I didn't know you could quit being royalty
January 8, 2020 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Prince Harry and Meghan quit the Firm - couple step back as senior members of Royal Family: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released an announcement saying, "We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen."

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announce that they plan to split their time between two continents and become financially independent, while still doing royal duties.

"A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: "Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."
Harry and Meghan were said to have felt uncertain about their own position in the slimmed down monarchy envisaged by Charles when he ascends to the throne.


Jezebel sums it up as Meghan and Harry Have Quit Being Royalty.

But are they actually allowed to quit being royalty in this way? We shall see.
posted by jenfullmoon (345 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
So they got tired of the racism, right? That's what this is?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:42 PM on January 8 [70 favorites]


The Epsteiny stuff can't have helped a lot either.

Or the drunk driving.

What a country!
posted by ominous_paws at 1:43 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


I mean, good for them I guess, but this part gave me serious side-eye:

However, they will continue to receive money from the Prince of Wales via the Duchy of Cornwall, which largely funds their activities.

Their decision allows them to retain their royal titles and many of the trappings of royal life, whilst using their positions to carve out independent working lives.

They will continue to use Frogmore Cottage, on the Windsor estate, as their official residence in the UK. Their security will continue to be funded by the British taxpayer.


So basically they want to have their cake and eat it too. Can't abdicate, oh no. Then they'd lose out on the £££
posted by Automocar at 1:45 PM on January 8 [50 favorites]


So basically they want to have their cake and eat it too.

Yeah, I don't get this either.
They want to BE royalty, but they don't want to have to go around and wave at people from carriages or something?
posted by Bill Watches Movies Podcast at 1:48 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


So basically they want to have their cake and eat it too. Can't abdicate, oh no. Then they'd lose out on the £££

The Telegraph is not the most unbiased source for this framing. Them and the rest of the UK gutter press are why they are doing this in the first place.
posted by vacapinta at 1:50 PM on January 8 [104 favorites]


What they seem to really want is to be free of the Royal Rota, the squadron of UK media outlets who have an agreement with the Royal Family for exclusives and such. The outlets they specifically named in the media relations section as part of the Rota have all, at one time or another, published some kind of article that has been quite unkind about the Duchess. I don’t blame them for wanting to find a way to have nothing to do with those outlets.
posted by angeline at 1:52 PM on January 8 [34 favorites]


I've seen a lot of "She's driving a wedge between him and his family, she's clearly manipulative!" stuff, and like... That is a thing that happens, and I might give it some thought if not for the British media and more than a little of the public leaning way into racist garbage against her while the royal family does fuck all to defend her.

These are also two people who have done actual adult jobs in the past. Somehow I suspect they'll be okay.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:53 PM on January 8 [56 favorites]


So I assume that being financially independent means they're going to get working class jobs and save on living expenses by getting roommates.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 1:53 PM on January 8 [16 favorites]




I mean it does say "work to become financially independent". I don't expect them to have everything sorted from the jump.
posted by ODiV at 1:55 PM on January 8 [13 favorites]


So I assume that being financially independent means they're going to get working class jobs and save on living expenses by getting roommates.

That sounds like the premise for a form of income that's more in line with the Duchess' old job. Everybody Loves Harry?
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:56 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


They will continue to use Frogmore Cottage, on the Windsor estate, as their official residence in the UK. Their security will continue to be funded by the British taxpayer.

This framing for example. The Windsor Estate belongs to the Queen so yes, they will continue to use grandma's cottage in the UK. Doesn't sound so insane does it? Of course it needs security as the Queen would provide for any guest.

They will also have Dad (Prince of Wales) help them with money which is the major source of their revenue.

What they will NOT do is take any money from the sovereign fund - paid for by the UK taxpayer.
posted by vacapinta at 1:58 PM on January 8 [86 favorites]


In all seriousness, imagine the payday she could negotiate for a return to acting. "Financially independent" isn't exactly a pipe dream.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:59 PM on January 8 [18 favorites]


Other European royal houses all have 'minor' members who have jobs*, aren't in front of the cameras, but still participate in the big events. It's not like there isn't precedent for the model -- indeed, it may be the standard for any royal who's not first or second on the succession list.

*Cushy, well-connected jobs, of course, but still jobs. No-one's working in the salt mines, here.
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:00 PM on January 8 [39 favorites]




Buckingham Palace’s Response seemed unnecessarily snipppy to me. No wonder they want to leave. North Americans are much more kind to Royalty than the UK. I’m glad they are getting away from that horrid racism.
posted by saucysault at 2:01 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I've been arguing this should be the overall Royal Strategy for quite some time now. "We're well set up, thanks. No, we're not going to give everything back. Yes, we don't need anything more. We'll still do occasional photo-ops and help with worthy causes. You can have the palaces. They're a bugger to keep up."
posted by philip-random at 2:01 PM on January 8 [19 favorites]


I don't understand why people seem so skeptical that they could become financially independent. She was a successful actress, they already have money from her career and his inheritance, and they're both wildly famous.
posted by Mavri at 2:04 PM on January 8 [20 favorites]


I couldn't get through to the source site where they apparently answer a ton of fiscal questions but ELLE has some more explanation of the financial end of things. (Note to royals: when weirdly half-abdicating, make sure your non-profit's server is up for the traffic.)

Update: I hit refresh and got through to the first link. There's even an infographic. Their PR team is slick. The security problem is a big one...I wonder if Canada's going to end up on the hook if they settle here.
posted by warriorqueen at 2:04 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


I've got to be honest, my opinion of Harry and Meghan (not bad before, but, y'know, royals, yeugh) has skyrocketed. (I'm also the person who ruins every movie and TV show by shouting that the underappreciated characters should "just LEAVE, seriously, GET OUT OF TOWN.")
posted by grandiloquiet at 2:05 PM on January 8 [34 favorites]


I don't understand why people seem so skeptical that they could become financially independent

It would be incredibly easy for them to do this. Doing it while also having any privacy, though - much much trickier.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:06 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


There's also a US tax issue as Meghan is a US citizen living abroad, which creates a gnarly tangle of expensive red tape & obligations, especially if you have megabucks.
posted by chavenet at 2:07 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


So basically they want to have their cake and eat it too. Can't abdicate, oh no. Then they'd lose out on the £££

There are a lot of holdings that the Windsor family has that are not Crown property. The bulk of the Crown estate was signed over to the government in 1760, in exchange for annual payments (the Civil List). The Dutchy of Lancaster, for example, is the private possession of the monarch, as something originally held by the monarch in their role as Duke of Lancaster. (That said, how did they get around that whole "heirs male" problem? Maybe when Henry 6 lost it to the crown the rules were re-written).

It does seem that the Dutchy of Cornwall is Crown property of which the Prince of Wales has the use, so that's a bit sketch.

As for stepping out: I am not at all surprised and power to them. Neither asked to be the target of so much ire and bile - one was born into it, the other just married a guy. They are both pretty damn rich anyways - I mean, Meghan could buy a house in Toronto(!), so she must be a billionaire. They get treated terribly and no one respects their basic human right to privacy. If I were them, I'd have quit years ago.

If they forgo their Civil List payments, that's the main "public" expense of the royals - and it's really not that high considering the value of the land which all technically belongs to Elizabeth Windsor. And it's a drop in the bucket of the money lost to Brexit and most of all to 40 years of low taxes for the rich, especially for the financial sector. If people really care about public spending, they should look to the CITY and not the Crown as the true parasite on the UK.
posted by jb at 2:07 PM on January 8 [27 favorites]


The Grauniad's version is much more fact-based.
posted by chavenet at 2:09 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


North Americans are much more kind to Royalty than the UK. I’m glad they are getting away from that horrid racism.

I, uh
posted by ominous_paws at 2:10 PM on January 8 [74 favorites]


Royal Foibles is a blog that covers royal foibles.

This post: Meghan's Real Enemies is from October and sums up well the situation of Harry and Meghan that has led up to this announcement.
posted by Fukiyama at 2:11 PM on January 8 [12 favorites]


They are both pretty damn rich anyways - I mean, Meghan could buy a house in Toronto(!), so she must be a billionaire.

She's well off and likely still brings in income from residuals and the like, but a billionaire is stretching it a bit.
posted by jmauro at 2:16 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


I've been enjoying Twitter's response, in particular Nicole Cliffe's. It's been very fortunate that this happened in the week she's back on the site!
posted by rewil at 2:16 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]


So I assume that being financially independent means they're going to get working class jobs and save on living expenses by getting roommates.

Also, together they fight crime!
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:19 PM on January 8 [16 favorites]


Prince Harry is 5th? 6th? in line for the throne. Unless there's an accident or some kind of revolution he isn't going to become King. Maybe there's a small chance of him becoming regent if the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William all die before one of William's kids is old enough to become Monarch, but he doesn't need to be hanging around as an official prince waiting for that to happen. So let him and Princess Meghan try and make the most of their lives and they can turn up when they're actually needed (ie never).
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:19 PM on January 8 [33 favorites]


I wonder if Canada's going to end up on the hook if they settle here.

It'd be interesting to have members of Canada's royal family actually live here. Even though they're minor members, it would remove the monarchy from being something abstract and historical to something real and present among us. It certainly would validate the concept of the Commonwealth family.

Being a small-r republican myself, I don't see the need for Canada to have a monarch at all, but I recognize that's something that's not going to change in my lifetime, but having our royal family actually live in our country at least makes a lot more sense than this foreign institution we have now, even if we're going to have to pay for security and stuff.
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:21 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


I've seen a lot of "She's driving a wedge between him and his family, she's clearly manipulative!" stuff, and like... That is a thing that happens, and I might give it some thought if not for the British media and more than a little of the public leaning way into racist garbage against her while the royal family does fuck all to defend her.

I think it's complicated. Like, what being a Royal Means is so circumscribed, down to like what they wear and how they wave and who they hang out with and how they do it, and everything needs to get permission in advance from the palace because of how it might look and how it might reflect on the monarchy. And it's a lot of ritual that undoubtedly seems fucking insane to any American who gets involved in it. Like, just try to imagine if you married into a family - trying at any time - where because your sister in law was married to the elder son and you were married to the younger son, you had to solemnly listen to someone who's your fucking age with much less life experience because She Will Be Queen Someday? Or imagine if you couldn't take a vacation, ever, without asking your husband's grandmother? It is entirely understandable that Meghan Markle would be like "oh no, fuck this, this is impossible."

At the same time - that is definitely going to drive a wedge between him and his family, which is jumping through a lot of complicated hoops to preserve a monarchy in a world that has largely outgrown them. The reason for these complicated hoops is because the monarchy itself is on super shaky ground. It is totally understandable that the people who want to preserve the monarchy are going to have a wedge driven between them and the person who is like 'this is a weird quaint tradition but I don't really care'. And it's also understandable that they didn't want to go super far to associating Meghan with the monarchy when they probably always knew how this was going to end. It may, in fact, be why his brother advised against the marriage in the first place. Which makes sense from his politics but also like yeah that's going to make it hard to have a brotherly relationship if your brother thinks your wife is a bad idea!

And it's fucking tragic that this plays out on a family level, and it's extra tragic that this is the thing that lost Harry his mother. He knows where the pressures of royal life to someone who doesn't like it leads. He doesn't want it to happen to his wife, who he loves. And I think all of this is real and valid without even going into the racism which is also happening and to which he's never really understood before it was happening to someone he loves.

Basically, everyone wants to live their best lives and their desires are in conflict, and when that happens, someone is going to get hurt. Someone did. Hopefully the distance will give folks time to repair relationships and the breathing space to be themselves.
posted by corb at 2:25 PM on January 8 [109 favorites]


Prince Harry is 5th? 6th? in line for the throne. Unless there's an accident or some kind of revolution he isn't going to become King. Maybe there's a small chance of him becoming regent if the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William all die before one of William's kids is old enough to become Monarch, but he doesn't need to be hanging around as an official prince waiting for that to happen.

So what you're saying is, the plot to King Ralph could come true, but probably not for a few generations?
posted by avalonian at 2:29 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


She's well off and likely still brings in income from residuals and the like, but a billionaire is stretching it a bit.

Harry inherited something like 11 million pounds? Something? from Diana's estate. Not billionaire territory and probably insufficient to continue jet setting but not chump change either. But this move positions them to earn income, which could be really interesting...there's being a disruptor for you.

I do think it's much more of a human story than an economic one, but the nitty gritty economics are kind of fascinating.
posted by warriorqueen at 2:31 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


It'd be interesting to have members of Canada's royal family actually live here. Even though they're minor members, it would remove the monarchy from being something abstract and historical to something real and present among us.

In terms of actual impact, what the monarchy has generally meant around here is that we get a bunch of badly needed infrastructure repairs and improvements just before they happen to visit.
posted by ODiV at 2:31 PM on January 8 [23 favorites]


Given the reports that they made this announcement without any warning whatsoever to the larger royal family, it seems like Harry has decided to drive that wedge in with vigor.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:31 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


It'd be interesting to have members of Canada's royal family actually live here. Even though they're minor members, it would remove the monarchy from being something abstract and historical to something real and present among us.

If they were to move to Canada he could just become our permanent Governor General. That's a paying job with no real qualifications and a nice house but much less media intrusion. Their charitable work would be encouraged too.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:34 PM on January 8 [27 favorites]


You realize this is the first step toward getting King Ralph
posted by Mchelly at 2:36 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


The security problem is a big one...I wonder if Canada's going to end up on the hook if they settle here.

I urge you to read the comments section* on any news story about this about how we will be paying more tax and monarchy and TV stars and immigrants and Epstein and Trudeau**. It's sort of of a perfect storm of comment fodder.

*Actually, best not to.

** Why Trudeau? I have theorized openly in comments sections that the commenters who mention him all the time only get the full ruble if they mention the PM by name, no matter how unconnected he is to the story at hand. No one has ever denied it.

posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:37 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]


Is this what you call a Rexit?
posted by valkane at 2:37 PM on January 8 [47 favorites]


[One deleted; it's fine to be critical but please just skip assassination/off with their heads stuff.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:38 PM on January 8 [15 favorites]


I mean it does say "work to become financially independent". I don't expect them to have everything sorted from the jump.

It's not like it really takes much sorting, honestly. The number of people who've managed to do so more or less immediately with a tiny fraction of their starting resources must be in the tens of billions.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 2:41 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


I wonder if Canada's going to end up on the hook if they settle here.

Make Harry our Governor General. Kills about five birds with one stone, I reckon.
posted by clawsoon at 2:42 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


FWIW they spent the previous three(?) weeks here in BC on the Saanich Penninsula, AKA the last place on earth I'd move, a compelling blend of aged monarch supporting retirees and pick up truck driving rural Trump supporters, . The weirdest place on earth. They ate in some terrible restaurants and went on some banal hikes.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:43 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


NYT article. Doesn't say much new that I haven't already seen, but good point here:

"Among those issues, one royal watcher said, was how a partial self-exile would work. Other members of the family have been exiled, either because of divorce, abdication or their own behavior. But no one has attempted the half-in, half-out arrangement that Prince Harry and his wife appear to be pursuing."
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:43 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


To tell the truth, I have a little sympathy - sorry Acid Communist! - specifically with these two, and would not be totally opposed to them getting some money out of it, at least until radical social change and expropriation of all rich people. If you're the child of a very rich private citizen or even a minor member of the aristocracy, you can carve out a truly private life for yourself, just reject the whole fucking thing, get an ordinary job and earn your own money. If you're actually part of the British royal family, what are you going to do? You need security just to go to university, you can't disappear and get a standard professional class job and earn your own money, etc. You'd constantly be subject to very heavy media attention, people would spy on you, you might be physically at risk, etc. Even if you disappeared and got plastic surgery, people would still be looking for you and someone would sell you out. There just aren't a lot of super good options, especially of the "have a reasonably decent private life" variety. I guess you could convert to Catholicism and become a monk or something.

Being a member of the royal family and being a person of any intellect or spirit has always seemed to me an incredibly hideous fate.

It's not that I think anyone "deserves" that kind of money; it's more that until we take it away from everyone, I don't really object to these particular people having it.
posted by Frowner at 2:46 PM on January 8 [43 favorites]


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released an announcement saying, "We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen."

It's funny to me that people who already have millions of dollars and who *incredibly* famous think that it will be work for them to become financially independent. Like, use the millions of dollars to live on while you start A Famous Charitable Organization , and once it's started, people will be bending over backwards to make your Famous Charitable Organization a success.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:51 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


They are both pretty damn rich anyways - I mean, Meghan could buy a house in Toronto(!), so she must be a billionaire.

She's well off and likely still brings in income from residuals and the like, but a billionaire is stretching it a bit.


Sorry - that was an (out of context) Toronto real estate joke.

You only need to be a millionaire to buy a house here.
posted by jb at 2:55 PM on January 8 [28 favorites]


Is this what you call a Rexit?

