The Abuse of The Duchess of Sussex: The Landscape. I think it useful to explore the behaviours of individuals and groups, in relation to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and, in particular, the Duchess, these last three years. It has taken unimaginable strength to survive the daily onslaught from arrows coming over the hill, from all directions, reported on every social media platform worldwide, alongside what counts as newspaper these days too in the UK. It has been relentless, cruel, and done with malice and intent to destroy. Destroy any semblance of individual thought, and to conform to the will of the UK media.
The alternative is to become a target of hate to a variety of extreme groups, and for the continued psychological injury approach, to the point where their intended victim lies whimpering begging for them to stop, or worse, loses their life. UK media would absolve themselves of any blame, and no doubt would pat themselves on the back and write articles declaring how things could have been different, and console themselves with the increase in sales and clicks online. Eventually, the media would find another victim to pursue, because the British press’ proficiency now is hunting prey.
It is not interested in news as such, but more like bear baiting and writing about the ripple effect of that approach. The target is dehumanised and becomes a commodity on their media store shelf, with marketing campaigns on how to sell the most units of their publication if they include some reference or other to their target in the headlines. The proliferation of podcasts & TV series by Royal Reporters, interviewing each other about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and rarely about any other member of the Royal family is stark. When the Sussexes are away, e.g., Maternity Leave, Christmas period etc, these programmes do not run, because they are the main content drivers. Laughable, considering the Sussexes are constantly told by the UK press that they are irrelevant, and only senior Royals garner interest and attention. Yet there is no evidence of sales of their products or viewing figures to support that line. The proof as they say, is in the pudding.
Now that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have walked away from the whole Royal family and their media friends’ stage show, interest has apparently dropped in the Royal family, and so as expected the UK media resorted to paying people to hunt down the Sussexes in Canada. A move that all involved soon discovered was not a good strategy to adopt, courtesy of stern warnings a la Schillings, particular privacy laws on Vancouver Island and the organic Islander-led anti-paparazzi crew, to protect the Sussexes from media intrusion.
What the UK media, and in particular the Royal Rota press pack, did not anticipate was the extraordinary strength and resolve of the Duchess of Sussex. None of them believed that she would still be standing tall after the cruelty inflicted upon her daily for the last three years, including during pregnancy and continuing since the birth of their son Archie. The Duchess has experience of coming from a very dysfunctional family, and to be able to survive that, and survive the Hollywood trail to becoming a successful and highly paid actress in a hugely successful and long running TV show is not easy, and is doubly hard for a person of colour and a woman. The Duchess was a millionaire several times over before she entered the Royal Family, and that does not happen unless a person has strong self-belief and does not undervalue themselves based on the perception of others. The Duchess is highly intelligent, multi-lingual, and highly educated. No one else in the British Royal Family has those credentials and experiences. It was naïve to try to denigrate this family member when the family could have truly welcomed and embraced the additional benefits.
Master and slave mentality was evident from day one. The ‘slave’ was meant to be so grateful at being allowed into the hallowed walls of royalty, that she would accept poor treatment. The Duchess took on all of her roles and performed them beyond expectation, in reality out-performed those higher up the food chain. It quickly became clear to the nation and the ever increasing global observers, that the Duke of Sussex absolutely adored his wife, and that they were indeed a team as he’s said in their engagement interview; in every project that they were involved in, and in every interaction with others. An equal partnership. Unheard of in Royal circles.
As is always the way in that kind of business environment (RF is a business first, not a family) it was not viewed well, and as usual the woman is always blamed for having power over a “weak” husband. That was the only way the unapologetic love and respect shown by a husband to his wife, and his own self-assuredness and agency in this context could be framed by the media, to fit their archaic and repressive norms. It had to be some anomaly. Not only is it ludicrous as a way of thinking, it exposes a media trick, long employed to deceive it’s audience. Selective amnesia. Everyone who has eyes and an intellect would have noticed that Prince Harry has always been courteous, respectful and considerate of people around him, especially women.
