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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have announced their plans to cut ties with the British royal family. I Wiki­media Commons

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.