Megxit, is what the used bin bags that pass as commenters over at the Daily Mail like to call it when they’re screaming for it. They just wanted it without Harry going with her, which they never seemed to realize was not ever going to happen...
posted by angeline at 2:55 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


you can't disappear and get a standard professional class job and earn your own money, etc.

If you join the Armed Forces, you have papers leaking when you're overseas and then you have to be recalled. You can't just be allowed to serve and do your job in peace (or war, rather).

As for the monarchy in general: the Queen and the Governor General are what stand between us and the potential that Andrew Scheer (or Doug Ford!) could be the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces. This really, really matters - the military swear loyalty to the Crown, not the government, and while the politicians may set the policy, they don't have complete control. In the event of something crazy - like threatening to blow up ancient monuments - the GG can stop that.
posted by jb at 3:04 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


It's funny to me that people who already have millions of dollars and who *incredibly* famous think that it will be work for them to become financially independent.

I'm sure I sound way too defensive already, but I took this to mean it's going to take time and effort to disentangle themselves financially.
posted by ODiV at 3:07 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


I like the sound of “Sussexit,” and I don’t even read red tops.
posted by armeowda at 3:09 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Make Harry our Governor General. Kills about five birds with one stone, I reckon.

As a bonus, becoming a governor in the colonies is possibly the only square left unfilled on Harry's Edward VIII bingo card.
posted by Copronymus at 3:15 PM on January 8 [31 favorites]


In the event of something crazy - like threatening to blow up ancient monuments - the GG can stop that.

I think the day the GG stepped in to stop a military order would be the day we stopped having a GG.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:15 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]


She just couldn't bear being a bit player in The Firm drama, could she?
posted by jgbustos at 3:21 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


I find the speculation that they're relocating to Canada to be based on pretty thin evidence... Harry is still technically royalty there, Meghan lived in Toronto for a while, sure I guess. It seems like a stretch. If they want to be self-supporting I don't really recommend Canada. They'd be doing something for real money in the US and spending some time in the UK to keep the home fires burning.
posted by GuyZero at 3:22 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


This is the kind of thing people commit suicide because of when they can't see a way out, so I'm just glad they decided to create a way out. It's good for people to see examples of that. Even though it's not directly a situation any of us will be in.
posted by bleep at 3:22 PM on January 8 [53 favorites]


Well, this is an unexpected twist for Season 9 of the Crown
posted by nubs at 3:23 PM on January 8 [15 favorites]


I can’t wait for Season 5 of The Crown.
posted by Jubey at 3:24 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Snap!
posted by Jubey at 3:25 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


And after having read a bit more of the thread in detail I see I'm taking a controversial anti-suicide position on this one, huh.
posted by bleep at 3:26 PM on January 8 [10 favorites]


It sounds like Harry just loves his wife and wants her to be safe and happy:
He said he could no longer be a “silent witness” to Meghan’s “private suffering”, adding that his “deepest fear is history repeating itself”.

He wrote: “There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this.

“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
Mad respect for these two, we all only get one life to live and it's for ourselves first and foremost, before anyone else.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:26 PM on January 8 [132 favorites]


[A few comments removed. Acid Communist, this feels like a discussion you're gonna have a hard time participating in without going overboard with the rhetoric, so please just give it a pass now.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:26 PM on January 8 [16 favorites]


work to become financially independent

Reality show.
posted by betweenthebars at 3:31 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


They're already living in a reality show.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:39 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


Because they are part of the Monarchy, they are at very real risk of kidnapping and assassination. The cost of protecting them is on the government. Any number of companies would pay real money to have one of them on its board. Harry is adequately educated and extraordinarily well-connected. Meghan is a talented actress. The barrier to self-sufficiency will be formalities about what monarchs are allowed to do.

The British monarchy has 1 product - pageantry. In their own way, they are supporting the drama. This didn't have to be announced. It's like leaving anything; announcing one's departure gets a lot of attention. But it seems a move in a good direction.
posted by theora55 at 3:43 PM on January 8 [12 favorites]


jenfullmoon: "They're already living in a reality show."

All of us, really.
posted by chavenet at 3:47 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]




Anybody want to see how they'd score on Canada's immigration points system?
posted by clawsoon at 4:01 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


If only it were a few years ago, they could've got in on the investor class visa and half-heartedly run a Mr Sub location in North York for a year …

re the money from the Duchy of Cornwall: Charles treats it like his own personal possession and will complain about any developments there on a whim.
posted by scruss at 4:14 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Paparazzi: Let's gossip about Boring Rich Couple!

Old Prince Philip: /*CENSORED FOR RACISM*/

Boring Rich Couple: We just want to go away with our big pile of money and land and live humbly and be left in peace!

MetaFilter: Let's gossip about Boring Rich Couple!
posted by splitpeasoup at 4:15 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


I wonder if maybe this is the beginning of a transition to a more low-key monarchy, like in the Scandinavian countries.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:17 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


So, the clever young woman rescued the handsome prince?
posted by rmd1023 at 4:17 PM on January 8 [113 favorites]


Anybody want to see how they'd score on Canada's immigration points system?

Think we'll need a Labour Market Opinion on the Governor General's job first.
posted by bonehead at 4:18 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Think we'll need a Labour Market Opinion on the Governor General's job first.

Actor and helicopter pilot? Do we need any search and rescue pilots?
posted by clawsoon at 4:24 PM on January 8


That's the other one. Harry is more of a search and shoot pilot.
posted by biffa at 4:28 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Megxit, is what the used bin bags that pass as commenters over at the Daily Mail like to call it when they’re screaming for it.

#Megxit is all over UK social media today to the point where it is completely drowning out the original meaning.
posted by Lanark at 4:30 PM on January 8


There’s his job sorted - reality-show SAR pilot. Networks would give a right leg for that show.

Meghan can be the heir to Oprah, maybe?
posted by drivingmenuts at 4:33 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I think the day the GG stepped in to stop a military order would be the day we stopped having a GG.

Except that's not how military members feel. They are really serious about their oaths to the Crown and the GG is the representative of the Crown. It's not just pro forma, it's personal.

I remember when Princess Margaret died - and they profiled a unit for which she had been a special patron (along with lots of other units). They were really affected by it, they felt they had a real connection with her.

It's really different from the US - imagine all that respect that American forces direct towards the President directed instead at a former astronaut and (through her) to a tiny British lady.
posted by jb at 4:38 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


This doesn't make any sense from a avoiding public eye perspective. If you want to avoid attention you stop doing things that attract it and disappear into the many country homes and clubs in your kingdom .

This sound a lot more like trying to revive a dying reality show - The cute young couple makes a break from their overbearing family!! Except not too much of a beak!! So they can still lovably argue!! Add they are even going to try and make it on their own!! Just like that Hilton girl did on the farm!! All sort of potential for zany misadventures!!
posted by rtimmel at 4:46 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Honestly - I think they know they lives are messed up - this will take a generation or three to normalize - hopefully their great-grandkids can lead somewhat normal lives if they follow through. Baby steps but in the right direction.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 4:50 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


on the Saanich Penninsula

Aw, I went to a wedding in Saanichton last September and kinda enjoyed the PNW backwaterness of it. It reminded me of pre-1995 Puget Sound, with better health care.
posted by mwhybark at 4:53 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


This doesn't make any sense from a avoiding public eye perspective.

Well, two points:

1) We don't actually know what they're going to do yet, so maybe they could conceivably just disappear into the ether.

2) And, even if they don't just disappear, there's a very specific "public eye" that they're very clearly trying to escape and that's the notoriously racist UK tabloid press (who, incidentally, Harry has not-so-subtly implicated in his own mother's death). Escaping the Royal Rota system is almost surely the whole point.
posted by mhum at 4:56 PM on January 8 [49 favorites]


Angelica, tell this man John Adams spends the summer with his family

Angelica, tell my wife John Adams doesn’t have a real job anyway
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:00 PM on January 8 [21 favorites]


If you want to avoid attention you stop doing things that attract it and disappear into the many country homes and clubs in your kingdom .

And how will that stop the hordes of British paparazzi from continuing to find and hound them? How would that stop feeding the tabloid monsters that will continue to harass and bully? The only way out of the bullseye when you're already famous is to publicly opt-out, and even then, it will take generations for voyeuristic interest to wane.

Whether one is sympathetic or not, options are limited for them, because no one can control other people's behavior.
posted by LooseFilter at 5:03 PM on January 8 [20 favorites]


I mean, this whole thing is why I object very strongly to celebrity, no matter how much money comes with it. Being a member of the royal family never seemed romantic to me - you can't pick your own friends, you can't be anonymous, you basically never meet anyone except people with the "right" background and even if you did they would never be sincere with you, you can't express your actual opinions, you can't develop your actual opinions, you can't get drunk or do something stupid without it either being justified in the press or reviled in the press. You can't even buy your own groceries. You can't really wear what you want, you can't really do your hair the way you want, you can't publish or use the internet except in deep, deep anonymity and probably not even then, if you're an artist or a musician you'll never be able to develop your gifts. You live in an even more rigidly hierarchical situation than most people.

In short, you are forced to get a lot of money and forced to forgo the things that make life really worth living, and people act as though you ought to be grateful, or as if you're ipso facto terrible for being born into it and prevented from acquiring any understanding or experience of normal human interaction.

To my mind, it's just stunting people and then blaming them for being stunted and it ought to be stopped.

The villains are the people who have real, actual choices in these matters and haven't been brought up as a sort of human topiary.
posted by Frowner at 5:22 PM on January 8 [47 favorites]


Yeah, I feel like Harry and Meghan have had several low-key months (not traveling or doing events) around the birth of their kid where negative tabloid coverage didn't even pause. That's like...when they should be getting either no coverage or the best coverage of their life. It seems like they took a look at the last two years, realized they couldn't expect any improvement, and found an exit. I doubt they will be living like "regular" people -- they're both rich and well-known -- but stepping back from some royal duties should give them more control of their lives. Based on the rollout of the announcement, Harry and Meghan don't trust Buckingham Palace to have their backs. I can't blame them for trying to get some distance.
posted by grandiloquiet at 5:24 PM on January 8 [16 favorites]


They were damned if they do [announce], damned if they don't. Suddenly leaving the country without an explanation and not allowing "exclusive" photos of the baby would have raised an uproar in the press and, most likely, the public. The English seem to feel they "own" the people who are in the Royal family. Harry and Meg are letting everyone know to change their expectations and the tabloids/public doesn't get a say in what personal boundaries they put in place.
posted by saucysault at 5:27 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]


Maybe they can team up with the Obamas' media company. Netflix would pay them infinity money.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:31 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Megxit, is what the used bin bags that pass as commenters over at the Daily Mail like to call it when they’re screaming for it.

My guess is that she’ll become the one who ‘stole’ their prince away. They’ll just cross out Yoko Ono’s name on all their old screeds and scrawl in Meg’s.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:33 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]


I find it abhorrent that royalty as a concept is still embraced by so many people, *and* that so many people (including members of the media) fling racist and sexist crap at the Duchess of Sussex. My guess is any attempt to profit financially by either of the Sussexes will he read as selling on their status as royals (even if not senior ones), which will bring up again and again the question pertinent to royalty of “What did they actually do to earn this?” All Harry did was be born in the right place, at the right time, to the right parents.

The behavior of the royal family over the past few years makes me think the whole thing will fracture quickly once the Queen has passed. It seems pretty clear this isn’t down to the women in the family, but rather a father and two brothers who all want the spotlight.

Meghan can be the heir to Oprah, maybe?

Oprah was born so poor that her grandmother made her clothing out of old feed bags and she grew up in a house with a dirt floor. She spent decades building every inch of her business empire from scratch. The Duchess seems like a kind person and a good public speaker, but she isn’t anything near Oprah.
posted by sallybrown at 5:37 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


The only way out of the bullseye when you're already famous is to publicly opt-out, and even then, it will take generations for voyeuristic interest to wane.

But what I am trying to say is that they are making themselves more tabloid interesting, not less. The way to fade seems to be becoming more boring (which should be relatively easy for royals) and not go reality show stunty. This can go on forever.
posted by rtimmel at 5:42 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


(My favorite tweet related to this breaking news was definitely this: “Prince Harry's gonna rent a flat above a shop, cut his hair and get a job”)
posted by sallybrown at 5:42 PM on January 8 [28 favorites]


Good for them.


I'm from the 80's
House of the Windsor's
Era of the punk rock
The world is my oystey
New Rich Porter
The way I flip quarters
Front on all these other plebs, but me
Momma didn't want it either
Papa runs numbers
So it's plain to see where my whole plan come from
American dream
I'm living the life still
The way I shine is like a zillion dollar light bill
Still I'm grinding, army jacket lining
(Chorus)
posted by clavdivs at 5:50 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


But what I am trying to say is that they are making themselves more tabloid interesting, not less.

It's not their interestingness that they're cutting off. It's the direct access granted by the Royal Rota system to the UK tabloid press. I mean, they call it out specifically:
Britain’s Royal Correspondents are regarded internationally as credible sources of both the work of members of The Royal Family as well as of their private lives. This misconception propels coverage that is often carried by other outlets around the world, amplifying misreporting.
posted by mhum at 5:53 PM on January 8 [25 favorites]


The Fug Girls' comment section is, predictably, very enthusiastically discussing this.
posted by librarylis at 6:02 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Ahh. Didn't catch that (being non-British here) . And i suppose even though Canada (assuming the do relocate there) is very cooperative with the sovereign, it won't be the same
posted by rtimmel at 6:02 PM on January 8


If you want to avoid attention you stop doing things that attract it and disappear into the many country homes and clubs in your kingdom .

I don’t think you quite understand how this works? The immediate royal family, like Harry and his wife, have ceremonial responsibilities. This is not like someone just deciding to skip a few parties. It would be obvious pretty quickly if they renounced those duties altogether, especially if they straight up moved to a foreign country!

People criticizing her here really should go on Twitter and see who you’re in bed with, like Piers Morgan. I’m very much not a royalist, but goddamn Markle has taken bullshit beyond belief and Harry defending her to this extent is probably the best and classiest thing he’s ever done.
posted by praemunire at 6:03 PM on January 8 [79 favorites]


(But surely the title of the post should be “I wasn’t aware that was something a person could do.”)
posted by praemunire at 6:05 PM on January 8 [41 favorites]


One down, 20 to go.
posted by chiquitita at 6:10 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Been sitting here fifteen minutes thinking "what's that line from Hamilton that applies here... King George says it..." So thanks for coming thru praemunire.
posted by great_radio at 6:12 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


(But surely the title of the post should be “I wasn’t aware that was something a person could do.”)

Oh god, you're RIGHT. I'm so sorry. I just failed at Hamilton fandom.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:12 PM on January 8 [15 favorites]


I wish you could meet my princess, my princess who lives in Canada
She couldn't be sweeter
I wish you could meet her
My princess who lives in Canada!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:16 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


Can’t declare war, can’t order beheadings on a whim. Hell, you can’t even point at someone and shout “Guards! Sieze him!” without getting confused looks from onlookers.

In short, being British royalty is pretty worthless.
posted by dr_dank at 6:18 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


Oh also, one thing that I don't think has been mentioned in this thread (and seems pretty under-reported in news articles) is that, as far as I can tell, Harry & Megan announced this via Instagram. Not only did they not tell the Queen or anyone else in the Royal Family that they were Audi 5000 , they just posted it up on IG with a super-long caption that -- no lie -- contains the phrase "link in bio".

Incidentally, the immediately previous IG post was of them meeting with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK with a caption that emphasizes their connection to Canada:
The Duke and Duchess have a strong connection to Canada. It’s a country The Duke of Sussex has visited many times over the years and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of The Royal Family.
posted by mhum at 6:19 PM on January 8 [21 favorites]


Goodforher.gif
posted by dinty_moore at 6:29 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


My guess is that she’ll become the one who ‘stole’ their prince away.

Not "become", very much already is, from a quick glance at Twitter.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:29 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Paging Ms. Simpson.
posted by clavdivs at 6:36 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Make Harry our Governor General. Kills about five birds with one stone, I reckon.

I know were just having goofs, but there's no way. Mum would not be very not amused, and there's no reason our government would want it. The Governor General personifies the Queen in Canada, if we put an actual prince in there it would be uncomfortably like having our own separate King of Canada.
posted by rodlymight at 6:40 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


The Governor General personifies the Queen in Canada, if we put an actual prince in there it would be uncomfortably like having our own separate King of Canada.

Forget Harry as GG/King of Canada. We're making Meghan Queen of the North.
posted by mhum at 6:46 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


Hell, you can’t even point at someone and shout “Guards! Sieze him!” without getting confused looks from onlookers

Oh yes she can, she has a Webley in that satchel aside from scin·til·lat·ing hat powers that renders knee wobble and fiscal guilt.
posted by clavdivs at 6:49 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I was going to comment on the vile comments on Instagram, but the less said about them, the better.

