It isn’t racist to be disappointed

Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau Tiara worn by Meghan Markle on her wedding day

diamond bandeau filigree tiara queen mary meghan markle united kingdom

Hitler said she would make a good queen. He was referring to Wallis Simpson, by then the Duchess of Windsor, after they’d had a friendly get together in pre-war Germany.

I thought of this when I read that someone in the US had said what a good queen Meghan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex would make. And I thought too that neither Hitler, or even Ms Markle had any idea what the concept of the British monarchy was all about as I read the latest press release from a ‘source close to the Duchess’. The release informed us that the Duchess would not be joining the Royal family for Christmas and would be spending Thanksgiving at Frogmore Cottage with her mother, when they would visit a homeless shelter to ‘help the homeless cook traditional stuffed turkey and pumpkin pie’.

This essentially New World party has no relevance to the British, so I did wonder at the announcement of a visit to a local homeless shelter, weeks in advance. Most intending Mother Theresa’s or Lady Bountiful’s perform this sort of philanthropy unobtrusively and without fanfare, with no virtue signalling publicity or photographers on hand.

I wondered too how these lonely desperate people, with no warm home and loving family around, would feel when confronted with a beaming stranger either dressed up to the nines in Givenchy, or sporting skinny jeans and an over-size shirt, and accompanied by the de rigueur security men – slightly bewildered I wouldn’t be surprised.

People who criticise the American addition to the Royal family are usually accused of racism, but this lazy and one-size-fits-all label is not accurate. Prince Harry’s bride was welcomed with open arms, for the sake of the little boy who’d walked behind his mother’s coffin and who had a special place in many English hearts. Everyone bent over backwards to make their union work.

The Queen did an unprecedented thing and invited Meghan to Sandringham for Christmas, to spend with the ‘family she’d never had’, as besotted Prince Harry explained tenderly on radio. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was not invited until she was well married, like all the previous fiancees.

When Prince Charles remarried a divorcee, he could not be married in a church according the Church of England rules, and had to have a registry office wedding, and a church blessing afterwards. This requirement was waived for Meghan, also a divorcee, who enjoyed the full panoply of royal privileges, including the traditional loan of one of the Queen’s tiaras, and a carriage ride through Windsor, costing the British taxpayers millions in security. Her wedding cost both the Queen and the taxpayer over $40,000,000 pounds. No one begrudged it. The new bride was welcomed with enthusiasm.

But she never said thank you. What she did do was buy more expensive couture clothes than any other English or European Royal, only a quarter of which were made by British designers.  She flew to New York by private jet for a $350,000 baby shower, she sat in splendid isolation after turfing forty British Wimbledon spectators out of the seats which they had queued and paid for, and assuming that two people who were taking selfies of themselves with Federer in the background were photographing her, had her security guards stop them using their phones.

When her friend Serena Williams was beaten, she showed her disappointment, but did not congratulate the winner, a Canadian girl who was a member of the Commonwealth for which Meghan had been made an ambassador by the Queen. She left as soon as Serena’s match was over, when it would have been both polite and diplomatic as a member of the Royal Family to watch the British Wimbledon champion Andie Murray, who was next up, play his match.

The dog loving English people were puzzled that a dog lover should leave her two rescue dogs behind in Toronto in spite of the unconvincing explanations. They were also puzzled when she and her Prince left the splendour of Kensington Palace, to spend over $3,000,000 on a house at Windsor, with all the extra costs to the taxpayer of security, which were covered when all the Royals shacked up at KP, as Kensington Palace is known.

Writing woke messages saying ‘you are loved’ and ‘you are brave’ on bananas to give to sex workers provoked national hilarity, but it wasn’t seen as so funny when Meghan embarrassingly dodged her royal duty by claiming maternity leave in order not to meet President Trump. Yet she surfaced a few days later to sit in a carriage and stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s birthday celebrations.

Turning up to parade down the red carpet at the glamorous ‘Lion King’ London premier in a hideously expensive dress costing $4,924, when Prince Harry should have been at a solemn memorial service with the Royal Marines didn’t go down well either. Telling an African-American star in the line-up, who’d congratulated her on the great job she was doing, that ‘They don’t make it easy for us”, a reference to the English people/plebs who support her extravagant life-style, went down like a brick too.

