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Can Royalty and Victimhood Co-Exist?

4 ¼ min

It seems like everyone wants to be a victim these days. Terms like “microaggression” and “safe space” came out of nowhere a few years ago and quickly entered common parlance.

But how can you be a victim when you are part of the institution that – for the past 1,000 years – has represented the apex of privilege and power? Many would say you can’t. I refer to the British royal family. This is probably why, throughout her long reign, Queen Elizabeth II has adopted the attitude of “never complain, never explain.” 

Their royal highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aka Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have a different approach. In Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, a documentary about their recent official visit to several southern African countries, they voiced their complaints. For people who live lives of unimaginable luxury, it is surprising how many grievances they have. 

What exactly are Meghan and Harry so unhappy about? It’s not entirely clear. Something to do with negative media coverage.  

With scared Bambi eyes, Meghan recounts how after she started dating Harry her British friends warned her not marry him because “the British tabloids will destroy your life.” She goes on to say, “And I very naively – I’m American we don’t have that there – said, ‘What are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense.’ I didn’t get it. So, it’s been complicated.”

 

First, plenty of American politicians and celebrities would take issue with her assertion that U.S. tabloids are incapable of destroying your life. Second, the implication of her words is that her British friends’ warnings were accurate, but she never delves into specifics.

She proceeds to take a swipe at the culture of her adopted homeland saying, “I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip. I tried. I tried. But I think what that does internally is probably really damaging,” she says.

Harry and Meghan are light on details about the source of their pain. Yes, they’ve received bruising media coverage over the past year. But which stories were so hurtful? The time newspapers criticized them for preaching about climate change and then taking four private jet fights in the course of eleven days? The time newspapers criticized Meghan for spending more on her clothes than any other royal lady in Europe? Sure, there was a nasty conspiracy theory on the internet that Meghan was faking her recent pregnancy, but that was never taken seriously by the mainstream media.

Interviewer Tom Bradby is a long-term friend of Harry’s which explains why he never pushes for clarification. He does gently point out to Meghan that some people might object to her complaining while living in the lap of luxury. 

“I think the grass is always greener. You have no idea. It’s really hard to understand what it’s like. I know what it seems like it should be, but it’s a very different thing,” she shoots back. That’s as much as we get.

It would be unfair to say that people who are wealthy never have valid problems. Of course they do. They undergo genuine suffering at times just like any other human being and they should be permitted to speak out about it. But there is a time and a place for everything, and southern African countries – where millions live in extreme poverty and AIDS infection rates are the highest in the world – are not the right place. Meghan’s comment that the “grass is always greener” seems insensitive within a documentary that also shows her visiting a class where young women are taught how to fight off potential rapists. 

The documentary has stoked speculation that Harry and Meghan will quit the royal family and relocate to Meghan’s native Los Angeles. She never seemed to have much appetite for traditional royal activities. Queen Elizabeth has cut hundreds – if not thousands – of ribbons at schools and community centers over the years. Meghan prefers to guest edit British Vogue and walk the red carpet for the premier of The Lion King

In her acting career, she never got further than a supporting role on the USA channel’s legal drama Suits. With Harry’s fortune (which is estimated to be in the range of $30 to $40 million) and her newfound fame as a duchess, she can be a celebrity philanthropist on par with Angelina Jolie and George Clooney. Maybe that was her goal all along. If it looks like the British tabloids chased her away, so much the better. 

Either way, Los Angeles will welcome this woke, victimized pair with open arms. No one there would dream of facing their problems with a stiff upper lip. Everyone pays lip service to climate change hysteria while flying private jets. Los Angeles is where Harry and Meghan belong. The sooner they move there, the better. 

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[Image Credit: abc]

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