I mainly appreciate that this stepping back in duties has resulted in a change in their media policy, which I imagine wouldn't have been possible if they were still 'senior' royals and now can engage with "grassroots media organisations and young, up-and-coming journalists".

Apparently this scaling back had been leaked to The Sun which is why they had to announce this so quickly and maybe earlier than anticipated based on BP's statement? But who knows.

I've not really been a fan of the royal family and it has only been since Harry and Meghan went public as a couple that I've gotten somewhat drawn in. I think the thing that astounds me the most is just the hypocrisy - of the media and of the general public - when it comes to the (racist) double standards applied to Meghan in comparison to say Zara Tindall who just got her license suspended for 6 months for speeding (can you imagine the uproar if that had happened to Meghan?) or, of course absolutely everything to do with Prince Andrew.

They were and will continue to be criticised for however they approached their duties (too much/not enough) and at least this way they'll actually have a bit more control over their lives.
posted by liquorice at 6:54 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


that they were Audi 5000

oh my god. I'd only ever heard that phrase and never read it, so I'd always thought it was "outtie 5000." So I essentially understood the meaning but never got the reference.

So thank you, mhum for that unexpected bit of clarity.
posted by acidnova at 7:18 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


Can you imagine being born into a strange cult that brainwashes you into believing you have a sacred and solemn duty to give bland speeches, always wear uncomfortable shoes and endlessly have your picture taken? You get to be really wealthy but someone else controls almost all of the purse strings*. You can’t have any opinions or a career and your grandmother has the power to insist your wife always wears panty hose and never takes off her coat. And the government sets up committees and pays people to tell you where to go and what to say and to make sure you stay in line.

Here’s hoping this insanity is coming to an end.

*the Wikipedia pages covering the duchies and the crown purse give me the hives. I’d be so pissed at whatever great great great great great etc etc grandpa shackled me with this hell.
posted by double bubble at 7:21 PM on January 8 [18 favorites]


that they were Audi 5000
oh my god. I'd only ever heard that phrase and never read it, so I'd always thought it was "outtie 5000." So I essentially understood the meaning but never got the reference.


I technically knew what it is but I still think "outtie" frequently.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:23 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


She made front page news and TV for closing her own car door. She was criticized for closing her own door. And they have a kid who is going to grow up non-white in a country and family where it's been made very clear openly that he and his mother are not wanted. The fuck you, we're out on Instagram is perfect in context.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:25 PM on January 8 [63 favorites]


You can’t have any opinions or a career and your grandmother has the power to insist your wife always wears panty hose and never takes off her coat.

Royal family stuff like this is a good example of how a lot of power exists more in threat than in reality. In the fallout, we’ll be able to see just how much the family head(s) can actually do when they’re unhappy with members who have their own individual fame. Same with how much power those individuals actually have (through social media or personal branding) if the public perceives them as having split from the royal family.
posted by sallybrown at 7:28 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Jobwise don't they like already have a tv series doing home makeovers or something?
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:52 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


FWIW they spent the previous three(?) weeks here in BC on the Saanich Penninsula, AKA the last place on earth I'd move, a compelling blend of aged monarch supporting retirees and pick up truck driving rural Trump supporters,

Oh that's who elected Elizabeth May?
Right.........
posted by wats at 7:53 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I guess it's better to quit and get financially independent than end up some royal charity case like Prince Michael of Kent.
posted by PenDevil at 9:46 PM on January 8


I'm happy for them that they got out. For a very different version of how things could have gone, look no further than the royal family in Japan. It took over a year of negotiation just to allow the emperor to abdicate last year. Both he and his wife are old and not in the greatest health, and still had to (essentially) beg to be allowed to step down. Meanwhile, the current empress has had to endure not only stress induced mental health problems, but also constant attention paid to them, along with commentary about how there must be something wrong with her because how could any member of the royal family be less than perfect. During the parade marking the new emperor's ascension, it was noted that she repeatedly had to brush away tears, and I remember changing the channel in disgust at the panel of assholes trying to dissect the reason, only to find a different group of jackals doing the same on another channel.

So, yeah, while I'm not a fan of the concept of royalty in general, good for the two of them to decide that the farce isn't worth it.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:46 PM on January 8 [19 favorites]


My favourite comment [paraphrased from memory] about the Royal Family comes from "Red Ken", Ken Livingstone, former Lord Mayor of London, "The Royal Family is the human equivalent of the London Zoo - incredible scrutiny paid to the matings, progeny and survival".

And Megxit is very like Brexit -"What do you mean, we don't get to have your shiny toys, when we ask you to leave?"
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 10:00 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


I'm on the side of the make him GG idea.

he Governor General personifies the Queen in Canada, if we put an actual prince in there it would be uncomfortably like having our own separate King of Canada.

Well, it's a ceremonial post, and the two of them are excellent at that; they would draw a huge amount of attention to the role and to the links between Canada and the UK, which are often overlooked, and it's hard to argue that he can't represent the Queen when he's her grandson. And it's a time-limited post, which means that they'll be able to stop doing it after five years or so, but it would give them a legit reason to be in Canada.

Seriously, I think it's reasonable to assume they can do high-end charitable/organizational work. He's run the Ivictus games and done work with wounded vets, and seems to have a real sense of purpose around it. That kind of 'sit on boards/run non-profits/promote the hell out of causes' work doesn't look like work until you meet people who do it and realize that they're in meetings from 6 AM until 9 PM 6 days a week. And there needs to be a model to allow the minor royals to morph into something akin to the Dutch or Swedish or Norwegian royal families -- to drop back down to the rank of aristocrats, get jobs, do the shopping and take the kids to school.

Fleeing to The Island is something every stressed out Vancouverite has ever done; it's dull, quiet, pretty and restful, so I don't fault them for that.
posted by jrochest at 10:02 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]




PenDevil: "I guess it's better to quit and get financially independent than end up some royal charity case like Prince Michael of Kent."

PrincESS Michael of Kent.

("Upon their marriage, she was accorded the style and title of Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, the female equivalent to her husband's title: not being of royal birth, she is therefore not titled Princess Marie Christine. ")
posted by Chrysostom at 10:22 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


It's interesting that these two get the benefit of the doubt from most commenters here. I think I would be more sympathetic if they simply abdicated, but maybe that's the next step.

As it is, it feels like they would like to change things but have no real power to do so, which as I type it makes me understand a bit more why they're more relatable and sympathetic than your average royal.
posted by chaz at 10:49 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


You abdicate a throne, not an aristocratic title.
posted by praemunire at 10:55 PM on January 8 [14 favorites]




I think they are a cancer on British society.
Riddled with the most horrible, racist humans.
Desperately clinging to a white supremacist, classist way of life and using their immense wealth and power to try and perpetuate it.

It's time we got rid of The Telegraph and The Daily Mail.
posted by fullerine at 11:19 PM on January 8 [71 favorites]


The Governor General personifies the Queen in Canada, if we put an actual prince in there it would be uncomfortably like having our own separate King of Canada

I have no problem with that. Either appoint him G-G, or go all-in and split the Crown of Canada away from the British Crown and proclaim them King and Queen. The latter option has the benefit of severing the last "colonial" link to Britain without opening the constitutional can of worms that trying to make Canada a republic would do. No need for all the pomp and ceremony either - they can be like the "bicycle monarchs" of the Netherlands and Scandinavia.
posted by e-man at 11:41 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I felt fairly eye-roll-y about the whole thing until I realised that these people are (were?) in a position where they had to take Piers Morgan and his opinions to some degree seriously. So frankly I fully endorse whatever actions they feel they need to take to get tge hell away from that.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:49 PM on January 8 [16 favorites]


Bravo to them.

Apart from anything else, I am quite sure that Harry intends to protect his wife from what happened to his mother.

Meanwhile it's a perfect story for the British press to blow up and distract the people's attention from the real headlines, e.g. 'Boris Johnson proceeds with his plan to f**k Britain in the arse with no Vaseline'.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 12:10 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


"We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties."

I strongly suspect Harry knows the meaning of the word 'collaborate' in British English, and is using it quite deliberately.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 12:17 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Lanark: "#Megxit is all over UK social media today to the point where it is completely drowning out the original meaning."

That sounds like a public service!
posted by chavenet at 1:35 AM on January 9


The Royal Foibles post was very helpful for background - frankly I'm not impressed at anyone who feels the need to give their staff instructions at 5am. On the other hand, Prince Andrew probably fucked children, so being shitty to work for kind of pales in comparison.

I think the real story is that the royal family's press office found out at the same time everyone else did. That's-a spicy meat-a-ball.
posted by Merus at 2:25 AM on January 9 [6 favorites]


I read somewhere that the Sun had scooped the story so they had to release it earlier than planned. Which goes back to the initial problem of the media being up in their grill and not even letting them have a chance to talk to mumsy first. If it had been published before their IG announcement the media would be controlling the narrative, not them, and it would have been even worse for their personal relations with the rest of the family.

As for the “Renonounce their titles thing”, that already did that for Archie and the media still wouldn’t give them a break. Them renouncing their titles takes away some of their power and leverage against that horrible UK media/palace insiders relationship but doesn’t help them (they would still be accused of “trading on their names”). I feel so sorry for them being trapped in such a dysfunctional family.
posted by saucysault at 3:41 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


There's giving instructions at 5AM and expecting action at 5AM. "Here's what I want you to do today" is totally fine! "Get me a X report in five minutes!" is not. The fact that someone is up at 5AM focusing on work activities is a sign of the work stress they are under (or they have a baby, so different). Shit rolls downhill and all that, so if your coterie of courtiers doesn't like it landing on you, stop leaking to the tabloids and increasing your boss's stress levels.

As for Prince Harry, if I was an Arsenal supported, I'd flee the scene of the crime too.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:56 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


Wow the royals really do hate women, don’t they. They were horrible to Diana. They were horrible to Fergie. (And of course now that Andrew is in big-ass trouble, they’ve allowed her to come back, they can just use her now to show the world that he’s really just a normal guy, etc.) And a woman of color?! If they’re worried about survival of their institution and all, they’d do well to drop this attitude.
posted by Melismata at 4:16 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


There are, of late, many things that make me ashamed of being British, and the racism and misogyny of the boot-licking British mass media (shared by many Brits themselves) is yet another.
posted by adrianhon at 5:17 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


The official site that Meghan and Harry got set up seems easier to access now and isn't erroring out from traffic overload anymore -- thank you, IT staff who, I presume, have some kind of super interesting formal title.

From the About page:
Sussexroyal.com was created as a source of factual information regarding the workstreams of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
(Aside to people with experience of the UK: is "workstreams" a common phrase there?)

On the funding page:
How much does The British Royal Family cost each UK taxpayer?
The contribution from UK taxpayers towards the full overhead of the British Monarchy is equivalent to approximately £1 per head per year.

What is the return on the investment for this funding mechanism?
The British Royal Family generates an estimated £1.8 billion a year in tourism revenues for The United Kingdom.
I have a bachelor's degree in political science, I have spent time thinking about what benefits constitutional monarchy has in comparison to republic-style systems, and I find it so striking that their answer to "what's the ROI?" is "tourism revenues." I think rhetorically it's a smart choice; it's fairly inarguable, and this is the funding explanation page so a money argument is apposite.

The rest of the site explains what they do and why they want to keep doing it, and it's all about service to charities, strengthening Commonwealth ties, and bringing attention and resources to important causes. Which, as subtext, I think is their argument for (other than tourism revenue) why the Royal Family as an institution continues to bring enough value to not just the UK, but the Commonwealth and perhaps the world at large, that it should not be completely abolished and they don't want to completely renounce it.
posted by brainwane at 5:45 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Personally, I expect a lot of the Commonwealth who currently has Elizabeth II as their head of state will move on becoming a republic when she dies. That'll be fun to watch the British royal family deal with.
posted by Merus at 6:36 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


I don't think there's a huge groundswell for republicanism in Canada, as there seems to be elsewhere. It would mean opening the constitution for one thing, which is both politically fraught (see the concerns of the Indigenous peoples and Quebec, to start) and practically nearly impossible without universal support. Secondly, if it ain't broke, why fix it? There's very little wrong with having a GG & LGs, and very little to "fix".
posted by bonehead at 7:00 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Yes, I don't follow the British royals much, they seem to be very disfunctional, and that press... Good luck to the young couple with whatever they do. As a Scandinavian, I find it very normal and a good thing that the younger royals go out and find a job. We can't pay for all of them forever.
But I do support monarchy when they only function as figureheads. Presidents seem to be a scary lot. When I think of who could be elected president here, I go and wave my flag at the palace.

Also, I like royals to be as normal as possible. I sometimes discuss this with people. It seems some people want their royals to be very posh and distant, arguing that is what gives them legitimacy. I don't buy it. They are there because we choose to have them rather than a president. Their job is to do stuff politicians are bad at, like cry at funerals when there has been some tragedy, or talk with little children about things for other reasons than getting votes. Or riding around in gold carriages -- I really enjoy the pageantry element. I don't even mind that they are rich, because it must be a terrible job, and it's really hard to get out of it.
It seems like some royals believe in the posh appearance, and for me, it degrades them. Then I can see what Republicans are thinking. We don't want a bunch of clowns running around.
posted by mumimor at 7:31 AM on January 9 [13 favorites]


I'd like to reiterate LooseFilter's comment.

I'm not a big follower of the lives of the British royals, but this line particularly hit home, and I'm happy that they're taking steps to avoid the same tragedy.

“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
posted by blurker at 7:35 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


I think rhetorically it's a smart choice; it's fairly inarguable

Two out of France's five most popular tourist sites are royal palaces. They do ok.
posted by biffa at 7:47 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


I'm also usually not paying too much attention to the royals, but reading the royal foibles post makes me want to burn it all down - maybe it's because I've worked in jobs where messaging at 5am was not unheard of (I mean, we also worked with folks that were seven hours ahead, time-zone wise), but the fact that they're looking to destroy someone's life to prevent a baby from getting an honorific is just so fucking warped.

Anyway, no matter who these people are or how horrible they might be, the typical relationship advice of 'get yourself out of the toxic situation first, then work on unlearning the dysfunctional coping mechanisms' still applies, especially if it seems like open and direct communication doesn't seem to be working.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:56 AM on January 9 [13 favorites]


Someone is probably writing a new set of lyrics based on this for Lorde's "Royals".
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:00 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


biffa: good point!
posted by brainwane at 8:00 AM on January 9



The Commonwealth is a large, odd and diverse group, and I think that it'll eventually just fade into the distance. There wouldn't be a point to keeping it if it's not functional or profitable. Bigger countries like India and Pakistan may well cut ties -- maybe there's more identification with the UK than I think, but I don't know how important the links are to either nation. And there's probably not a huge affection for their former colonizers in Papua New Guinea and Vanauatu, or in a lot of the African countries.

It's different for the big, white, majority settler former colonies, and for the Caribbean islands whose persona and marketing is partly based on a British past. Among the former, Australia may well cut ties, as they've had a republican movement for decades, but I don't know about New Zealand and South Africa. As bonehead points out, Canada likes the links with the Crown and the UK as a distinction from the US, even though our cultural links to the UK are much weaker than ANZSA's.

The Caribbean members are a mix of independent nations and 'British Overseas territories'. I can't imagine Bermunda without ties to the UK, for example. I think the Commonwealth still matters for them.

That Royal Foibles blog is fascinating but has grammar and style issues that make it unreadable.

And HOLY SHIT the British media is losing it, incontinently, all over every front page. Run, Meghan and Harry! RUN!!
posted by jrochest at 8:02 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


Given the reports that they made this announcement without any warning whatsoever to the larger royal family, it seems like Harry has decided to drive that wedge in with vigor.

I mean, it's the palace that responded to this with "sources" telling the press that the royal family were "blindsided" and "hurt" by the Sussexes' announcement, when the absolute bare minimum classy response to this would be a simple "we wish them all the best in their new life" statement from the palace.

The wedge was right there from day one.
posted by automatronic at 8:04 AM on January 9 [28 favorites]


From The Ringer:

- “Megxit”: A Love Story (five takeaway points)

- 37 Pressing Questions About Harry and Meghan’s Royal Family Exit
Megxit is here, and there’s a lot we need to know. Like: Did the queen know what Instagram was before Wednesday morning?
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:18 AM on January 9 [9 favorites]


Asks Piers Morgan: "Who the f**k do they think they are?"

