The anger and controversy unleashed in the British news media as the broadcast of American presenter Oprah Winfrey’s interview with the Dukes of Sussex progressed on Sunday shows the seriousness of the matter. Comparisons with that distant institutional crisis that Diana of Wales caused when she decided in 1995 to appear before the cameras are useless. In the time of Black Lives Matter, in which statues of people with a slave past are demolished; in the time of Me Too, in which no one looks the other way before any abuse of power over a woman, and with a new generation that is already more Elizabethan than monarchical, the accusations of racism, cruelty and manipulation launched by the couple against the fabric of the royal house have rekindled the cultural and ideological divide in British society around its institution par excellence.
Buckingham Palace decided to keep quiet. In the analog world that they still inhabit, the interview did not even exist because on Sunday it had only been broadcast for the American audience, on the other side of the Atlantic and the British would not have a chance to see it in full until Monday night. It did not matter that the British digital media had broadcast it minute by minute, and that social networks had already engaged in the debate. The first verdict was issued by a newspaper as institutional as The Times 20 minutes into the show: “The revelations are worse than Palacio could have feared.” In the United States alone, the interview had a greater audience than any other television event.
In two hours of the program, one of which was consumed by advertisements, the “exiled” Dukes of Sussex broke all bridges with the royal house. Without putting names or surnames to their accusations, they assured that a family member – neither the queen nor her husband, Prince Enrique later qualified the presenter – had come to show his “concern” about the skin tone that the first would have. Meghan Markle’s baby, being the daughter of a mixed marriage. And that racism was the fundamental reason why it was decided that little Archie will not receive the title of prince in the future or enjoy the security measures that his condition entails.
The former American actress denounced the lack of attention – almost contempt – she received when, five months pregnant, she asked for medical help to curb the suicidal instincts caused by forced isolation in Kensington Palace. “He had lost the will to live,” he came to admit in the interview. And he stressed how the environment that led him to believe that it would tuck her into her landing immediately began to feed the tabloids with lies and smears that protected more valuable members of royalty while she was dragged through the mud. “The only thing I regret is having believed them when they assured me that they would protect me,” Markle lamented. She is the protagonist of the interview, but the grandson of Isabel II corroborates all the alleged reparations in his scant participation. Especially the one referring to racism.
The key to such a multifaceted drama was given by the journalist Winfrey when she invited her friend and neighbor in Montecito (California) to expose “her truth.” Not the objective facts, backed by names or evidence, but the subjective feeling of helplessness and abuse that the newcomer to Windsor House had.
Charles Anson, who was Elizabeth II’s press secretary for seven years, responded angrily on Monday: “There was an overwhelming sense of welcoming Meghan [Markle] and to that marriage. I don’t think there is a trace of racism in the royal house. “
For the leader of the Labor opposition, Keir Starmer, “the issues raised by Meghan around racism and mental health are very serious. They are a reminder that a lot of people suffer from racist attacks in the UK in the 21st century, and we have to take it very, very seriously. ” “It is something that goes beyond the realm of the royal family,” the left-wing politician stressed.
Silence in Downing Street
The prime minister, Boris Johnson, is the only one who slowed his momentum and instructed his team to refer any questions to Buckingham on the matter. “I have spent a long time without commenting on the affairs of the royal family and I have no intention of deviating today. [por el lunes] of that criterion, ”Johnson assured reporters.
The position of each other on the bomb planted by the Dukes of Sussex has brought to the surface a latent cultural, ideological and generational debate in British society. Bourgeois versus bohemian. Traditionalists versus disbelievers. The baby boomers versus millennials. And, only in part, left against right. Because Sir Keir Starmer himself (knighted for his services at the head of the Crown Prosecutor’s Office) would be the first to come out in defense of Elizabeth II.
All controversy is frozen in front of the figure of the queen, who maintains her popularity and respect among the majority of British people. She is the guarantor of a truce that no one knows if it will last when she is absent. Both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were concerned with praising the monarch and relieving her of all blame.
His main critics on Monday avoided falling into that trap. For Piers Morgan, the popular journalist who stirs up the war against the Dukes of Sussex every morning on television, “they have thrown garbage on Prince Charles, on Prince William and on [la esposa de este] Kate Middleton. They have thrown garbage on everything the queen has endeavored to build. And do you try to present yourself as two compassionate people? Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: “Her Majesty continues to work for us all while her husband [Felipe de Edimburgo] is in the hospital. Great Britain will always be by our queen’s side ”. It is one of a handful of conservative politicians who have rushed to defend the crown.
“Not wanting a republic because you like the queen is like not wanting more elections because you like Boris Johnson. You cannot stop the music because you like the person who occupies the chair ”, wrote the Republic association, still marginal in the United Kingdom, but that this Monday managed to dominate social networks with the label #abolishthemonarchy (“Abolish the monarchy”).
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.