Brian Cox: ‘I actually have enormous sympathy’ for Prince Harry & Meghan

A few weeks ago, the British media was abuzz with some random quotes from Brian Cox. Cox was chatting to Haute Living New York, doing promotion for Succession’s final season. The magazine asked him about the Windsors, and there was some confusion about what Cox said about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and what the context really was. At first, it sounded like Cox said Meghan “had an ambition” to marry Harry and live some kind of fairy-tale princess life. When the full profile came out, it seemed like Cox was talking more about “ruling families” and how Britain should not have a monarchy. Well, Cox was recently asked about all of this when he was profiled by Radio Times. He clarified the f–k out of it:

Succession actor Brian Cox, 76, has branded Prince Harry, 38, and his wife Meghan Markle, 41, “victims” of an outdated institution. The Scottish star, who plays Logan Roy in the popular HBO series, suggested that Meghan’s entry into the royal family was “a fairy tale that went horribly wrong.”

The Braveheart actor was quizzed about previous comments he made about Meghan Markle in a New York magazine after he was quoted as saying the former Suits actress “knew what she was getting into” when she married into the royal family.

“I’m a bit angry about that,” he fumed in a new interview with Radio Times. “Because that whole thing has been taken out of context. I actually have enormous sympathy for them. They’re the product of an institution which is moribund and shouldn’t exist any more. But that’s a difficult situation where [Meghan] comes from, and it’s understandable that she sees something [appealing] – and it does look like a fairy tale. But it was a fairy tale that went horribly wrong,” he added gravely.

“I think they’re victims,” he went on to clarify, before pointing out that, as a Scottish independence-supporting republican, he believes that the system “fundamentally, in this day and age, doesn’t make any sense”.

He went on to explain how he only accepted his CBE in 2002 due to his beloved late sister Bette being a royalist. The star has clearly been devastated by the recent loss of the eldest of his three older sisters, who died at the age of 92 after helping to Raise Brian from when he was just eight years old. Asked if he would accept a knighthood now, he replied with a strong “no” and said that he would only entertain such titles for Bette’s sake.

“If it wasn’t for my sister, I wouldn’t be here,” he confirmed. “She was my constant in my life. And she was a great royalist. So the reason I accepted the first time around was [because] it honoured her as much as anything else. Because she was a believer.

[From The Daily Express]

It’s sort of as I originally suspected. I mean, Cox has never made his republican politics a secret, he’s been pro-Scottish independence and anti-monarchy for many, many years. It seemed out of character that Cox would suddenly start bashing Harry and Meghan for whatever reason. I like what he says here, which is that Meghan didn’t know what she was stepping into and, as an American, royal life probably did look like a fairytale. And then it went horribly wrong. Anyway, nice to see Cox is entirely sympathetic to the Sussexes.

Cover courtesy of Radio Times, additional photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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28 Responses to “Brian Cox: ‘I actually have enormous sympathy’ for Prince Harry & Meghan”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    No notes.

  2. QuiteContrary says:

    Anyone with a brain, and Brian Cox has a good one, can see that Meghan and Harry were victimized by the royal family and the British media. And it’s wonderful to see them reclaiming their power.

  3. Tarzana says:

    Brian Cox came through. Whew. That was close.

    • C-Shell says:

      I know! I was stunned and disillusioned with the earlier bastardized version of his remarks. I feel like I can go back to my former self.

      Words to the wise (mainly UK) celebrities: know that you WILL be asked some cockamamie thing about the Sussexes and that your responses WILL be tortured into a scathing criticism of the Sussexes. Plan accordingly. I mean, how hard is it to say, “I don’t know them, of course neither do you, but like everyone else, I can see that they draw unjustified abuse of all kinds, but most disturbing is the overt racism. They have my sympathy and support.” Or, “As a friend, I will not be commenting.”

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Yeah, a bit touch and go for sure.

  4. Amy Bee says:

    Considering she knew that Harry was dependent on his father for funding and had very little possessions to his name, I’m not sure she dazzled by the fairy tale. She did think it would be a platform to do good works and she found out that was a lie and that members of the Royal Family are only allowed to do things if the Palace approves and then the Palace does everything to sabotage the work. I do agree that Harry and Meghan were victims of an evil system.

