HRH The Duchess of Sussex has been called a number of things and some of the name-calling has come from TV personalities whom I grew up listening to and had some respect for. However, of late, some of them have lent their voices to the “Meghan Bashing” Crusaders. Let me state here that I am not opposed to criticism of any kind, what I am opposed to, is unfounded criticism and name-calling with the sole intention to cause harm and shame.
From the moment the press got wind of who Prince Harry was dating and that his relationship was serious, the media became relentless in their negative reporting of Duchess Meghan. The only time she was given respite was on her wedding day and during the Oceania tour. The latest and most popular choice of word to describe the Duchess is “UPPITY” meaning: putting on or marked by airs of superiority: arrogant, presumptuous. It’s an informal way to talk about a snooty or arrogant person, and it first known use was in 1880. There are numerous synonyms of arrogant, a few being: proud, haughty, lordly, insolent, overbearing, supercilious, and disdainful.
It’s not very often black people are in a position of power and prestige when compared to their white peers, but when they are hatred, at times, will rear its ugly head. Let’s be clear, setting aside the definition and related synonyms, the word “uppity” refers to black people. It was a popular term used during the Jim Crow period in the US. Whenever a black person presented themselves as poised, confident, when they acquired an education, were able to express themselves enunciating clearly, and by all means when they had the audacity to look a white person in the eye when speaking to them, they were considered to be “uppity” and that ugly N-word almost always followed the term. During the Jim Crow period, being labeled “uppity” has served as a death sentence.
Based on the above and from what I know of the Duchess of Sussex, being called UPPITY is the British media’s deliberate choice of words and continued bias towards her with the sole intention to cause her to break down, cause her harm, place her in danger, and undermine absolutely EVERYTHING she does.
I first heard Eamonn Holmes call the Duchess “uppity” when the Duke and Duchess announced that the christening of their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor, would be a private event, with the promise to share photos of the event within a short period of time, which they did. This simple request, followed the example of HM Queen Elizabeth II. TWO photos of the christening of the future heir were released after a private ceremony. It is only recently that a video of the Christening of Prince Charles has been made available to the public. If the Duchess were “uppity,” (now the word of choice for some media reporters) as Eamonn Holmes alluded to, she would have done a full “celebrity-style” photoshoot in line with her “Hollywood, Celebrity” lifestyle.
We are constantly told by the press that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex need to be more Royal and less Celebrity and yet none of these reporters have been able to tell us what this actually means. But because social media has stopped people from reading and researching for themselves, instead of lapping up everything placed before them, too many of the general public choose to believe the mistruths written about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Grace Dent, formerly a restaurant critic for The Guardian, recently stepped out of her lane of expertise and wrote an article criticizing the Duke and Duchess’ lifestyle and offered her suggestion on how they can live a “quieter life.” Excerpts from the article state that “If Harry and Meghan want a quieter life, they need to be more “boring”; and that we the public need to “miss” you, and re-remember you’re an asset. The monarchy can’t rip up the rulebook: they are the rulebook”.
In wanting a quieter life, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex simply ask that their PRIVATE LIVES be kept private. However, it is you British media that continually stop them from living the quieter life that they have asked for because you want to be a part of everything they do. Eamonn Holmes wants to know the name of their dog, and to add to his unfounded criticisms, said that the Sussexes were keeping the public out of this momentous occasion (the christening) especially since the taxpayers paid for the renovation of their home. When did the renovation of any Crown Estate property become a bargaining chip to peer into the private lives of the Royal family? Why is the British media very selective about which Royals must share their lives outside of their Royal duties?
The Duchess of Sussex is being Royal by; (1) taking her patronages seriously; (2) by helping and lending support; (3) and by raising awareness to their causes. As a patron, she is there to support the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Mayhew, and Smart Works. She is very aware of what being a patron means. I challenge any British media reporter to speak to the management of the charities and patronages of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and ask them what impact their Royal Highnesses engagements and assistance have done for their organisation. Instead of knit-picking and making noise please find out what their impact has done for these organisations.
Whilst researching for this article, I learnt that Queen Victoria restored the reputation of a monarchy tarnished by the extravagance of her royal uncles. Queen Victoria’s reign saw great cultural expansion; advances in industry, science and communications; and the building of railways and the London Underground. She presided over the abolition of slavery and workers’ welfare. Five years after being crowned queen, she banned all women and children from working in mines, which allowed the children to be cared for properly. In essence, Queen Victoria epitomised the values of the era and carved out a new role for the monarchy, reconnecting it with the public through civic duties. If she had sat on her butt and lead a “boring life,” as suggested by Grace Dent, Queen Victoria would not be celebrated today.
Isn’t this what the Duke and Duchess are doing with the privilege and platform they have? Instead of supporting and highlighting their good deeds, the media has opted to demean and malign their hard work by steering people’s minds to irrelevant subjects such as the cost of her designer clothing, gifted jewelry, holding her baby bump, attending a baby shower hosted by close friends, flying in private jets, closing her own car door, guest editing a magazine, wearing an off the shoulder dress, and the list goes on and on and on.
British media have now adopted tabloid journalism, which exist purely for sensational stories, gossip columns about celebrities and sports stars, the expressions of extreme political views and opinions from one perspective, and junk food news. Publications engaging in tabloid journalism are known as “rag newspapers.” Perhaps the work that the Duke and Duchess does is far above their IQ, so they rather choose to drag their hard work down to their level?
In case you have forgotten what your profession stands for, I leave with you the 8 Qualities of a Good Journalist:
- Curiosity. A good journalist must be curious about all things…
- Honesty. A journalist must be an honest person by nature…
- Fearless. A good journalist must not be afraid…
- Loyalty. A good journalist must be loyal…
And if you’re in need of some positive words to describe the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, may I suggest:
- eye contact
Even though the Jim Crow era has passed, many of its constructs still exists in our society today.