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The Duchess of Sussex and her stalkers
Perhaps it is best to begin with a comparison of character between two men who have both been under fire.
The first man responded like this:
Piers Morgan walked off the set of his own (now former) show because his outrageous vindictiveness and cruelty was called out by a colleague. It was an act of cowardice by a corrupt media figure, who has become a quasi-stalker in his relentless smearing of the Duchess of Sussex because she ghosted him after a single meeting. He was offended by the fact that he was not invited to the royal wedding along with A-listers like Oprah Winfrey. The result has been a spasm of vituperative cruelty and smearing that has lasted years.
Much of the smearing is projection. The narcissistic Morgan calls Meghan Markle a narcissist. Morgan, who failed as broadcaster in America, calls Markle, who did make it here, a B-lister, and on and on it goes. Perhaps it is the case that the monarchy is indeed so rotten, out of touch and corrupted that it requires the defence of such a loathsome figure, who thirsts for attention with cruelty.
The second man did not have a lot of options in his life. He was born the son and brother of men who would be King. He was the spare. Literally. His mother was chased to death and killed by the media. Her phones were hacked by men like Morgan. She was tormented by an institution that rejected her individuality and spirit. She was conned and manipulated by the BBC. He walked behind her casket at age 12 in front of a global television audience of billions.
He is a combat veteran. He served multiple combat tours in the British Army. He served with valor and distinction. He saved American lives, and there is not one word of on-the-record criticism from a single individual with whom he ever served. Prince Harry was respected by the men he led. He did not flinch. He did not run. He fought.
He fought for his wife, and that, in the end, is what the story of Harry and Meghan is about.
Prince Harry did what a man is supposed to do. He protected his wife and children from media predators, vicious smear artists, racist royals, and an institution that brutalized his mother and failed to protect his wife.
They failed to protect her from this:
From The Spectactor: “Obviously, seventy years ago, Meghan Markle would have been the kind of woman the Prince would have had for a mistress, not a wife.”
From The Daily Mail: “Now that's upwardly mobile! How in 150 years, Meghan Markle's family went from cotton slaves to royalty via freedom in the U.S. Civil War…”
From Jeremy Clarkson at The Sun, who said that he is “dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her”. The Sun has since taken down the column, and apologized for its publication by stating that “as a publisher, we realise that with free expression comes responsibility.”
This is standard fare for Meghan Markle in the UK. Of course Clarkson’s column was published in a newspaper owned by the cancerous Rupert Murdoch. It is appalling, but not as appalling as the silence from Buckingham Palace.
The fundamental and undeniable reality of Harry and Meghan’s life is that they are not as important to the monarchy as Charles and Camilla or William and Kate. They are secondary actors in a drama beyond their control. The entire institution is built on the assignment of permanent life stations at birth by class and blood. William is a higher rank — and thus importance — because of birth order.
The British media and royal correspondents are in the access business. The royal family and British media are co-dependent institutions. Denying this is delusional, and that is Harry and Meghan’s fundamental point. Harry and Meghan always draw the low card in the shuffle between palace courtiers and the British press.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex weren’t defended from unprecedented viciousness because they weren’t worth the cost of the transaction. That is how the game is played. They were the perpetual ‘10’ card that fell constantly short against the proverbial ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ cards.
When travelling in bear country people are often advised that, if they encounter one, they shouldn’t run because the bear is so much faster. This is good advice, but something is often left unsaid that is top of mind within any group that hears it. Most people tend to look around and evaluate their group, conscious of the fact that they don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than one person in the group. Harry and Meghan are the proverbial slow couple in bear country. They don’t stand a chance in the daily arbitrage of who gets defended by the institution and who doesn’t.
The extent of the vicious and demented smearing of Meghan Markle has been meticulously documented by Christopher Bouzy, one of America’s preeminent data scientists. The results are astonishing and sickening.
They prove decisively that Meghan Markle was the subject of a vicious campaign of character assassination and digital smearing by a relatively small number of people, who tragically included her unstable half-sister.
But I’m sure race has nothing to do with it.
Speaking of race, there seems to be great outrage from the tormentors of Harry and Meghan about their calling out the institutional racism and Gobineauism that is deeply embedded within the British upper classes. This statement of the obvious has been met with curdled cries of treason and betrayal from both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps Princess Michael of Kent, the daughter of a Nazi, who named two black sheep she owns Serena and Venus, was who they had in mind. This is what she said when research indicated that pack status among female baboons was hereditary:
“I always knew that when people who aren’t like us claim that hereditary rank is not part of human nature, they must be wrong. Now you’ve given me evolutionary proof!”
The Princess chose to wear a racist brooch on the occasion of Meghan Markle’s introduction to the royal family. For Americans unfamiliar with Blackamoor figures and sculptures, they are exotic figures which usually depict African or non-European males as servants, and were prominent in the 17th and 18th centuries. They are the equivalent of a lawn jockey necklace.
Betrayal is at the core of the Harry and Meghan story, but the betrayals belong to the royal family who wouldn’t defend them, as well as the grotesque Thomas Markle, Meghan’s father, who sold his daughter out for 30 pieces of silver to the British press.
Yet, the accusations are ceaseless — if laughably delusional. Here is one from a bullying and unaccomplished child of an American politician with a nepotism grant from The Daily Mail. Take in her words:
“The contrast is not just obviously hypocritical, it's confusing. They want to exploit their fame, their family and the most personal moments they have for profit, at the same time protesting about the unspeakable burden of the cameras and lights.
And it's all so utterly narcissistic.”
Then consider this:
‘Wow’ isn’t the word, but it is a start.
The simple truth is that Harry and Meghan are more at ease, more connected and a huge asset to the monarchy, but for one thing — people tend to like them better than the bosses in the castle. They seem to be much more in touch.
Harry and Meghan are telling their story. They have every right to do this. Harry hasn’t had one second of privacy for his entire life. He didn’t ask for that. He didn’t have a choice. Meghan and Harry have been defined and abused by a million anonymous quotes and refutations. It is always a “source” of the greatest credibility who sticks the knife in. It is like fighting ghosts. It is impossible, unless of course, there is a willingness to change the rules of the game.
Finally, there seems to be a fair amount of performative outrage over the fact that Harry and Meghan signed large book and Netflix deals. The deals remind me of the ones inked by Barack and Michelle Obama. Who cares? Even dukes and duchesses have to make a living.
There is one title that Harry could claim, and I would be thrilled if he took it. He could trade in the British titles and become a citizen. He could swear an oath to the US Constitution and become an American. America is the only country in the history of the world where the pursuit of happiness is enumerated as a fundamental and self-evident truth.
I hope Harry and Meghan will find happiness in life. They deserve it — just like everyone else. This American is happy that they are here and California dreaming. This is a country that doesn’t have much tolerance for preening popinjays like Piers Morgan. There is always plenty of room for smart and capable people of character who wish to make the world a better place.