Sadiq Khan: Duchess Meghan ‘touched people’s lives in ways nobody had’

Menorah Erected for Hanukkah - Wednesday 9 December  -  Trafalgar Square, London

In 2019, London Mayor Sadiq Khan was targeted by Donald Trump in a series of hateful, stupid, fascist tweets. Trump referred to Khan as a “stone-cold loser” and various other dumb sh-t. Khan barely engaged with Trump, merely keeping it to the point that history would not look kindly on the Johnson government or the royal family for hosting Trump’s extravagant state visit. Trump felt comfortable insulting Khan because Khan is a Pakistani-British and a practicing Muslim. I bring all of that up because I think many non-British people probably just consider Khan someone with liberal/progressive politics who embraces inclusion and diversity in a time where there’s a rise in white supremacy across the board. I’m not here to debate his politics – I’m not British and I’m not a Londoner. But I do think what he said recently about the Duchess of Sussex, the Windsor klan, racism and diversity is worth discussing, especially since Khan has likely been targeted with a similar racist, hateful energy.

Sadiq Khan today said the allegations that a member of the royal family raised concerns about Harry and Meghan’s son “beggared belief”. The Mayor of London described the Oprah Winfrey interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as “heartbreaking” and “distressing”.

Asked on LBC if he had ever had conversations about the potential skin colour of a baby with parents from different ethnicities, Mr Khan replied: “Never, no, and I’ve got members of my family who are mixed race so it beggars belief. It is something that I’m sure the royal family are looking into…I’ll make this point, by the way, I’ve been to Grenfell many many times but I particularly remember going to Grenfell community in the days after Meghan had been there and I’ve got to tell you she touched people’s lives in ways nobody had.”

The Mayor of London said it was possible to be a fan of both sides of the royal family, adding: “This black and white stuff is not good in relation to you either like somebody and hate the other person. It is really sad what’s happened.”

Asked what he thought of the interview, he told LBC: “It was heartbreaking actually. You’ve got a family where there is a big rift. Some of the things that Meghan and Harry said were quite distressing. At the end of the day, it is possible to someone who is a fan of Her Majesty the Queen, somebody who thinks highly of Charles and William and to also think highly of Harry and Meghan and be heartbroken that there is a family having real strains and struggles. As many families do.”

He also said Harry and William speaking out about their own mental health gave him the confidence to do so too.

[From The Evening Standard]

I think he threaded that needle in a thoughtful way, and in a way which should have been emulated by the actual Windsor klan – you know, concern for Harry and Meghan, an acknowledgement that what they’ve been through is tough and distressing in a larger sense. Why is the Mayor of London’s response better than the Johnson government’s response or the Windsors’ response? I wonder.

Plus, Khan is making the point that Meghan in particular was able to reach out to people and communities of color in a way the rest of the family would not and cannot. It reminds me of the story, years ago, which was basically like… the Grenfell tragedy was an issue Prince William “wanted” as future future king. He wanted to show up twice a year and put on his Concerned Face with victims of the Grenfell fire and get credit for “helping.” And then Meghan walked in and she stole his thunder. The Grenfell women loved her and saw her as a sister, as someone they could relate to, and Meghan began putting together the cookbook before William even had time to throw a tantrum about it.

Meghan Cookbook Launch

Meghan Cookbook Launch

Meghan Cookbook Launch

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and WENN.

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46 Responses to “Sadiq Khan: Duchess Meghan ‘touched people’s lives in ways nobody had’”

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  1. Eyeroll says:

    That was a great statement from him. He always seemed thoughtful and measured, particularly during the terrorist attacks.

    And it has been distressing to watch and learn about what’s been going on within the BRF over the past several years, particularly the hate fest towards Meghan. The more I see, the gladder I am that Harry and Meghan peaced out from that cage.

  2. paranormalgirl says:

    And the royal family just threw it all away for petty reasons.

