Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have decided to become 21st century royals, and that means cashing in. The old model of noblesse oblige, duty and decorum is so broke; today everyone must be woke. This means the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are breaking from the insular, stuffy, suffocating confines of the royal family and entering the celebrity space reserved for former “Deal or No Deal” models married to former devil-may-care playboy princes.
If I were a Brit, I’d think it’s outrageous. Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan has practically had an aneurysm online, and in his Meghan-die-in-a-fire column published in the Daily Mail. I highly recommend you read this, as it’s good entertainment: Morgan brings more fire than Drogon ever had.
But I’m an American, writing to other Americans. And what happens across the pond where a queen–as wonderful and wise a person Queen Elizabeth II is–sits on a throne, is not anything Americans should properly care about.
This is not the first time a royal has defected to the American lifestyle due to the irresistible gravity of love. Queen Elizabeth’s own uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated his throne to pursue his love for Wallis Simpson, an American, and a divorcée. In those days, this was a huge scandal, but the monarchy survived. Edward’s brother became King George VI, and when he died, the throne passed to his daughter, who has reigned for six decades.
Relations in the Windsor family were rather awkward with Edward for a long time. But royal families work that way. I can’t imagine anyone growing up in such an environment can turn out normal, but it’s nothing a few billion pounds Sterling can’t solve.
Today’s fiasco is not the same as Edward VIII’s. Harry will never be king. He’s behind his father, Prince Charles, and his older brother, Prince William, in the line of succession to the throne. There will be no abdication. All Meghan wants to do is make bank and be woke with her famous hubby. In America, where Youtubers like PewDiePie are respected and followed by millions, Diamond & Silk advise the president, and “social media influencer” is a hot gig if you can get it–what’s wrong with making bank of being a British royal?
As far as the dignity of the British throne: I don’t care. And neither should you. The British throne has been the scene of so much indignity, intrigue, scandal, betrayal, war, intolerance, religious fanaticism, and outright moral turpitude over the centuries that what Harry and Meghan are doing should be a mere drop in the bucket.
If the British want to get their knickers in a twist over it, fine by me. It’s their country, it’s their royal family. Two hundred and forty years ago we fought a war to get away from that mess. As Americans, our duty is simply to buy the merch and enjoy the theater. Or not. I don’t care, and neither should you.