Pop Culture

Meghan Markle versus the World: Where Do We Go From Here?

I have been taking some time to share my thoughts on the Meghan Markle situation. I hope to explore more thoughts on the interview, Meghan and Harry’s future, and wrap things up in this post. I want to take some time and look forward. Where can things go from here? What will the future hold?

I always knew that Harry wanted a life slightly separate from the fishbowl that is the royal family experience, but I completely underestimated how far he was willing to go to achieve that. I have always been big fans of certain royal family members – namely the late Princess Diana and Prince Harry. They have tried to get me interested in other members of the family, but I honestly did (and do) not have the mental bandwidth to really care. Back when people were discussing Harry’s escapades in Las Vegas, or other scandals in his past, my friends and I would talk. “He is such a rebel. You never know what Harry is going to do,” We would say. “He feels like one of us. I wonder how he will deal with royal life moving forward.” It is my personal opinion that Harry marrying Meghan was strategic. While I believe that they love each other, I believe that they are using each other as well. Meghan gets to use Harry for star power, influence and connections, and Harry gets to use Meghan as a way to become more responsible, as a middle finger to the old establishment and the media, as well as an embodiment of his late mother. 

 

Surround yourself with powerful allies. 

I think that Harry and Meghan did a good job of this on the American side of the pond, but not in the United Kingdom. Once she started to move up in the social hierarchy, Meghan built connections that are helping her to this day. She and her husband stayed in Tyler Perry’s home with security, after leaving England. Oprah gave them a huge platform with their recent interview. They recently secured a Netflix deal, and Harry is now a Chief Impact Officer at BetterUp Inc., a fast-growing life-coaching and mental health company. I am excited to see where things will go for Meghan and Harry. With their star power, networking and a bit of elbow grease, they can build an amazing life for themselves.

However, if they try to return to England or build connections there, I believe that their success would be an uphill battle. While Meghan definitely has a powerful ally in her husband, even he isn’t big enough to face down the entire institution or to protect her completely.  Not only are Harry’s relatives backed by a long-standing institution, but the royal rota also supports them as well. Harry mentioned this symbiotic relationship in their interview. Long story short, the royals provide access to the media, as well as wine and dine them, for continued positive media coverage. 

Meghan and Harry were not willing to play the game, so they positioned themselves against the media, which speaks directly to the public on their behalf. While I absolutely cannot stand Piers Morgan, I wonder if she had handled things differently, instead of ghosting him, this revenge campaign in the tabloids would not have happened. That said, Piers’ behaviour was completely despicable, and I condemn it wholeheartedly. I would never condone a man using this power and influence to punish a woman who enforces strong boundaries. At this point, it looks like they have no allies with the monarchy or the media. I did note from the interview that they have a few of Diana’s friends offering help and support, but they would not have the sway and influence to pave an easy path in England.

 

The Royal Life is not a fairy tale

Personally, I never wanted to be famous, but I did love the idea of being a princess. It seemed like such a nice life, with beautiful dresses, public adoration, a family with a legacy, and more. However, we are seeing, time and time again, that the royal life is not the place to be. There are rules, protocols, processes and procedures to follow. Life in a fishbowl is difficult. A gilded cage is still a cage. The pressures can be overwhelming. I have already mentioned the parallels between Diana, Sarah and Meghan. At the end of the day, royal life isn’t for everyone and this experience should be treated as a cautionary tale.

Meghan believed that she would get married and have a happily ever after. She believed that she would be protected. While a part of me thinks that this idea was a bit naive, given the way the media and the public have treated women who marry into the family, I appreciate the love and trust that she put into this family. For the rest of us, it reminds us that not all that glitters is gold.

 

Thoughts from the Pink Pill Group

Back when Harry and Meghan first announced their departure from royal duties, I had asked for feedback from the Pink PIll group. Some of the ladies have graciously allowed me to share their thoughts, so I will include those comments below. (Only those who liked my request to include their comments, or offered their verbal consent, will have their thoughts shared below.) 

Wendy celebrated Harry’s protection of his family: “This is unprecedented. You already know who they are going to blame for this, too. 🙄 Hey, maybe if you all weren’t so ridiculously racist, this would not have happened! 😂 The lengths that Harry is willing to go to protect Meghan and his son, though! Just wow! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Sounds like the queen and the rest of the family are none too pleased. 🤷🏾‍♀️😂”

Jessica focused on the media and their freedoms: “They will definitely try to blame her for breaking up his family. Hopefully, most see through it and realize that the press and the citizens may have pushed him to walk away (his brother as well). [Harry] definitely is determined to protect his family. I believe this will increase their popularity and they can actually run the organizations that they want to without all of the restrictions. Good for them. check out their webpage. Looks like they want more freedom to do and say what they want. Especially when it comes to media. And once they are independent, they do not have to answer to the citizens who question anything they buy. That is my reading of it.” (She also included a link to the Sussex Royal website.)

Elena explores the future of Meghan and Harry’s brand and activities: “I am excited to see the great work they will do now. Their shared hobbies are in philanthropy for areas that matter most: Mental Health, Clean Water and Economic Infrastructure for women in developing nations.  They are poised to do more impactful work now that they are free from the financial rules of the monarchy. Meghan was already financially independent before marrying into the royal family so, the influence of her brand is even more economically powerful now. This is a great time in royal history. 🤩”

 

The future is still… uncertain. 

While all of the comments on Meghan and Harry’s exit were riveting and enlightening, I really appreciated Amanda’s perspective on the future of the monarchy:  “Wow. This is huge. It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds on a grand scale. Many psychics have been saying that Elizabeth will be the last true queen, and if the monarchy is not abolished outright, it will look very different by the time Will and Kate take the throne. Between Prince Andrew stepping down and now Harry and Meghan, the Crown is in the midst of major upheaval. I do love all the pomp and pageantry of royal spectacle though. The Harry and Meghan wedding was amazing!”

