I don’t think I would go so far as to say I’m a fan of the Royal Family but I don’t dislike them either. I quite like the Britishness of it all, I like rules and tradition and most of all I like the idea of there still being princesses knocking about like in the fairy tales.
I like the Queen, I think she’s done a pretty good job at wearing fancy hats, always carrying a
handbag and taking it all very seriously over her record breaking reign. I watched The Crown, which was clearly based 100% on actual real life fact (maybe) so I’m aware that like “normal” people she has had her fair share of difficulty and heartbreak over her 94 years. Having all the tiaras and castles in the land won’t stop your dad dying before you’re ready or your husband cheating on you (allegedly). Even if you are the Queen you're a real life human (as Brad Logan would call you...his little 4 year old brain refuses to use the word "person" and opts for "human" instead).
Anyway, I don’t want to talk about that, I want to talk about Harry and Meghan. Yeah I know. I can hear various family members eyes rolling as I type! Stick with me though...I need to rant this out.
Prince Harry (is he still a Prince? I’ve lost track) is ginger and therefore this means he is great. Big ginger fan here. He’s clearly way more fun than Prince William and I feel bad for him having to live his life with people banging on about his dad not being his real dad. I mean what is that about? Whether Prince Charles is his dad or not it shouldn't really be up for public discussion and ridicule if you think about it. It's rude.
When Harry got together with old Meghan Markle I couldn’t have cared less. I’d never heard of her, I felt pretty indifferent about the fact she was an actress and I was totally uninterested in the facts she had been previously married, is older than Harry and is mixed race. It just makes no difference to my life. It makes no difference to anyone’s life.
I’ve not particularly kept track of the comings and goings of Harry and Meghan over the past few years although obviously I was aware they had moved out of the UK and there was a bit of controversy there but otherwise I was a bit meh about it all.
Because of this, it may come as a surprise that Mr D and I decided to watch “the interview” with Oprah Winfrey this week. I’m not really sure why I wanted to watch it when I felt so disinterested in the whole thing. Do you know what though? I’m bloody glad I did. Hurray for jumping on that bandwagon. I love a bandwagon, I do.
I still don’t love or hate Meghan but my overriding feeling is of disgust over the way she particularly has been treated over the past few years. Now I’m aware she chose to get married to Harry….if you believe you choose who you fall in love with, of course…and would have known what she was getting into but is that right? Should anyone marrying into the Royal Family have to deal with the shocking treatment by the press in particular that they are hit with? It’s not ok to treat people like that. I'm very aware that we're only getting the one side of the story around how the Royal Family have treated her / them so I'm not really going to comment on that, my issue is mainly with the press.
One thing in particular that Meghan touched on in the interview that was relatively minor but really wound me up was a story that was published 6 months or so after hers and Harry's wedding. The story was that she had made Kate cry before the wedding in a disagreement about flower girl dresses which obviously makes her a terrible person. I have the following problems with this story:
1. Why was it even a story? It’s a private disagreement which has NOTHING to do with anyone and has no impact on anyone else.
2. Why report it 6 months later? There’s no reason other than to stir things up.
3. Meghan stated that actually it was her that cried and not Kate but it was all resolved. Why did the press or whoever leaked the story lie? There’s not reason other than to cause upset.
4. Even if Meghan had made Kate cry, aren’t they grown ups? Presumably it didn’t result in actual fisticuffs. If Kate or Meghan or whoever cried then surely they’re over it now. I don’t think we needed a newspaper report did we? Slow news day, Daily Mail?
5. “Normal” people getting married get a bit stressed out before their weddings and can sometimes snap at people or become easily upset and they don’t have the pressure of the whole world watching. I’m aware that she would have had wedding planners and lots of help but it’s still a big deal. Cut her some slack. If she made Kate cry or Kate made her cry, it’s not really that much of a surprise immediately before a wedding. I'm sure I made people cry and was made to cry by people just before my wedding and I'm a one for bearing a grudge but to be still dwelling on it 6 months later would be nonsense.
