If the monarchy is to survive, it benefits from renewal

It was the interview where everyone could hear and see what they wanted. For republicans it was a sign that the monarchy in all its dysfunctionality has reached its utmost end. Monarchists, on the contrary, hated the attack on the institution. Modernists heard about an archaic palace that clings to an image of whiteness and stiff upper lips. Traditionalists saw a couple throwing out all convention and refusing to serve.

In this palace of mirrors, Harry and Meghan were bogeymen and hero at the same time. A couple between two cultures: that of the traditions and that of the celebrities. Between ‘never complain, never explain’ – never complain, whatever is said about you – and the confessions that are more common with reality stars.

Exactly what was said – about Archie’s skin color, to Meghan when she was in spiritual need – remains unclear. Just like who in the royal family or court said what, and why. The only context was Oprah Winfrey’s “wow”.

It is therefore too early to read the end of the British monarchy in this interview. Prince Harry, in particular, seemed aware that these revelations could be seen as an attempt at dismantling. That is why he and his wife repeated several times that the 94-year-old princess herself had been warm and welcoming and even zoomed in with grandson and great-grandson.

Furthermore, this family is far from harmonious. This is possible for anyone watching the Netflix series The Crown looked to be no surprise. For those it should also be clear that the British monarchy never depended on the Windsors’ internal relations. In a hundred years, the monarchy survived – to mention for a few moments – an abdication, several divorces, embarrassing outpourings from the Crown Prince about what he planned to do with his mistress, the death of his ex-wife, allegations of underage abuse. his brother’s address.

The monarchy is “a soap opera,” Prince Charles once told a journalist. The Oprah interview is just the new season, the audience keeps it going through an insatiable hunger for more. Witness the millions of TV viewers who saw Harry and Meghan.

She is very responsible for the family’s failure to make the couple feel that they have a role. Victims or attention seekers, here were two young people looking for recognition.

Moreover, if the institute is to survive, the monarchy benefits from renewal. Traditions, stability and continuity are one thing, to maintain legitimacy and relevance there must be some form of recognition. Meghan, with her bi-racial background and ‘modern’ views on feminism, offered that. Not only for British of color and young women, but also for the 2.4 billion Commonwealth residents, of whom Elizabeth is also the head of state.

The contained British anger expressed in the palace’s statement, which pointed out that “memories are different” there of the conversations with the couple, can be read as a disdain for movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter that have inspired many in recent years. A lot of kneading will have to be done to repair that damage. At least the British and the other subjects want to keep the monarchy.
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