I truly believe that once the Queen dies, the monarchy will fall, or at least be revamped. She is the glue that is holding the commonwealth together. The alleged predator prince is living in luxurious retirement. The public has not forgiven Charles and Camilla for what happened to Diana. No one cares about William and Kate. With the latest damning interview, more countries are expressing interest in or making moves to leaving the institution behind, like Canada, Barbados, Jamaica and Australia

While I am happy that Meghan has her voice back, she and Harry definitely went through a lot to achieve the life that they wanted. They have had it with the British media roasting them like a pig on a spit for every little thing that they do. They recently won a privacy lawsuit against The Mail, for publishing a letter between her and her father. Harry has been taking steps to protect his woman from the start, such as releasing statements to the press, suing the media for endless smear campaigns, and seeing to her personal needs. Throughout this process, we have seen him take the lessons that he learned with his mother, and work to protect, produce, provide and problem-solve. 

I think that they both didn’t say what they really wanted to within this interview, but they definitely said enough. While Meghan was definitely very measured in her words, I felt a lot of pain, anger and hurt coming from her. Harry seemed more reconciliatory with his comments, which was interesting to me. Did he want to seem unbothered by his family’s antics? Is he trying to be open to reconciliation in the future? Is he trying to stay just enough in the good books to receive an inheritance after his grandmother passes? Is he just over everything? It is really hard to say.

That said, I have been hearing whispers around the internet. There have been rumours online that people do not think that Harry has what it takes to succeed as a commoner, and may eventually run back home to his family. We will have to wait and see what happens. Personally, just seeing all that they have been through together, I want them to succeed and thrive for years to come. 

 

Is Meghan Markle black women’s problem?

I saw this viral Facebook post, which has since become viral on Twitter as well and felt my eyes roll in the back of my head. While I get how much we resonate with Meghan and the issues she is having with her in-laws, I am not sure that it is the best look for black people worldwide to be screaming their outrage. Raging against the system will get you nowhere… or, at worst, got. I wish there was a different way that we could hit the monarchy where it hurts, without us being the face of the movement. 

https://twitter.com/kristynlizz/status/1368995214749134850?s=20

I am not sure I love that black women are coming online to plot and rejoice about possibly taking down a social institution. We are so passionate about equality and social justice, but is this to our benefit or to our detriment? Even if we have our personal issues with the Royal Family, they have been a beloved institution for millennia. I wonder if this has less to do with the situation at hand, and maybe more to do with some of our internal insecurities: our feelings of never being good enough, our lack of preparation for new environments, the lack of support in new ecosystems, or even our tendency to terraform environments, the push for people to accommodate us instead of doing as the Romans do. I have been a fan of Meghan Markle since Suits and The Tig. While I am sympathetic and even empathetic to her cause, I am not sure that this public outcry is a good look for black women. 

Can you dismantle the maser’s house with his tools? We claim that the Royal Family is the representation of a colonial and racist legacy. Yet, many of us hoped that Meghan’s addition to the family would bring about unprecedented changes. She tackled long-standing traditions, clashed with local culture,  and tried to carve out a specific niche role for herself. However, that narrative is being seen as an affront to the queen. That said, the future of her impact, and its effect on black women at large, remains to be seen. 

Let us step back and look at things from a big-picture perspective. The world is changing and transforming in an unprecedented way. The windows are closing for black women to level up and/or position themselves for hypergamous relationships. With such a public falling out with Meghan and the Royal Family, would other wealthy or high profile families be willing to support black women marrying into the family? Would more closed ecosystems be willing to welcome us into those spaces as well?

 

Meghan Will Be Fine

As I wrote in an older hypergamy article, you have to assess where you want to go and what steps or changes you are willing to make to get there. Meghan went from Hollywood royalty to the highest social strata: royalty. To assume the role, she had to take etiquette classes, dress a certain way and follow a specific protocol. She mentioned in a recent interview how her friends warned her about the media and how brutal they could be to incoming royals, but she had no idea what she would be up against. I wish she would have had more support in that area, from intensive media training to more proactive agenda-setting from the palace, to influence the media narrative.

As Nicole has already mentioned on the blog, Meghan has already secured the bag. In my opinion, while she has secured her bag in America, she has fumbled it spectacularly in England. While the Netflix deals and other projects abound, there will be a strong anti-Meghan sentiment across the pond for years to come. Honestly, as she was celebrated so widely for her connection to blackness, it is possible that any negative repercussions that come from this interview and her missteps That said, her legacy is definitely secured. She will go down famously in history. Her children will be cared for, she has a husband who loves her, and she will have lived life on her terms. She secured the bag for her children and her future grandchildren. Her descendants will have the best education and connections. The pain and sacrifices she made will create a high-value legacy.

 

Final Thoughts

I would like to thank Kendall St. Charles, Christelyn Karazin, and their respective communities for having this needed conversation and inspiring this post. At the end of the day, I believe that there is one side, another side, and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. While my thoughts are rather mixed, I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my perspective. Thank you so much to the Beyond Black and White family for this platform and for hearing my thoughts. I am excited to continue this conversation with you as soon as possible. In the meantime, feel free to enjoy Christelyn’s recent chat on YouTube, covering this topic.

Thank you so much for reading this article! If any of you are interested in me covering a topic or participating in my interview series, please leave a comment below or connect with me or Christelyn Karazin. You can e-mail me for an interview at [email protected], or send a direct message to Beyond Black and White on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more posts like this one, please subscribe to our website.

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