In their first public interview since leaving the royal family, the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, revealed the myriad of ways the monarchy either caused them — or failed to protect them from — outright harm. From sharing that certain members of the royal family were "concerned" about their son Archie’s skin tone, to refusing to help Meghan seek inpatient mental health treatment during a period of suicidal ideation, to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, making Meghan cry before her wedding, people got an inside look into just how horrific, racist, and backstabbing the British Monarchy is — if they didn't know it already.
Shortly after the candid interview with Oprah Winfrey started airing, #AbolishTheMonarchy began trending on Twitter. "The whole idea of a 'superior bloodline' is inherently racist," one person tweeted. "The way people are programmed to worship the monarchy is one of the things that's kept working class people from believing in their own worth, fuelling a tug the forelock mentality. It's deeply unhealthy, as is the institution itself," another posted.
But revelations that the Royal Family is inherently problematic is nothing new. The monarchy went out of its way to protect Prince Andrew, a friend to known rapist and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, among allegations that he was a frequent client of Epstein's. Andrew's name appears in a number of depositions investigating Epstein and his partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, and Virginia Giuffre said she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was a minor on more than one occasion.
However, this behaviour of protecting their own and throwing down outsiders predates even Andrew and Markle. When she was alive, Princess Diana spoke out about the ways the family attacked her for being a "strong woman" and after the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles as a result of numerous extra-marital affairs. "Actually, when I say many people I mean the establishment that I married into, because they have decided that I'm a non-starter," she said in an interview with BBC. "Because I do things differently, because I don’t go by a rule book, because I lead from the heart, not the head." Diana went on to say: "I don’t think I have many supporters in that environment" and that the royals "see me as a threat of some kind."
"I think every strong woman in history has had to walk down a similar path, and I think it's the strength that causes the confusion and the fear," she continued.
From instances of subtle and overt racism, to the palace hosting "tabloid parties" to stay in the good graces of the U.K. media, to the whole, you know, gaining and maintaining power as the result of thousands of years spent colonizing Black and brown countries, that the British Monarchy was anything other than cruel to the first princess of colour is hardly surprising. Perhaps that's why the palace took a policy stance of not commenting on Meghan and Harry's Oprah interview, and have made no public post-interview statements at this time — rarely have they had to explain themselves.
But that doesn't make what Meghan endured any less horrifying. Let's recap what Markle endured: The Royal family actively refused to help a suicidal pregnant woman, they. cut off the new family financially, they chose not to protect Meghan from racist tabloid vilification, and they didn't want Archie to have the title of "prince" and the protection that comes with it. The monarchy is continuing arguably two of its most cherished traditions of all: attacking strong women and perpetuating racism.