Royalty and politics do not mix

Meghan’s clash with the British public is her own doing

MEGHAN, DUCHESS of Sussex, and Prince Harry attend a coffee morning with families of deployed army personnel, in Windsor on November 6, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS)
MEGHAN, DUCHESS of Sussex, and Prince Harry attend a coffee morning with families of deployed army personnel, in Windsor on November 6, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The nations of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland wave different flags and speak in different dialects, but all are united by their reverence to the queen. To the British people, the queen is a figure above all others.
From aristocracy to working class, all see the queen as the great uniting force that brings all walks of life together. Unlike any other figure, Queen Elizabeth is a solid constant in an ever-changing world and the ultimate upholder of the good-old British resolve.
The secret of Queen Elizabeth’s unparalleled status is her uncompromising impartiality. Her expression is never telling and her lips are always sealed. Through her record- breaking 66-year reign, the queen has never expressed a political opinion or identified with any ideology. It is practically impossible to tell if the queen backed Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn for PM, loves or loathes Barack Obama, cherishes or detests Donald Trump. The same can be said for William, Kate and other members of the Royal Family – but not for Meghan Markle.
The very essence of royal duty has either eluded the American actress, or she knowingly chose to disrespect it. Soon after gaining her royal title she made her political stand clear, and her ideological alliances clearer. The British people grumbled at first, but their everlasting tolerance meant Meghan was given time to mend her ways. But that Meghan refused to do.
In defiance of her royal duty, she failed to attend the state banquet for US President Trump during his June 2019 visit to the UK and was a no-show at the D-Day commemorations during Trump’s three-day stay. Maternity leave was cited as the reason for her absence but just days later, Meghan attended the Trooping of the Colour.
“I’m sorry, but bunking off at home is simply not an option for any senior member of the Royal Family,” wrote Daily Mail columnist Piers Morgan at the time, expressing the sentiments of many on both ends of the political spectrum.
“By doing so,” he added, “she was not just giving the metaphorical bird to Trump, as she would have most definitely wanted to do, she was giving it to his host the queen, her country who she is representing and the country whom she now represents.”
SEVERAL MONTHS later the Duchess of Sussex co-edited the September issue of fashion title Vogue, promoting figures she saw as forces for change. This was an over-the-top leftist, blatantly woke selection of women which left Britain baffled. She chose to interview Michelle Obama, and her selection of 16 supposedly trailblazing women included just five British.
Her choice Gemma Chan has in the past expressed strong anti-Trump views, while Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said in an interview that Meghan Markle should be head of the commonwealth instead of Prince Charles. She chose New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, who advocates Australia removing the queen as head of state and more.
The issue was instantly slammed for its anti-Trump stand and its overwhelming virtue-signaling stance. More importantly, however, it was slammed because the royal has yet again expressed strong political views.
“As a member of the Royal Family,” commented journalist Toby Young at the time, Markle has an “obligation to remain above the political sphere.”
Members of the Royal Family have rarely hit controversy over political stands. In any case, it is essential to remember that unlike Markle, these were not openly expressed to the public and media but found out by accident. A good example is Prince Charles’s 1986 letter to explorer Laurens Van Der Post following a visit to the Gulf, which came to light several years ago. In it he implied that the “influx of foreign, European Jews” to Israel was to blame for fueling the Israeli-Arab conflict. He lamented over the American “Jewish lobby” and spoke of Arabs’ hostility towards Israel.
“I begin to understand their point of view about Israel, never realized they see it as a US colony,” he wrote to his friend, adding that it was “the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland, they say) which has helped to cause great problems.”
The letter caused upset within the Jewish community, but this was soon rectified.
Meghan Markle has clashed with the British public not because she holds political views or because of the nature of her ideologies; she clashed and crashed because she disrespected her royal duty. By marrying Prince Harry and accepting public funds, she has accepted this duty and should have adhered by its rules.
And so Meghan had to decide if she wants to be an apolitical member of the Royal Family or as Piers Morgan put it, a “virtue-signaling political activist celebrity.” Looks like she chose the latter. 
The writer is a London-based journalist and filmmaker with credits including The Independent, The Guardian, The British Journal of Photography and BBC1.