Between dramatic publicized deaths, high-profile affairs, and the living disaster that is Prince Andrew, the English royal family has seen its fair share of scandal. None, however, have been as controversial or as highly publicized as Prince Harry’s courtship and marriage to Meghan Markle.
Since their engagement in November 2017, the couple has been subjected to intense scrutiny from both American and British media outlets.
On Jan. 8, without warning to their royal counterparts, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took to Instagram to announce their wishes to step down from their roles as senior members of the royal family. Just 10 days later, Buckingham Palace released a statement explaining that “Harry and Meghan” will no longer use their HRH titles, Harry will lose his honorary military appointments, and the couple will pay back $3.1 million in taxpayer dollars used to refurbish their Windsor home.
Stripping the couple of their royal titles and working roles grants their wishes of independence and freedom. It does not, however, allow them to continue working as part-time royals. Buckingham’s statement deprives the couple of their main goal: to have their cake and eat it too. And that’s a good thing.
Markle has, for the most part, been celebrated for her reported role in the break with the family. She’s garnered praise for “taking control of her destiny” and “Yoko-onoing the royal family.” Prince Harry has also received praise for protecting his young family and their interests.
This praise, however, is misplaced, and neither Markle nor Prince Harry deserve it. To whom much is given, much is expected. The English monarchy works quite simply. The royals receive taxpayer funds in exchange for performance of state duties.
The decision to strip Markle and Prince Harry of their respective titles preserves the integrity of the monarchy. Royal life takes dedication and poise. Those who are dedicated to the position and run the press gamet should be rewarded accordingly. If Markle and Prince Harry don’t do the work, they should not be rewarded as if they had.
Furthermore, the progressive liberals who celebrate Markle as a figurehead of modern feminism would do well to examine the royal couple’s blatant hypocrisy.
Before joining the royal family, Markle was outspoken about her progressive liberal views. She supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race and called Clinton’s competition, Donald Trump, “misogynistic” and “divisive.”
In marrying Prince Harry, Markle joined one of the most misogynist and divisive institutions in world history. The wealth and prestige of Britain was built through British colonialism and imperialism. A fair bit of Africa and Asia only gained independence from British rule in the last 80 years. Much of British wealth was built by enslaving whole populations, including India, Pakistan, and most of Africa. For someone who supports the party of slavery reparations and destroying the 1%, joining and beneffiting from an organization that was built on the backs of marginalized peoples is the definition of hypocrisy.
At the end of the day, it is clear that the monarchy will only grow stronger with the departure of Markle and Prince Harry. In a high-pressure and highly-scrutinized environment, weak links break as seen by the scandals of Prince Andrew and, earlier in life, Prince Harry. If Markle and Prince Harry are not fully dedicated to being members of the royal family, they should not be working members in any capacity. The decision to remove Markle and Prince Harry from any working role within the monarchy will save it from a fair share of headaches down the road.
Regan Meyer is a junior studying rhetoric and public address. She is the news editor for The Collegian.