There is trouble in Britain’s royal kingdom.
As the world knows, Prince Harry married a biracial American woman, Meghan Markle. She was a co-star on the TV show Suits and has the Hollywood flavor. The royal wedding was amazing as it played all over the world to one of TV’s largest audiences ever, with people glued to their sets at 4 a.m. in the morning and for hours afterward.
Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne. He needed the Queen’s permission to marry a commoner, an American divorced Catholic, no less. The royal couple today is known as the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
It is unlikely that Harry will ever be king. He is senior staff and groomed, but unlike his older brother, Prince William, or his father, Prince Charles, he is not directly destined to run the kingdom.
Dahleen Glanton of the Chicago Tribune wrote a wonderful article pointing out that the culture clash with a Black princess entering the royal family started at the wedding. Read Dahleen’s story here!.
You clearly felt a Black presence at the wedding, to the point of shocking the Brits as they observed often with bowed heads. When the Kingdom Choir began to sing Stand By Me, it was thrilling for us across the pond, but a real unknown for the royal Windsors, who were visibly uncomfortable with some elements of the wedding.
The protocol clue was also noted when Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, did not walk her down the aisle. Her elegant and handsome escort was the groom’s father, Prince Charles, the next in the line of succession to the throne.
Father Michael Curry, the first African-American to head the U.S. Episcopal Church, delivered the sermon. He had Baptist flair as he addressed what would become the “duty” of this new first couple.
Well now, after a couple of years of marriage and a baby, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have decided they want to depart from the royal family. They found it not so easy, as the fairytale modern-day love story greets reality.
Meghan is suffocating while living in a fish bowl, yet externally she has risen to the occasion. She is perfectly groomed at all times, setting her very own fashion course. She reminds you of Princess Di, Harry’s mum, with her independence and personal style.
The royal couple adore each other, they wave, they travel the kingdom, and they bring a fresh view to the international stage that is not stuffy, but open and honest as they live their romance publicly. Harry’s style of “the guy next door” is definitely traced to his beautiful mother, rather than the upper lip stiffness of his paternal family.
Harry has openly talked about mental illness and the trauma he experienced with the tragic lost of his mother. He is hyper-sensitive to the media and the paparazzi that caused his mother’s demise.
As they live in the limelight, there is fear that the media pressure is too much and that they, too, or Meghan, could meet a similar fate. Harry is not having it and has decided to walk from the royals.
Not So Fast!
But not so simple is it to quit the $6.2 million per year job of carrying out royal duties, with castle housing, servants, travel, security and the like. The couple has said they will assume financial independency as they move forward and will share housing in Britain and Canada. However, in doing so, they disturb the traditions of the royal family.
Certainly as famous, beautiful celebrities, they will have no trouble in branding and making money – perhaps movies and public speaking for millions await. They may make more as an independent international couple than a royal couple.
What designer wouldn’t want Meghan’s signature. What auto would not like Harry behind the wheel? We could have a Meghan scent and ties by Harry. But, whereas this is a real possibility in the modern world of social media, it is a lifestyle beneath the royals. Can you imagine their Facebook page?
We are looking at the modernization of the royals that they, as a family, are not ready for. We are also looking at a Black American in the royal family and they seem not be able to handle that either.
After Princess Dianna divorced Prince Charles and there was speculation about her marrying Dodi Fayed, a commentator said there would be no brown babies in the castle and that the queen might not be ready for those in line to inherit the throne to have brown brothers or sisters. It was a racist statement on royal realism.
So, maybe what we see here is Meghan protecting Black self and her Black baby, although they may not obviously and overtly appear to be Black American. Meghan’s mother, Dorian Ragland, is clearly a Black woman; her father appears to be a nutty white male. Maybe this combination does not play with the British.
Probably what Meghan the American, the Black American woman, fails to understand is that the royals are dedicated to the crown. Queen Elizabeth was trained for her seat and it often means forgoing family for the crown, for the love of country.
That’s a tall order for anyone, but it was her case as a young woman who accidently became queen during the time of World War II and has reigned since, longer than any other British monarch. In 2015, she became the longest reigning British monarch in history, surpassing her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. Queen Elizabeth has dedicated her life to her country. If you want detail, tune in to Netflix’s series, The Crown.
Americans don’t quite understand this point in the family squabble because America’s royalty is political and entertainment figures, rather than a dedicated monarchy. The Queen has become an iconic and celebrated figure who has held on to constitutional monarchy during times of enormous social change.
By the way, if it got that far, Meghan would not be Britain’s first Black queen.
That title belongs to Queen Charlotte, who married King George III when she was 17 years old. The couple had 15 children together and reigned from 1761 to her death in 1818 and his in 1820. Queen Charlotte was of Portuguese descent.
At the end of the day, the royals are like any other family trying to hold on to family tradition. Harry is not the first grandchild that has had a dispute with his grandmother about his modern lifestyle. And Meghan, like it or not, must remember that she is a foreigner, a Black woman in an integration mission. It’s always hard to be the first!
Meghan is merely trying to keep her family intact. So we await the fate of the monarchy as the glamour couple makes their way. Hail, or is it hell, to the Queen!