Ever since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex exited Isla de Saltines, the saltines have been pressed about their titles. Commentator after commentator has wept about how Meghan and Harry still have their Sussex titles and why wouldn’t they “give them up”? The conversation happened again several months ago, when Meghan published her kids’ book, The Bench. It was published under her name, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. That’s her name. Her married name. So basically, salty white people want to somehow force Meghan into giving up her married name. I bring this up because “Meghan using her married name” is a huge controversy this week because of Meghan’s letter regarding paid family leave. The Daily Mail did a big write-up about how it’s wrong for Meghan to be so dreadfully political while using her married name. There are other criticisms too, because of course. Some highlights:
How dare she be rich now when she came from a working class family? Royals experts have also questioned whether Americans will be impressed ‘by her account of how she had to struggle’ on $4.99 salads from Sizzler when her estranged father Thomas put her through private school from kindergarten and she now lives in a $14million LA mansion while sitting on a $100million fortune.
Angela Levin on Meghan’s married name: Angela Levin, journalist and biographer of Prince Harry, told MailOnline that while the duchess is an American citizen, the letter from ‘the office of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ signed ‘on behalf of my family, Archie and Lili and Harry’, amounts to using her British title and marriage to the sixth in line to the throne to interfere in US politics. She said: ‘Meghan’s two page letter to lobby Congress about giving money on parental leave, is obviously another step towards trying to turn herself into a politician. But the notepaper she is using is astonishingly “From the Office of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex” and shows how she isn’t even aware that she is talking to politicians in a republic that won its independence from the crown in 1776.
Levin is concerned that Meghan could get or take credit for paid family leave: ‘The truth is that the bill about parental leave is on its way to being confirmed, and could be hijack by Meghan’s belief it was largely due to her. In addition if she was writing a profession letter what on earth is she getting all cosy and intimate by stating the letter is also ‘on behalf of Archie and Lili – notice she is not calling her Lillibet, the Queen’s nickname – and Harry. Poor old Harry has come last’.
They’re so worried about Meghan’s politics: Royal commentator and former editor of International Who’s Who, Richard Fitzwilliams, told MailOnline: ‘Using the example of the $5 salad bar and how she had to struggle in the past is an attempt to link with the way so many families struggle to pay their bills. Aspiring politicians use these sort of examples and it remains to be seen, since she was privately educated and her father was one of Hollywood’s top lighting directors, whether the audience she seeks are impressed by her account of how she had to struggle. She and her father are estranged as she is at the moment from the royal family. The issue she highlights is undoubtedly an important one, but many will sense a ruthless streak in her behaviour which needs moderating if she were ever to seek election’. He added: ‘What, I wonder, is Harry’s future in all this? An autobiography at the end of next year won’t be helpful to mending his relations with his family. Meghan is where she is because she married into the royal family. It will be fascinating to see how, if she chooses politics, people in the US will regard her’.
The Palace is not shocked: A source close to the Palace has said Meghan’s intervention is unlikely to cause waves in the UK, as she is unlikely to return to royal duties. ‘She’s an American citizen, highly political and it’s not the first time she’s lobbied using her title. The Palace won’t be shocked at all’, the expert said.
Meghan’s letter to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi was about paid family leave, something overwhelmingly popular as an “issue,” and as Meghan herself said, it’s an issue that should be beyond politics. They’re acting like she’s running to be President Duchess of Sussex, which… she’s not. And incidentally, Meghan signed the letter as “Meghan” alone, no title. And how in the world did she exhibit a “ruthless streak”? By mentioning that her family had a budget and it was a special treat to go to Sizzler? These people have no idea how anyone actually *lives* outside of the protected royal bubble.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.