The Meghan-Harry-Oprah interview is being touted as a slam against the monarchy. No. It’s a well-aimed assault at the British media, particularly the tabloids — which are merciless, evil and lacking in any sort of compassion.
This is not Meghan’s show alone. This is also Harry’s trauma about how the tabloids hounded his mother Princess Diana to death, and his attempt to do something about it, twenty-odd years after the fact. It’s almost as if he subconsciously or consciously chose the woman who would be most provocative to the tabloids (biracial! American! divorced! older!) and married her to say, you can’t win, I still have more power than you do.
And then, when history repeats itself, with Meghan’s depression and suicidal thinking (Remember, the isolation Diana faced caused her to become bulimic and attempt suicide at least once), Harry goes into crisis, triggered into reliving the past that was his mother’s nightmare. Instead of being able to help his wife, he freezes, and then activates fight or flight mode. This is an old struggle.
Let’s not forget that Princess Diana loved a Pakistani surgeon, Hasnat Khan, but was prevented from marrying him by The Firm and the power of public censure. The racism was apparent from the days when she was with Dodi Fayed, and the conjecture that she was pregnant with a Muslim man’s child who might be half brother to the future King of England. What part of history is repeating itself here, with Archie’s skin color being debated by family members?
The monarchy, as ever, are hapless pawns caught in amber between tradition, the expectations of the British public, and the hideous greed and calumny of the tabloids. They are who they are – antiquated, dysfunctional, dutiful but unloving. Love them, be a hostage to them, acquire Stockholm Syndrome and be assimilated — or leave them. There is no other option. They’re neither intelligent nor emotionally aware. To expect that from them is to misunderstand who and what they are.
Meghan and Harry went to the only person possibly more powerful in the media than the British tabloids – Oprah. They want their privacy, but they want to take down the British media equally as strongly. It is entirely possible to want two opposite things. Human beings are contradictory like that, and driven by unconscious forces that sometimes they don’t even understand. So much to examine and think about here.
Let’s also look at he fact that the Royal Family is racist and obsessed with skin color. This can only be a surprise to (mostly white) Americans, not the countless millions of people in Africa, South Asia and the Far East that experienced their colonialism and imperialism and its after-effects first hand. African-Americans may have had their suspicions about how Meghan would have been received in this non-progressive family, but there was too much enthusiasm about a black woman conquering Buckingham Palace for the warnings to be heard clearly.
Perhaps there’s another reason for the naivete besides the fact that Americans don’t know the history of the British Empire very well. It’s largely Americans to whom Britain has sold this entire monarchy fairytale (including the tragic dead Princess Di) so that American tourists (of any color) will come to the UK and spend their dollars. The UK depends on the Royal Family’s soft power abroad to rake in the cash, since they don’t have much hard power left. Americans, who always love a Disney tale, have fallen for it since the wedding of Charles and Diana.
It’s not often we get to observe a Greek tragedy unfolding in front of us. Let’s just hope everyone calms down and nobody ends up dead.