Neither did it go down well that the couple refused to share the date of their baby’s birth, the names of his godparents or issue any photos of him – traditional Royal custom – which is part of the unspoken contract between the Royals and the public. There was more heartburning when it was discovered that various American TV personalities, including Ellen de Generes, who Meghan had never met before, had had invitations to tea  and were able to boast – on TV – that they had cuddled the baby who was off-limits to the British public.

And more ire, when pictures of good old Archbishop Tutu were taken with the hitherto invisible baby. Many people, myself included, felt that it should have been Thomas Markle, his grandfather, seeing the baby. This is the man who brought up Meghan when her mother was not around during her childhood, and paid for her expensive schooling, university and overseas trips – on one of which Meghan was photographed posing outside Buckingham Palace – though she had told the public that she’d never heard of Prince Harry before she met him!

Thomas Markle is the old man who to date has met neither his son-in-law or his grandson, but according to his daughter, in happier days when she was worried about her freckles, lovingly consoled her with the words that a face without freckles would be like a sky without stars. While he was working at the TV studios, she would turn up after school, and he’d steer her away from facets of the filming he thought in-appropriate for a little girl to watch – a caring father coping with parenting alone while he worked for their living …

The apparent snubs to the Queen in turning down not just the Sandringham Christmas get together, but also the traditional summer gathering of the Royal family at Balmoral, and then zapping off to New York a few days later to watch her friend Serena’s tennis final, has not endeared the Duchess to the British public. None of these faux pas, extravagances, and many other ill-judged actions have anything to do with race.

They are the justified criticisms made of a woman who seems to have no interest in the customs and culture of the family and society she chose to marry into; a woman who, while enjoying all the perks of her extraordinary new life, insists on privacy, and at the same time goes out of her way to be photographed and publicise her doings and achievements on Instagram.

Criticism of the new arrival in the family who has ‘singlehandedly modernised the Royal Family’ according to her PR team, stems from disappointment, not racism. In the unspoken contract and loyalty between the Sovereign and the people, the Royals have various rituals and duties to perform as a quid pro quo for their immensely privileged life-style.

Their profession and ‘career’ is service to their country, to be performed in whatever way the government of the time requires, and observance of ancient precedents. The public knows it’s a daunting task to learn the ropes of this 1,000 -year-old institution, so all they expect is for a new entrant to learn the ways and customs of the institution, using humility, a desire to learn, and determination to do the job.

So the arrival of Meghan who said she was going to hit the ground running, and who seems to feel it’s her role to change the lives of the English people who’ve enjoyed a free society and democracy all their lives; a newbie attempting to educate them about climate change, female empowerment, racism, and other self- appointed missions, irritates them.

They don’t want their lives changed (unless they can enjoy some of the perks of her privileged life-style). They don’t want to be lectured about carbon emissions by someone who flies in private jets, and hops across oceans and continents for holidays, weddings and celebrity occasions.

It doesn’t go down well for someone from another country to seem to criticise the British culture and members of the Royal Family on TV, to tell us that the British stiff upper lip is ‘internally damaging’, and that in spite of no money worries, a healthy baby, a loving husband, a luxurious home, and a wardrobe to die for, she finds life tough and no-one has asked ‘are you okay?’

It was her decision during maternity leave to ask Vogue editor, Edward Enninful, to allow her to guest-edit a controversial edition of that luxury magazine, and her decision too, to organise the design of some fairly ordinary clothes for a charity which had been up and running for some years before. Since most of us cope with our babies plus other challenges without nannies and staff, for their PR staff to use the word ‘gruelling’ to describe their lives (several holidays, overseas trips to tennis and a Rome wedding this year) seems puzzling.

Most people have tough hardworking lives, and find self-pity, a sense of entitlement, and what feels like hypocrisy when actions don’t match words, unattractive. So for all these reasons, and many others, the second American woman to marry into the British Royal family is almost as unpopular as the first one. And as in the case of Wallis, there is great relief that Meghan is not likely to become queen either, barring a complete annihilation of four or five other members of the family.

