This is the second time that I have written about Meghan Markle on this blog, a topic that I never once in my wildest dreams thought I would touch on. The first time was when ACOG, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, made fun of Meghan’s birth wishes prior to the birth of her son, Archie.
And this time, I’m writing about the shock and awe that I have after watching the media sandstorm that followed the Duke and Duchess’ announcement last week. I just can’t help but commenting on the situation – not just in applauding their bravery for doing what is best for their family, but in my absolute horror as I watched the world respond to this decision. The only words that come to mind are disgusting, misogynistic, and hypocritical.
Let me rewind for a minute.
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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
Last week, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, announced that they would be stepping back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family. This includes the establishment of a new charitable entity, working to become financially independent, splitting time geographically between North America and the UK, and raising their son under both royal tradition and a sense of normalcy.
And the world went nuts.
Mind, you- ESTABLISHING a CHARITY.
BECOMING FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT.
Since when are these not good things?
You may recall that back in 2017 then-Prince Harry proposed to then-commoner, Meghan Markle. The world was fascinated, particularly America. Even more so than it’s normal infatuation with the Royal Family, because you see- Meghan was not your typical princess-to-be.
Meghan was an American.
Meghan was of mixed ethnicity.
Meghan was previously married.
Meghan was an actress that was by all accounts, relatively successful.
Meghan’s parents were divorced when she was a young child.
Meghan was pretty outspoken on several social issues.
And Meghan gave up her successful career, her home country, her familiar surroundings, her geographical proximity to friends and family… for love- for Harry.
From the very beginning, Meghan has been systematically eviscerated by the press. Just several months after beginning their relationship and before even announcing it formally, Prince Harry and Kensington Palace released a statement condemning the insensitive, discriminatory and sometimes racist coverage of Meghan by the press.
Just an hour ago the US website Buzzfeed posted a side by side of ten times the media covered Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle completely differently on nearly identical subjects. I encourage everyone to take a read of the article; I posted one of the comparisons below.
The Meghan Myth, that she is the cause of everything Harry does that the world doesn’t approve of, is straight up bull sh*t.
Prince Harry had his mother taken from him as a young boy- age 12. Quite literally taken by an over aggressive, unapologetic press that subjected his mother to rather unfriendly coverage as well. Harry grew up fearing the very thing that his role as an heir to the throne essentially required him to engage with.
Harry has made no secret over the years, before and since Meghan, of his desire to shy away from press, cameras, people constantly looking at him and judging him and exploiting him. Having a family changes you, no matter how you look at it. Suddenly he has a wife and child that he has to protect.
Harry, for the most part, has tried his very best to do his part. You may recall seeing images of a brokenhearted son walking behind his mother’s casket in a parade watched by 2.5 BILLION PEOPLE around the world. What 12 year old would ever willingly subject him or herself to such publicity during arguably the hardest moments of their life? You don’t think Harry did that because he wanted to, do you? He did that because that’s what he was expected to do.
Meghan Markle has tried to play nice. She has smiled and nodded and been gently honest in her response to difficult, rude, and often racist questioning and commentary.
And you know what I say to Meghan Markle? PROPS TO YOU, girlfriend. PROPS TO YOU. Regardless of the royal hierarchy, THAT is what queens are made of.
So often women are expected to take judgment, criticism, or misogyny because it comes with some territory. That implies that a woman is out of her place or doesn’t belong in the first place and that is downright infuriating. Should we not instead be celebrating that this couple is placing their family ahead of the luxuries that surely come along with being a senior member of the royal family? Wasn’t there a time when we valued those priorities?
Instead, media coverage is downright shocking. The decision is being lauded as disrespectful and rude. Meghan has been called an enabler, an ungrateful American, fame-hungry, selfish, and so much more. British tabloids and established news outlets are alike referring to this decision as Megxit, obviously a play on Brexit. But it’s not really funny, is it?
Meghan gave an interview about giving up her acting career shortly after her engagement to Harry and said: “Once you have access or a voice that people are going to listen to, with that comes a lot of responsibility, which I take seriously.” I think the example that she and Harry are setting with this progressive step is empowering and inspiring to the young people looking up at them.
One consistent thing I’ve seen here-
A woman gave up her lucrative career for the man she loves. She gave up her family, her privacy, her country.
She is vilified by the press and the target of relentless criticism and racism. She is targeted while pregnant with a royal baby that will be in line for the throne. She is eviscerated for tenderly holding her belly when pregnant with said heir. She is quite literally called dramatic and made fun of when thanking a reporter for checking in and asking how she was doing in her postpartum period.
A man gives up his career because he wants to protect his wife and child from the vicious world that took his mother.
And she is called selfish, a spoiled brat, an enabler.
Something is wrong here, folks.
I think Meghan Markle is an inspiration to anyone who has ever been bullied. YOu don’t have to put up with the bullshit because it is “expected” or because it is “part of thejob” or it “comes with the territory.” Live your life in accord with your own terms, not the terms of haters.