Blog #6 – Some Thoughts on the Harry and Meghan Interview

Funko’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle vinyl figures, from my own personal collection (spoiler – Harry is my favorite Royal)

Hello friends,

A lot of you probably know I am a fan of the Royal Family, and if you’ve ever listened to me, you also know that my favorite member of the family is Harry.  Thus, I watched Oprah Winfrey’s recent interview with Harry and Meghan with a lot of interest.  Now I don’t feel its necessary to give a long running commentary on all the take aways of the interview – the news and social media is doing a good job at that.  But here are a few thoughts that have been going through my mind the past few days on the subject.

Let me start by telling you why Harry is my favorite.  In Harry I’ve always seen this guy who has a strong will and a sharp mind who, although forced to deal with the eyes of scrutiny due to being born into an institution he never chose, has never been scared to walk in a direction opposite that of traditions or expectations forced upon him.  Harry has a rebel spirit and, as a result, he is the most human of all the royals.  From his “bad boy” image of his youth to that time he got caught smoking pot, to the time he punched the photographer, Harry has defied the stiff upper lip of the family and, instead, followed with his heart instead of others expectations.  That sense of independence and truth to himself under such aa heavy pressure of “the firm” has always impressed me, making him my favorite.

So, all of this – from leaving his royal duties when faced with a situation that he didn’t feel was working for him and his family, to speaking his personal truth under the professional and respected guidance of Oprah Winfrey, is totally classic Harry. 

As for Meghan, well there is a lot of truth to the fact that she has never, ever been accepted by members of the Family or the monarchists.  I believe this is for many reasons – she is an American, an actress, not part of old money, not part of European aristocracy and, yes, because of her race.  There are so many reasons for the Royal watchers to hate her and the media to attack her because she is everything that goes against what we expect the Royal Family to marry.  But, as a result, she is exactly the type of woman Harry would marry.  She fits him, and that’s kind of the beauty of them.

So, this idea that Meghan is some sort of succubus that is making Harry go down this ill-fated path is such bullshit.  Long before Meghan Harry was walking to the beat of his own drum.  He was carving out his own path to the defiance of the firm and onlookers.  Are you telling me anyone is able control this guy?  I’m sorry, but his sense of self is too strong. All of this is pure Harry, which shows so much strength and sense of self.  When it seems like the world is against you and your back is against the wall, you got to do extreme things to do what’s right for you.  If I learnt one thing in 2020 its not to be afraid to tear it all down or be afraid of burning bridges if it means you can get some peace of mind and be able to look at yourself in the mirror.  All of this is a case of Harry having the strength to be the master and commander of his own life.  It could be very lonely, but he has a good woman standing beside him.

Oh, and the Royals and media were also pretty shitty to his Mom, and that didn’t’ turn out very well.  If Diana could see Harry and Meghan now, I know she’d be so proud of him.

Now, let’s talk about the race issue.  Do I think it happened?  Yes, I do.  We’ll probably never know who said that terrible thing about Archie’s skin color.  Do I have ideas who said it?  Yes, yes, I do.  The fact that Harry and Meghan are so protective of the identity of the culprit makes me believe that it isn’t just a diplomat or advisor because they’d surely throw them under the bus.  I don’t believe it’s the Queen, and I don’t believe its Charles (who had affairs with black women in the 1970’s himself – most famously Sheila Ferguson of the soul group The Three Degrees), and I definitely don’t think its William and Kate who are just to woke for that kind of crap. 

Well, who is left?  I’m not going to put it down in writing, but let’s ask ourselves who is intrenched in the old system enough to say such an asinine thing like that.  Then, remind yourself of some of the outdated and outrageously ignorant things that your grandparents, older relatives and possibly even parents say who aren’t up to date on the modern sensibilities of the world around them.  Remember, we are talking about people that are anywhere between the ages of 70 to 100 and have been stuck in their little social bubble for most, or even all, of their lives.  Its an old system and, yes, there are problems.  I’m not making excuses, but in my heart, I believe that this is an instance of archaic ignorant prejudice. 

With this said, how has it changed my opinion of the Royal Family?  It hasn’t changed it much at all really.  Harry and Meghan expressed their respect for the Queen, much in the way that I continue to respect her.  They showed sympathy for the situation Charles and William are “trapped” in, but this is a role and position that Charles and William are dedicated to and they’ll make their way with it.  I’ve always been a huge Kate fan, and I still am (she’s my second favorite Royal) and I don’t believe that the story of the conflict between her and Meghan was damning to Kate as much as it was an example of how the media can twist what they want.  What I do see is, like most normal families, a family that is divided and fractured and I truly do hope, within time, Harry and William can mend their relationship because I think they make an awful good team, which is exactly what their mother wanted.  They will never be truly alone if they have one another, and they are the only two people who can fully understand the unique situation they’ve undergone. 

As for Charles and Harry?  Well…. that’s another story for another time perhaps…. but probably not.

Do I think the monarchy is dead or damaged?  No, I don’t.  I still believe within time it will flourish and be more fantastic than ever.  However, there is going to have to be a massive house cleaning for that to happen, and that means that a younger more woke generation will need to take over to usher a more culturally and socially aware consciousness.  Do I think William and Kate can do that?  Yes, I truly do.

Final note – people are flawed, and family dynamics are complicated.  Add the term “royal” to the front of the word “family” and it gets even more difficult.  I think Harry did the right thing for him, his wife and their young family by stepping out of a toxic situation they don’t need to be in and finding happiness elsewhere.   But speaking out and exposing their situation and their reality, well that’s pure Harry style, and I guess the reason he’s my favorite.

Just some thoughts.

Sam Tweedle

About the author

Since 2013, Sam Tweedle has been writing as an arts and culture journalist for kawarthaNOW, with special attention to Peterborough's theatrical community. However, his career as an arts writer goes back further via his website Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict where Sam has interviewed some of the entertainment world's most notable and beloved entertainers. Sam's pop culture writing has been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, The National Post,, Filmfax Magazine and The New Yorker. You can follow Sam on Instagram at sam_tweedle_z where he posts about his four greatest loves: cats, comic books, movies, and records. Sam no longer uses Twitter because, as far as he's concerned, it's no longer a thing.