Harry and Meghan, please stop whinging

You live a life of incredible privilege, at taxpayers’ expense.

Joanna Williams

Joanna Williams


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have come in for a lot of criticism of late. But one thing’s for sure: they are nothing if not professional. As last night’s ITV docu-love-in Harry and Meghan: An African Journey showed, they have perfected the brave smile, the lip chew, sad eyes and resigned shrugging. They might need a script for the staged speeches, but they have ad-libbing to camera off pat.

The take-home message for the viewing plebs was that Harry and Meghan are not okay. Apparently it’s really hard being royal. It’s even harder to be a duchess at the same time as getting to grips with being a new mum, a wife, having a new job and living in a different country. To make matters worse, hardly anyone has asked Meghan if she is okay.

Blimey. What are all those servants being paid for if they can’t even get their act together to enquire after Meghan’s state of mind? Us ignorant folk may all blithely assume that the cleaners and gardeners and caterers and nutritionists and nannies and private doctors and midwives and stylists and chauffeurs as well as the private jet and the foreign holidays and the £2.4million house renovation might make being a wife and a mum who has to turn out to smile and wave every now and again just a little bit easier. But it turns out we’d be wrong: poor Megs is merely ‘existing not living’.

I tried to feel sympathetic towards Meghan’s new-mum-with-a-new-job schtick. Honestly. But what rubs is the context. Harry and Meghan ask us to feel sorry for them moments after ITV’s intrepid Tom Bradby announces they are in Malawi, the fifth poorest country on Earth. Over the course of his hour-long syco-fest, Bradby records the couple in the townships of South Africa, at a school (little more than a shed) in Malawi, and in a hospital in Angola. We learn of dire poverty, the legacy of Apartheid and war. And yet, at the end of the show, our sympathies are supposed to lie with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Yes, the cute little Angolan boy might have lost his leg, but he doesn’t have to put up with people writing stuff about him in tabloid newspapers.

According to Harry and Meghan, the royal tour to southern Africa was all about ‘the causes’. They simply want to raise awareness about conservation, climate change, violence against women, and the need to educate girls. In the eyes of the royal couple, tackling these issues – beginning with bringing them to our attention – is indisputably the right thing to do. These causes are beyond contestation and therefore in the realm of morality rather than politics. To their minds, there is nothing to discuss. No one, as Harry points out, could surely be so stupid as to question the science of global warming.

But despite Meghan and Harry’s insistence, the issues the couple highlight are political. Or, at least, what to do about them is. A string of nuclear power stations across southern Africa would transform people’s lives. Widespread use of GM crops would make better quality food more affordable. Investment in transport infrastructure would make businesses more productive, create jobs and lead to higher wages. Harry and Meghan refuse to advocate these solutions. Worse, their insistence on a simplistic morality puts the possibility of political debate – and of these solutions being raised – off the agenda.

The couple’s crusade against the press, given only cursory coverage in Bradby’s on-message production, stems from this same moralistic impulse. Tabloid newspapers are lumped in with the evils of landmines, violence against women and killing baby elephants: all really bad things that must be stopped. As Harry and Meghan see it, the worst thing about the press is that it scrutinises their actions when all they want to do is good. According to this logic, tackling climate change is so important – and Harry is so obviously correct when he tells us to heed the science – that it is just plain wrong for the press to question their use of private jets or the need to ship cars from the UK to South Africa for the royal tour. But no one in the public eye – especially not those living at the taxpayer’s expense – should be beyond scrutiny.

Last night’s documentary showed exactly how Harry and Meghan want the press to be: servile and sycophantic, enquiring sympathetically after their wellbeing and showing only pre-approved messages. Tom Bradby played the part of humble lackey superbly well. Despite what Harry and Meghan might say, the press as a whole has been incredibly restrained in their coverage of them. There have been no long-range paparazzi shots of baby Archie and no revelations as to his godparents. What Harry and Meghan claim they object to is the publication of ‘untruths’. But the only ‘untruths’ appear to be the charges of hypocrisy and arrogance. Harry might argue that it isn’t hypocritical for the privileged pair to bang on about the environment while spending more time in the air than on land because their pal Elton bought some trees. But the rest of us should be free to think, read and write that it is.

