff. They can expect to spend around $5 million a year in living expenses. Really? Harry and Meghan need to find a job ASAP.
Anyhow, while you our British media darlings, are painfully salivating at Harry and Meghan’s house, here is a real mansion that you have wrongly called an apartment for years. It has a lot of rooms and there’s even one reserved for only luggage! Oh and the best part is that it is fully funded by the public purse. You should recognize that, his house is bigger than theirs, but it doesn’t make him an Eco-hypocrite. It’s all good.
Remember, those other folks allegedly have to make $5 million or more every year, to afford their house. We really wonder how they are going to afford it. You know, they signed with that speaking agency but, Ingrid Seward says that, they can only justify high fees, if they spill some royal tea. Who wants to hear them talk about the environment, mental health and women’s empowerment? But the gag is, they are not allowed to use the word royal or cash-in on their royal connections. It’s going to be tricky for them.
Boom, Bam! Breaking: New York Times – Prince Harry and Meghan Sign Megawatt Netflix Deal.
They really are intent on being financially independent huh? Ok, not so fast. First, Chris Ship, Lord fence straddler and instigator extraordinaire of ITV hasn’t been able to confirm it yet, so maybe it’s not a thing yet? Oh it IS a thing. A big one too. But do they have the experience? “The palace will cast a critical eye over Harry and Meghan’s mega-bucks Netflix deal”. “Royal officials will examine Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix deal after they agreed to approval of any new commercial ventures when couple quit public life.”
Bullocks! The palace or royal officials have no jurisdiction over that business transaction, and they know it. It’s just a power play, grandstanding for the benefit of their audience. They surrendered that authority when they rejected the part-time model proposed by the Sussexes. What Harry said is that, whatever they do will uphold his grandmother’s values. Also anybody who thinks that a man who was adamantly opposed to the idea of a one-year review (essentially bringing the firm back into their affairs), somehow agreed to get approval before he makes a deal, is on a serious trip. Wasn’t there supposed to be a certain royal mental health project that was supposed to be aired on Netflix? They can take a look at that.
Or do they think that the deal was brokered on September 2nd when the New York Times first broke the story? Knowing how the Sussexes operate( historically), that deal has been done for a bit. Lawyers on both sides have combed through the provisions, dotted their I’s and crossed their T’s. So no, there is no authority here, or room for control by the “royal officials”, just an attempt to project such.
POWER- THE CAPACITY TO GET THINGS DONE
Seeing as the Sussexes are not in the business of hawking princely jersey milk to Chinese markets, selling access to palace princes and then turning their train wreck disastrous choices into a docu-series, or doing their darnedest to avoid talking to the FBI about a child trafficking and rape allegations, the officials should be fine. Or not so? For some reason these royal officials have buried their heads in Harry and Meghan’s business, but while they’re stooped over poking their noses where they don’t belong, their bare bottoms are on display for the world to see. And it’s not pretty.
My opinion is that the Queen is Happy for her grandson and his family to chart their own course. At least that’s what she has said. But there are egos within the royal household who are obsessed with power or the appearance of it. They have power by virtue of their position, whether by rank or by job designation. That is a given. However, its ego-driven exercise has turned it into a power trip, a false power really, where they can exercise control (translate, subdue others) by various bully tactics and threats. At its core, false power lacks influence.
Harry and Meghan have influential power, in that, though they have some positional power by virtue of who they are, they inspire others to be better, they use it to empower people, not overpower them. Their power is a collaborative force for good. It is true power- and it has humility. They operate in a different realm, making the attacks impotent.
This, in my estimation, is the crux of the matter. Whether it is by design or by accident, the religious fixation with hierarchical power in the firm, has compromised the ability of some higher ups to develop influential power, which is what I suspect they truly crave. That which others seemingly easily wield. The trouble is, influential power cannot be decreed, legislated or contractually obligated- say, at the Baftas- It must be earned. Therefore, at every turn, by all means possible, there will be attempts to subdue, or at the very least, create a public impression of it.
Harry and Meghan individually and together, have a track record of creating things, building and growing them into impactful ventures. Creatively, organizationally, innovatively, they check all the boxes and have results to prove it. Why wouldn’t they get a production deal? What has this “royal machine” built? I can’t think of any of note. But tear down, destroy, sabotage, that’s the sweet spot! That is what they do best. Can they not see that they are destroying the influential power they desperately pursue, by seeking to destroy others? You’re in danger girl. Wake up.
Send them to some place in Africa, Harry doesn’t have his wits about him, He is very fragile, nobody in the royal family support Harry and Meghan, I can no longer put my arm around my brother, You cannot use the word royal, Pay us back our money, We won’t pay for your security,… The royal officials will have to examine the deal. Same animal, different coats. This will not be the last time this beast will rear its head, but I hope that next time it turns the corner, you recognize it for what it is and treat it with the contempt it deserves.
Funny how they have no words when Harry and Meghan are being pilloried for crap, but suddenly find their words when things appear to be going well for them.
Before I go, to those trying to get a lump sum repayment for Frogmore Cottage refurbishment costs, on account of the Netflix deal, go and dig the wax out of your ears. Harry and Meghan do not own Frogmore Cottage, which was refurbished (already scheduled) with funds from the sovereign grant, in line with the Queen’s duty to maintain the royal residences. Harry and Meghan added value to property they do not own, by paying for all interior fittings. They are currently paying rent because, they no longer work for the firm and don’t get free housing.
Because you lot made so much noise about your £2.4 million and were annoying as heck about it, they decided to reimburse the landlord for maintaining the property. Technically, they are making you a grant. You will get it when they give it, so sit down. Save your energy, because it won’t be long before you’re triggered by the Sussexes again. Bank on it.
UPDATE: Monday, September 7
Since publishing this article, it has been reported that Prince Harry has officially fully repaid the £2.4 million renovation cost. A statement from the Sussexes’ spokesperson, per Harper’s Bazaar royal editor Omid Scobie, reads:
“This contribution, as originally offered by Prince Harry, has fully covered the necessary renovation costs of Frogmore Cottage a property of Her Majesty The Queen, and will remain the UK residence of The Duke and his family”.
The cord has been cut in my opinion. This I imagine is the biggest fear of the detractors – That he will have the financial independence to not be beholden to the institution and be directed on their whim. It is why they try to put impediments in his way.
Note that the payment was not required, but offered (voluntary) by Prince Harry. As stated earlier, this renovation cost had become a stick for the UK media and some Brits to beat on the Sussexes. They used it to justify the unprecedented intrusion into their private lives, and the disparate criticism of their work and choices, calling it public accountability. “We pay, you pose”, they would say. No more. Neither their security, residential, personal nor professional expenses are borne by the so-called taxpayers. Will they leave Prince Harry and his family alone now? Or are they going to ask him to pay for being born into the royal family next?
The Sussexes will not be the only non-working members of the family who live in a royal residence. Princess Eugenie and her husband live in a cottage at Kensington Palace, and of course her father Prince Andrew still has the royal lodge, where her mother Fergie also lives. Zara Tindall lives on her mother Princess Anne’s estate. All of these people are behind Prince Harry and Archie in the order of precedence, which remains unchanged, so seniority/hierarchy cannot be the reason for the next possible gripe. But with these people, you just never know. We live to see.