The Sussex’s exit is a tragedy, yet a rather predictable one
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of InQuire Media
Image courtesy of Getty
On 13 January 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, announced their intention to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family”. The news has sent shockwaves across the UK and beyond, with news outlets questioning everything from the necessity of their decision to the Royal Family’s place in modern Britain. I, however, share no part of this sensationalist ‘Megxit’ narrative; this was bound to happen.
On the one hand, as an ardent royalist, I believe the Sussex’s decision (some would believe has created a constitutional crisis) to tell the Queen and the royal family through an Instagram post and later statement is incredibly disrespectful. To not anticipate a massive backlash and attempt to minimise this from the start by consulting with the monarchy in a firm yet compassionate way would, in my opinion, have reduced much of the animosity the couple has faced from the press as well as the general public. After all, the British public’s taxes paid for their £32 million-pound wedding.
On the other hand, I do not believe anyone should be shocked by this decision, least of all those closest to the couple. The animosity may have been reduced had the Queen been consulted prior to an announcement. In reality, would this really have ensured some show of compassion from the British press? No. Prince Harry has been under the scrutiny of the media throughout his entire life. Yet, with such a critical eye also following his family, it is no surprise he has taken steps to ensure their own ‘security’ and wellbeing as opposed to allowing his own blood to suffer in silence.
But there is also the arguably greater scrutiny that the Duchess of Sussex has faced. In the past few years, she has faced an intense and rather shameful amount of flak merely for being married to the Prince. This criticism has exposed every minute ‘flaw’ that the press perceives whilst condemning a woman regardless of how philanthropic and benevolent her actions have clearly proved her to be. Meghan has endured a lifetime-worth of hate, condescension, and blatant racism in just a few years; one merely has to look to this entire debacle being termed colloquially as ‘Megxit’, something which clearly places blame at one person, to find a harrowing example of her treatment.
It is clear to me that the Sussex’s desire to live more independently is one in line with all we know of Prince Harry’s character. As disappointing as it was to hear the revelation, the strength of character in attempting to protect his family is something to be admired. As stated, I do believe there could have been more delicacy behind the way the Sussex’s went about their decision (with subsequent conversations and a so-called ‘Sandringham Summit’ being entirely avoidable). However, following the Duchess's powerful ITV interview over her treatment only a few months ago, it is no surprise the couple has reached their limit at the shameful treatment they have received. Should said scrutiny stop, perhaps the royal couple would reconsider their current plans.