    • zazzoo says:

      This is it. It’s an easy mistake for an American to make. One could see that the family was highly dysfunctional, but American media didn’t highlight the racism and colonial mentalities, so it’s more than plausible that she figured it was a typical dysfunctional family (something Meghan is no stranger to) but an institution of public service. And she devoted herself immediately to *British* causes. It’s not like she was trying to be an American star. The Grenfell women cookbook was such a perfect project for her. As an American, how could she possibly know that immigrants aren’t considered an “acceptable” charity? Rich white Americans might not want to associate with poor immigrants, but they love to claim philanthropic credit. Meghan had plenty of experience navigating the world of rich white North Americans, so she probably thought she knew what she was getting into.

    • lottie says:

      think this was more reflection of the trauma Harry underwent. When he met Meghan, he had already came into his inheritance from his mother of 10 million, so he was already independently wealthy. But he had been abused and dealing with PTSD, so likely continued this dependent relationship with his family. And, I can see how a show of welcome from the family at first could have lulled her into a false sense of security and promise of a happy fairy tale. And I bet she thought the media frenzy would die down after they consistently showed how much they wanted to do good. all of this came crashing down.

  5. equality says:

    Actually, it is like fairy tales were originally-dark and disturbing.

  6. girl_ninja says:

    When that initial article came out I knew that some of it was bull. He’d previously shared how felt for Harry and Meghan. The only way that you don’t is if you really just don’t like the truth. I know folks were talking about how curmudgeonly his is yesterday but I like him a lot.

  7. Mary Pester says:

    At last, and about time
    YES THEY ARE VICTIMS, made victims By the bloody brutish press and the jealous Royal family. They decided they were no longer going to be victims or victimised to appease others and got the hell out of that cess pool. Now watch them thrive you dip shts in the UK press and Royal family

  8. Rackel says:

    The brf wasn’t on her radar so she didn’t look them up. I think it’s that simple.

    Plus, the queen could’ve stopped all this. All qe2 had to say was ” let Megan do her thing as long as it isn’t distasteful”. If qe2 was younger that’s what would’ve happened. I think Philip would’ve encouraged Megan because he liked attention. He would’ve been right there clapping.

  9. C says:

    Meghan referred to herself as biracial quite often, but it does not mean that she never identified with her Black side or that she ignored it. And a large part of the reason she didn’t get that full onslaught before Harry is because she simply was not as well-known as afterward.

    Cox has spoken before of his sympathy for the Sussexes so I don’t think that his other words were malicious. But I read that whole article – he still said the sentence that got publicity, albeit for probably different reasons than most would have said it. I still do object to his assertions that the shiny fantasy part of it is what drew her. Especially because she suffered in silence for a long time and at the beginning was having to use her own credit card etc. There was no fairy tale about being mailed white powder to provoke an anthrax scare either – and that was during their engagement.

    It is interesting to me that Cox notes his own convictions but states that his affection for his sister who did not share them is what led him to go against his own, some years back, in accepting the CBE. I feel the situation is not that dissimilar to what Meghan went through, entering this family and dealing with it out of love for Harry, not the institution.

    Anyway, he’s entitled to what he wants to say.

  10. Lili says:

    It’s very worrying, that a second American magazine, skewed an article that had anything said about Meghan first the Cut article now the Haute. I hope celebrities are learning to try and side step Harry and Meghan questions as it doesn’t pertain to what ever they are promoting,

    • Anna says:

      It’s actually horrifying how far some media outlets are going to malign people’s perception of Harry and Meghan even now. They’ve left the institution, we never see Meghan, what else do they want?

      • C says:

        Well, these media outlets didn’t want that. They wanted Harry to divorce her and her to leave, before they had any kids.
        Them free and thriving isn’t what they wanted.
        What they want is her gone. They are that evil.

  11. Jais says:

    My biggest side eye from that was the whole idea that she knew what she getting into so I’m glad he clarified that.

  12. jferber says:

    Good for him. I love this guy now.

  13. solidgold says:

    I think he should move on now from Harry and Meghan as well as scrutinizing method acting topics.

  14. NJGR says:

    Love his plaid suit/spotted tie/floral pocket square combo!

  15. Emily_C says:

    Urgh. Meghan did not marry Harry because it looked like a fairy tale. She married Harry because she fell in love with him. And then she did get the fairy tale — but people get it backwards. She’s the one who rescued him. Now they live happily ever after.