Well, Piers...
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:28 AM on January 9 [12 favorites]


The summary of Harry's attempts to hash this out with his family linked by dinty_moore is equally hilarious and horrifying. Imagine if moving out of your parents' basement required dealing with the same degree of bureaucracy as trying to get a disability accommodation at work.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:37 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Someone pointed out on twitter the palace spokespeople responded with more public negative language than when Andrew had to be pulled from the public stage.
posted by cendawanita at 8:39 AM on January 9 [38 favorites]


If that runaround is to be believed (and I’m inclined to believe that yes, royal bureaucracy and scheduling is in fact that annoying) then it seems they have been treating him like he’s still the very not-bright and thoughtless child (I am putting this mildly I know) who made all those questionable and sometimes outright hurtful bad decisions (the Nazi costume, the streaking, the pot smoking) and saying he’s just being impulsive and childish... which if it were me, I too would probably pop off and just machete through the red tape.

But honestly if they were the least observant they would have seen this coming for years. This is always the sort of thing I would have expected from Harry whether he got married or not. He was ready to jump, the press and apparently family treatment of his wife just sealed the deal.
posted by angeline at 8:49 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


cendawanita: "Someone pointed out on twitter the palace spokespeople responded with more public negative language than when Andrew had to be pulled from the public stage."

ThePoke gets it right
posted by chavenet at 8:49 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


bonehead: I don't think there's a huge groundswell for republicanism in Canada, as there seems to be elsewhere. It would mean opening the constitution for one thing, which is both politically fraught (see the concerns of the Indigenous peoples and Quebec, to start) and practically nearly impossible without universal support. Secondly, if it ain't broke, why fix it? There's very little wrong with having a GG & LGs, and very little to "fix".

Canadian constitutional changes are like major European wars, in that they only happen once a century or so. The memory of the horror takes that long to fade. We needed a good hundred years after the Manitoba Schools Question, and we'll probably need another hundred years after Meech Lake and Charlottetown.
posted by clawsoon at 9:05 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I shudder at the thought of Doug Ford, Jason Kenney and Scott Moe getting their mitts on the document. Imagine what a Ford wishlist for the constitution would look like.
posted by bonehead at 9:13 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


the typical relationship advice of 'get yourself out of the toxic situation first

One of my first thoughts on reading the news was that it was a very AskMe solution. Toxic boss/family? Figure out your boundaries, shore up your spouse/friend support, get your plan in place, enforce your boundaries with confidence! I just very much hope they take the leap toward the more genuine side of posh celebrity life and don’t fall into the Goop/lifestyle blogging pothole.
posted by sallybrown at 9:13 AM on January 9 [14 favorites]


sallybrown: One of my first thoughts on reading the news was that it was a very AskMe solution.

After the events of the other day, I'm now half-waiting for a "socksussexpuppet" to pop in.
posted by clawsoon at 9:20 AM on January 9 [8 favorites]


Is this going to be like when Jamie Lee Curtis' character in "Knives Out" insists she was self-made and built her business from the ground up?
posted by parliboy at 9:24 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


And the prize goes to Brian Phillips of The Ringer for Conscious un-crowning!
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:26 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Wow the royals really do hate women, don’t they.

Oh by royals did you mean the British press?

Maybe I'm old but I remember how shocking the manner in which Diana Spencer died was. This seems like it is very much about how Harry's mother was chased down and murdered by a pack of slavering wolves. Her death was incredibly traumatic for him. Then he married and the wolves have multiplied, they have the internet and social media to hunt him now, and they're beating down the door. It's no surprise at all that he and Meghan would want to take their baby, and relocate somewhere with less of a wolf problem.
posted by See you tomorrow, saguaro at 9:40 AM on January 9 [51 favorites]


The interesting thing in all this is that the royal family as a whole seems to be held to higher standards than, eg, Boris Johnson or Elon Musk or Rupert Murdoch. Those are the people who ought to be called upon to renounce their money, change their ways and live in decent obscurity, and those are the people whose money-grubbing, trademarking, etc is really done with full intent and the capacity to do something else.

The royal family? What a heap of wasted lives! Princess Margaret had a terrible life. Prince Charles apparently was capable of falling deeply in love with someone and staying in love, but of course he wasn't able to marry her and he had to get married, so he married an unsuitable person who was made miserable and hounded into the circumstances that led to her death. And as to the rest of them - they don't seem like the greatest people, but I'm not sure I'd be the greatest person if I grew up in as socially and culturally restrictive an environment as they did while under tremendous media scrutiny. Someone like Rupert Murdoch has affirmatively chosen the evil that he does; many of the contemporary all-for-show royals don't really get to choose very much besides which designers and charities they should be seen to patronize.

In a way I suppose they're sacrificial rich people. The sensible thing to do would be either to get rid of the royal family altogether or else make them much less rich, but the whole "poor tragic rich people" narrative reconciles us to the injustice of extreme wealth. We look at the royals and instead of reflecting that while they may have miserable wasted lives, people like Bezos and Murdoch and so on are having a great time, we get stuck on the poor little rich people thing.
posted by Frowner at 9:49 AM on January 9 [43 favorites]


In the past, minor royals and British aristocrats have acted as governors-general of Canada, so it would not entirely surprise me if Harry got to be G-G for a term (actually, there's no formal term, but they often serve around 5-6 years; the current one, Julie Payette, has been in the job for 3).

Or else, more radically, since the Windsors must be aware that once Charles takes the throne, the popularity of the institution will take a hit, some adjustment will be made. Charles will be king but he doesn't automatically also become head of the Commonwealth. There may be a decentralization at some point, with Harry overseeing some parts of the old empire while his father doses a Brexited Britain with his homeopathic remedies. We shall see.
posted by zadcat at 9:50 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Like, if someone said to me "would you like to be independently wealthy with the full understanding that you derive your great wealth from horrible exploitation", part of me would be tempted, because wealth-security-nice things-security for my loved ones-lots of free time, etc.

But if you said to me, "would you like to be very very wealthy with the condition that you married into the royal family", jeez, not on your life. Not unless the other choice was poverty in the gutter.
posted by Frowner at 9:51 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


Also, I can't wait to see the plot of Christmas Prince IV on Netflix this year.
posted by automatronic at 10:00 AM on January 9 [6 favorites]


I think as we get more details it’s kind of more clear that everyone just has different interests here. Like, he just wants to be gone from this, and I imagine Meghan was also like “I’m just going to do it if this doesn’t get better.” But also, yeah, the process of being a member of the royal family - who gets paid by the government - is a weird one, and they pointedly aren’t renouncing their titles, so they still get paid by the taxpayers, which is a bizarre state of affairs, but the detente has largely been that its okay because they give so much back to the country. For Harry and Meghan to keep their titles but fuck off and basically just use the wealth is very historically accurate, but not what the Windsors have been carefully cultivating as the idea of “we are valuable and important and not just random rich people you pay.”
posted by corb at 10:03 AM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Good for them. Let's leave them to it. Public fascination killed his mother. Don't feed the tabloids.
posted by alasdair at 10:15 AM on January 9 [5 favorites]


The royal family is paid a stipend by the UK government though essentially a revenue sharing agreement on the income from the Crown properties, like the famous palaces (Buckingham, Hampton Court, etc...). Crown in this context essentially means the UK government. This is distinct from the income from the properties that the various members own themselves, personally. The Queen owns Balmoral Castle in Scotland, for example, personally and privately.

This difference between money from public lands and private holdings is the crux of the financial changes they announced. Harry is essentially renouncing the Sovereign Grant money that derives from the income of public properties. He's trying to keep the income from his private ones.

Right or wrong, that's what he and his wife feel is fair. He's not trying to keep his public subsidy.
posted by bonehead at 10:18 AM on January 9 [20 favorites]


And it doesn't sound like they're trying to pull out of all royal duties -- they just want to drop down to the status of minor royalty, like Andrew's daughters or Edward (the guy no-one remembers). They will still do the wave and PR things, and they will still be royalty, but they won't be paid to stand around in public and have people throw shit at them full time.

At least part of this has to be down to his status as the spare, part has to be him not wanting to become his Uncle Andrew, and part is just the fucking nightmare of the British press, fueled by palace intrigue, xenophobia, racism and misogyny.
posted by jrochest at 10:58 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


Apologies in advance for linking to the Daily Mail, but they have been (predictably) going wild over this story, with their usual sexist/racist/monarchist bent, and the newest update is to reveal what sounds like my personal hell: ” The Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry have been involved in a conference call all day”: “Duke of Sussex has been locked in a four-way call.” Worse than a cell!
posted by sallybrown at 11:00 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


LaineyGossip has started offering their takes on the story, palace intrigue included. For all that people keep insisting "this is a family" or "this is a job" or, Lord help you, "this is a divine calling," the Sussex-specific leaks seem like a big deal. I would want some distance from my family or job if they kept screwing me over in the press. If the queen decides she hates their plan and insists they renounce titles...well, that's probably her right. (Idk how 21st century royalty works.) It is messy either way! But if the queen wanted to hash it out without the mess, she and Charles probably should've taken a meeting before news somehow leaked to a hostile press outlet.
posted by grandiloquiet at 11:06 AM on January 9 [1 favorite]


While all the comments about rich people problems and the fact royalty shouldn't exist is justified, on a people level... I didn't rate Harry much even for royalty, as the Nazi outfit and other stuff seemed to indicate a level of fecklessness even for his family, but he seems to have gotten out in the world and learned some things and changed, attempted to find things to do to be useful, and so on. And he's been willing to fight Meghan's corner from the beginning, against pretty much universal opposition from his milieu, to the point where he's willing to say "they are still making you miserable? Fuck my family, let's take the kid and move to Canada." So I hope it works out for them.
posted by tavella at 11:10 AM on January 9 [28 favorites]


(I figure the royals probably have their own conference call system set up, and they have staffers to do the actual calling and setup, but it still amuses me to imagine one of them listening to the default "You are the first caller, please wait for the other participants to join" Uberconference hold music.)
posted by brainwane at 11:13 AM on January 9 [16 favorites]


I figure the royals probably have their own conference call system set up

...
...
*corgis barking in the background* Sorry, we were on mute.
posted by mhum at 11:20 AM on January 9 [21 favorites]


The Guardian, quoting the Daily Mail:
"The woke, somewhat humourless and very entitled Harry we see before us now is almost unrecognisable as the rumbustious fellow we knew and loved. ... Prince Harry has since swapped partying for posturing on a range of ‘woke’ issues with his wife Meghan Markle. From preaching about environmentalism to carving emotional messages in cupcake icing sugar, Harry’s hobbies have markedly shifted over the years."
Wait, so he grew up and got serious, and that's a bad thing?
And you know damn well if he was still partying and carrying on the same papers would be after him to "grow up already."

Apparently his only role is to be a punching bag for gossip tabloids? Good on him for telling them to fuck all the way off.
posted by dnash at 11:29 AM on January 9 [55 favorites]


but it still amuses me to imagine one of them listening to the default "You are the first caller, please wait for the other participants to join" Uberconference hold music.)

One of my royal memories as a kid was reading the Enquirer or something about how Diana was secretly using a pay phone to call her lover(s). To which she replied, "I don't even know how to use a pay phone!"

Wow the royals really do hate women, don’t they.

Oh by royals did you mean the British press?


The press is evil, sure, but the family itself, and/or the people surrounding it, really has some sick ideas about women and the role they play. They must absolutely be pure to produce legitimate heirs (which modern technology solved, what, a hundred years ago?). Edward VIII had to abdicate rather than marry a divorced woman. Margaret couldn't marry her boyfriend because he had been divorced. Charles couldn't marry Camilla because she wasn't a virgin. Andrew and Fergie were forced apart after they'd both been a bit flighty, but were allowed back together when they needed to show the world that Andrew was a normal man who liked normal women. They probably were dragged kicking and screaming to Harry's wedding, but then figured afterwards they could make her life hell anyway. (And yes, the tabloids make it so, so much worse.)

Why is having sex so evil?
posted by Melismata at 11:34 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I can't help but feel that the reason most of the news seems to be classifying this as a huge terrible thing is because both the media and the royal family's PR teams/media handlers/sources see this as a threat to their income and importance.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:46 AM on January 9 [11 favorites]


"(I figure the royals probably have their own conference call system set up, and they have staffers to do the actual calling and setup, but it still amuses me to imagine one of them listening to the default "You are the first caller, please wait for the other participants to join" Uberconference hold music.)

"Jeeves, we are not amused. Send a frown emoji to the group text."
posted by stevis23 at 11:47 AM on January 9 [7 favorites]


I can't help but feel that the reason most of the news seems to be classifying this as a huge terrible thing is because both the media and the royal family's PR teams/media handlers/sources see this as a threat to their income and importance.

And the stories sell newspapers and drive ad revenue.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:23 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


the rumbustious fellow we knew and loved

I have no doubt that the Daily Fail is being 100% sincere here, as the sort of fellow who parties in a Nazi uniform or just plain naked does their "work" for them.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:51 PM on January 9 [10 favorites]


Before marriage, Markle was a successful actor with several side gigs (calligrapher, clothing designer, lifestyle blogger with endorsements on her site The Tig). She and her husband are moving to Canada, where they first they met and courted, and where people have been more respectful of their privacy (read: less bloodthirsty) overall. (Fewer people, overall, too.)

They'll continue their charitable work, join the public-speaking circuit, and, like, start a winery. They are already wealthy, and will have no problem creating more wealth to support themselves. The other members of the royal family don't have the name-recognition or the skills to be self-supporting, and the tabloids don't have other targets with such popularity to sell papers and clicks, so of course both camps are in a stew.

[holding envelope to forehead: a screw-down crown, a screw-you, and a corkscrew]

[FWIW, my aunt thinks that Harry & Meghan are expecting an addition to their family, and that (besides a possible leak) forced their hand in making the announcement.]
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:00 PM on January 9 [10 favorites]


It's sort of ironic that even here, we're talking about them.

That said: I found out recently that the Nazi uniform was for a costume party where you were expected to come dressed as a villain. It was a bad PR move and too dark for humour, but it wasn't an endorsement of the regime or the ideas.
posted by jb at 1:24 PM on January 9 [15 favorites]


Wait, so he grew up and got serious, and that's a bad thing?

I think it's more that he grew up and got serious, but not about being a Royal. He got serious about being a husband, and serious about being a father, and it seems like he's taking on some of his wife's politics, rather than her taking on his, which is what everyone assumed would happen.

But also - I see fascinating things in how the Windsors have managed to preserve the monarchy in the modern era, and it's essentially through playing on ancient tropes and myths - the idea of the king-as-sacrifice, the ruler who must give everything for the good of the land, by whose sacrifices the land prospers. It's a role that QEII has been playing for over 50 years, and - as someone who has been in a profession that makes a holy object of sacrifice - for her it may even be true at this point.

The legend has always included a space - especially in England - for the 'rogue who settles down to ruling'. So many historical kings - and brothers of kings, powerful dukes - who started off with a wild life of debauchery, but then when exposed to trials, settled down and did the work of the nation. So I think that people, being primed by that stuff, were subtly expecting that Harry would follow that same pattern - and actually looked at his marriage as an indicator that he was, in fact, following that pattern. That he had finished sowing his wild oats or whatever, and settled into the business of being the right arm of his brother, who would be king.

But his grandmother still reigns. His father is in his seventies and is still not king. And here comes this war veteran, used to making momentous decisions of life and death, and he is being asked to settle down to sacrifice - not in a tangible way for the nation, not to give his body or blood to save others - but his life and happiness for a monarchy that he may not see as doing an enormous amount of tangible good.

For him to settle - from rogue to solemn - and for that settling to be outside the monarchy is, in essence, republican. It's a repudiation that the monarchy is the best way to provide that sacrifice or that that sacrifice has value. If carried to its natural conclusion, it might start people thinking about that question: does the sacrifice have value? Who to? And is it worth it?

And so the easiest way of answering the question is to say "This is a young man who is unwilling to sacrifice. He is unwilling to give back to the nation" because that avoids all the uncomfortable thoughts about "well maybe we shouldn't be doing this" and places it on "oh, he was a wild lad who never actually grew up and is still being a child'.
posted by corb at 1:26 PM on January 9 [40 favorites]


The press is evil, sure, but the family itself, and/or the people surrounding it, really has some sick ideas about women and the role they play. They must absolutely be pure to produce legitimate heirs (which modern technology solved, what, a hundred years ago?). Edward VIII had to abdicate rather than marry a divorced woman. Margaret couldn't marry her boyfriend because he had been divorced. Charles couldn't marry Camilla because she wasn't a virgin.

I think all of these situations were more complicated. Camilla didn't want to be queen - and got married to someone else first. And Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson were Nazi-sympathizers - and her status as a divorcee was more of a good excuse to keep him off the throne.

The whole virgin thing supposedly goes back to Henry VIII and his problems with his fifth wife - but it was never a law and H8 was such a (figurative) bastard that I don't know why anyone would ever take his precedent for anything.
posted by jb at 1:30 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]


Harry's very spare at this point. He's not really needed now unless a bomb takes out the entire Cambridge clan. Why does he have to "sacrifice" at the same level? By virtue of being lower down the ranks, he has better odds of doing something different that higher ranked folks cannot.