  3. Lily P says:

    Honestly the BRF had the key to remaining modern and relevant through Harry and Meghan but instead the opted to dig their own graves.

  4. Sure says:

    He ” threaded that needle” even more thoughtfully than Michelle Obama!

    • lanne says:

      granted, the needle he was threading was large enough to thread chunky yard, while Michelle Obama’s needle was narrow enough to fit a spider web.

    • Myra says:

      He did well. I think all politicians are being asked about this and they have to come prepared.

      • Sure says:

        So were Michelle Obama’ s comments prepared or unprepared? If they were unprepared then why not given it seems inevitable that she would have been asked for comment at some point. If however her comments were prepared, then I have to say that she should have taken more time and given them more thought.

      • Myra says:

        I definitely think hers were unprepared. Not sure why she didn’t expect it but she is also not a politician, although she is very politically vocal. It’s possible that she wasn’t following the aftermath discussions following the interview. She is an extremely busy person so naturally her attention could have been focused on other issues.

  5. Wiglet Watcher says:

    Meghan could have always been their greatest asset. Meghan was never going to stop Charles or William from being king. She was only going to be useful to how they connected with the public.
    They really screwed themselves long term.

    • Myra says:

      She was the best thing to have happened to them. They really fumbled the ball.

    • Lemons says:

      This is what I don’t understand: Meghan was never going to be Queen. Harry was never going to be King. They advocated for smaller roles in the monarchy which would have given CC and WK plenty of opportunities to ribbon cut and shake hands.

      And they said no. And they were nasty about it. And they got their friends to throw rocks and call names and be racist misogynistic jerks.

      Harry already secured the bag, and they completely fumbled it. I guess they’re seeing now what hard work is in fighting a PR war that H&M have been prepared for.

    • L4frimaire says:

      That’s the heart of their issue. They didn’t want her elevated to this vital asset, so they decided to tear her down, while trying to use her at the same time. They didn’t want her abd Harry being the face of the monarchy, while the heirs are there grimacing at charity visits. They never cared about her, but decided to take advantage of her popularity and what she represented, and now are angry that she exposed it. Also, even before they gave that interview, you could still see the resentment barely below the surface of the royals toward the Sussexes, both in and out of the royal fold. They could do the most basic thing and it would set them off over there, whether it was buying a house, doing a zoom call, or being papped out to dinner.

    • Oare Azenabor says:

      Exactly!

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ L4frimairek, yes, very much indeed. Khans words are so incredibly insightful, as I would imagine he has faced racists attacks as well. I am more touched by how Khan shared his experience of how on impact of Meghan “that she touched people’s lives in ways nobody has”. She was a threat to the rest of the royal family, except maybe TQ, primarily by Baldimort and Keen Karen and the rage monster wouldn’t have that! Meghan was expected to dial down her own self and her drive, empathy and philanthropy all for the sake of appeasing certain thin skinned lazy members.

  6. MaryContrary says:

    Seeing all of the photos of her “royal Duchessing” make me sad and angry. She was such an asset to them-she didn’t take away from any of their roles, was completely “appropriate” yet also relatable. Such stupid, short sighted, selfish people.

    • Commonwealthy says:

      She was so good at HRH Duchessing! So dynamic, poised, eloquent, engaging and attentive.

  7. aquarius64 says:

    The BRF shot itself in the foot for relevancy in a multicultural world in the 21th century.

  8. Eleonor says:

    “The Grenfell women loved her and saw her as a sister, as someone they could relate to” .
    Diana was the same, and they destroyed her.
    I am glad Meghan menaged to escape.

  9. Elvie says:

    I have a lot of respect for Sadiq Khan, and this is a very thoughtful statement. He’s up for re-election in May, and I hope he wins.

    BRF could have made such a positive global impact by being kind to Meghan, by showing her respect and dignity … Big mistake, huge.

    • Tina says:

      He’s miles ahead in the polls, he will very likely win in a landslide. IMO he has been a very good mayor.

