Updated: Mar 12
It has been interesting to follow debates on the news and on social media about Meghan and Harry and how their interview with Oprah has created a series of conversations about race and mental health.
While the issues of race are important and must not be swept under the carpet in any way, what I feel people are missing here is the motive behind this interview. Why now, after a year? Yes, you can say that they were defending themselves from what the royal family has been "perpetuating", but where are the hard facts related to this accusation? Additionally, why are issues of race shocking everyone all of a sudden? It is not shocking at all, we know that racism in the UK is experienced both overtly and covertly.
We also need to address the incendiary statements, calculated no less, about race. In the sit down interview, the Duchess of Sussex addressed an issue related to her son Archie where she said: "Concerns and conversations were raised about how dark his[Archie's] skin might be when he’s born."
Now, we need to address what context this was said in. No doubt, if it was said in the manner in which it was relayed by Meghan, then it is very alarming and extremely racist, there is no doubt about that. However, what we are missing more than anything, is the context in which it was alluded to.
Secondly, the fact that this statement was strategically mentioned in that interview, knowing fully well that the "experts" on race would rear their heads, is what got me thinking. We are very aware that this is a sensitive issue, one that is a very painful subject, particularly among black and minority ethnics, given the history and what many of us face on a regular, if not daily basis.
What begs the question, why didn't they just reveal who the person is? After all, we are all now speculating who it is and are likely to find out in a matter of weeks, if the media have their way.
What was even more laughable, was the mention of it potentially being detrimental to this person's reputation. If they cared about the individual's reputation, they wouldn't have mentioned it at all. Now, I am not suggesting that what she said should not be taken seriously, as it obviously offended the couple and in turn, has offended a lot of people across the globe, but if we really take a minute to analyse aspects of that interview, you will also realise that a lot of what was said was ambiguous and too many of us are jumping the gun and to the defence of someone who is also weaving her own narrative and agenda. Have we all stopped to think about that? She has basically condemned the whole family but failed to mention anyone in her bombshell revelations. If you are going to do something, then please, go the whole way. Whatever happened to the addage that the other side should also be heard?
Meghan walked into the royal family, "naively" she says - spare me the doe-eyed antics. If we stop thinking about the colour of her skin for a second and look deeper at who she is and her history, particularly with her own family, we will discover that there is more to the actress than meets the eye.
Who on earth does not research the family that they are marrying into, especially the monarchy, where there is so much history and information to go on? We all know that she is an intelligent woman who has challenged the "status quo" since she was 11. So why would she walk into a situation not armed with all the facts and why would she just base it on what her husband said?
Furthermore, when she arrived in the UK, what did she think she was walking into, a "Disney fairytale" where she could change a 1200-year-old institution that not even Diana could change. I will go further and say, she must have been given a briefing. There is absolutely no way she just "landed" in the family with no briefing on protocol.
What is sad in some ways and a bit annoying, is that Harry did not do much to help her understand the reality of what she was walking into. Surely, for someone who has been in that family since birth, he would understand how everything works, so should have informed his prospective wife of what to expect, so that she could make an informed decision. Frankly, she should have seen the signs and delved more into the family before settling in.
While she thinks she has won the battle with the interview, she certainly hasn't won any war. Just because she took on a huge company at 11 doesn't mean that she would be able to take on an institution that has been around even before her parents, grandparents and great grandparents even existed.
What people are also failing to see is the real Meghan Markle. I know that I will not be popular for saying this as someone of colour but, this is not an issue of race and it is sad that we have been deflected from the reality of this whole issue. She has managed to divide siblings who were very close, alienated Harry from his wider family, and more-so attempted to destroy the royals with her latest interview after failing to enact any change whilst she was still in the UK.
When in Rome do as the Romans do or stay away from Rome.
As someone who was independent and knew what she wanted from life, why did she get married to Harry, knowing that her life, as it was, would never be the same? We could argue that "it was love" , "that you can't help who you fall in love with", but honestly, cry me a river. Chelsea Davy loved Harry but she knew what it would mean if she married him in reality and probably one of the reasons why she walked away from the relationship.
Another issue I would like to address, is the matter of Archie not receiving a title because of 'the colour of his skin'...at least the allusion of Meghan's statement suggested this.
Meghan said she was 'stunned that Archie would not be a prince, nor receive security from the palace'. Where did she get that from? A royal's child or children are always protected by the parents detail no matter what.
Further on this matter, the great grandchildren of the sovereign are not automatically entitled to be a prince or a princess. Prince William's children have only been granted those titles because the Duke of Cambridge is the future king. There are a number of the Queen's grandchildren, Zara and Peter namely, who have no titles. They are normal, working and achieving individuals, getting on with their lives. You have never heard their mother, Princess Anne, ever saying, "Why didn't my children get titles?"
In relation to the wedding, who cares whether she got married three days before? There are so many couples worldwide that exchange their vows before the so-called official ceremony. It's not news! Seriously, it isn't. If she thought people would lose sleep over this revelation she is wrong.
The truth is, you cannot change tradition. It is just that simple. You also cannot change people nor can you force them to change the way they do things to prove some point. When in Rome do as the Romans do or stay away from Rome.
Let's face it, the biggest issues in the world right now are race and mental health. While I sympathise with her as a woman, as a black woman because she has endured some horrible and disgusting things from the UK media, I think a lot of what she and her Harry have done has just revealed that they are two desperate human beings wanting to be accepted by the world and by the media no less, and two humans with a series of issues from their own past experiences that they are trying to project on everyone else.
Let us stop pretending to be experts on Meghan and Harry and what they are going through. What you see is not necessarily what it is.