The saddest thing of all is that so much genuine goodwill towards Prince Harry and Meghan seems to have been squandered, despite the in-ept rescue attempts by their American publicity team, and this has left many loyal supporters of the monarchy throughout the Commonwealth feeling disappointed. To bowdlerise a great Englishmans’s words, ‘never has so much been lost, so quickly, by so few.’

As for the 93- year- old Queen, adapting Shakespeare’s words would no doubt be sadly true for her at the moment: ‘Uneasy lies the head that bears the crown’.

 

Food for Threadbare Gourmets

The cupboard was bare – and the fridge. All I could rustle up the day before our big shop, was one chicken drum stick, half a parsnip, two carrots, half a leek, plenty of onions and my staple, red lentils.

While the onions were having a quick zap to soften them up in the micro- wave, I fried the chicken leg to seal it, and chopped carrots, parsnip and leek small, keeping one carrot back to grate, to give the intending mess of pottage some texture. Onions, chicken and vegetables went into a saucepan, along with two thirds of a cup of washed lentils, garlic, salt, pepper and a chicken cube.

Boil gently for half an hour or until the chicken is falling off the bone. This collection of scraps turned into a thick comforting soup on a cold day.

 

 

34 Comments

Filed under family, life/style, Queen Elizabeth, Royals, shakespeare, Uncategorized

34 responses to “It isn’t racist to be disappointed

  1. Dearest Valerie,

    As one who has watched from afar and through a very American lens, I appreciate your perspective. From the bits and snatches from the news media concerning the Royal family, it’s difficult to make any kind of judgement. I watched the fairy tale wedding with wide-eyed fascination. American girl becomes a princess perspective. The love between Harry and Meghan shone. I’ve wondered if the British press wasn’t persecuting the “poor duchess”.
    Your article has shed much light on the subject. It saddens me to no end when the “race card” is used to justify self-entitlement. It seems to me that the British population’s disappointment really has nothing to do with racism. Thank you for writing this. I gobbled it like clotted cream and tea.
    As always, give hugs to your gardener and accept a few for yourself.

    Love and shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • Thank you for your interesting comment, Rochelle. Interesting too that the US press must have misinterpreted what’s been going on!
      But what’s new !!! ( I sound like D Trump!)
      Glad you found my take on it interesting!
      Love, Valerie

      Like

  2. I’m an American and even I couldn’t believe she was going to be the new Royal! She just doesn’t seem to fit in.
    Don’t you just love the old recipes? I have entire posts dedicated to them – from a British blogger, Carolyn.

    Like

    • So good to hear from you GP … I thunk the problem is that she doesn’t Want to fit in – she seems to feel she’s ‘special and different’ !
      Yes, I do love those simple wholesome old recipes… would love to have the name of your British blogger, and catch up on her ideas…

      Like

  3. I love how you make something from seemingly nothing in your kitchen, Valerie. The African tour went well for the young Royals, till we were shown the ‘interviews’ with them both at the end. I felt that Harry has trauma re-surfacing after the birth of his son and needs peace and help to deal with that. To Meghan I wanted to say ‘This is not a role, it’s real. Step back, re-group, come off all social media and whatever you do, do it quietly. If you court the media sword, be prepared to be cut by it. There is grace in silence. The position you have married into demands that duties are fulfilled. Chose them wisely and fulfill them to the best of your ability. Quietly. Actions speak louder than words.’

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Rob

    You have put into words exactly what we have been thinking : thankyou.
    As to race, we never even thought of it until Harry kept making an issue of it.
    I feel they have squandered a tremendous amount of goodwill.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Rob for your encouraging words, greatly appreciated… it’s interesting I had wondered nervously if I would attract some angry comments defending the lady’s behaviour.. but not so far!
      I think you’re so right about both Harry, and them both squandering the goodwill which was so enthusiastically given to them both.

