10 Mar, 2021

In case you’re interested ….

I didn’t watch the Sussexes.  Had a read on the BBC website.  It was upsetting.  Why, I wondered?

I decided that for me it wasn’t a matter of whether to believe them or not.  It was this: even assuming that everything they said is true, what is it that they hoped the interview and the allegations would give them?  Privacy?  Publicity?  Sympathy?  Vindication?  Money?

I ended up unsure why they did it.  Most of us get annoyed with the media at times and, for goodness sake, surely we have sympathy with how William and Harry have suffered.  But Harry, now with Meghan, is back in the centre of the media headlights, this time at their own request, and what they said will generate more media controversy, the very thing that caused everyone so much grief in the past.  As for his family, and hers, both troubled, why not quietly move on from them and quietly start a new life, again without triggering more controversy?  Wouldn’t that have been best for them and Archie and their expected daughter?  Media headlights can be dangerous. It’s an uncertain world, and an uncertain jury.

Unsolicited, already a number of comments have come in from friends.  One, here in Britain, in a similar mixed-race partnership and with children, said, “I’ve got experience of the colour of the baby thing you know, and it only seemed like curiosity/interest/wonder and silliness to me.”  Another, from the US, “It seems to violate the adage not to wash your dirty linen in public. Voyeurism is a disease of the times.”  And from one of our European friends, “How can they reconcile sometime in the future? And what’s the point to make the Queen’s life, at that age, miserable? Alan Bennet could write a satirical piece on the madness of the Royal children.”

The Sussexes have broadcast their grievances. The media will deal with them in its own way and will defend its corner.  Their families will have to handle the other things they’ve now alleged.  Who knows how this will end?  Two billion people watched their marriage three years ago as Prince Charles escorted Meghan down the aisle to the altar.  One would like to believe that two billion people wished them well in their new roles. It hasn’t worked out.  Yet again there are headlines around the world but this time they’re bad, generated by the couple themselves, in interview.  It’s an uncertain world.  There might well be more upset, anguish, suffering.  Let’s hope not.

5 Comments

  1. Dear David

    I’d like to agree wholly with you, but I have some reservations. I agree that it was probably unwise for the Sussexes to speak out as they did, though as Yorkshireman I tend to be prejudiced in favour of bluntness. Yet the whole episode since their marriage is disturbing.

    I’d describe myself as a sort of passive monarchist, on the principle that “if it ain’t bust don’t fix it”. Around the time of Diana’s death, however, I went through a period of thinking it was bust and needed fixing. After the Windsors’ prolonged campaign of rehabilitating themselves, history seems to have repeated itself in a ridiculous way. Surely they could have exercised a bit more foresight.

    As an historical sociologist, I have some knowledge of the bizarre rituals and rigidities of royal courts under the ancien régime, and I can sense and sympathise with some of the respects in which the British monarchy is a social fossil; that’s part of its charm.

    The real villain in this saga is the popular press. Looking across the Irish Sea, I wonder whether the British are not adequately aware of how utterly poisonous British newspapers are. I recall with amusement an incident at the Midland Hotel in Bradford about eight years ago. A member of staff came up to me in the lobby and apologised for not having the copy of the Guardian that I had ordered, and offered me the Daily Mail instead. I replied that I would not touch the Mail with tongs, and he looked completely astonished. Apart from the Guardian, we can exempt the Financial Times and maybe the Times, but the popular press have over the years done huge damage to British public life. The thinly disguised racism of the Mail is only the worst. The royals are plainly terrified of the press, which isn’t good.

    Oh dear, sorry to strike a discordant note! See you on Sunday!

    Best

    Stephen

    Reply
  2. I hesitate to give an opinion, as so much comment has been made already in the media. However, what crossed my mind when I read about this self centred self-pitying pair, was, would either of them have considered kneeling in front of gunmen in Burma and offering to be shot instead of children?
    Enough said.

    Reply
  3. You voice many of my own thoughts, Dave. I am unsure why they did it and why now when there has been such true suffering in the world.

    Reply
  4. Your thoughts echo many of mine, Dave. Although I feel you give them more benefit of the doubt, than I do! Whatever their motives their timing to me seems crass. To level such accusations at a time of personal worry for the Queen and in the midst of world wide suffering makes them particularly selfish and self absorbed. More than ever at the moment we need kindness and healing

    Reply
  5. Sorry! Thought my first one didn’t submit !

    Reply

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