As a sometime royal reporter – working for Time Inc. in London – I have processed through the dislike and envy felt by every normal human faced with the Windsor’s unimaginable wealth and power, through to a grudging acceptance of just how bloody hard the family works, how much good they do, and how important they are to the world. This is the attitude of a woman, which is to say me, dragged into maturity at the last moment possible, and forced to recognize that adulting comes along with the dullest of duties and that weirdly, performing them, brings happiness.
The most accurate assessment of Meghan Markle’s sojourn with the Royal Family and her break-out response comes from Rose Adkins Hulse, a successful black woman from Santa Monica who married the grandson of a baronet and whose 2017 wedding was lavishly featured in Tatler, Britain’s society rag.
George Hulse’s family seat, Breamore House, is in Hampshire and the 1st Baronet Hulse, Sir Edward Hulse, born in 1682, was physician to Queen Anne and Georges I and II.
Hers is a refreshing blast of rational thinking, married to a deep empathy for the couple and it really should be the last word on the whole catastrophe.
If Meghan could have called her for help rather than stylists, actors, PRs and witheringly expensive Hollywood lawyers she trusted, she could have adapted, if and only if, that was her goal at first. And there is some doubt of that.
Rose dismisses the charges of racism this way.
‘Growing up, I had always heard that the Royal Family and the institution was racist and that no royal would ever allow their bloodline to be “muddied”,’ she says.
‘Well, they proved that wrong with blessing Harry’s marriage to Meghan with their full support.
‘There may have been some that felt it was too soon and that Harry should take his time, but when he made it clear he was truly in love, his entire family was there to support him and Prince Charles even walked Meghan down the aisle.
‘Yes, there may have been naysayers and haters, but there was also a huge amount of love shown towards them. They were so very popular.’
The reception of their tour to the antipodes demonstrated that the entire commonwealth was thrilled to pieces that someone so beautiful and open, of mixed-heritage and a loudly declared will to help, had married into the family. It felt to many, like the dawn of a new age, just as the election of Mr. Purple America (for some) felt like we were moving into a world of tolerance and openness.
Another feint, another failure.
Here comes the dullness of duty part, and my questioning of Meghan’s sincerity about service. Because what she could have done using the infrastructure of the Commonwealth and the Royal Family for women of colour, in the billion strong Commonwealth could have changed the world. I do not exaggerate here, as a figurehead and beacon, she could have become loved beyond measure and seen tens of millions of girls rise up, become educated, successful businesswomen, who could have pulled Africa out of the hell of competing strong men, tribal hatreds and Marxist-polluted states. Africa unleashed would create unimaginable prosperity for all.
But that would have meant two decades of work outside the spotlight for the most part. It would have meant giving way to William and Catherine, and building an intimate family life away from the cameras. It would have meant waiting for the Queen to bestow a grand house, much like the one they bought themselves, and it would have meant dealing with an infrastructure more convoluted and sophisticated than anything movie stars and lawyers can dream up. It would have meant a really hard slog.
I would have encouraged her to understand the sensitivities around primogeniture, second sons, service and duty and to seriously consider all she would be giving up for love.
‘She would have been the first acknowledged member of the Royal Family with African descent and with that comes great responsibility, followed by anger, jealousy and people trying to push her to fail just to prove that everyone’s “concerns” were correct.
‘She would have to always be one step ahead and to rise above all the challenges and represent with dignity and prove everyone wrong who doubts that she is not suited for this role and position.’
Yes, she would have been hated for it by the primitives among us. The envy would have been a black hole of hate. But accomplishment is always always met with hate. Only mature people get that.
Rose Hulse thinks Meghan did the right thing, given that she was suicidal. She couldn’t handle the pressure, she was after all, too weak, and couldn’t find her footing. But, she adds,
Too much is at stake, and when one starts to pick away at the fabric and foundations of such a massive institution, everything comes crashing down.
‘They have an amazing platform to bring awareness to the causes that are important to them.
‘Meghan, too, has a platform and her words are very powerful . . . She needs to use them wisely, for they can unite or create great divide. When life gives you a platform, we should always use it to unite.’
But that’s not what she did last Sunday, was it? She and her husband tore down one of the pillars of our world culture, sending their family into a deep crisis, threatening a representation of sanity and service that is unrivalled. A secular non-governmental institution that supports a billion people of colour in countries all over the world.
Think I’m wrong? Name one.