In six years of blogging and posting over 1500 articles on various subjects, I don’t ever recall posting one on the British Royal Family, which probably indicates my lack of interest in this subject. I rub shoulders with those who are strongly pro the monarchy as well as strongly against and am aware of the main arguments each side uses to justify their position. I am somewhere in the middle and my views are agnostic. While I would prefer the monarchy to be abolished or at least downgraded, in the light of more pressing issues affecting the country that ought to be attended to, I am happy to maintain the status quo and recognise the overall performance of the Royals is at least passable. I am also grateful we live in a country where we can criticize the monarchy, which in times past was a capital crime.
In the last couple of days, my social media timeline has been full of posts to do with Prince Harry and Meghan wanting to step down from their role as senior Royals and, while declaring support for the Queen, the intention is to pursue others interests outside of Royal duties and become financially independent. It is their right of course and within reason their decision should be respected without the torrent of criticism that has been directed at them. It has been a talking point and people have expressed a range of views ranging from full support to outright condemnation, with Meghan bearing the brunt of the criticism. I don’t wish to take sides, partly because I don’t think it is appropriate and partly because I do not know all the facts. Who can correctly weigh the various factors and pressures, which the public is unaware of? One more sympathetic article titled: “Megxit and the Church: Harry and Meghan Reflect Our Lost Youth” throws an interesting light on events leading up to this announcement. Yet while I am for respecting privacy, not judging or making racist or sexist remarks or vilifying in public etc., it is also partly the price one often pays for being a public figure.
But when a newspaper like the Daily Mail runs a series of pieces that place the Royal couple in a negative light (here, here and here) followed by backlashes and backlashes to the backlashes, one cannot avoid noticing strongly and opposing views are held. Based on what I have seen, I do question some of the moves of Harry and Meghan, starting with making their announcement public and prior (it seems) to fully discussing the matter with the Queen and other members of the Royal family. I also get the sense they want their cake and eat it, ignoring alternatives and being quick to justify their position. What I find disappointing is the seeming lack of the one outstanding quality exemplified by the Queen – a sense of duty. I do not know enough how well Harry and Meghan have done in that regard but this latest action suggests when it comes to doing one’s duty this does not figure highly in their list of priorities right now, which appears to be more progressive and less traditional leaning.
If they want to step down, then let them do so WITHOUT being funded from the public purse and, while keeping the door open for changes in mind and circumstances, it is time for all parties to go their separate ways, and hopefully without bitterness and rancor. While this may not be the end of the matter at least today’s headline: “Queen agrees ‘transition’ for Harry and Meghan” suggests there is an agreeable way forward for all the main parties. I wish Harry and Meghan well in their next steps and I hope the media will find more important news to report on and for me to blog about.