Muzamil is a freelance writer with an expertise in global politics and international relations. He currently also works as a writer/contributor for Paradigm Shift. Apart from that, he loves to read and is socially active in philanthropic activities.
The Issue of Racism Persists
It was neither a failure nor a success for anyone who was directly or indirectly involved in this inevitable debacle of the British royal family. Today or tomorrow, that had to happen. The perennial ‘‘systemic oppression and victimization’’ needed a debilitating end for the one who had clung to its conventional and conservative mindset for years.
Remember the date when Buckingham Palace and its inhabitants faced an existential threat from one of its members after it was unearthed during a two-hour interview. On March 7, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pointed to the elephant in the British monarchy: race.
Racial hostility has been kept under the royal sheets for years and unfolded only after an individual from a different race became part of the royal family’s lineage. The evidence of this catastrophe was revealed by the pair while giving an interview to Oprah Winfrey, the queen of talk show hosts.
The Color of Skin? Preferably White
The interview has unleashed a stigmatic streak of disrespect towards Buckingham Palace because of the revelations, some of which were tacitly known to the public but their approval sent a shock wave to the strong supporters of the monarchy. Ms. Markle talked bluntly about how her husband, Prince Harry, was approached by a member of the royal family concerning his son’s colored skin while Meghan was pregnant with their son, Archie.
Although both of them refrained from mentioning the name of the person who had conversed about the skin of Archie and confirmed, to Winfrey, in private that the person is neither Queen Elizabeth nor Prince Philip, this explosive disclosure reflected a dichotomy between what is being projected in the media and what has skillfully been kept hidden.
The royal members are often seen stimulating a notion of multiculturalism while covertly being critical of the very tenets of it. After he was born, Archie was not introduced with an honorary title, that is, Earl of Dumbarton. This was projected in a way that looked like both the parents wanted a normal life for their son and not the one burdened with royal duties.
In this interview, Meghan confided that even security protocols changed when Archie was born. He was denied any security protection just because he was not titled as the prince. According to Ms. Meghan, she even pleaded for security by sending a letter to the Palace but to no avail.
To this very end, Harry has shown dismay regarding his wife’s treatment, the same way as his mother, Princess Diana, was treated back when her car rushed away from paparazzi in 1997 straight into an accident which had cost her life.
The Paparazzi Again
Throughout the meeting, Harry expressed his disappointment with his own family’s lack of respect for his wife, even though she was subjected to bigotry and divisiveness in the press. He seemed more terrified for the history repeating itself for her wife as he mentioned that in the current scenario the treatment will be extremely lethal because of the added effect of race and social media.
Social media has never been softer with the duchess as many tabloids had taken a racial onslaught on the duchess and to much surprise, no one from the Palace, not even the staff, except her husband, defended her against racist media slurs and internet troll attacks. Tabloids had set a mischievous tone in the past as well when it set a play-off between Ms. Markle and her sister-in-law Kate Middleton with a report suggesting that the former made Kate cry over the dresses selection for the flower girls, who included Kate and William’s daughter, Charlotte.
The opposite of this was true, according to Meghan, and that she had made amends with the duchess of Cambridge. Meghan told Winfrey that the situation became so unbearable that she “didn’t want to be alive anymore.” The depression that she had felt while living in Buckingham Palace and the fact that her suicidal thoughts were not systematically addressed even after she had told about them to the human resource team of the Palace, presents a dismal picture of how complicated things are there inside the Palace.
In return for her request, she was excused by the staff for she was not a paid member of the institution, and by an institution, she meant “the firm” – the establishment of the Palace. If you look carefully, the support for mental health has always been one of the most commendable themes coming from the Palace and its individuals and so it is duly shocking to hear from one of their own members that her health had been driven to the brink of suicide and no treatment found its way to her.
Although the case is different than that of Princess Diana, all looked very similar; acceptance of a new member remains patchy in the British royal family with one exception, that is, Duchess Kate Middleton (wife of Prince William, 2nd in line for the throne after Prince Charles).
Princess Diana of Wales though met a fateful demise would have gleefully accepted Meghan Markle, given the revolutionary mindset the two possessed in trimming all the unnecessary bourgeois mindset and making themselves more associated with the general public than with the elite consciousness of the monarchy.
The difference between the two is Ms. Markle couldn’t bear the tragic truth of the Palace and its inherent hatred for colored people. Her husband supported her and the couple moved out of Britain to Southern California. Criticisms abounded but they kept firm on their decision to keep themselves away from the clutches of the monarchy.
In fact, this entailed harsh realities for them as they had been financially cut-off from the royal stream of income. Since then, Harry stated, he had relied on funds left to him by Diana. Not only that, Prince Harry unveiled that his decision to move away from the family landed him into a tacit conflict with his father, Prince Charles, as the latter stopped picking up his calls.
Now that their income has dried up, their latest screen-time through this interview should boost their publicity and popularity which will help them fill their pockets for a while. There should be no doubt that this is bigotry at its most extreme, serious, and potentially deadly racism, at the very pinnacle of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry was a watershed moment for the black community not only in the United Kingdom but in the whole black diaspora, settling that there now lives a black in the Union Jack. Meghan Markle’s entry into Buckingham Palace was marked as a landmark moment, particularly for black women.
This should not come as a surprise what this interview entailed because this narrative conforms to the history where black people are kept subservient to the whites. Therefore, tagging the racist target as violent, domineering, intimidating, or clumsy, even though they are obviously none of the above, is a common drill and, sadly, very powerful.
The Queen’s Reply
To counter these horrific complaints, on March 9, Buckingham Palace replied on behalf of the Queen herself in a 61-word statement with carefully chosen words. According to the statement, this is a family matter and will be dealt with privately, and that the Queen and family are disheartened to hear the ordeals of the couple representing Sussex.
It also came as an acknowledgment of the issues discussed in the interview, although refuted the order of those issues. Nonetheless, they will be investigated, as confirmed by the Palace. The palace’s investigation into Meghan’s claims will come as a blessing in disguise for the Palace as it will help ignore even more severe claims against other members of the British royal family, including serious criminal allegations, such as Prince Andrew’s ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The reply has boosted the Queen’s ratings again in the eyes of the British people. Following the interview, a YouGov poll found that the British public was divided on whether the royal family viewed the couple equally or unfairly. It found that 32% felt they were handled unfairly, while an equal number did not, and 36% had no idea.
Nearly half of those in their mid-twenties (48%) endorsed Harry and Meghan, while 55 percent of those over-65 favored the Queen and the Palace. On March 11, upon a reporter’s asking of Prince William if the royal family was racist, the Prince replied , “We are very much not a racist family.”
Meghan’s profile of being a strong and self-reliant individual strikes an obvious contrast to what the “firm” expected of her being part of the royal family. The situation is clear as the issue of race has principally remained Britain’s Achilles Heel and if it couldn’t improvise and adapt with the multicultural society that it proclaims it favors, will have overarching repercussions for the monarchy itself.
We give glad tidings to the couple as Meghan is pregnant with another child, and this time it will be a girl, as revealed in the interview. We hope that whichever way things get settled between the couple and the Palace, they should come in favor of the children for they will be a legacy the Queen will leave when she dies.
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