I'm watching this with fascination wondering if they're going to be able to pull this off. (I haven't been this fascinated since the college admissions scandal, though that was funnier.) I highly doubt they can/will manage it, mind you, but if they do, good for them. They have better odds because they are so low down the ranks now.

As I recall from reading some biography of Camilla, she'd been having an on-again-off-again thing with her first husband before Charles came on the scene.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:39 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


I wish Rex Factor would do a special episode! I can just hear Ali's "I was NOT expecting THAT!"
posted by orrnyereg at 1:59 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]






Yeah, can we please not link to the Daily Mail, Express, anything associated with Piers Morgan, etc... they're kind of the actual problem here.

The response from the royal household just reinforces my view that The Crown, as much as it's well-acted and gorgeously set-designed, is a blatant piece of whitewashing propaganda that should be dissected with much skepticism. These people have always been shallow, deliberately ignorant, bigoted parasites. Good on Meghan and Harry for publicly giving double middle fingers up to this shit - hopefully this spells the beginning of the end of the free ride for the grifters below them on the civil list.
posted by aiglet at 2:49 PM on January 9 [16 favorites]


I think the existence of royalty is crazy pants. In first-world nations, there is virtually no other legal and acceptable situation in which children are born into a family business and essentially have zero freedom to make their own choices about their own futures. I have plenty of other reasons to be against our monarchies, the Swedish one included. But people rarely talk about how unfair the existence of royalty is to the children trapped in the system. I am not claiming that the royal family are the greatest victims of the system but the children are absolutely victims.
posted by Bella Donna at 3:09 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]


In first-world nations, there is virtually no other legal and acceptable situation in which children are born into a family business and essentially have zero freedom to make their own choices about their own futures.

See: Japan.
posted by Melismata at 4:21 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Honestly, I, Meghan Markle, have been plotting this my entire life
(as told to Alexandra Petri at the WaPo)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:15 PM on January 9 [7 favorites]


I totally agree, personally, and yet, ppl like the fantasy, I guess. Tangentially, it's one of the little things that drives me nuts, eg how Americans are just cuckoo for royalty news, even with this generation of British ones (you guys left!! The amount of press time every time Kate and Will does anything for example), or the time there was a South Korean drama of an alternative present so it follows the Korean royal family, and even my society where eleven royal households are retained post-independence in a rotation system as the Federal Royalty ie the Agong/King system (11 families!! You can already see the shennanigans with just one!)
posted by cendawanita at 5:17 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


Has there ever been such a clear public example of someone setting a boundary? Will therapists everywhere start advising some clients to pull a Harry & Megan, and others to be a little less like Her Majesty?
posted by Former Congressional Representative Lenny Lemming at 6:39 PM on January 9 [11 favorites]


First up, speaking as a Brit living in Britain under the cruel yoke of the British press, good for them! It'd be nice for the other ~65 million of us to have the option of comfy living in the system and then comfy opting-out, but I can't blame them. They should go for the clean break, if anything.

I don't follow royal news/gossip so I missed the exact moment, but it was noticeable that at some point after Harry and Meghan's Royal Wedding Coverage™, someone somewhere up the media hierarchy decided that having two Wonderful Lovely Princesses wasn't going to sell papers and that one of them was going to have to be Fergie'd. What with Kate having assumed her husband's necessary heir-to-the-throne blandness and Meghan being American, older (i.e. more past to find fault with) and a person of colour that choice must have been pretty simple. Pile ye on!

It's a bit of a bummer that it's happened like this, but a way of slimming the Monarchy right down is overdue. HM The Q must be fuming, not least since she's been particularly good at keeping the institution going beyond its natural lifespan. I imagine that Harry will lose his "HRH", per his mother. The GG of Canada stuff discussed above sounds logical, if you don't consider the Monarchy's absolute opposition to the least hint of permitting/enabling a separate Court, which someone else mentioned upthread too.

This from mumimor is pretty much perfectly expressed and bears repeating:
But I do support monarchy when they only function as figureheads. Presidents seem to be a scary lot. When I think of who could be elected president here, I go and wave my flag at the palace.
As an aside, I'd like to push back against the use of "tabloid" to describe the way ordinary people/celebrities/royals are treated by the media in this country. Specifically here in the case of Princess Diana. I think it is and was often meant as "tabloid-style" but can read as "tabloid-only". I'd have to have a good dig, but I still own the Sunday Times from 31st August 1997 published too early for her death to make the front cover. The paper itself is a broadsheet situated as a Murdoch Money Mouthpiece one toe shy of the shame of being the Telegraph. That particular issue, found in newsagents on the day she died features a News Review section trailed on the cover with a piece all about Diana's diagnosed-at-a-distance supposed psychological problems complete with a stock picture of her. This empty vindictive shit that the press throw at people deemed fair game is utterly pervasive and it is not just the tabloids.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:05 PM on January 9 [13 favorites]


But I do support monarchy when they only function as figureheads. Presidents seem to be a scary lot.

Plenty of countries have presidents that are functionally similar to mostly-figurehead royalty. The number of people who stay up at night worrying what Michael Higgins or Frank-Walter Steinmeier are going to do tomorrow is... small. The thing that makes US presidents scary isn't the authority they have over their own government -- most prime ministers have vastly more power to make things happen or get things done within their own governments -- but just the amount of power the American state has. Prime Minister Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan would have been terrifying to live under.

The difference is that nobody gets to be that kind of president just by having the right parents, and that the elected mostly-figureheads are at least in some way accountable to the people short of notional revolution.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:31 PM on January 9 [6 favorites]


Heading way off topic, but in a UK context I'm super-wary of the scenario where we're subbing in a person as Head Of State who might potentially then claim a democratic mandate to e.g. actually use royal prerogative powers. It's not the alternative system itself that's concerning so much as the whole transitional period. Like the House of Lords, I'd rather have whoever the buggers in charge are aware of the scant legitimacy of their station. The guillotine Sword of Damocles and all that.

I thought I'd got over the misanthropy of my youth, but particularly post-Brexit I really don't trust my compatriots to vote for a President. Especially under an actively antagonistic press plus international interference. I can't imagine voters being given the clear understanding that they were voting for an Irish/Austrian/UK/etc-style Head Of State, rather than BRAND SPONSOR HERE FIRST EVER UK PRESIDENT HAVE YOUR SAY MY WORD IS LAW WE RULE THE WORLD I WILL DO A THING AND ALSO THAT OTHER ONE TOO.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:16 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


This empty vindictive shit that the press throw at people deemed fair game is utterly pervasive and it is not just the tabloids

Oh, word. Various relatives of our household take the various right-leaning broadsheets, and the way both the Times and the Telegraph have slid into this is dispiriting.

I mean we took the Times when I lived at home as a teenager, and while it's wasn't exactly even centrist it was far from the daily "Corbyn bummed my hamster while singing the praises of Bin Laden" headlines they seem to have adopted in recent years.
posted by ominous_paws at 10:51 PM on January 9 [4 favorites]


If you want to see the daily assault of garbage that supermarket shoppers see, this BBC page has scans of all the covers. Even if someone tells you "Oh no, I don't read those things" the truth is that they are prominently displayed at the entrance to almost all markets. And, indeed, many people do read those things.

The newspapers in Britain are the source of all ills in that society right now. They are the worst in the world. I am not exaggerating. It has been so bad that the UN Human Rights Commission specifically called them out.

They have fueled the Hate that led to the EU referendum. They propped up Boris to somehow make him a palatable candidate. They are responsible for the current dismal state of things.

Oh, and (on topic) what have Harry & Meghan done wrong?
"it’s not about what they’ve done wrong, it’s about what she represents: feminism, activism, diversity etc."
posted by vacapinta at 3:03 AM on January 10 [33 favorites]


Plenty of countries have presidents that are functionally similar to mostly-figurehead royalty. The number of people who stay up at night worrying what Michael Higgins or Frank-Walter Steinmeier are going to do tomorrow is... small.

I get that and somewhat agree, it's just when I look at the actual people who exist in my country and could be elected for presidents, I hate the idea of them getting that honor. Whereas I would vote for Frederik and Mary any day.
posted by mumimor at 5:53 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


So I just finished Season 3 of The Crown and the last episode has a scene where Princess Margaret is at her birthday dinner, surrounded by her family. She makes a solemn speech noting the absence of her cheating husband... and then her family start complimenting him as a way to, I dunno, change the subject?

This rightly puts her into a rage and she storms off after denouncing all of them.

After an awkward pause, Queen Elizabeth responds “I think she’ll be all right in a minute.”

This is all to say that I bet Instagram was not the first time Harry and Meghan made their desires known to the family. It was a nuclear option, definitely. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they were not listened to or taken seriously with previous attempts.

The final episode of The Crown ended with Princess Margaret’s attempted suicide.

Prince Harry knows this family. He knows how things are done. He knew what the reaction from the family would be. He announced it this way because he felt had no choice.

I wish them all the best and some semblance of peace.
posted by like_neon at 6:03 AM on January 10 [27 favorites]


The response from the royal household just reinforces my view that The Crown, as much as it's well-acted and gorgeously set-designed, is a blatant piece of whitewashing propaganda that should be dissected with much skepticism.

That’s so interesting, I found the most recent season the most critical of the institution. I was at first disappointed because the first two seasons made them so damn likable and I didn’t like how Colman was making the queen so... cold, rather dull, and frankly normal But as the season came to a close, I found the show starting to throw a critical eye on the family. Im actually in awe of Colman. I think she’s shown how the years of being the queen, the burden and the warped idea of “duty” has affected her and influenced the entire family’s dysfunctional relationship. She’s down right cold to her son, Charles, in the name of duty and preserving the institution.

Apologies, if I’ve Fanfared this thread. But the show made this announcement make more sense to me.
posted by like_neon at 6:15 AM on January 10 [13 favorites]


mhum: We're making Meghan Queen of the North

Hang on, shouldn't your link go here?
posted by wenestvedt at 7:01 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Also, WRT to the Alexandra Petri piece linked above, I want to announce that "phalanx of corgi ghosts" is my new four-guitar, three-percussionist, taper-friendly jam band.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:36 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


This is all to say that I bet Instagram was not the first time Harry and Meghan made their desires known to the family. It was a nuclear option, definitely. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they were not listened to or taken seriously with previous attempts.


"Harry, your grandfather is not feeling well. Let's not rock the boat until he feels better."

After Phillip passes.

"Harry, let's not rock the boat while your grandmother is grieving."

After the Queen passes.

"Harry, let's not rock the boat during this period of transition."

After two years or however long the "transition" takes."

"Harry, Charles is ailing. Let's not rock the boat."

So on and so on until 15 or so years have passed and Harry & Meghan are still senior royals. They're getting criticism for not ironing out the details but palace bureaucracy would probably have never let them get to that point. It was always going to something be or another stopping them from leaving.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 7:40 AM on January 10 [16 favorites]




The Crown seemed to shed a lot of light on that sort of thing with respect to Margaret and her relationship with Townsend. Even when the Queen thought she was trying to cooperate, the household staff and government kept stringing things out by not providing all the details of what was necessary for the situation. It kind of ended up like this:
"You need to get her Maj's permission."
"Oh, yes, I give her permission, but maybe she can wait just a bit."
[Margaret waits a bit.]
"Actually, you can't give her permission until this happens, your Maj"
[This Happens]
"Now I double give her permission."
"Well, good, this has happened, but also, someone else needs to do that before you can give her permission."
[Someone else does the other things.]
"Now I definitely give her permission."
"Actually, because of this thing, that we knew all along, you would need the Government to do this, and they won't."

I'm sure things didn't happen in exactly that manner, but I suspect it might not be too far from the truth.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:49 AM on January 10 [5 favorites]


Meghan flees to Canada (Washington Post).

Or, as I saw it put elsewhere, Meghan returns to Canada as scheduled to be with her son.

Every word in every version of this story seems to be loaded.
posted by clawsoon at 9:47 AM on January 10 [14 favorites]




Since almost everything with Margaret is extra super fictionalized (she was absolutely allowed to marry Townsend and still be a princess, just out of the line of succession; she did badly in her US tour, etc), I'm not really taking the show seriously about any of her plots -- it's a shame they change her stories quite so much.

I'm sure we'll never hear the actual truth, because no one who knows at the palace will tell, and clearly Meghan and Harry's friends keep their mouths firmly shut.
posted by jeather at 9:56 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


jacquilynne, the "Meghan's Real Enemies" link posted above suggested much the same, that a lot of the hostility comes from the royal establishment/staff rather than the family itself. Certainly, *someone* leaked the details of Harry's suggested plan to the Sun, and while it could have been a self-leak so that they had a reason to announce themselves, it seems more likely that someone on Charles' or the Queen's staff did it in an attempt to frame the request in the worst possible way and thus shut it down.

Also, while the "attempt to become financially independent" bit gets mocked, given they have quite a few millions in their own right from inheritances and Meghan's career, I'd guess that a lot of that is that they hope that after a few years of living in Vancouver or wherever, and as William's kids get old enough to start doing royal stuff for the press, that they can drop back to ordinary celebrity levels of security, instead of having to have round the clock serious security teams. $600K extra per year will eat through even decently rich people's finances pretty quick.
posted by tavella at 10:09 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


the "Meghan's Real Enemies" link posted above
While Ruiz’s article ended on a hopeful note, predicting that the tabloids would swing back to positive coverage of Meghan once her child was born, this hope has since proven false indeed! In fact, Archie’s birth seems to have sparked a new wave of resentment among the courtiers, and, according to rumor, they’ve even gone so far as to deploy their vitriol against Meghan through that most venerable of British newspapers, The Times.
Why am I suddenly thinking of meerkats?
posted by clawsoon at 10:37 AM on January 10


I wonder why a guy who watched the media chase his mom to her death would be prickly about the medias constant racist tirades against his wife and kid
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:53 AM on January 10 [35 favorites]


I've found reading these comments very difficult.

To me, the royal family is a symbol of the deep divisions in class in this country. At the very top of the class system is the monarchy. From that top, it goes down to aristocracy, then upper middle, middle, working, underclass. These are real things, not the characters and situations on the Crown on Netflix. Harry being 6th to the throne means something. 6th at the top of an entire nation, in terms of class.

I can still remember my sheer rage I felt when I found out that Prince Charles went to Cambridge with 2 A levels. 2 A levels, and a B and a C at that! I was so angry that I had better A levels than this person who had the best possible education from childhood up, and that he had a place at Oxbridge which I would have craved. He was mediocre.

I do not feel the same rage about Harry but it is similar. His childhood would have been very sad when he lost his mother, which is true. That is one of the reasons when I do not feel so angry about him.

However, he has received excellent education, health, housing etc. throughout his life. He also got 2 mediocre A levels and went to Sandhurst. That itself (Sandhurst), after Eton(!), illustrates the reality of the class system in the UK. A crappy academic record without a degree has gone on to be completely materially excellent.

(Just checking the above I found an old article about his disgusting racist word used (won't say because disgust). He's a bit younger than me and that word was obviously and totally a shit racist word to say for my generation so believe me that is a shit thing to say.)

I do realise that probably most of the Metafilter people are interested in Meghan rather than him but he is half of that couple! He's had the most amazing privileges from birth onwards. For me, reading 200 plus comments about how he (and Meghan) are great to have 'left' the royal family. Really?! I used to work as a cleaner in a pub and scraped snot off the bathroom tiles. That's what it means to be bloody financial independence for me; starting working shit jobs which are tiring and grim. I have a massive chip on my shoulder because I started working class and then slogged a hard time to become middle class. I had a few moments of luck which I am very grateful about. Where is his gratitude?

It seems to be so many people in this thread giving an upper class person the privileges that reflects the privileges are given in the UK - assuming best intent, excusing him, ignoring or playing down his enormous privileges. That's so similar to things that I've experienced for example at work, when the person with the 'right' face, voice, background, friends/family does well.

So, what I'm trying to say is that - my ancestors worked as agricultural labourers and it's only got to my generation to have opportunities for education and advancement - it fills me with rage that any single person of my ancestors ever paid a penny which went towards the royal family, including the bloody 'granny cottage' kept by Harry and Meghan. (Me, I can afford it).
posted by peepofgold at 12:19 PM on January 10 [22 favorites]


i think the UK should have abolished the monarchy and taken back the land and valuables ages ago. I also think that it's reasonably admirable that Harry has learned how to be a less crappy person, despite a milieu that didn't exactly encourage that, and that he is standing by his wife and child. I don't particularly think these are contradictory or ignoring his privilege.

