Harry and Meghan are also sick of Britain

Sorcha McCrory
Sorcha McCrory

Sorcha McCrory is a British writer, avoiding Brexit by absconding to Copenhagen. She is interested in fashion, pop culture and art, and the intersection of all three

A decision which has Women’s Institute groups up and down the country clutching their pearls

 

 

Reader, welcome to 2020. I hope you had a great Christmas. Was it full of tense conversations with your family around the dining table as topics veered towards politics? Did your drunk, racist uncle smugly explain why Boris winning was great because he’d be “getting Brexit done”? No. Perhaps this is a uniquely British Christmas tradition. 

 

Spare a thought then, for newly minted figureheads of a bleaker-than-normal Blighty, Harry and Megan – whose drunk, racist uncle consists of the British tabloid media (and a few problematic actual blood relatives). 

 

 

The Duke and Duchess have proposed to become financially independent, but the logistics of this are tricky and there is a likelihood that taxpayer money will fund something

 

 

So frustrated by the choruses of “I’m not racist but…” in a hometown local pub on Christmas Eve, they’ve done what many a millennial – yours truly included – decided to do when it appeared that Rupert Murdoch and Boris Johnson had collectively pissed the country up the wall: moved to one that still has its shit together. A decision which has Women’s Institute groups up and down the country clutching their pearls, I’m sure. 

 

There has, of course, been a lot of media attention surrounding this. It is shocking behaviour for a family most known for putting up and shutting up, and echoes the abdication crisis of 1936. It’s a complex discussion that raises questions around misogyny, racism and the role of the Royals in modern society. 

 

It is the issue of taxpayer cost that many are clinging to to validate any interest in this situation at all. The Duke and Duchess have proposed to become financially independent, but the logistics of this are tricky and there is a likelihood that taxpayer money will fund something – security, for example. 

 

Fair enough. As a tax-payer, you want some bang for your buck. You want a cost breakdown. How many orphans actually saw Harry’s face ÷ the cost of the armoured vehicle required to get him there = a right Royal investment. I get it. But Harry and Meghan’s cost to the taxpayer shouldn’t have been the catalyst to this discussion. 

 

Minor “working” Royals are funded by taxpayer money. Put simply, Prince Andrew is funded by taxpayer money. A.k.a the “Actually it couldn’t have been me that had sex with a minor because you see the thing is I’m so brave I can no longer sweat and she mentions sweating so, glad we cleared that up” gentleman, who just ~had~ to stay with a convicted sex trafficker because the townhouse was close to the city and really it was the decent thing to do. Considering the timing, if this abdication was happening to the Kardashian’s I’d wonder if it was a Kris Jenner cover up…

 

 

I just hope the noise generated by this doesn’t distract from the real question: how much longer can we justify having a Royal family at all?

 

 

I’ve always argued that the Royal family is an archaic institution that no longer represents modern British society. That the Queen has been such an excellent head of state is sheer luck and it’s unlikely to be replicated by her successor. This is absolutely the right time to slim down who receives the hand outs. 

 

Of course the taxpayer shouldn’t subsidise the life of “working” Royals, which now must include Harry and Meghan, but this is a separate conversation. To pin it entirely on Meghan’s back does nothing to address the delusions of Britain being “post racial” or the treatment of women in tabloid media. I don’t blame Harry and Meghan for wanting to leave, to be honest I don’t really care. I just hope the noise generated by this doesn’t distract from the real question: how much longer can we justify having a Royal family at all?

 

Picture by Lorna Roberts / Shutterstock.com

 

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