Harry might walk through fields of landmines and Meghan might talk about the importance of education for girls – but this latest orchestrated media outing showed the main cause the royal couple endorse is themselves. Great. Just do it at someone else’s expense and leave the rest of us alone.

Joanna Williams is associate editor at spiked. Her most recent book, Women vs Feminism: Why We All Need Liberating from the Gender Wars, is out now.

Picture by: YouTube.

Let’s cancel cancel culture

Free speech is under attack from all sides – from illiberal laws, from a stifling climate of conformity, and from a powerful, prevailing fear of being outed as a heretic online, in the workplace, or even among friends, for uttering a dissenting thought. This is why we at spiked are stepping up our fight for speech, expanding our output and remaking the case for this most foundational liberty. But to do that we need your help. spiked – unlike so many things these days – is free. We rely on our loyal readers to fund our journalism. So if you want to support us, please do consider becoming a regular donor. Even £5 per month can be a huge help. You can find out more and sign up here. Thank you! And keep speaking freely.

Donate now

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.



George Smiley

5th November 2019 at 11:11 pm

SOHO HOUSE has 27 clubs around the world. Fundraisers have taken place for the Obamas at Soho House locales in the USA: IS that where they met “H”, who frequents SoHo House — and apparently met MM? The history of MM’s relationship with the SoHo House should be investigated..and that politicos ala Hillary Clinton, the Obamas and their shills Ellen D. back her should be cause for concern. It might be that there are powerful interests who have an interest in the BRF’s future.

MM has control over “H” who is arrogant and not very bright. With SoHo House having influence over MM (cash, as well as knowledge of her background) — they may figure that by playing on “H”‘s jealousy of WIlliam; that they can manipulate him into pursuing a route towards becoming a King of the People’s Hearts with MM as Queen in the USA — and thus, leading to them pressuring the Monarchy into installing them — and ousting William and Kate. Sounds unlikely — given how disliked she is — and yet, it’s reported that her private Twitter accounts refer to Archie as “King Archie” and there have been articles planted in tabloids that question the succession. What interest would the owners and/or members have in “H” & MM power-grab???

They would find it easier to bribe/manipulate these two grifters — because “H” isn’t very bright; easily flattered and MM will do anything for money. The BRF are very foolish to let these two power-hungry narcissists continue to hold royal titles and privileges. They should be stripped of any royal titles; privileges; and access to palaces sans oversight. It’s clear that MM has a plan and that “H” doesn’t have the wit or character to stand-up to her — he’s been brainwashed by her. This is going to end badly.

Anna Cee

26th October 2019 at 7:25 am

Oh how it drones on. These privileged, pampered people at it again! From the moment they open their eyes to the moment they close them…their days surrounded by maids, cleaners, housekeepers, chefs, chauffeurs, nannies, stylists, hairdressers, make up artists, walk-in wardrobes filled to the brim with fabulously expensive clothes (all cleaned, pressed and lined up by their lackeys), social secretaries, speech writers, image consultants, therapists, PR consultants, minders…and lots of yoga mats. Not bad perks for turning up to shake a few hands?
Seems their latest fully taxpayer funded outing had nothing whatsoever to do with the Royal Family, it was ALL about them. For about a minute I found myself buying into the “new Mom” performance, then I snapped back into the real world…the place where most new Moms live. Millions spent on every stage of her pregnancy and far beyond. Nannies and minders all the way.
They seem very well matched. He’s underlying angry and damaged, she’s the American D grade actress who plays her part to the hilt, and he laps it up. From doe eyed deferment one minute to strident, outspoken “woman of colour” the next. Where’s the line when acting drops in and out?

The preacher at their wedding set the tone for what was to come, and really when everyone in the room except these 2 were rendered speechless with embarrassment…they did too. The worst parts of Americanisation now inculcated into the British Royal Family. Maybe they’ll take themselves off to live in Los Angeles where they will certainly receive the laudation they believe they thoroughly deserve, need and enjoy?
Let’s pay them no further attention. More important things to deal with in our world at present!

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register now.