On the other hand, it's been a long time since any of my ancestors paid for any of his inheritance, so I don't have any personal feelings about it. I imagine the desire to have them fuck off entirely immediately would be much stronger if that wasn't the case.
posted by tavella at 1:03 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


I dunno if this is defending Harry or not, but what the hell:

Much as it's annoying that the ruling class somehow gets into what I am guessing is the English equivalent of Harvard with a C average, money/prestige has always been the game, and imagine the drama if Charles/Harry/whoever were rejected from said schools. Could the schools reject them? Is that a realistic option? Would they even want to given the perks? And the media would have a field day saying "HARRY TOO DUMB FOR SANDHURST." And regardless of their academics, it's probably all for the best to educate royal family members and not treat them like dumbasses who would only get into community college in America, or whatever.

I dunno, I give Harry some bonus points for growing up, shaping up, and not being very asshole under the circumstances because god knows he could have come out that way given the stew he grew up in. If he'd been born American, I figure he would have gone into the military at 18 and had a pretty good career in it, and from what I've read he didn't want to leave it except his being royal was interfering with the work.

I totally get the rage about the privilege. But obviously unless something crazy drastic happens, Harry's never gonna know about scraping bodily fluids off bathroom tiles (unless he did it in the military). He has at least worked in his life, albeit not necessarily in the same way a working plebe would. That's not going to be something he'll ever know about.

Where is his gratitude?

He doesn't know what it's like to be otherwise. It wouldn't be the same.

And I'll be fair, most of us don't know the shit that you go through from being stalked by the paparazzi, having your mom murdered by same, being judged on every tiny little thing you do since birth, having your life choices being limited such as what jobs you can do, people assuming you're a bastard, having your wife harassed, etc. Everyone's got their problems.

I kinda wonder on the financial independence because it sounds like he's got a lot of inheritance as is, but as someone said somewhere, paying for all the security is pricey. Likewise I don't know what the hell job he'd get beyond publicity, or publishing a book, or Instagramming or whatever the celebs do.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:43 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]


I understand your anger, peepofgold, but don't share it - I feel more of a resigned, well, yes, that's how the world works. (Charles was actually the last royal to have that kind of admittance - that's why neither Andrew nor Harry went there. Don't know about Sandhurst but if it's like RMC in Canada, academics aren't the only requirements).

But they would have had the same advantages, royal system or not. George Bush has no (official) title, but got into Yale.

Even just further down the social scale: I've seen the difference in the employment prospect of equally qualified graduates (as in, eventually in the same graduate program) from a high-status university and a low status one for undergrad. So many opportunities are really based on who you know, where you could afford to go, as opposed to your actual skills.

Class is alive and real - but taking away titles doesn't take it away. It just goes underground, as in the US or France, and the privileged don't even have that little reminder of how their own "success" is inherited.

Or maybe I just don't get heated up about it since I've spent so much time reading about the privilege and actions of the British aristocracy from the 16-18th centuries. They made a real (dark) art of abusing their positions then.
posted by jb at 1:59 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]




I think for some of us the concept of royalty is just inherently different than class or money. Even if in practice, you would be equally privileged to be born the son of the world’s wealthiest man, a former US President, or a King, only the son of a King is held up as “better than” both in theory and in practice. We can probably all explain here how the theory of “all men are created equal” is nowhere near reality yet for the US, but the concept of royalty is “all men are not created equal, some are created to rule others” both in theory and in practice. That’s what I find disgusting about it, personally—not to say that’s the fault of the two individuals at the center of the international gossip storm at the moment, it’s very much not their fault. And I can also get why many people might not care about the theory if the practice is that Harry was just as privileged as a Bush family kid.
posted by sallybrown at 2:23 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


There's nothing inevitable about the privileges of British royalty. In fact, I'd say they got rather lucky given the fate of all of the other Great Power monarchies.
posted by clawsoon at 2:32 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


clawsoon, could you expand your comment? I don't exactly understand, and am interested.
posted by peepofgold at 2:35 PM on January 10


peepofgold, I'm thinking of the traditional 1800s Great Powers - the Austro-Hungarian Empire, France, Prussia, Russia, the UK. All of them were ruled by monarchies (or, as they all styled themselves, empires) in the late 1800s. France's monarchy went down in 1873; the monarchies of Austria, Prussia/Germany and Russia didn't survive WWI. There are a few smaller countries in Europe that kept (or, in the case of Spain, revived) comparatively modest monarchies, but all the big ones other than the UK's went away in a series of defeats followed by revolutions.
posted by clawsoon at 2:44 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I shouldn't speak for clawson, but many other royal houses - of France, of Russia - were overthrown and brutally murdered.

The British monarchy has been as well, of course - they did give Charles I a trial and they didn't murder his whole family (as with the Romanovs), but maybe only because they had already fled. And, eventually, the revolutionaries became just as dictatorial, until there was just one and they wanted to make him a king ...

Which is also sort of what happened in France and Russia.
posted by jb at 2:46 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Specifically:

Czar Nicholas II: killed in the Russian Revolution
Kaiser Wilhelm II: abdicated at the end of WWI, fled to the Netherlands
Emperor Charles I: dethroned after WWI, eventually exiled (twice!)
Napoleon III: captured by the Germans (Franco-Prussian War), fled to England
posted by epersonae at 2:49 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Final collapse of: French monarchy (1870), Russian monarchy (1917), Austro-Hungarian monarchy (1918), Prussian/German monarchy (1918). Hope that's what you were asking about. :-)
posted by clawsoon at 3:00 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


peepofgold, others have already pointed out how some of the ruling families of Europe met their end. Tying this a bit more closely to the House of Windsor, Prince Philip (birth name Philippos) is the son of Prince Philip of Greece and Princess Alice of Denmark; his father was exiled from Greece for life after the revolution and fled the country on a British cruiser with the infant Prince Philip carried on board in an orange crate as the family had no time to collect possessions.
posted by nubs at 3:08 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Yes, ta!
posted by peepofgold at 3:08 PM on January 10


to clawsoon, but also to others who have commented!
posted by peepofgold at 3:09 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


The Meghan's Real Enemies link posted above also has this bit:
Despite a minor, recent diversification of personnel among their lower ranks, the top level of palace advisors, particularly those surrounding the Queen, are comprised of ice veined, elderly aristocrats of ancient lineage who regard their pedigrees, at least in terms of their direct descent from the greater number of English and Scottish kings, to be more royal than that of Elizabeth II’s German originated Hanover/Saxe-Coburg-Gothas/Windsors/Mountbatten-Windsors.

To this day, the Queen’s rumored to sometimes be mockingly referred to behind her back as Mrs. Glucksberg by her senior level staff, owing to the house name of her husband’s Teutonic dynasty, Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderberg-Glucksberg.
Snootiness upon snootiness. It occurs to me that Elizabeth II has tried to create a Victorian court, but what she has gotten in Harry is a bit more Stuart, what with the dissolute lifestyle and marriage to a commoner.
posted by clawsoon at 3:25 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


France is really a whopper starting with the 1790’s:
Louis XVI: overthrown, executed
Multiple Republican leadership figures guillotined at various times
Napoleon: defeated in battle, exiled
Louis XVIII: overthrown almost immediately by Napoleon, back to exile
Napoleon: defeated in battle, exiled MUCH FARTHER AWAY
Louis XVIII: actually died of natural causes
Charles X: overthrown, exiled
Louis Philippe: overthrown, exiled
Napoleon III: elected President, seized power in coup, eventually captured in battle and exiled
Entire city of Paris: rebelled against the rest of France, eventually crushed

You guys, if anybody offers to let you rule France, don’t do it.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:41 PM on January 10 [23 favorites]


fullerine: "It's time we got rid of The Telegraph and The Daily Mail."

But my son is working there! It's a steady job!
posted by Chrysostom at 4:48 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]


More from Royal Foibles: Harry and Meghan's Graceless Exit, Part 1
posted by Fukiyama at 6:46 PM on January 10


From Fukiyama’s link:

Many whispers coming out of Kensington and Chelsea’s more well bred drawing rooms are ruminating on how best to permanently exile Britain’s most woke royal couple, with some of the more dark hearted among them blithely joking a weekend booking at the Ritz in Paris, complete with a chauffeur driven Mercedes, might be the answer to all their problems.

Yes Harry has been privledged, but also clearly surrounded by an incredibly toxic culture.
posted by saucysault at 7:31 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I’ve seen a photoshopped meme making the rounds of Harry and Meghan but in Meghan’s place they’ve put Yoko Ono. We really haven’t progressed very far as a society when it comes to our misogynistic attitudes and suspicions around women who act in their own best interests.
posted by liquorice at 12:52 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


I’ve never heard of the Royal Foibles website before - but reading that linked piece left me distinctly uncomfortable at the level of victim blaming levelled at Diana in contributing to her own death not to mention the strange accusations that because Meghan is less well known and well liked worldwide that she is less in danger. Hmm.
posted by liquorice at 12:56 AM on January 11 [15 favorites]


Good point, and worth remembering that those kinds of sites exists on goodwill with insiders like the royal rota and the White House press corps so as always...
posted by cendawanita at 1:25 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Especially, liquorice, because the threat to Meghan's and Archie's lives and happiness would be from within the Royal households, not outside them.

I think Harry's concern for the safety and happiness of his wife and son is valid and not unreasonable. There's a nasty poisonous tone of threat in that article, besides the sneering condescension. If that's the atmosphere they're living in, I'm not surprised they want out.
posted by jrochest at 1:41 AM on January 11 [11 favorites]


jrochest: There's a nasty poisonous tone of threat in that article, besides the sneering condescension. If that's the atmosphere they're living in, I'm not surprised they want out.

What I don't understand is why the courtiers are simultaneously torturing the couple and, apparently, desperately trying to keep them in the family. Those seem like mutually incompatible approaches.
posted by clawsoon at 5:45 AM on January 11 [7 favorites]


Weirdest cult ever.
posted by double bubble at 5:55 AM on January 11


When I read comments hating on these two for being royals, I just get hit with a mental image of the absolute horrorshow of a hypothetical human relations Ask drafted by Harry while deliberating this decision. It would open with an innocent seeming “Is it ok to take some space from my very traditional family?” and behind the cut would be the whole awful history that we’re so desensitized to, “Dad married my mum because she was a virgin from a good family,” “The whole family emotionally abused her and encouraged her suicide attempts,” “I don’t know if she ever was actually mentally ill or if it was just the way the family treated her, she was barely 20 when she got married, and 16 when he met her when he was dating her older sister,” “Died in a car crash being pursued by my family’s colleagues who were stalking her.”

Flash forward to the present and it’s “They’re endlessly critical of my wife, who they hate for being a professional and a black woman,” “They are allowing our social circle to blame my wife for my brother cheating on his own wife, just like our father,” “We just had a baby and their terrible treatment of her has not let up,” topped off with, “It recently came to light that my uncle is a serially offending pedophile, and the family has not done anything about it and has no plans to.”

“But they’ve given me a life of economic privilege— would moving away with my wife and our new baby be ungrateful?”
posted by moonlight on vermont at 7:12 AM on January 11 [61 favorites]


It is a gossipy blog, yes. I cannot offer anything one way or the other on the truthfulness of its contents. However, based on my own interest in following the Royals over the years, most of what Royal Foibles presents rings true, even ifs style of presentation is less than one would desire in a source of info.
posted by Fukiyama at 9:03 AM on January 11


I [38F] don't feel welcome in my husband [35M]'s home country. His family [93F, 98M, 71M, 72F, 37M, 37F] and subjects [all ages] are very demanding. How can I convince him to set boundaries? (tweet)
posted by BungaDunga at 9:16 AM on January 11 [5 favorites]


What I don't understand is why the courtiers are simultaneously torturing the couple and, apparently, desperately trying to keep them in the family.

If the Royal Foibles blog is correct (this thread is the first time I’ve read it, so who knows), they’re also spending their lives propping up the royal family while ridiculing the Queen behind her back as an upstart. It seems like they subscribe to the system not because of genuine belief in royalty as a concept, but because it takes them as close to power as they can get, as descendants of certain families who’ve achieved nothing of distinction on their own steam: without the importance of being the descendant of XYZ, what are they but just...Bob Smith and John Jones? For people like this, it’s always useful to have someone to kick around as lesser-than and doing-it-wrong and social-climber-of-the-year (what Tatler actually called Meghan in print!), because it shows they’re worth climbing towards.
posted by sallybrown at 9:25 AM on January 11 [10 favorites]


I wonder if the negotiations between the palace and the Sussexes will land on something like the Hatch Act in the US: you can hold your royal titles and do business on the side under your personal name, so long as you don’t use the title to profit personally and your private business doesn’t conflict with your official role. I guess that just gets us back to the problem of royalty as a family and business at the same time—how can you separate the title as business role from your personal identity as grandson and son? And if you do, won’t it harm the “image” of what the monarchy is?
posted by sallybrown at 9:36 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


sallybrown: I guess that just gets us back to the problem of royalty as a family and business at the same time—how can you separate the title as business role from your personal identity as grandson and son?

It was Wool, Cloth and Gold that introduced me to the idea of royal families primarily as business firms. I guess they're getting back to their roots after a few centuries of detour into all that nationalism stuff.
posted by clawsoon at 9:44 AM on January 11 [4 favorites]


Why members of the palace establishment are the way they are?

It's Game of Thrones, but they know they can't alienate the public and end up with the monarchy abolished, so people like Meghan are publicly welcomed but privately controlled.
posted by Fukiyama at 9:44 AM on January 11




Oops, I see the Beaverton hereditary cult link was already linked above. Sorry!
posted by clawsoon at 9:51 AM on January 11


you can hold your royal titles and do business on the side under your personal name, so long as you don’t use the title to profit personally and your private business doesn’t conflict with your official role.

I think that's been the problem for members of the family who tried to keep their status while working or investing -- I know that both Edward's and Fergie's attempts to run businesses (production and publishing) were derided and ultimately shut down. But this problem is likely to get worse as all the younger, junior members of the family age and need something to do. Eugenie and Beatrice are stuck; Anne's children, oddly, seem to be okay, as do Edward's, so far. That probably has something to do with the fact that both Anne and Edward live at a distance from the rest of the family, and refused titles or royal roles for their children. They're also living very ordinary regulation British upper-class lives: horses, field hockey, Range Rovers and headscarves. The others could fall into that mold too -- not Meghan, obviously -- but then the family would look dull and frumpy, and what they want is dazzling international celebrity.

There's more than a hundred members of the family, for god's sake. They have to fix this, and this is their chance.
posted by jrochest at 10:10 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Charles has been wanting to slim down the Firm for a long time so that it would just be him and his descendants once the queen and Phillip die. The queen has resisted up to now for various reasons, including the fact Andrew is her favorite son and he has fought for his daughters' place as they actual princesses. But with his involvement with child rapists and subsequent retirement, Bea and Eugenie are on the outs and Charles looked like he would get his plan in the end.

But now that is all in the air again as Harry and Meghan have thrown a grenade into the works. Someone mentioned above this leading to a slimmed down Royal Family. I think that is what we will indeed see with the Royal Family being only direct descendants and as soon as a monarch dies, younger children and their own kids like Andrew and daughters and Edward and his kids, are out.
posted by Fukiyama at 10:19 AM on January 11 [2 favorites]


Somebody clipped these side-by-side gems from the same paper, less than a year apart:
Not long to go! Pregnant Kate tenderly cradles her baby bump while wrapping up her royal duties ahead of maternity leave – and William confirms she’s due ‘any minute now'

...

Why can’t Meghan Markle keep her hands off her bump? Experts tackle the question that has got the nation talking: Is it pride, vanity, acting – or a new age bonding technique?
posted by clawsoon at 10:20 AM on January 11 [30 favorites]


reading that linked piece left me distinctly uncomfortable at the level of victim blaming levelled at Diana in contributing to her own death

Me, too, especially since "Diana chose to forgo royal protection after her divorce for fear they’d spy on her" is tossed off in such a dismissive manner. Given the poisonous attitudes of the courtiers that the article describes, that doesn't strike me as an irrational concern. And given that the media wrote stories about every time Diana so much as sneezed, I suspect that they were a significant factor in that concern. Her decision wasn't made on a whim, in a vacuum. When Harry talks about the "same powerful forces" that killed his mother, I don't think he is speaking only of paparazzi who got too physically close to her.

Also I am just boggled by this sentence from the article:
It’s no secret how crucial Charles planned Harry’s role to be in his streamlined, modern version of the Royals.

One of the lawyers at my firm--a seemingly healthy young man, a little younger than Harry--dropped dead of natural causes while on a hike last year. Nothing in this world is guaranteed. In addition to the "any of us could drop dead at any moment" possibility, there's the possibility that Harry could get sick in a way that made it impossible to do the Royal work expected of him, and there's the possibility that he might do something just as bad or worse as his uncle Andrew and be deemed unsuitable as a Royal. If Charles had no backup plan and could conceive of no other future reality than "Harry stays healthy forever and does exactly what I expect him to do for the entirety of his life," I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for him.
posted by creepygirl at 10:53 AM on January 11 [8 favorites]


The CBC gets into all the potential complexities of Harry coming to Canada to work. Including maybe having to give up his titles while he's living here:
If Harry wishes to live in Canada and keep his title, he might face another problem: the Nickle Resolution of 1919.

