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America’s Princess: Meghan Markle

Like thousands of others, I recently watched the interview Oprah had with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, and I think I can speak for most of us when I say that the interview left a sour taste in my mouth and opinions about the royal family I never thought I’d have.

The elephant in the room: is Megham Markle, the first true outsider to be a member of the royal family and a biracial woman from America, telling the truth about her experiences, or is she merely trying to play to the sympathies of the world? Is she the victim or the puppetmaster behind a grand scheme to tear the fabric of the long-standing monarchy?

I understand where people are coming from when they say they don’t believe her. Her demeanor throughout the interview was stoic and almost emotionless (except at the point where she reminisces over the event she and Harry attended where she only went because she didn’t trust herself to be alone). It’s easy to read this as indifference-as someone who’s lying; however, when I saw it, all I could think of was how much she must have had to explain herself in the past. How when a person has to recall something painful over and over and over again, they get used to those overwhelming feelings that take them over, they learn to disassociate their present body from the one that experienced the hardship. Those old feelings begin to numb, you’re only left with the hope that the words landed. I’ve experienced this first hand, so I don’t really know how else to explain it other than I saw more than stoicism in Megan Markle’s eyes when she spoke.

As an avid watcher of the Netflix original series The Crown, the thought of corruption in the royal family wasn’t new. I’ve come to accept the fact that even those in the most privileged of positions are still “trapped” as Harry himself put it. Knowing the stories of Princess Margaret and Lady Diana, who I still consider the World’s Princess even in her passing, really shows how the monarchy treats outsiders (or in Margaret’s case, useless spares). To make some long stories short: the crown does not take easily to women who want to make a place for themselves. (And as an American women, I think Markle must want to make a place for herself. She was a working woman from the age of 13. To suddenly have this stripped away from her must have been jarring and then on top of that, to have to deal with the pressure of being brought to the royal family on a platter…the poor woman).

There is no running past the race issue. And I will speak on this very briefly, as it’s not my place to speak. However, I do think that race does play into this equation. With the concerning “talk” that Harry had with members of the monarchy having to do with how dark Archie’s skin might be, that just says it all right there, doesn’t it? Not only was it something that was specifically addressed, but it was addressed to Harry, not Meghan, which insinuates that they think she’s not worthy to sit at the table. This is continued in the fact that they didn’t ask for a picture when the baby was born and refused him a title and security, things that are so trivial for people in such high positions. I mean the Kardashian’s children probably have security on them 24/7, I think one of Queen Elizaebth’s great-grandchildren should be offered the same protection if not more, even if he’ll never have a title or be in line for the throne.

Now, let me remind you of what the United Kingdom wants you to forget: they were once the British Empire. Not as violent as the Roman Empire, but vast enough that the sun never set on it and kept a tight leash on their territories with violence, taxes, and threats of serious action against any rebel or traitor (citation: The American Revolution, 1776). They proudly display the plundered artifacts from other nations in their British Museum and try desperately to cover up the fact that the racists of America were shipped here from their own homeland. Racism didn’t originate in America, it just grew and persisted here, but I’d be willing to put good money on the likelihood of Britain having just as bad a problem as us in the U.S. (okay maybe not as bad, but they definitely have a problem if they’re so concerned about an unborn child’s skin tone). 

Take that information and now think about how the UK treats their former colonies in Africa today (visiting them on the Tours, and while it’s not credible, the dozens of scenes in The Crown where the British people are constantly calling the black residents “savages”). It’s not much of a leap to say that they might not be happy with a woman of color being a part of the family. One thing that jumped out at me during the interview was the thought that Meghan was somewhat of a threat to their influence over these African nations. They might not fully rule over them today, but it’s clear that the UK still has their thumb in the pie, and for these once victims of colonization, to see a black woman being brought to them and considered royalty, that’s a dangerous thing to the British. They don’t want their former colonies to think that there is a place for them in aristocracy, they don’t want them to believe that someone who looks like them could have influence because the second they decide that they don’t like the way Britain has treated them, the second they start to rebel, the UK has a war on its hands.

Of course, I’m not insinuating that the British government conspired to make Meghan and Harry leave the royal family because they feared that having Meghan in the royal family would empower them, this is all just speculation. But if I’ve learned anything from faithfully watching Game of Thrones (a show that, mind you, is based off of old European wars) it’s that there’s always more meaning than what’s on the surface. And even more, why would the Institution go out of its way to make Meagan into this villain? Praising Kate and scandalizing Meagan makes no sense in my mind, they should have both been looked up to as members of the royal family.

Prince Harry’s own mother, Diana, was wronged countless times by the royals and was named the World’s Princess, and I would never dream of taking that title from her even in death. But I think it’s fair enough to call Meghan Markle America’s Princess. (And just to spite the royals even more, let’s throw in a title for Archie too: America’s Little Prince).

Abbie Beckley is a junior English major with minors in Psychology and Classical Studies at Texas A&M University who loves reading, writing, playing music, and sleeping.
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