There are pictures of him as a minor helping his father with his shoes at polo, ones of him assisting his grandmother, to the ubiquitous images of him looking out for the Duchess of Cambridge, his sister-in-law. Why then is it surprising that such a man, who by the way professed his feminism years in advance of his marriage to the Duchess of Sussex, would not only hold his lovely wife in the highest esteem, but treat her with the commensurate consideration and respect and be her fiercest advocate? It is the logical expectation, and any deviation from this is what would be anomalous. This sensible appraisal of events however throws a few screws into the ever rotating wheel of royal media propaganda and disinformation machine so of course, they choose the slant that fits with their narrative. Based on this false narrative, more arrows are thrown at the Duchess.
The media onslaught continued, material in abundant supply by both dysfunctional families. Make no mistake, the British Royal family is no different to the other family in terms of dysfunctionality; the only difference is that they have more wealth at their disposal, which allows them to maintain a “dignified” facade by accessing the media for assistance at a higher level, in a futile attempt to put distance between them and the smear. Wealth and status aside, the two families are matched in their level of scheming, spite and the target of their animus.
The Royal family underestimated the Duke of Sussex, and from all appearances, seems to have hoped to destroy the marriage. In fact the more we hear, the more plausible it seems that, it was hoped that the marriage would not take place. Unable to stop it, the marriage was then used to give the façade of the UK being inclusive at the level of Royalty, but the reality was and is very different. There are at least three instances, once by Tom Bradby, and two others on SKY and ITV, where journalist/commentators have alluded to some egregious happenings around the time of the wedding, which if it became public will reflect very badly on the royal family as well as justify Harry and Meghan in their decision to leave.
With legal cases on the horizon and in their efforts to thwart those matters being discussed in court, the media, both families, and some members of the public are doing their best to wear the couple down. All groups continue the daily onslaught and want the world to believe that the Sussexes are misguided in their pursuit of legal action and should therefore drop the suits. It would seem otherwise simply based on the magnitude of effort being used to try and truncate legal proceedings, even though all implicated or at-risk parties believe that they have no responsibility for the outcome should it be negative, or worse tragic. WRONG!
None of them anticipated the Duchess valuing herself enough to realise that, she had no need to stay in a toxic environment. For her, no tiara and jewels or being a part of this so called prestigious family was going to be prized enough to accept abuse from in and outside of palace walls, with not one Royal finger lifted in support for her and the duties carried out to date. Second, and equally stinging for them, was that the Duke too would walk away from it all, leaving a massive hole in the work output of the Royal family and their reputation on the world stage severely tainted. No one else in that family would have the nerve or the competence to operate outside of its confines, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are about to add a milestone in the history books, and more to the point, they are going to be a huge success.
I am confident that their new charitable entity, whatever it is finally allowed to be called, will be a huge success, and will be a vehicle for this humanitarian couple to be able to work on a wider number of charitable causes, without being held back, in order to make others shine or soothe fragile egos.
This series of articles will attempt to show the groups who all took part in throwing arrows and knives into the Duchess of Sussex, and why she is still standing. The series will also show the responsibility that each of these groups has due to the treatment of the Sussexes, the Duchess in particular, and some elements that are questionable under law. i.e. UK and Canadian. I will outline the indicators of the impact of certain actions against the Duchess, and the possibilities of what may have been experienced by the actions of her family since her engagement. I will show how actions of the media and social media public discourse add to the cycle of abuse, in operation for the last three years, and how it became obvious to the Sussexes that the health and wellbeing of their family is paramount and accordingly removed themselves from a toxic environment.
Look out for Part Two: Characterising The abuse, Part Three: The Protagonists & Part Four: So What Happens Now? Modernise or Wither Under Tradition.
Emotional abuse involves exposing a person to behaviour or language, through verbal speech based harassment, that can result in psychological trauma. Dependant on the circumstances, the victim may be able to sue for damages. Source
Coercive control is an act of pattern of acts of assault, threats, harassment and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. Coercive control creates invisible chains and a sense of fear that pervades all elements of a victim’s life. Source: www.womensaid.org.uk > information-support > what is domestic abuse.
Canada. National Clearinghouse on Family Violence. Psychological Abuse: A Discussion Paper. Prepared by Deborah Doherty and Dorothy Berglund. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008. ISBN 978-0-662-48994-8 Cat.: HP20-12/2008E
Fisher, Judith. “Healing Beyond Emotional Abuse” (2019).Lake Union Herald. 841. Source
(This book showed up in many different searches that I made for reference material, and was recommended by a number of people. It may be of interest to some of the readers).