I’ve actually gotten into the rhythm of these royal newscycles, which is sort of scary. They’re predictable and recyclable storylines every time, and they generally follow the same path. 1) Harry and Meghan have a big announcement, 2) the British media goes into full-throttle hysterics, 3) the official spox from the Palace say shady sh-t on or off the record, usually involving a claim of being “blindsided,” 4) the entirely media-made scandal gets drawn out and blown up into separate reaction pieces about how William/Kate/Charles/Liz really feel about this thing Harry and Meghan have announced, and 5) punitive action, the gleeful threats of punishment. There are tons of added steps, but those are the big five.
As we heard, the Queen is now hellbent on punishing Harry and Meghan by forcing them to resign from their “royal” patronages. For Harry, that means stepping down from his military positions AND stepping down from his presidency of the Rugby Football League. For Meghan, that means stepping down from the National Theatre. But what happens if… those patronages don’t want to lose their popular and charismatic patrons?
The Telegraph adds that none of the organisations with which the couple will have to abandon their ties have yet received any information from the Palace, left ‘blindsided’ and uncertain about the future. Many have reportedly expressed a desire to keep up their links to the Duke and Duchess and are privately frustrated and not being kept in the loop about developments.
Consequently it’s thought the decision will be announced ahead of the end of the official review period at the close of March, to allow for necessary preparations to be made. The Rugby Football League, which was anticipating having Harry ‘front and centre’ of its World Cup coverage later this year, commented that it was ‘very proud’ to have had him as patron since 2016, noting: ‘The RFL has not received official correspondence relating to any changes at this time.’ The National Theatre, meanwhile, a patronage handed on to the Duchess by the Queen, has publicly described her as ‘very engaged’ and happy to utilise her ‘star reach.’ The Telegraph alleges, however, that one source implied there was no love lost between the organisation and Meghan.
A source reportedly told the Telegraph this week that Harry and Meghan were reluctantly resigned to giving up such roles, but that they themselves were also yet to receive confirmation from the Palace. An individual said to be close to the Sussexes said they knew they wouldn’t be unable to retain such titles, but that it was saddening nonetheless, stating: ‘All they have done is express their commitment to them. There is no question that if it was up to them, they would keep them.’
I mean, I’m not even going to try to fact-check or keep all of the different stories straight. Either Buckingham Palace was always going to “take away” the Sussexes’ patronages or they weren’t. Either the one-year review was cancelled or it wasn’t. Either the Queen wants to punish the Sussexes for existing or she doesn’t. All the rest of this is just noise and mess. It always surprises me, though, to see the utter Amateur Hour over there. The Queen and her sycophants didn’t bother to tell those patronages that they were about to lose their royal patrons because Liz is that f–king petty. And I love that H&M’s people continue to make the point that this really isn’t their call, that it’s just an out-of-touch Queen being an a–hole.
I’m not going to devote a whole post to this excellent Guardian op-ed, but it’s absolutely worth a read. Guardian columnist Marina Hyde did a hilarious piece about how the British media is sh-tting the bed because they simply got outmaneuvered by the Sussexes. There are so many great lines, like “Naturally you can see why some small-pond UK pundits simply can’t handle the Sussexes’ move to America. It’s a horrendous moment when you realise your competition for royal stories and interviews is no longer some necrotic dipsomaniac on a rival tabloid, but Oprah.” Hyde says that the media men leading the charge against Meghan are “so emotionally warped that the only way they can begin to release their feelings of social, racial and sexual resentment is by using a 94-year-old woman’s feelings as a proxy.” My favorite is the way she ended it, with this comment directed at the British media: “you need to face the unavoidable takeout: you’ve been outmanoeuvred by an emotional wellness podcaster. It’s like being out-strategised by kale.”
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.