  10. AKA says:

    Because Sadiq Khan belongs to the main opposition party in U.K. He can be more vocal about his thoughts, while also not disrespecting the Royal Family. I’m sure there is a direct line between the BRF and Boris Johnson on what *not* to say about this matter. If the Labour Party was in power, surely this won’t be his comments.

  11. Cat says:

    They squandered their chance. She was the ultimate asset for them.

  12. Becks1 says:

    Yes, that was a very good and well thought out response. The royal family should take notes.

    Meghan was such a threat to them for various reasons – her work ethic, her charisma, her popularity – but she should have been seen as an asset, not a threat, and the royal family really messed up big time.

    • sunny says:

      Yeah. I mean, the racism and the trash behaviour of the royals makes me angry with the whole bunch but it is sad what a wasted opportunity this was.

      Also, I loved the cookbook project and the sense of community she was able to share in with the Grenfell tower survivors.

  13. Bettyrose says:

    I see this is already being discussed above but his words sounds like what Michelle Obama was trying to say. Both are coming from a POV of having themselves been the target of racist media but also needing to speak with diplomacy.

  14. Likeyoucare says:

    The BRF members are stupid inbred and they thought the sunshine come out from their asses.
    When they saw meghan become popular they had a panic attack and saw only the people of colour will rise and ask for their right in their white country.

    This is not about harry and meghan, but this is about status quo.

    • Mathilde says:

      “Their white country”?! Wow, I’m assuming you don’t live in Britain. I do and every single school I attended was multicultural. They embraced pupils of all races and faiths. The university I attended was the same and now the government workplace I earn my daily crust in is over a third BAME.
      Yes, sadly racism exists in the UK. As it does in most parts of the earth. Let’s work towards collectively trying to make that a thing of the past rather than this tired rhetoric of white people lording it up over people of colour which is incorrect and retrogressive. Everyone in the UK has the same rights, regardless of colour.

  15. Eleonora says:

    He’s a class act.

  16. notasugarhere says:

    ‘It reminds me of the story, years ago, which was basically like… the Grenfell tragedy was an issue Prince William “wanted” as future future king.’

    I agree, that is a huge part of his freakout. He went to Grenfell, posed, promised to do something. Three weeks later, the Together cookbook was published. Meghan showed up, did the work, went outside KP and William’s control, and Got It Done. No sitting around, posing, promising things in vague PR statements.

    William has always been jealous of Harry. But with Together? He’s jealous and furious about Meghan’s ability to make things happen – things which prove he’s all talk and PR pomp, no empathy or work effort in him. Then on top of it, he tried to steal the Together money for his own projects.

    • BABSORIG says:

      @Nota, didn’t William go to Grenfell in spring of 2017? When Meghan started her project, it had been over a year since William showed up and promised to get involved. Meghan did not publish cookbook 3 weeks after William’s visit, it was after a year+

      • PEARL GREY says:

        William visited the fire survivors in June 2017 and the Together cookbook was launched in September 2018, 4 months after Meghan’s wedding. She had been privately volunteering with the Hubb Community Kitchen ladies for months so who knows how long they had been working on the cookbook before it launched. All we know is that William had plenty of time to actually do something long before Meghan married into the family but he could only muster up a visit, so he’d have no right to feel Meghan “took his cause” away from him. He could have organised a charity football match to raise money since he loves football and mental health so much, he could have got Kate to work with Meghan in the community kitchen since she loves cooking and showing new duchesses the ropes and we hear so much about how they all bent over backwards to welcome her. He’s just mad that Meghan showed that there’s work to be done that can produce tangible results, not just photo ops that benefit nobody but themselves, which has always been the royals’ preferred style of ‘working’.

  17. Victoria says:

    He literally talked about people having space to like both sides of the family (which, ew) and gets to be called gracious and diplomatic, but Michelle doesn’t say that (because we don’t and will never like the BRF and she knows that) and is equally diplomatic but gets slammed?