That resolution of Parliament, reaffirmed by the governments of Lester Pearson, W.L. Mackenzie King and Brian Mulroney, effectively bans foreign titles of nobility for Canadian citizens and anyone "domiciled or living in Canada."

It was used by Jean Chrétien when he was prime minister to deny a peerage to Conrad Black, who renounced his Canadian passport to get around it.

It's not as clear how that applies to people who already have titles when they come here. But newspaper magnate Kenneth Thomson, who was once Canada's richest man and who inherited the title Baron Thomson of Fleet, chose to follow it.

"In London, I'm Lord Thomson. In Toronto, I'm Ken," he told the Globe and Mail in 2006. "I have two sets of Christmas cards and two sets of stationery."
Perhaps he'd like just being Harry for a while.
posted by clawsoon at 12:26 PM on January 11 [9 favorites]


Also important to note, from the CBC story's comment section: Canadians are notoriously cheap. ("They better pay for their own security!" "They better not get a single dollar of Canadian taxpayer money!") If they move here, they may escape the British tabloids but instead get the Mila Mulroney treatment:
As an example, the account, number 72-1112, at the CIBC’s main branch on Boul. René-Lévesque, was once used to pay $5,494.14 for several items including eight antique chairs and several lamps purchased by the Mulroneys for 24 Sussex Drive soon after they moved in.
...or Sophie Trudeau treatment:
The total overtime amount reimbursed to the end of July 2016 was $13,404, according to records released by the Privy Council Office.
We may not have pennies anymore, but we still pinch them.
posted by clawsoon at 12:47 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


I have to stop obsessing over this -- but apparently Meghan is not letting the grass grow under her feet.

Meghan Markle will do voiceover work for Disney.

It's for a documentary, and the payment will be donated to an Elephant charity, but it's still a way to get herself back in the swim. Smart or stupid? I have no idea.

Also, yes, clawsoon, they're potentially going to have some issues -- and yes, Canadians are CHEAP. This is why 24 Sussex is quietly rotting away...no PM wants to take the risk of spending millions to restore their own residence.
posted by jrochest at 4:07 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]


I don't know where the link went on my earlier post -- the link was to Huffpost, and it's vanished.

Googling it produces a link to The Wrap, based on reporting from the Times UK.
posted by jrochest at 5:08 PM on January 11


Canadians are notoriously cheap.

Have you been to Victoria? I figure if any part of Canada would happily pay for their security for the sake of having a royal hanging around close by, it would be Victoria. They would go mad for it. And their tourism industry would have a collective spasm of joy.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 7:40 PM on January 11 [4 favorites]


I'm originally from Vancouver, so yep, know Victoria well. I agree, they'd love to have a brace of Royals trotting about, but I'm pretty sure that the two of them might object to losing their privacy :)

And we are fairly stingy, so I'm still not sure the Islanders will really want to *pay* for the joys of having royals, especially when they realize how expensive the security will be.
posted by jrochest at 9:23 PM on January 11 [2 favorites]


I read an article yesterday which said exactly how much the Royal Rota pays the Royal Family every year for exclusive access, but I'm having trouble finding it now. It made me think that the Royal Family is, in part, a content creation company. The original reality show business, if you will.
posted by clawsoon at 6:23 AM on January 12 [5 favorites]


I was reminded by a friend that Charles really needs Harry and Meghan if he wants to do his slenderer version of the Palace when he becomes king. There are endless ribbons to be cut and charities to protect, as long as there is a constitutional role to play for a royal family, there is also a real need for "the spare".
On the other hand, the York and Wessex families might have an interest in remaining relevant, and bullying Meghan out of the house could be a way to those means. Princess Anne seems to be far more distanced from the whole menagerie, and maybe more on line with Charles.
So this is a drama that isn't just about the Sussex couple. I's say that the Queen defending Andrew but not Meghan would be enough to draw a line. But if the gossip and bullying originates with the Yorks, well that is a whole other story.
posted by mumimor at 7:46 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Princess Anne seems like the only royal family member who’s happy playing the “civil servant in a tiara” role that Harry/Meghan have been described as rejecting. Everyone else portrayed in the press as happy being dutiful (the Queen, Kate Middleton, maybe Prince Charles) are directly in the line of power, so they get something in exchange, which Anne doesn’t really. And even dutiful Anne made sure her kids wouldn’t be expected to follow in her footsteps.
posted by sallybrown at 8:22 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]


How do other members of the Royal Family earn money?

Princess Eugenie: Director at art gallery Hauser & Wirth.
Princess Beatrice: Vice President of Partnerships & Strategy at software company Afiniti.
Zara Tindall: Brand ambassador for Rolex, Land Rover and Musto.
Peter Phillips: Has his own company, Sports & Entertainment UK.
Prince Edward: Has his own television production company, Ardent Productions.
Viscount Linley: Has his own furniture company, Linley.
Lady Amelia Windsor: Has a successful modelling career.
Lord Frederick Windsor: Works as a financial advisor and sometime journalist.

Lots of options there.
posted by clawsoon at 8:30 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Prince Edward: Has his own television production company, Ardent Productions.

Went into voluntary liquidation 11 years ago with £40 of assets, so I'm not sure it's Ardent that's buying his baked beans.
posted by reynir at 8:59 AM on January 12 [2 favorites]


Went into voluntary liquidation 11 years ago with £40 of assets, so I'm not sure it's Ardent that's buying his baked beans.

You mean
with his main project being ‘It’s a Royal Knockout’ which saw himself, Princess Anne, the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York competing in challenges
didn't work out??
posted by clawsoon at 9:04 AM on January 12 [7 favorites]


Having the media-savvy Yorks behind the constant attacks on Meghan also deflects the media attention away from the question of Andrew co-operating with the DOJ (which seems to have dropped off both the queen’s and the media’s radar). For all that they are “royals”, they are also very human with the gross scapegoating and triangulation.

The question of who pays for security is also tied into why they need security. There may be a few nutters that may try to break into the Sussex’s property or accost them in public, but really the security is needed to keep the UK paparazzi from harassing them. That was a problem created by the Royals (and no steps taken in all these decades to rein them in) so having the Royal family pay for the security seems fair. The Royals also do not want to see Archie kidnapped as that makes all of them more vulnerable. Most Canadian “celebrities” I have been around (Politicians and actors) do not have a huge security theatre so the cost should not be exhibitant.
posted by saucysault at 9:26 AM on January 12 [4 favorites]


Despite raising 1.5 million pounds for charity, 1987's It's a Royal Knockout was the breaking of royalty's magic spell.
posted by clawsoon at 9:56 AM on January 12 [1 favorite]


The Yorks may have contacts in the media, but I don't think they can be described as savvy. Andrew's recent interview was a fiasco after all.

This Royal Foibles piece from December describes well the situation of the York girls, especially Beatrice, now that their dad has been disgraced. The gist of it is that they were brought up to be princesses with royal duties and in a world where Charles has slimmed down the Firm and especially now that their dad has been forced to retire and no longer has "people" of his own at Buckingham Palace representing the York interest, the girls are shit out of luck.
posted by Fukiyama at 12:35 PM on January 12


Harry and Meghan: Queen calls senior royals to crisis summit (Caroline Davies, Guardian)

Set to happen Monday.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:58 PM on January 12


Wow, Royal Foibles is really nasty, overall. I guess the author likes Beatrice and that's it?
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:29 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]



Wow, Royal Foibles is really nasty, overall. I guess the author likes Beatrice and that's it?


"Born with the bug eyed looks of an anime cartoon character brought awkwardly to life" is where I noped out.
posted by Preserver at 4:51 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


Of all the Monday morning meetings I have ever dreaded, nothing ever came close to having to meet with my 90-year-old grandmother who is furious with me and also the queen of England.
posted by great_radio at 6:36 PM on January 12 [31 favorites]


This whole saga would be preposterous if it were fiction.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:40 PM on January 12 [3 favorites]


Britain's endemic racism and xenophobia on full display. Of note - Afua Hirsh in the NYT and today's opinion piece in The Guardian from Nesrine Malik, from which I snippet:

Britain’s conversation about race endlessly repeats itself, first as tragedy, and for ever thereafter as farce. Instead of discussing race relations in this country through the issues of hate crime, systemic police prejudice and the dramatic disparity of opportunity between people of different ethnic backgrounds, we have decided to debate it by constantly arguing about whether it is relevant. Because things are so much better than they used to be, aren’t they?

There's a pattern that's familiar that comes through the entire article. The actual debate getting side yanked into far more media profitable debates, which, in the end, achieve nothing to improve the lives of Britain's minorities, no matter how privileged. Is there a pan Anglo content strategy at play these days?

The chosen protagonists – the princess, the pop star, the TV presenter, the politician – ensure that the conversation is never really about racism. Confining our attention to elite victims conveniently shrinks the subject to something neat and quick: it can be packaged into a short viral video, a highly quotable column that is basically an extended tweet, a studio shouting match that will light up social media.

There will be no time to discuss the laziness, complicity and complacency of a media class that has turned racism into a spectator sport.

There will be no time to talk about the rightwards creep of our political culture under successive Tory governments that have consistently turned up the dial on nativism. There will be no time to position these elite victims as central characters in a culture war led by the right – one that has weaponised the word “woke” to discredit any efforts, or even gestures, towards social justice. There will be no time for anything but performance.

posted by Mrs Potato at 3:16 AM on January 13 [7 favorites]




Patel has sold herself. Back when she was traipsing around Africa we were watching her statements, given that her family is from East Africa, and it was pretty obvious she was in total denial about her own melanin
posted by Mrs Potato at 5:29 AM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Priti Patel is vile, and for her to wade in here and say something like that is unsurprising and contemptible.
posted by skybluepink at 5:52 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Queen agrees 'transition' for Harry and Meghan


Reads like Harry and Meghan got what they wanted.
posted by macfly at 9:16 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


If anyone else wants to join me in wasting time (perhaps, like me, while on a pointless conference call) perusing Buzzfeed, I found this list of press double standards between Markle and Middleton to be a good roundup.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 9:37 AM on January 13 [24 favorites]


I think that the royal establishment should be grateful, honestly. The problem that faces the Windsors is that they don't want to be as pedestrian and ignorable as most of the remaining royal families like Denmark and Sweden, but they don't want to be seen as as trashy as the Grimaldis. So they want a little drama, a little glamour, a little scandal but not too much. And what is this? Well, dramatic enough to get international headlines and scads of thinkpieces and TV time, but at the core the issue is whether their war-veteran son can spend more private time with his family. Which is totally unexceptional. So it's perfect!
posted by tavella at 11:15 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Well, good for H&M so far on this.

I wonder why Denmark and Sweden are "pedestrian and ignorable" really. Why don't we ever hear about them doing crazy things? Didn't a single mom marry into one of those families at some point?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:32 AM on January 13


the thorn bushes have roses: I found this list of press double standards between Markle and Middleton to be a good roundup.

The bouquet flowers bit was amazing.

Middleton: "...the lily of the valley meaning a return of happiness..."

Markle: "...the children’ crowns were made of flowers that can be deadly, especially for children... lily of the valley is a highly poisonous woodland flowering plant."

It's literally, "Middleton wants everyone to be happy, while Markle wants to kill children," about exactly the same flower.
posted by clawsoon at 11:36 AM on January 13 [22 favorites]


Didn't a single mom marry into one of those families at some point?

That's Norway. They are breaking all the rules all the time. But still very popular
posted by mumimor at 12:12 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, Kate Middleton is laughing quietly to herself as her plot to poison every wedding party in Britain goes undetected once again.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:16 PM on January 13 [9 favorites]


I think honestly, reading over these 'separate headlines', so much of it is like 'Kate Middleton is performing upper-class Britishness correctly, whereas Meghan Markle doesn't seem to care about upper class Britishness.' Which may even be true, but like, it's not the end of the world, England.
posted by corb at 12:17 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


the core the issue is whether their war-veteran son can spend more private time with his family

"Prince resigns from royal family in order to spend more time with family".

It says a lot about the state of the royals.
posted by nubs at 12:18 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


I think honestly, reading over these 'separate headlines', so much of it is like 'Kate Middleton is performing upper-class Britishness correctly, whereas Meghan Markle doesn't seem to care about upper class Britishness.'

I'm no royal follower, but it appears to be straight-up bitch eating crackers.
posted by rhizome at 12:21 PM on January 13 [11 favorites]


I should probably put a trigger warning on that Buzzfeed link for WoC in white places. Ouch.
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:47 PM on January 13


Somehow the Queen has worked a miracle and Charles, William, and Harry haven’t (yet) leaked anything about each other related to the meeting!

I remember back before Meghan was on the scene for the press to try and pit against Kate, when their main critique of Kate was that perfect performance of upper-class Britishness—it was too perfect, she was a try-hard, she was a commoner playing above her “station,” etc...
posted by sallybrown at 1:00 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


I think honestly, reading over these 'separate headlines', so much of it is like 'Kate Middleton is performing upper-class Britishness correctly, whereas Meghan Markle doesn't seem to care about upper class Britishness.'

...while doing the exact same things. I mean, look at the first one: Kate is a loving mother, caressing her baby bump; Meghan is a narcissist, constantly drawing attraction to her pregnancy.
posted by Etrigan at 1:11 PM on January 13 [9 favorites]


corb:"I think honestly, reading over these 'separate headlines', so much of it is like 'Kate Middleton is performing upper-class Britishness correctly, whereas Meghan Markle doesn't seem to care about upper class Britishness.'"

I dunno, it really doesn't read that way to me at all, except for maybe the "stiff-upper lip" one -- but even in that case, both William and Harry/Megan criticized that tradition (and Wills did it years earlier). I mean, the avocado one might be even more egregious than the baby bump-cradling one.

Really, most of these headlines are Harry & Megan doing something pretty much exactly the same as Wills & Kate did (e.g.: registering their own companies & trademarks, the lilacs) but presented with a completely opposite spin. I find it difficult to attribute the different spins to anything that Harry, Megan, Wills, and/or Kate themselves did or didn't do rather than the newspapers reporting on them.
posted by mhum at 1:19 PM on January 13 [6 favorites]


Will Meghan get to wear tiaras in the future, a jewelry and only jewelry focussed blog post.
posted by jeather at 1:35 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


Because priorities, man.

Don't they usually limit when the girls can wear tiaras anyway? Like pretty much weddings and crownings and that's it?
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:39 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Don't they usually limit when the girls can wear tiaras anyway?

One of my friends carries one in her purse all the time and has told me "always carry a tiara - you never know when your day is going to need a little magic."
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:42 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Hee. Yeah, I like that logic. I have three of them myself, but even I have a hard time finding occasions to wear them that aren't Renaissance Faires.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:45 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


What I’m getting from that jewel post is that the Queen (and Prince Charles) are hoarding those tiaras...we need to free them!
posted by sallybrown at 1:50 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]



Will Meghan get to wear tiaras in the future, a jewelry and only jewelry focussed blog post.


This was more interesting than I thought it would be. I wonder if all the divorces and dramas in the older generation have led to a more cautious policy? In Denmark, when Joachim married Alexandra, it seemed like the Queen went all in with both gifts and lending. And then when Mary appeared, everything was much more low key, and Joachim and Alexandra weren't even divorced then.

BTW, Alexandra is bi-racial, and though I see Denmark as having far more problems with racism than the UK, I have almost never seen any racist commentary about her. The British press is uniquely terrible. I guess that in Canada, the racism will be totally off limits.
posted by mumimor at 2:40 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


mumimor: I guess that in Canada, the racism will be totally off limits.

The Canadian racism will all be in the comments sections.
posted by clawsoon at 2:47 PM on January 13 [12 favorites]


I guess that in Canada, the racism will be totally off limits.

Oh, I wouldn't be too sure. Canada has its fair share of racists about (cf. Don Cherry), and they even have their own media organ, The Rebel (I will not link or even google them to find out how they might be responding to the idea of Harry & Megan coming here). That being said, my limited observations have been that our more conservative members of the media tend to be royalists in general, and that Canada overall is pretty sympathetically squishy when it comes to the royal family - even those who don't really care for the idea of the royal family in general (like me) tend to just shrug about it; in part because getting rid of the presence of the Queen in Canada would mean reopening the Constitution.

Having Harry spending some time here may change that; my hope is that it doesn't mean we start getting more tabloidish coverage from the Post-Media papers, particularly the Sun.
posted by nubs at 2:56 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


I guess that in Canada, the racism will be totally off limits.

"lol"

getting paid to do journalism is off limits in Canada, so they have that going for them. Apathy isn't the same as a lack of racism.
posted by GuyZero at 2:56 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


My flippant response to 'the racism will be totally off limits' is that - well, she's not First Nations.

