One cannot, by definition, democratise royalty…any more than it is possible to bring head-in-the-clouds celebrities down to earth.
Nothing was ever going to be enough for Meghan, was it? A piece of destructive antimatter from the moment she got engaged to Prince Harry, she has finally achieved (as I predicted) what she really wanted: a rival ‘Monarchy’ based on heavily virtue-signalled charities, plus the ability to make as much money – and as many heart-on-sleeve daft pc soundbites – as she sees fit.
Everything will now be fair game for her – saving the planet, smearing sex pests, seeing misogynists and racists under every bed, championing unwise causes, earning endless consultancy fees and scooping promotional ambassadorships. She can present herself as rejecting the HRH of sovereignty…..while still earning a living entirely on the basis of being the showgirl who married a Prince.
“What Meghan wants, she gets!” Harry yelled at a Royal courtier in January 2018. And indeed, as of yesterday, she’s got everything she wants. Harry himself, meanwhile, has given up everything – his military career, his lineage and – to all intents and purposes – his family.
It is a sign of the profound lack of wisdom under which his father Prince Charles struggles that he has seen fit to continue supporting the couple from his Duchy of Cornwall income stream. No good ever came of unearned, inherited money without strings attached. I have, in my own marital adventures, seen this at first hand, and it is an almost immutable rule.
The myth that the Windsors as a royal family are serially and uniquely dysfunctional continues to gain ground, but it is a shibboleth. First of all, every genetically inherited sovereign right has always produced incompetent, self-important and even mad monarchs. Secondly, ours is a monarchy which, despite some dubious invitations to foreign adventurers from time to time, has kept on producing inoffensive heirs without interruption since 1714. In 306 years, the UK monarchy has produced just the one dud – Edward VIII, who abdicated in 1936 in order to marry……um, a divorced American. That is not bad going.
One can call the current Windsors stifling, archaic, oddly haut-bourgeois and preserved in Aspic; but they were designed to be that way by a hugely talented businessman called George V. After the débacles of a reclusive Victoria and the roué Edward VII, George came to the Throne in 1910 and immediately remodelled the royal household’s image as that of an “exemplary family”. He cleverly negotiated a gobstopping price from the political purse for doing so, and then skillfully removed all “Hun” family references during the First World War.
George V correctly divined that Parliament did not wish to suffer the same fate as the Russian Duma, and thus refused to give sanctuary to any of his royal Russian cousins. In return for this somewhat heartless (but very wise) act, he extracted a staggering tax relief deal from Lloyd George. Right to the end, the King was smart, confiding to a close confidante in relation to the succession of Edward VIII, “the boy will ruin himself within eighteen months”. His prediction proved to be almost spot-on.
Edward was succeeded by George VI…not as wily and streetwise as his father, but every inch an intuitive and decent man who instilled in the current Queen the virtues of Duty to the People.
Sadly, she fell genuinely in love with Prince Philip – a thoroughly unpleasant man, and a short-tempered neglectful father who favoured those sons as randy as he was. As a result of this, we see before us The Buckingham Enders soap that prevails today, also MEGHAN &featuring the exploits of Prince Andrew.
The central mistake made by the Windsors was in allowing the production of a docmentary The Royal Family in 1969. Notably, David Attenborough – at the time, controller of BBC Two – warned that the film was in danger of “killing the monarchy”. The film critic Milton Shulman wrote with great prescience, “Every institution that has so far attempted to use TV to popularise or aggrandise itself has been trivialised by it”.
Thus, Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 produced an outpouring of what looked like solid support for the Monarchy – but was in fact a tribute to the Queen herself. As the antics of Prince Charles, Princess Margaret, Princess Diana, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew became increasingly fair game for tabloid journalism, the Windsors were shown to have unlearned the lesson of not living and dying by the sword.
The British Monarchy is doomed, but Meghan Markle will undoubtedly act as a catalyst in that process. She has played the “person of colour” card as the basis for presenting herself as the victim in all of this, but such is a ridiculous idea: the British People on the whole never gave her ethinicity a second thought. It is her own narcissistic conduct that has led us to where we are today.
From here on in, she will snipe from the outside…and the average American, along with the British Leftlibs, will take her side. I am not a royalist, but I do say to all republicans – as with the demolition of religious faith – caveat emptor: by all means recognise genealogy as an archaic system of leadership choice….but ask yourselves, where is the next form of glue to hold our divided culture together coming from?
I’m damned if I know.