Opinion: In defence of Harry and Meghan

7 mins read

Harry and Meghan are at it again – and this time, we have a round of interviews, a Netflix series, and a book (which contains some truly frosty revelations). And, as you would probably have guessed, people are going absolutely wild.

The Netflix series came first – and no sooner had it hit our screens than the pitchforks came out. You’d be forgiven for thinking the couple had committed high treason given the sheer volume of nonsensical outrage, spouted monotonously, from some people. Speaking their truth? How dare they – lock them up in the tower! 

In reality, it’s clear that their intention is to get their side across in a saga where they have, for a long time, been painted as villains. The pitchfork mob, led by the likes of Piers Morgan or Jeremy Clarkson (the palest, malest and stalest this country has to offer), has tried to find fault or fiction in every single thing the pair have said or done. 

It, arguably, borders on the obsessive. It seems that Meghan can barely take a breath without some newspaper running the front-page headline “DUCHESS DIFFICULT DEMANDS AIR”. 

These two have suffered hostility from the media, the public and, if their allegations are to be believed, from their own family on a scale that is simply unbelievable. And so, here they are – trying to give their side of the story.

Why would they want to do that? They should just shut up and get on with it! “Never complain, never explain”– that’s the motto! Yeah, because that is a totally reasonable thing to expect of them. We can, and will, throw whatever we want at them. And they will simply have to suffer it in silence.

Harry and Meghan, I think, did a pretty good job in speaking their truth. They both came across as very eloquent, and that can’t have been easy. If I’d suffered half of what they’ve went through then I’m not sure my response would be allowed to be broadcast.

Their points seem reasonable. The complaints they’ve made are things that definitely should be complained about. Physical violence, unconscious racial bias, briefings against them by people close to them. Of course they will have something to say about all that.

I’m sure the rest of their family will have their own complaints. After all, it’s important to remember, these are real people with their own perspectives.

For Harry, how hard must it be to watch his family go through something similar to what his mother did twenty years ago?

Of course he wants to speak out, give his side and defend the person that he loves. Who, honestly, wouldn’t? To do so is not to disrespect the late Queen. Nor is it an insult to the new King or anyone else, but rather it is to speak his own truth. Let’s, also, not forget, his truth seems to be that he has, fairly often, himself been disrespected by other members of the family. 

queen elizabeth ii
From left – Then Prince Charles, The Queen, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Image Credit: The Roal Family / royal.uk

The remainder of the Royal Family are not innocent victims in this. The truth is probably that neither side are. But, each is entitled to give its view and version of events.

And, really, given some of the accusations we’ve heard from Harry and Meghan – we should be asking questions of the family.

Silence does not equal innocence – just because the King and Prince of Wales haven’t been quite as publicly vocal about the family’s problems doesn’t mean that they haven’t been the cause of some of those issues. And it is that silence itself which has proven problematic.

For me, at least, it makes them seem guilty. I can’t help but think that, if these allegations were false, surely you would want to deny them?

What about Meghan? The misogyny and racism she has faced in all of this has been shocking. And, frankly, it’s appalling how little the monarchy did to protect her – it seems symptomatic of an apparently uncaring and cold institution.

The way some in the media have discussed Meghan has been less of a dog whistle and more of a foghorn. There’s been the odd statement from the institution in support of the Duchess of Sussex here and there. But, with their tremendous power and influence, they could surely have done a lot more.

Nothing has been learned from the experience of Princess Diana, it would seem. That that is the case is hugely disturbing. And, considering that, it’s no wonder that Harry should choose to get away from such a toxic environment. 

Maybe Harry and Meghan shouldn’t air their dirty laundry so publicly. Perhaps, it would have been more dignified to have left quietly and said no more on the matter. But what justice does that deliver to them? What closure do they get from that?

That they have chosen to fight back seems, to me anyway, to be a reasonable response. 

And if the Royal Family had been better, they wouldn’t need to fight back. And that’s on the family, not on Harry and Meghan.

Featured Image Credit: ELLE Magazine

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