Royal Family Tea


In the past several years, there has been a dramatic shift in the royal family caused by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It began with a fairytale wedding: an American actress marrying a prince. However, the couple decided to “step back” from their duties as senior members of the royal family in January 2020. In announcing their exit from the royal family, Meghan and Harry stated that they intend to “work and become financially independent” from the institution.
Since leaving the royal family and moving to the United States, Meghan and Harry have shared their love story, views on the royal family, and why they ultimately decided that working as members of the royal family was no longer favorable. One of their first interviews since moving was with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021. In the interview, Meghan stated that she felt trapped and silenced by her new role, even before marrying the Prince. According to Meghan, when she and Harry began dating, she was “given a very clear directive… to always say ‘No comment.’” Later in the interview, she explained that the royal family did not attempt to resolve the situation when the media began to make frequent negative comments about her. Meghan reported having suicidal thoughts because of the intense scrutiny by the media and the pressure to follow royal protocol. Following the Oprah interview, Buckingham Palace released a statement on behalf of the late Queen Elizabeth II saying, “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
The next major event regarding Meghan and Harry came this past December when they released a docu-series on Netflix, Harry and Meghan. As reported by Netflix, this documentary series had more viewing time in the first week than any other documentary. Because the couple previously said that they hoped to gain privacy after separating from the royals, they received criticism after the release of the documentary, as it highlighted private videos and photographs of them. In this series, there were many criticisms thrown at the royals. Prince Harry accused Prince William of being complicit in the spread of negative coverage of Meghan and yelling at him about the situation, saying, “It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me.” Netflix included in the series that the royal family had refused to comment, but according to Reuters, “A royal source… said that neither the palace nor representatives of William or other royals had been approached for comment for the series itself.”
The most recent development in the family’s relationship was this month, January 2023. Prince Harry released a memoir titled Spare. The New York Times reported that the release of this memoir “marked the largest first-day sales for any nonfiction book ever published by Penguin Random House.” In this memoir, Prince Harry makes several accusations against multiple royal family members. After the release, Prince Harry has received criticism over several factual errors discovered throughout the memoir. The royal family has yet to comment on this memoir, following their century long public relations strategy of “Never complain, never explain.”
Based on the record-breaking views of Harry and Meghan and sales of Spare, it is evident that around the world the public is eager to learn more about the royal family. There have been numerous television shows and movies created about what it is like to be in the royal family, yet not much of the pre-existing content about the royals came directly from the source, likely amplifying the popularity of these releases. While Harry and Meghan have shared their perspective on the matter of them leaving, the lack of commenting by the royal family means that the public has only heard a half of the story.
This compelling news has caught the attention of people of all ages, including Pine Crest students. In the view of Samantha Port ’23, “The reason why the Meghan and Harry situation is so popular right now is because nothing like this has ever happened before. Over the history of the royal family, we’ve never seen such a crucial member stand up to the other members and leave.” It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out, especially regarding the future of the British monarchy.

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The Guardian
The New York Times