I suspect that Markle's background/ descent of enslaved African should be less of an issue than that she's an American.
posted by porpoise at 4:30 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]




Megxit Twist! Meghan Markle's Dad Will Testify Against Her in Tabloid Lawsuit

One other way to understand exactly how messed up the tabloid situation is how they've entirely sided with Meghan's obviously scumbag, absentee, (but white) father in all aspects.
posted by mhum at 12:03 PM on January 15 [11 favorites]


Mind, T. Markle hasn't been called to testify. The date for the hearing hasn't been set. He's signaling his eager willingness to do harm to this daughter (in case anyone had forgotten where he stands), using the other daughter as his flack: The Duchess of Sussex's father, Thomas Markle, will testify if asked to in the court case against Meghan, the duchess' half sister has said. (BBC.com, 2 hours ago)
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:09 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


What Canada doesn't do is parse the upper-class Britishness at all. And Markle-Sussex (?) doesn't really parse as a visible minority either by appearance or more importantly by behaviour.

For those two factors, modulo the arses who will grump about women regardless and some of the more radicalized fringes, I don't think she will experience the ferocity of the attacks she and her family do in the UK. They will be able to disappear into Toronto or Vancouver easily.

The Royals are to most (Anglo) Canadians like zoo pandas, cute, gives many the warm fuzzies, but forgettable (offer not valid in Quebec, of course. Francophones don't see the point of UK royals at all.)
posted by bonehead at 8:41 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


The British Royal Family Has More To Lose Than Harry And Meghan Do: The monarchy is not in danger of collapse. But by failing to treat vicious press coverage of Meghan Markle as a serious threat, the royals are losing what she had to offer.

If casual, constant racism and the denial of one’s humanity is part and parcel of a publicly funded royal life — which, based on Meghan’s experience so far, it seems to be — then that royal life itself has become a clear threat to Harry’s family.

For the record, when the moderator asked whether anyone in the audience thought Harry and Meghan had made a bad decision, not one hand was raised.

posted by jenfullmoon at 10:26 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]




Before the wedding, some piece described Meghan Markle as a great acquisition for the firm, and that felt right. I keep feeling surprised that they screwed it up so badly, then...realizing I really shouldn't be surprised. Nothing I know about Buckingham Palace would suggest any particular level of competence, and yet I keep defaulting to it. (This is like the nightmare 6 months when I kept getting surprised by Jared and Ivanka's stupidity. Ultimately I had to accept that my own biases make me vulnerable to believing well of anyone who has been to finishing school and a good college, even when I know their parents paid millions of dollars to get them into said college!)

The New Yorker, summing it up in The Charms of Toronto for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: It’s conceivable—I’m not saying this would happen, but it is conceivable—that Meghan could walk her dog in the park, like I used to see her doing. She looked so happy then, just before she met Prince Charming. Her life has been like a Hallmark movie in reverse: she had a great life that made perfect sense, right until the wedding with the scion of one of the oldest families in Europe. Is it any wonder that she’s come to believe that her story can only have a happy ending if it goes backward? There’s a moral of a kind here, unknown to Hallmark: it is infinitely better to be a working actress in Toronto than a Duchess in Buckingham Palace.

posted by grandiloquiet at 8:17 AM on January 17 [9 favorites]


Please let them move somewhere other than Toronto because we couldn't handle full-time royal related traffic disruptions. I would suggest British Columbia because it is like the province was named for them. Thriving film industry there too.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:57 AM on January 17 [2 favorites]


BC will take them but they have to stay on Vancouver Island, south of the Malahat. Victoria's their kind of town anyway. Let them host high teas at the Empress. Thousand bucks a head.
posted by philip-random at 12:04 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Let them host high teas at the Empress.

I dunno. For some reason I picture Harry working on the rigs in Alberta. Cheerful smile, hard physical work, a beer or three when the shift is done. I bet he'd be happier there than at tea.
posted by clawsoon at 1:12 PM on January 17


For some reason I picture Harry working on the rigs in Alberta

Royalties in the oilpatch are a thorny issue
posted by nubs at 1:59 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


Lol, royalties in the oilpatch, that perfect pun never crossed my mind!
posted by clawsoon at 3:54 PM on January 17


The only logical solution is for the Royal couple to travel from town to town, helping people, stopping crimes, and getting into hijinks, Littlest Hobo style.
posted by mhum at 7:05 PM on January 17 [11 favorites]


I wonder if the fate of Edward VIII was an incentive for Harry to marry a divorced American woman. "You know you'll have to leave all this behind if you marry her! All the ribbon cutting! All the high teas! All the charity luncheons! Think about that!" "Oh, I am, I am..."
posted by clawsoon at 3:24 AM on January 18 [3 favorites]




Wouldn't that be awesome if they pulled a local-color type thing and just became the characters of this teensy town in the Maritimes. They may not be able to claim "Duke" and "Duchess" of Sussex, but nobody's gonna stop them from being the Mayor!
posted by rhizome at 11:18 AM on January 18 [3 favorites]




One more vote for Sussex, New Brunswick!
posted by mumimor at 11:48 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


You have to be impressed that by keeping Andrew on as an HRH and dumping the Sussexes, the royals have proved again publicly that raising a child around them is a terrible idea.

I feel bad for William's lot. Imagine being around that in return for being a royal. I don't even like the royal family as an institution, either.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 12:08 PM on January 18 [14 favorites]


Welcoming the newly de-HRHs to Canada!

Pure hoser gold.

Welcome from the Duke of Ogden
posted by jrochest at 2:38 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


The coverage has been pretty wank, but it seems clear to me that they're actually keeping their HRHs while agreeing not to use them. It's a subtle but not meaningless difference.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:25 PM on January 18 [2 favorites]


Yeah, he’s HRH by birth so he can’t lose it, but just won’t use it. She won’t be HRH going forward.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:37 PM on January 18 [2 favorites]


Does the Queen not use the royal we? I noticed she's quoted using first person singular.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:56 PM on January 18


Royal couple sought half-in half-out deal, but are ‘out’ (Caroline Davies, Guardian)
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:54 PM on January 18


I just came across the explanation of the symbolism of Meghan's coat of arms:
The blue background of the shield represents the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, while the two golden rays across the shield are symbolic of the sunshine of The Duchess's home state. The three quills represent communication and the power of words... It is customary for Supporters of the shield to be assigned to Members of the Royal Family, and for wives of Members of the Royal Family to have one of their husband’s Supporters and one relating to themselves. The Supporter relating to The Duchess of Sussex is a songbird with wings elevated as if flying and an open beak, which with the quill represents the power of communication.
I'm trying to think of a Twitter joke here, but mostly wondering how anyone could've ever expected her to just sit back and shut up.
posted by yeahlikethat at 12:03 AM on January 19 [3 favorites]


Much better fodder for the gossip mill than the dogs of "war"
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:21 AM on January 19


“All three of the major newspaper groups most obsessed with Harry and Meghan are themselves being sued by the couple for assorted breaches of privacy and copyright. There is... a glaring conflict of interest that... goes undeclared.”
Guardian
posted by vacapinta at 3:47 AM on January 19 [8 favorites]


As far as I can tell, they've given up using the HRH*, representing the Queen, and his honorary military appointments, so that their new business ventures don't need prior approval from the Lord Chamberlain. Reasonable trade off IMO.

After the Wessexes' deals caused such bad press, members of the BRF have had to get prior approval for any new business arrangements, and they are not allowed to explicitly trade on their Royal status (for example, here are the rules on royal arms, names and images). This is no more or less reasonable (in principal) than having rules about what civil servants are and are not allowed to do, although it must put a dampener on creative ideas. I guess that whatever the Sussexes do in future, they want to do it without having to ask permission in advance and this was their non-negotiable.

Although Harry has always had an HRH I think the didn't use it at school or in the army, where he was known as Harry Wales, so it probably isn't that much of a personal loss. Of course Meghan had a perfectly happy life without being HRH, and they've chosen not to use any title for their son in any case. Similarly, Harry has an earned army rank and medals which likely matter more to him than honorary appointments.

The other detail of the arrangements seems to reflect the thing that has been negatively commented on publicly: the money spent on refurbishing their UK home. It always costs £m to renovate and refurbish royal properties and it always gets negative press because it's perceived as public money.

*A similar-ish example is HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, who is just as entitled to be styled HRH The Princess of Wales but was sensible enough to realise that would be a public relations disaster.
posted by plonkee at 3:09 PM on January 19 [4 favorites]


Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, expressed "great sadness" Sunday evening in his first public statement since Buckingham Palace announced he and his wife, Meghan, would give up their royal titles and would not represent the Queen as working members of the royal family. "The UK is my home and a place that I love," Harry said in a speech at a charity event in London. "That will never change." [...]

"Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding," he said. "Unfortunately, that wasn't possible."[...]

Harry made the remarks at a dinner for Sentebale, the charity he started in 2006 with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to help AIDS orphans. "I've accepted this, knowing that it doesn't change who I am or how committed I am," Harry said Sunday of his family's future. "But I hope that helps you understand what it had come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life." (CNN, January 19, 2020, with video of speech. He mentions his mom.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:56 PM on January 19 [4 favorites]




All of this seems both very Rules Lawyer and also very punitive.

I wouldn't expect anything less!
posted by rhizome at 7:44 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


Prince Harry leaves UK for Canada to reunite with Meghan, Archie (ABC News, Jan. 20, 2020) Prince Harry is losing his military titles and patronages including Captain General Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant Royal Air Force Honington and Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command: Commodore in Chief. It's a significant loss for a royal who served in Afghanistan during his time in the British Army.

Yes, punitive. One of his patronages: the Invictus Games Foundation, which he started in 2014. An "international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Service personnel," the Games "harness the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country." (Though Prince Harry is able to keep Rugby Football? How do public vs. private patronages break out?)

Way to back the wrong horse, lady:
Well-wishers greet UK queen after Harry, Meghan announcement (ABC News, Jan. 19, 2020) Queen Elizabeth II was all smiles as she made her way to church Sunday after a momentous announcement that Prince Harry and wife Meghan would cut almost all of their ties to the royal family in favor of a more private life. She was greeted by royal supporters as she entered the church near her Sandringham House estate with her son Prince Andrew.

[Prince Andrew: a full list of the charity patronages the Duke of York is standing down from over the Jeffrey Epstein interview (iNews, Nov. 25, 2019) The backlash over his inability to explain away his association with Epstein has seen his royal career abruptly halted. Prince Andrew is to step down from all charities and organisations he has served as a patron of, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. It was confirmed on Sunday that the Duke of York is “standing back from all his patronages” but indicated he hoped to return to a public role in future.]
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:21 PM on January 20 [5 favorites]


Oh, fer crying out loud. Now I get the full context for the CNN piece, and the statement Prince Harry made at the dinner yesterday. First it's, "Our hope was to continue serving... without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible... But I hope that helps you understand what it had come to..." Then: "I was born into this life," he said, "and it is a great honor to serve my country and the Queen."

"When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing," he said, referring to Princess Diana, who died in August 1997 after a car she was in crashed while being pursued by members of the paparazzi. "You've looked out for me for so long," Harry said, "but the media is a powerful force, and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us."

Prince Harry co-founded Sentebale, and served as its royal patron; he's explaining that he's not leaving out of caprice. (Incidentally, something I'd been impressed with yet forgotten: he'd first visited Lesotho at age 19, and "Prince Harry is passionate about raising awareness of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS in the UK and around the world; in particular the damaging effects of stigma and has been publicly tested for HIV, both in Barbados and Guys and St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, to show how easy it is to get tested.")

The eventual tell-all books are going to be full of insane details, like... every time the tabloids smeared Meghan, there was an uptick in believable death threats against her? Yet the House of Windsor did nothing to stop the bad press, not even protesting the propaganda generated by the "Royal Rota" (where the family holds the most sway).
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:19 PM on January 20 [14 favorites]


It's a bummer that he doesn't have a uniform to wear anymore, but I feel like in his shoes, I'd be OK giving Grandma back her honorary Supreme Commander of the Galactic Cavalry and Corgi Brigade rigamarole and sticking with the medals and captaincy that I earned. Also I wouldn't put it past him to rejoin in some form or the other.
posted by yeahlikethat at 10:44 PM on January 21 [2 favorites]


I'm confused - isn't he entitled to wear the uniform that he earned? (Maybe not if he resigned his commission - I don't know these rules).
posted by jb at 7:39 AM on January 22


IIRC, you have to be have left the service at a major or above in the UK, to do that, and he of course was forced out early.
posted by tavella at 8:27 AM on January 22


IIRC, you have to be have left the service at a major or above in the UK, to do that, and he of course was forced out early.

He was promoted to Major / Lieutenant Commander / Squadron Leader (OF-3 NATO) in 2018, after he'd left active service (and more or less in line with how his brother and father have been "promoted" in their post-active-service days).
posted by Etrigan at 8:41 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


I'm torn between "this feels gross" and my sincere belief that no one deserves to be royalty and the coolest people in Britain are the ones who have turned down honors from the Crown. I think part of my "this feels gross" thing is that Buckingham Palace put out some statements that sounded relatively amicable, but the details spilling out now feel like someone is trying to really stick it to Harry and Meghan for leaving. If I were in Harry and Meghan's shoes, I would cheerfully write off everybody. But psychologically -- they must be reeling, just a bit.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:44 AM on January 22 [5 favorites]


For non-UK folks, what exactly does a "Royal Patronage" entail, and how is it different from the individual just supporting a charity?
posted by corb at 9:24 AM on January 22


"Anyway, back to Prince Andrew."

Indeed.
posted by droplet at 10:09 AM on January 22 [2 favorites]


For non-UK folks, what exactly does a "Royal Patronage" entail, and how is it different from the individual just supporting a charity?

Lots of UK charities have patrons. Usually they are famous or worthwhile people and there is a mutual formal association between the charity and the individual (that is, a charity can’t choose it’s supporters but can its patrons). It’s a similar role to a celebrity UN ambassador I guess? Arrangements vary but the patron will probably attend fundraising dinners, make speeches, help publicise the work of the charity in some way. The patron basically lends their name and reputation to the charity. As an example, Daniel Radcliffe is a patron of the charity Demelza.

A Royal Patronage is just a patron appointed by the Queen, effectively as an extension of her in her role as monarch. As well as royal patronages, members of the royal family can have private patronages. For example HRH Princess Eugenie is patron of a scoliosis-related charity, that’s something she did herself without the Queen asking her to. Monarchy/head of state is basically a job or group of jobs. So, the difference is like being associated with an organisation as a function of the job you hold and being associated with something in your own time.

Being a senior or working royal is directly analogous to being First Lady or First Gentleman. I am not super familiar with the rules and assumptions surrounding eg US First Ladies but I would be surprised if there weren’t some similarities with the position of working royalty.
posted by plonkee at 10:37 AM on January 22 [1 favorite]


Pictures of Meghan walking her dogs while carrying her son Archie in a baby sling were published in newspapers and on websites. Lawyers said they were taken without her consent, by photographers hiding in bushes.... news editor, Scott Fee, says he spoke to the photographer responsible who defended it, saying it was taken on public property.

He told BBC Breakfast: "That's [the photographer's] version. He said Meghan didn't hide from the shot, she gave me a smile, she didn't prevent it from happening - those are his words. If that's how it played out - it's hard to say."
(BBC.com, January 23, 2020)

Hide where? The bushes were already taken. Prevent it from happening how? She "gave" this creep a smile -- certainly, as a sign of consent, and possibly, sure-let's-imply-it, approval -- because any other rational person with an infant strapped to their chest would be keen to throw down and draw out the interaction.

"If that's how it played out - it's hard to say." When her lawyers are taking pains to explain the matter, you don't have to say, you can simply listen.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:09 AM on January 23 [5 favorites]


And then there’s Meghan’s horrible father doing a 90 minute documentary in the UK (which pre-empted a program called Red Arrow, apparently, and people were not pleased) in which he admits to lying on GMB, lying to Meghan and Harry about the staged photographs, insists that he is “owed” by everyone and is making money off those photographs plus this documentary and will continue to get paid for anything he likes, so I’m sure that will really ease his path to reconciliation with his daughter!

Frankly, Harry and Meghan would be right to disown the lot. The Markle side for being venal cash-grab media sellouts with her as the commodity, and the BRF for not even bothering to try and defend her in the face of it. Nobody deserves the work they are capable of.

I bet Meghan and Harry knew full well that Bad Dad got paid for those photos - surely they’d have sources who would tell them that - and just hoped he would stop lying to them about it, and when he never did AND went around just selling her out, Meghan probably didn’t feel like she had a choice but to cut him off without another word. Bad Dad had proven his untrustworthiness and greediness from the get-go. If she reconciled, he’d leak it to the press. If she formally cut him off, he’d leak it to the press. What else could she do?
posted by angeline at 12:14 PM on January 23 [3 favorites]


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