      Like

  5. I must admit I don’t really follow the Royals (or movie stars) and didn’t watch the wedding. But this backstory is disappointing to say the best I can about it. Race is an easy card to play when you want to appear a victim, as are many other words such as man, woman, any of the LBGTQ (or whatever it is these days), white man (perhaps most likely to be discriminated against these days), any religion, and so forth. I don’t care about any or these for the most part. I want to see your actions, not just listen to your words. Hers obviously don’t match well. I’m sad to read this, but not altogether surprised.

    Love to you both as always,

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It is an unfolding story, one that has the world watching. My respect and love for our precious Queen Elizabeth II continues to grow. I love your quote from Shakespeare! And here is one of my favouite quotes by our Queen: “I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.” Queen Elizabeth II

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that lovely quote, Rebecca… I also love her words after the 9/11 atrocity – ‘Grief is the price we pay for love”
      I feel very sad that so much is turning to custard after all her years of holding the family together, and putting her hundred per cent into her service to the country and commonwealth. I found her a fascinating person, gay, witty, intelligent, during a party on board her yacht Britannia…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “I did wonder at the announcement of a visit to a local homeless shelter, weeks in advance” >>> ROTFL.

    If that does not say it all, well, others have done it better and I ticked my “like” to their comments.

    Like

  8. Angela Ogden

    Hurray!! ….and at last someone else who shares my thoughts on this ‘do as I say not as I do’, over entitled, rather shallow young couple who, to be honest, should know better! I had to chuckle at the thought of the bewildered homeless being subjected to Doria & the Duchess’s thanksgiving offerings….I wonder if they have a choice?! It’s the Queen I feel sorry for (along with the turkey recipients)!

    Like

    • Hello Angela,
      Great to have your comment and your agreement…. I agree with you in your use of the word shallow… fridge magnet sayings, someone once described their pontificating … but if you are shallow, you don’t know, do you?
      Yes, my heart bleeds for the Queen at the moment, her whole life’s work being turned upside down by shallow, selfish, irresponsible, spoiled others. !
      Loved your remark about the homeless …but I wonder if they really will get any turkey??

      Like

  9. I’m not a fan of the monarchy, but I do accept that they can be useful. I particularly hate the profligacy and hypocrisy that you describe here… especially when there is so much potential to do good with the resources available. Perhaps, since being a royal is actually a job, those entering into the role should be required to agree to certain conditions, or otherwise give up the privileges and become a true private citizen.
    Your soup reminds me of a visit to a friend a few years ago. ‘There’s nothing to eat’ she said ‘Shall we get take-away?’. I rummaged about her kitchen and found bacon, peppers and onions, tinned tomatoes and pasta… and half an hour later we were tucking into pasta with a delicious sauce… there is often a way, if you are prepared to be creative.

    Like

    • Loved your comment, thank you … I have to agree with your remarks about the Royals… I think after all that’s going on, that Charles will limit the family to the one or two who are in the succession…
      And yes, to your recipe… pasta is a wonderful standby and I also keep tins of tomatoes handy for empty cupboard emergencies – but am avoiding pasta at the moment in the interests of an expanding waistline… so it’s down to vegetables!

      Like

  10. quid pro quo—something for something. It saddens me for that besotted young man and his ‘rather snobby’ movie-star wife have to play the race card when there isn’t a race issue. But a spoiled issue.

    Like

    • Lovely to hear from you, as always – I think the problem with Meghan is that she thinks she is “special and different”as we used to describe it on personal growth courses!
      And yet, as so many people have pointed out she was a very minor actress before latching onto Harry..- I’d never even heard of her one successful TV film – Suits..
      ah well, que sera sera !!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nice piece, Valerie, but sad for those concerned…I was not aware of all of this! Sounds like a lot of maturity and a broadened perspective on Meghan’s part would help, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon!

