I sometimes worry that by identifying and remembering which royal reporters said what, I’m getting too “in the weeds” or, to mix metaphors, it’s too much of “this is how the royal sausage is made.” But I’m fascinated by how certain storylines are created out of thin air, just as I’m fascinated by which actual stories are utterly ignored by those same reporters. I’m looking for agendas, racism, sexism and plain old bad communications work, basically. Plus, the reporters have made themselves the story by blatantly picking sides, mostly Team Keen. So it with Katie Nicholl, who has always been on the Keen train. But I’m very interested to see how and why she’s been giving so many interviews to American outlets and positioning herself as some kind of newly minted Sussex expert. So it is this week, with Nicholl giving another exclusive to Entertainment Tonight about the Sussexes. Specifically, it’s about Meghan and Harry focusing more on Black Lives Matter. Hm.
Nicholl thinks Meghan & Harry will do additional work on BLM: “The Black Lives Matter movement matters to Meghan and it matters to Harry. And I understand that this is going to be an area where we’re going to see the couple doing a lot more work and taking a lot more interest. They’ve been very busy with the COVID efforts, particularly how it’s impacting on their charities. And their focus is now, I’m told, shifting onto this movement — Black Lives Matter is something that really resonates with both of them.”
Different perspectives, huh: “They come in on this from different perspectives, Meghan as a Californian, Harry as an Englishman, both of them keeping abreast of what’s happening, both here in the U.K. and in L.A. But this is a campaign that matters to them. This is something they want to be more involved with and I’m told we’re going to see them really focusing their energy on this over the next coming weeks.” Meghan in particular, Nicholl explained, is passionate about the movement, seeing herself as a “role model” who can speak to the issues of racial equality. “She believes that there is an expectation on her to address what’s going on and to [show] support. And that is what they’re doing.”
But what will M&H do? “They’re speaking to community leaders from a number of different organizations and charities,” the royal expert noted, adding that the couple are deciding how to best get involved on a community level. “I’m told this is something they want to keep private at the moment while they work out what they can do and how they can help.”
Regarding Meghan’s commencement video: Meghan “anticipated a degree of backlash [for] speaking out about the Black Lives Matter campaign. Because there’s always a backlash whenever she speaks about anything, and I think in a way she probably expected it. It was obviously something she thought long and hard about. This wasn’t a snap decision to suddenly just make a very flippant comment, this is six minutes of carefully considered speech. As far as she is concerned, she feels that she has a responsibility to speak out.”
Racism is an important cause for Harry too: The cause is an important one for Prince Harry as well, Nicholl noted, recalling how the Duke of Sussex spoke out against British tabloids for their “racist overtones” in covering the couple when they first announced they were dating. “The phrase ‘exotic DNA’ is one that comes to mind. Meghan’s race has become part of the narrative about her and, you know, certainly Meghan and Harry feel that there have been racist undertones to some of that coverage.”
But will we hear from anyone else in the royal family about black lives? Nicholl added that she finds it “very telling” that Meghan was the first member of the royal family to publicly address the protests, which are taking place around the world, including in the United Kingdom. “[We've] not yet heard from the queen or the Prince of Wales — that’s not to say that we won’t, but at the moment we haven’t. The first person and as yet the only royal to speak out has been Meghan, and I think that says a lot about how passionate she is about this and how she wants to use her profile to draw attention to what’s happening.”
I just… the “different perspectives” part is what killed me and then I was already dead for “Meghan and Harry feel that there have been racist undertones to some of that coverage.” This must be that famous British understatement I hear so much about. Nicholl – and to be fair, all of the royal reporters save Omid Scobie – have NO IDEA what to say about race and racism and the royal family. So they talk in circles, they vaguely indicate, they use meaningless phrases. They are incapable of saying “Meghan is black and she’s been the victim of racism throughout her life, particularly over the past four years when the racist British press abused her and smeared her constantly, so of course she wants to work on race issues, and so does Harry because he’s woke AF now.” There’s my exclusive, I hope someone at Entertainment Tonight contacts me.
Photos courtesy of WENN.