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From outfit breakdown to affair scandals, the Royal family are always at the centre of UK media coverage. And this week is no exception; with Harry and Meghan’s first UK appearance since leaving their royal duties, the media are having a field day. 

I almost laughed when listening to a woman on This Morning analysing Meghan’s body language towards Harry at the awards event. Whilst I saw a wife simply holding her husband’s hand, she saw a ‘dominating’ and ‘territorial’ woman who is clearly ‘possessive’. It is astonishing yet sad how much scrutiny and criticism the Royal family receive; particularly the women. 

And of course, Meghan is in the firing line at the moment due to her and Harry’s decision to leave their royal duties; an act which has stirred up a lot of debate concerning the monarchy. With the cruelty of the media and the pressure and restraints of ‘royal duties’, I can see why Harry and Meghan would want to escape that life. Even those who sympathise and feel pride towards the monarchy must feel some discomfort when looking at pictures of Kate Middleton all dolled up and smiling for the cameras, just hours after giving birth. The idea of life in the royal family may appear to be smiles and happiness all around, but one just has to look at the suffering of those in the limelight to see that it is not much of a life at all. The life of the Royals is dictated by a burden of tradition and expectation. 

 I do understand people’s anger towards Harry and Meghan’s decision to declare a ‘royal split’. The Royal family is ingrained in British history and upon choosing to enter such a family, one will be aware of and therefore should, embrace the duties it encompasses. The monarchy can be said to unify the British masses, provide assurance in unstable times and assist the economy through tourism etc. All these arguments are valid, but it boils down to the fact that fundamentally, the monarchy does not belong in the modern world. 

Surely, we will all soon realise that the monarchy is an outdated institution which is not feasible in today’s society; a society which values the individual over a tradition rooted in an ugly history and the concept of birth-given right? It comes down to the question of who do we value more, Harry and Meghan as individuals, or the monarchy as an institution? 

Katy Townshend

Nottingham '21

Second-year English student at the University of Nottingham
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