In Defense of Harry and Meghan

by Christina Charie '25 on January 29, 2023
Opinion Editor


After a Netflix documentary and a scathing memoir, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have certainly made their feelings about the British monarchy public knowledge. While some might find their quarrels repetitive and annoying, that does not mean the couple is lying about their experience. One only needs to read the headlines to realize how the media harasses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

Why might the Sussexes choose a public outlet that has caused so much pain to air their grievances? There are two sides to every story. The press has a responsibility to cover stories from all possible angles, but in the case of the Duke and Duchess, it seems only one narrative emerges. The public should not assume that Markle forced her husband to leave the working royal life behind. The press has consistently invaded the Duke’s privacy, beginning in his childhood. Photographers would follow the young prince and his entire family to craft the most profitable headlines. In essence, the Duke’s image has been exploited by tabloids for cash and by the public for entertainment pleasure. The ultimate exit from public royal life seems inevitable in retrospect. 

After a lifetime of having countless reporters control the narrative, it makes sense that the Sussexes feel the need to rebuke fabricated and false stories. Could they be creating content for the money? Sure. But, when the King of England said he does not have enough money for the Sussexes, they have no obligation to stay silent for the sake of the institution. 

Even after the release of the Netflix documentary, skeptics and monarchists rushed to find more scandals. For instance, Markle discussed how the thought of curtsying made her nervous and uncomfortable as a new family member without much experience with royal protocols. During the documentary, Markle reenacted the moment when she first had to curtsy in front of the late Queen Elizabeth II. During this scene, Markle seemed to be laughing at herself for being blissfully unaware of the standards of royal life. As a fellow American, the idea of having to curtsy to an elder seems foreign in 2023. However, critics jumped on the opportunity to claim that Markle was making fun of the tradition and, ultimately, the late Queen. Even if one agrees with Markle’s critics, one cannot deny that curtsying is not a common practice in the 21st century. The real problem is that the British monarchy is an astonishingly outdated institution struggling to survive in a world that no longer needs the Royal Family. 

The worst attack on Markle after the documentary is the POLITICO opinion piece that suggested she is a narcissist, comparing her to the likes of Kayne West, Donald Trump, and Elon Musk. Even though the piece suggests frustration with the entire documentary series as a whole, the article only classifies Markle as a narcissist, not her husband. If one is still looking for proof that Markle, and ultimately women, are treated with contempt by the media, do a quick Google search. Comparing Markle and, implicitly, her husband, to an open anti-semite is completely unfair. 

Proof that the Sussexes’ allegations are true is not hard to find, but it requires a willingness to reject what is considered tradition in favor of reform.