As I noted in my previous post about Prince Charles, there was word that Buckingham Palace could be coming out with a statement by EOD addressing what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said during their interview with Oprah Winfrey. Shortly after that article went live, a statement on behalf of the Queen was indeed released. It’s …short.
Buckingham Palace have just released a statement: pic.twitter.com/JzlYvef4Wn— Omid Scobie (@scobie) March 9, 2021
There’s some sh-t to unpack here. Let’s start with the overall decision to address this as a private family matter and not an institutional matter. Which speaks to accountability – if they’re saying these are family matters, they don’t have to tell us what changes are being made, or if any changes will be made at all, to the larger institution. And that’s a major development. Harry and Meghan were talking about the family and the Firm. The family was unsympathetic to their issues, their mental health, and the family was racist. But the Firm, as in the BUSINESS of the royal family, that is the resources of the royal family, was not and continues to not be adequately set up to address these issues. Referring to the situation as a private family matter then is almost like absolving themselves of having to confront their shortcomings, both as a family but also as an institution.
And the reason this is bullsh-t is because, well, just f-cking last week, they put out this statement about addressing bullying in the workplace after royal aides themselves were the ones who leaked to the media the spurious stories about Meghan supposedly being mean to staff members.
Following allegations in The Times, Buckingham Palace have released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/WdMSWtubYq— Omid Scobie (@scobie) March 3, 2021
So they were willing to launch an official investigation into themselves for a report in the newspaper but not willing to examine the structures of their institution on the grounds of racial diversity and mental health support after hearing from their OWN FAMILY MEMBERS?!
This is LIMP. And it’s insulting. Because last week, they came out wrong and strong on Meghan for the desperate bullying story that only surfaced because they were trying to get ahead of whatever would happen on Oprah’s special, talking up and down about how committed they were to dignity in the workplace, and when the workplace failed Meghan on mental health – remember, she went to HR – they’re like, shut the door, this is private! What happened to that vibe from when they wanted to do forensics on Meghan’s “bullying”?
These people are cold, man. When Diana said there was barely any humanity there, she wasn’t kidding. And when Harry and Meghan called it a “toxic” environment, they weren’t kidding either. How do they keep showing their asses this way?
Like saying they’re “saddened” to learn the “full extent of how challenging the last few years” were for Harry and Meghan. First of all, “full extent” is telling on yourself. Because Meghan just revealed on Oprah and to the world that she was in such crisis that she asked for in-patient treatment for her mental health struggles. She said she didn’t “want to be alive”. How is that not FULL EXTENT? How much worse than “she is having suicidal thoughts” do these British royals need for it to be considered an emergency?
Meghan’s out here, as she said, begging for them to find her some professional assistance, while pregnant!, reaching out to senior members of the family and the goddamn human resources department, and now they’re saying they didn’t know the “full extent”? What, then, did they interpret it as? And isn’t that in and of itself alarming?
Will and Kate have been, for years now, advocating for mental health awareness, encouraging people to speak up about it and encouraging others to listen when those in need come forward. Meanwhile, in their own family, one of their own does actually come forward to say that she may self-harm, and they’re like…
Oh, she’s just being dramatic…?
Is that how it went down?
Because if so, it calls into question their entire commitment to mental health and whether or not they’re even paying attention to their own messaging.
Next – on race, and the part of the statement about how “some recollections may vary”. Not really sure how recollections can vary when there are questions about how un-white a baby might be but also, this is gaslighting. It’s a coloniser gaslighting the parents of a biracial child, one of whom is a Black woman, and whitesplaining to them what is and isn’t racist. And then ending it with “we will always love Harry, Meghan, and Archie” right after that is …well… it’s patronising and gross. Because nothing in that statement is about love.
Love isn’t sending out your goons less than a week ago to spread rumours about Meghan’s bullying and then sanctimoniously launching an investigation only to come back with, oh, we’re sorry you felt bad and we didn’t mean what you think you heard.
And yet, while this statement is surely pathetic, there is another takeaway. In the anticipation about the release of the statement, there was a lot of speculation about how forcefully the palace would come back. Would they counter hard, with the aggression of last week? The UK tabloids were certainly suggesting it, as they reported on how offended the British royals were about Harry and Meghan’s version of events and whether or not what they said was actually true.
This statement, though, while it is embarrassing and inadequate, does not have that same energy. Not even close. They’ve tried in a weak sauce way to defend themselves but they’re whimpering. They know they have no shout right now. And, trust me, if they thought they could shout about something, or plant some bullsh-t like they did last week, they would. But even they know that if they were to roar, it would make things worse for themselves. The mighty British monarchy, reduced to a passive aggressive “we remember it differently” and leave us alone to deal with our latest family scandal and humiliation. How about that.