    Michelle who has an actually connection to Meghan in a way that the Mayor doesn’t but Michelle is getting (it’s a fail) is still getting dragged?

    • Pétulia says:

      Her comments were too vague and could have been interpreted in favor of both camp. His comments made it clear he had respect for both camps.

      • Nina says:

        Sometimes you just have to go there. Fence-sitters are inevitably knocked down. Michelle Obama was trying to please both sides which never works. In certain situations, diplomacy has to take a backseat.

      • Victoria says:

        They were only interpreted that by people who were looking to read something anti Sussex out of it. They have zero comprehension skills or understanding context and want to try to drag Michelle whose answer screamed, IDGAF about this BS, but sure…”

  18. Marion says:

    Grenfell was such a tragedy.
    William deigned go there to get his photo taken, just like Kate at Sarah Everard’s vigil.
    Meghan was a threat to them and when she went to Grenfell she more than proved it.
    She was a threat because SHE wanted to work and it just added to the impression that people had (that W & K are just lazy a****)

  19. Lilly (with the double-L) says:

    When you experience something traumatic and someone is there for you in so many supportive ways, such as fund-raising and spending time with you, long-term follow through too, it’s so healing. I’m glad Sadiq Khan acknowledged this.
    In the middle of the cheeto reign, Sadiq was real too and at that time any leaders from other countries being candid about the horror was a balm

  20. Robin says:

    What he says is great here. Khan has had a hard run over recent years and has been a controversial mayor of London, crime rates etc. Most sensible people here are worrying that Laurence Fox will get in next.

    • Tina says:

      Sadiq Khan is only controversial if you read the Mail or the Telegraph. Laurence Fox is polling at less than 2%. Khan will likely win on the first ballot.

      • Robin says:

        True, Tina, true. Khan got dealt a really bad hand – policing being cut by 1000s and budget restraints every which where.

      • Tina says:

        @Robin – which is the Conservatives’ fault. The crime rates are the central government’s responsibility, nothing to do with the London mayor.

      • Robin says:

        “He was dealt a bad hand” meaning it wasn’t his fault that government cuts have made his life difficult. You don’t actively deal yourself a bad hand; I kept it passive. Yes, Tory cuts have been disgusting, and the rollout effect in crime control can be seen most recently in the Bristol riots. Having spent some of my working life in national to regional government fiscal policy, it has been a disaster. And Laurence Fox. Yes, he is a minority fool. But someone like him, with the backing of a significant minority of tabloid readers, has the dangerous potential to recalibrate the bandwidth of politics. Effectively, this poster boy of the ‘unwoke’ could move the bandwidth wider right than it normally is, and thereby allow a rightwing candidate, previously seen as too rightwing, stepping into the breach and canvassing as a moderate. Johnson (I refuse to call him Boris, because Boris is seen as a jolly old duffer name and therefore harmless) was seen as a joke, appearing on TV comedy programmes and panel shows. And look what happened, the fool ended up as mayor and is now running the country into chaos.

      • Tina says:

        The point is, no one serious is worried about Laurence Fox getting in as mayor. Sure, hard right novelty candidates can drive the overall conversation to the right, but you could say the same thing about the left. Boris was a joke, but he was the Conservative party candidate. The only candidates that really matter are those from the Tories and Labour.

  21. L4frimaire says:

    He was very diplomatic in his comments and very gracious in talking to Meghan and the Hubb kitchen. I just wish more people had said things like this when she was actually there, but it seems most people over there either didn’t see it, or want to refute the press narrative in public, probably out of fear. It truly is a lost opportunity and the UK looks like a crueler place. Side note, our friend’s son works in finance in London and he wants to move his family abroad. Says it’s not good for his profession post-Brexit. Also exports are way down and there is no accountability.That place seems like it will get worse before it gets better and the Sussexes will continue to be who people take their frustrations and resentments out on.

  22. Why wasn’t his comments covered by the British media? Thank you Mayor Sadiq Khan for that gracious comment on Meghan. So true.