    Like

    • Anonymous

      Good to hear from you Shirley – you’re right nothing is going to change, judging by Meghan;s latest faux pas, muscling in in the Prince Andrew debacle, by letting it be known she was’ troubled’ by his interview etc etc.. no-one else in the RF has commented, the Queen will be furious as she still supports her favourite son, going riding with him yesterday, and once again Meghan has tried to deflect attention to herself, quite apart from publicly criticising her husband’s family!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I appreciate your calm and reasoned approach, which I wish others who criticize the Sussexes would follow. The vitriol and ugliness which appear in comments on social media about them are totally unwarranted. I agree that it isn’t racist to be disappointed but there is subtle (and sometimes blatant) racism which occurs in comments and commentaries/news items about the Sussexes. True the couple are sometimes their own worst enemies but, I, along with 9.9 million Instagram followers around the world, follow their lives with interest and affection. I do hope they have time, over the holidays to regroup and reassess their roles in the Royal Family. Time out seems to be the Queen’s favourite tactic with her family at the moment eg re her troublesome second son, Prince Andrew. Now, even though, I am fond of the Sussexes, my absolute royal favourite, after the Queen, is the Countess of Wessex. She is a gem.

    Like

    • Anonymous

      Hello Amanda, good to hear from you, and thank you for your long thoughtful comment…I know what you mean about the ugly comments, but I also remember lovely Catherine being vilified, and still is, as Waity-Katie, and the Duchess of Do-little, her clothes mocked, and her figure too thin!! ( oh to be too thin!)
      I agree the couple are their own worst enemies, and Meghan’s latest faux pas is a killer… to make judgemental comments about Andrew’s car crash interview when the rest of the R. family have said nothing was disastrous.
      The Queen will be furious at Meghan joining in the chorus of disapproval of her favourite son – she showed her support for him today by riding with him in Windsor Great park. Although the reports quoted her friends saying it was toe crawling and they just wanted to get under the table, letting the public know what she wants them to know via her friends or PR team is a favourite ploy of Meghan’s, and no-ine has been deceived by this.
      One has to ask who are these friends quoted, and did they ask is if she was okay… And where was Harry who could give her good advice to say nothing – why did she need to draw attention to herself yet again?
      Giving her celebrity friends in America her father’s letter for them to comment on and vililfy him was why the poor man released his copy six months after he’d recieved it. Now Meghan is suing the newspaper for publishing it when it had been OK for her friends to do so… Lots of confusing double standards I feel…
      You mention Sophie, but of course she has had her moments as when she made derogatory remarks about the Queen and others to a reporter and was then forced to give up her PR business, and stick to public duties..’ What it all boils down to is that we are all human and make mistakes !!! The trick is to learn from them …

      Liked by 1 person

      • Precisely! And I sincerely hope that will be so, especially for the sake of the Queen. I do want the remainder of her reign to be a blessing to her. Her family has a pivotal role in ensuring that happens.

        Like

      • Our conversation reminds me that I was looking at old photos the other day and came across one of me on my first day as a Brownie. I don’t remember a lot about my Brownie days but I do remember the Brownie Promise : ” I promise to do my best,
        To do my duty to God and the Queen,
        To help other people every day, especially those at home.” I didn’t quite know what to do about God, apart from going to Sunday School, but I felt very important making that promise to do my duty to the Queen.

        Like

  13. I have tended to buy into the gushing flow of Markle worship that it seems the media (probably American-led) almost constantly offer. However, the points you make are irrefutable and have altered my viewpoint entirely.

    Like

    • Dear Leslie,
      apologies for my tardy response. Needless to say I was delighted by your comment – its not often one feels one’s thoughts have the power to influence another’s viewpoint…
      Thank you so much for your supportive words, and I hope all is well with you, Best wishes,Valerie

      Like

  14. I am not a fan of Meghan. I have been steeped in the topic of the British Royal family since the marriage of Diana and the Prince of Wales. I really tried to like Meghan. She reminded me with the obvious commonality to Princess Grace of Monaco but Grace Kelly immersed herself in Monaco way of life to please her husband and the people of Monaco. That is what being royal is about sacrificing a bit of yourself to please others and making even just a small bit of difference.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your comment, yes, you are right about Princess Grace… I have been writing about the Royal family since I was commissioned to write a book on them, and like you am steeped in the topic… though I go back beyond Queen Victoria, and see so many fascinating hereditary parallels over the last hundred and fifty years and more. To have so much information and documentation about generations of a family is really absorbing.

      Liked by 1 person

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