Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
First, there is our own Maddy Kearns, who has some advice for Markle. On Twitter, Antonia Garcia Martinez smartly observed: “The fact royals opt out of an hereditary aristocracy to launch some direct-to-consumer, spun-bulls***, goop-style lifestyle brand is really quite telling in its social hierarchy implications. It’s the triumph of the blue checks over the blue bloods.”
Then there is Laura Perrins of ConservativeWoman.co.uk with some harsh assessments of Harry and Meghan. I think Perrins gets precisely at what is bothering a certain type of royals-watcher about the statement from the Duke and Duchess: their desire to have the cake and eat it too. She notes that while they say they are “stepping back” as senior members of the royal family, they stop short of stepping out and instead demand “a progressive new role within this institution.”
This is not about Harry and Meghan going quietly into the night; what they want is a ‘progressive new role within this institution’. In other words, they want to be able to give their leftist views using the royal platform. They don’t want to be traditional members of the royal family; they want to be royal celebrities and use their royal connections to push a leftist agenda. Harry is going to make the Duke of Windsor, who abdicated to marry the divorcee Wallis Simpson, look like a model son and Royal.
We certainly know what Meghan and Harry don’t want: the dull protocol, the service to the public, the boring plaque-unveiling events in the North of England. Most of all they don’t want the burden of duty and tradition.
I think it’s correct. They are chucking the duties and responsibilities, but in the meantime they are turning the name of their royal household into a trademark for overpriced consumer goods. And this is what they call “financial independence.” They could live the lifestyle of very wealthy millionaires just on the earnings of what Harry inherited from his mother, and on the allowance from his father’s massive income. But, they can’t be billionaire progressive political entrepreneurs and disrupters on such an income.
The ambition of Harry and Meghan seems quite a different thing from those members of the Swedish royal family who are not in line for the throne and living rather quietly in Florida.