When Meghan talked about struggling with her mental health issues that made me feel really sad. Now again, I’m very aware that we’ve only got one side of the story here but I feel incredibly disappointed in William and Kate specifically. They have often spoken about mental health issues and providing people with support but they allegedly chose not to help when Meghan was struggling clearly as a result of the bizarre way in which the British public decided to behave towards her. I would imagine that becoming part of the Royal Family requires quite a bit of adjustment on so many levels and it can’t be easy with the whole world watching and basically waiting for you to fail. I don’t think it’s like in the movies…I don’t remember Anne Hathaway being repeatedly publicly called out for really inoffensive things such as touching her own pregnant tummy in The Princess Diaries. Again I go back to this all having been Meghan's choice and knowing what she was getting herself into…I’m not sure that should even be relevant. It’s just not ok to be rude about someone who hasn’t actually done anything wrong (as far as I’m aware) over and over and over. I’m know that historically I could have been accused of doing this myself about a certainly Strictly Come Dancing Host but her crimes against fashion and presenting skills are pretty heinous so I can make peace with my hypocrisy here.
I keep thinking about Harry and what he went through losing his mum so young, in my opinion, because of the way the press hounded her. If I was him I would be hyper-vigilant about the safety of my wife and child even before the press started behaving the way they have. I think he can be forgiven for even being a bit paranoid about their safety. I think it’s really sad that he felt that he had no option than to leave the UK to get away from it all. And of course they still aren’t away from it.
I absolutely get people saying “well why don’t they just give it all up and become Mr and Mrs?” but they can’t can they? Even if they wanted to they will never ever ever be able to do that. They can’t just be normal people. Harry was born into this madness and now Meghan is stuck with it too by default.
I understand people saying “well if they want to be left alone why do they keep doing interviews and being in the press?”, absolutely yes. Why don’t they? Well do you know what? First of all, by all accounts the press won’t leave them alone and if I was them I think I would want to do interviews too to try and put the record straight. Why should they just sit there quietly and let people rip into them?
Then you get the people criticising them for doing deals for money… how else are they supposed to live? They’re not going to be able to get a “normal” job. I can’t see Harry working the KFC drive-thru or Meghan retraining to become a doctor, not because they’re not capable but because the world simply won’t let them. If Harry is no longer being supported by the Royal Family (which is absolutely right if he’s not "working" for them) then how else are they supposed to support themselves and their family? It’s not a crime to make a deal with Netflix or whoever, is it? No. It's not. It's not very British Royal Family but it's not illegal or even morally wrong.
There were loads of other bits in the interview that made me go “What???” mainly around race and things and Harry having protection withdrawn. I’m not going to dissect it all because we’ll be here all night and I’m not sure I will do it all justice. I think it’s a much bigger issue than my little Self Indulgent Thingymabobber is able to deal with.
I appreciate that I’ve been a bit ranty and more serious than normal. I’m not asking people to like Harry and Meghan, you’re absolutely within your rights not to and that’s fine. I love a good grudge as we all know but I wouldn't hold it against anyone. I don’t really know whether I like them or not to be honest but I don’t think they are bad people and I think Meghan in particular came across really well in the interview. I think there are so many much much bigger issues in the world for people to be fighting and being angry about so for people to be getting their knickers in a twist over this feels a bit silly....and yet here I am with my massive mum pants in a knot.
I just wanted to have a rant about how sad it is that people can treat other people this way. As the great Brad Logan would say, Meghan and Harry are humans just like us. I honestly feel the way the press have behaved is basically bullying (have a word with yourself, Piers Morgan) and just because they are supposed to be rich and famous it doesn’t make them invincible or immune to emotional pain. They are still people and more importantly now, they are people with children. If all this nonsense carries on then it’s going to impact on those babies too and that’s just no ok. I'm not implying that people with children are more important by the way, I just mean those babies need to be protected from this insane world they have been born into.
Like I said earlier, I don't know the ins and outs of everything that's happened, I have a very high level overview of the situation from bits I've seen online and watching this interview so maybe I've been seduced by the Hollywoodness of it all and Oprah Winfrey's tremendous barnet. I don't think I have though.
I think we all just need to be nicer to each other.
Me included...until the next series of Strictly starts at least!