January 09, 2020
Having a tumultuous relationship with your in-laws isn’t uncommon for married couples. I mean, Bollywood wouldn’t be the booming success it is without the fractious narrative of the unruly daughter in-law, so perhaps the news of Meghan and Harry’s decision to take a step back from being senior royals wasn’t a huge shock to me after a lifetime of exposure to the movies I was raised on. Whether there will be a happy ending where everyone involved breaks out into song after a tearful reconciliation is still up for debate, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The couple repeatedly tried to instil boundaries while maintaining their regal duties but they were defied time and time again.In hindsight, the warnings were there. The unrelenting scrutiny, malicious accusations and undeniable racism was clearly taking a toll on the reserved couple so much so that Harry first broke royal protocol by putting out an official statement confronting the treatment of his wife head on. A bold and unexpected move, which was the first red flag that current events can be traced directly back to. The couple repeatedly tried to instil boundaries while maintaining their regal duties but they were defied time and time again by the press and its calculated agenda, which the public ate up, giving them the financial incentive to continue the salacious smearing of Markle. 
Meghan And Harry’s Royal Retreat Has Been A Long Time Coming
English rose Kate Middleton and mixed race Hollywood actress Meghan Markle were consistently pitted against each one another with Kate more often than not considered the pinnacle of the supposed standard which many believed Meghan repeatedly failed to meet. From crossing her legs wrong, wearing nail polish, refusing to show off her baby immediately after giving birth to ridiculous suggestions that her pregnancy was fake for optics. Kate has no doubt experienced her fair share of criticism which she has weathered with class but you could argue that it is a little bit easier to do when you’re not fighting racist dog whistles due to your race which is out of your control. An international and well respected publication even wrote articles where they tried to ascertain just how black Archie would be as if that is appropriate discourse and not blatant race baiting. Prince Andrew is the only real winner in this situation. He must be delighted as Meghan and Harry continue to deflect from the serious allegations against him.Meghan Markle being a mixed race black woman has been a source of contention ever since the rumours she was dating Harry were confirmed. A successful woman in her own right with a thriving career as an actress was considered beneath the royals despite Meghan being a passionate humanitarian which is part of what attracted Harry to her in the first place. You would think that such an accomplished and compassionate woman would be welcomed with open arms but unfortunately in an institution as outdated as the royal family progression is desperately lacking. 
Newspapers begged the question: “Are we ready for a mixed race royal?” As is she were a foreign species yet to be seen by the world. Ready for what, I’d wonder? Ready for the backlash to her heritage? The slander of her name? Her messy family dynamics splashed all over headlines across the world? How does anyone prepare for that especially when they are so limited in what they can say in defense due to the restrictions placed upon them by their powerful in-laws. How do you even begin to fight the repression of the crown when your husband’s grandmother is the literal queen of England.  Related... Are Harry And Meghan Actually Going To Be ‘Financially Independent’? What Will Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Do Now? All Of The Wild Reactions To Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Stepping Down More importantly, why do we assume that racism is an acceptable price to pay for a marriage in the spotlight? Why is it considered something to “overcome” and silently bear? Surely, the offensive behaviour exhibited by royalists should highlight how far we need to come urging a deeply needed reform on the more toxic parts of British culture. Many claim it is simply Meghan they dislike and that’s fair. We should not be forced to like everyone but to ignore the racial intolerance is to remain willfully ignorant.
A common source of deflection is to highlight Meghan’s white father to justify why she’s “not really black” which is an argument I don’t personally understand but being mixed race hasn’t exactly saved her from the public ire when it’s distinctly her blackness that is under attack. Black stereotypes and slurs are what are wielded against her as if it’s something she should do better to conceal which is another hole in the theory that being a model minority allows your to “transcend” race and e seen as an equal. Relegating the outrage against her due to her being a “person of colour” is reductive and vague. The lack of specificity in acknowledging the rampant anti-blackness is incredibly telling and an additional argument against lumping all ethnicities under one umbrella. It’s a disservice to the very real and under scrutinised existence of the struggles black people face. The angry denials of her ethnic background reveal how far Britain still has to go in order to claim true progression. We might be the “least racist country” but that doesn’t comfort me as much as it alarms me at the extremely low bar with which we’re supposed to be satisfied, if not thankful. Nice try but no thanks. 
Harry has repeatedly stated his strong feelings regarding his position in the royal family. He has never shied away from his anger towards the treatment of his mother who died at the hands of a ferocious press with no sense of boundaries. Why wouldn’t it frighten him to see history repeat itself with his wife? What kind of father would he be if he allowed the abuse to remain unchallenged? What kind of husband would he be if he didn’t defend and support his wife? The vows taken are “for better or for worse” after all. The richer and for poorer part is a whole other story. I have to admit the idea of a couple in their late 30s venturing into the world of the financially independent is less admirable and more amusing with a hint of cringe. Again, revealing the absurdity of the redundant royal institution. 
Sure, they aren’t a regular married couple but neither of them asked for this. Harry was born into royalty and Meghan fell in love and chose to essentially convert for the sake of her in-laws who did not show the same support in return. They are caught between a rock and a hard place as they navigate their supposed obligations and their desire to live a life away from the incessant media circus. 
If I may, I would like to posit that Prince Andrew is the only real winner in this situation. He must be delighted as Meghan and Harry continue to deflect from the serious allegations against him handing the royal family the lesser scandal they need in order to keep the public distracted. Meghan Markle has been a fortuitous lightning rod of negative attention which coincidentally help conceal the more nefarious aspects of the crown and its subjects. If anything, her in-laws should be immensely grateful. Amna Saleem is a Scottish writer, broadcaster and author.Related... Princess Diana's Former Personal Chef Loses It Over Meghan Markle 'I Know Here Will Never Be Home’: Why Black Brits Are Considering Leaving The UK If Tories Win Election
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