A woke Wallis Simpson

Why is Meghan ditching her duchess role? Because she wants to be the global Queen of Woke.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill


So Harry and Meghan are stepping back. They’re resigning from The Firm. They’re ducking out of the Sovereign Grant and royal duties and going it alone. They’re going to split their time between the UK and North America – think of all the CO2! – and become more ‘independent’.

Why? Come on, we all know why. Forget the tripe about them fleeing the racism of the UK tabloids and the nonsense about the first DOC (duchess of colour) not being made to feel welcome in the stiff, white House of Windsor. No, H&M, the most right-on royals in history, are breaking off so that they can foist even more woke bollocks on the plebs without having to worry about receiving a tutting phone-call from Her Maj’s press secretary reminding them that they’re royalty and not virtue-signalling Hollywood celebs.

Megxit, as this royal bombshell is wittily being called, is a striking sign of the times. What Harry and Meghan are doing is virtually unprecedented in the history of the royals. They are jacking in their jobs (I say jobs) as senior royals and pursuing a more ‘financially independent’ path that will allow them to earn, travel and – this is important – jabber on about their pet concerns and causes as much as they like.

Even leaving aside the fact that they won’t actually be financially independent – they’ll still get wads of cash from the Duchy of Cornwall and will still stay in that Frogmore Cottage us British taxpayers just splashed 2.4million quid on – still their move is a startling and concerning one.

What it fundamentally reveals is the incompatibility of the modern culture of narcissism with the values of duty, loyalty and self-negation traditionally associated with royal life. To someone like Meghan, who sprang from celebville, who sees herself as the embodiment of right-on goodness, and who loves nothing more than advertising her eco-virtue and performing her PC credentials, life in the British monarchy was never going to be a good fit.

Yes, the woke agenda Meghan expresses so well shares much in common with the old-world elitism of the monarchical system. Both obsess over inherited characteristics (the woke bang on about race and gender, the monarchy is all about bloodline). Both have a penchant for looking down their noses at the little people. And both have an instinctive loathing for modernity, from Charles’ longstanding conservationism to H&M’s humanity-bashing eco-hysteria.

But there’s one big, irreconcilable difference: where the woke value the self over everything else, senior royals are meant, ostensibly at least, to be selfless, to submerge the self into the crown. It looks like this is a deal-breaker for the younger, more celebrity-oriented royals, especially newcomer Meghan but also Harry, too. Their unprecedented ‘stepping back’, and the fury this has allegedly caused in the Palace, suggests the cult of the self that Meghan and other showily virtuous celebs embody and promote, does not work within an institution whose ideal is the Queen: opinion-free, emotions hidden, dutiful, unquestioning and in it for the long haul.

Duty is anathema to a new generation whose chief goal is often self-realisation. Any notion of collapsing the self into something bigger than oneself, something more historic or something collective, is alien to many in the selfie-taking, values-performing generation. Indeed, the most striking thing about Harry and Meghan’s bombshell is the way they talk about the royal family as if it is little more than a stepping stone to their self-realisation.

To them, the monarchy seems to be little more than a workspace, a place where they learned some skills which they will now take into their new role as global promoters of wokeness and of themselves. They talk about having ‘internal discussions’ and deciding to ‘make a transition’ in order to ‘carve out a progressive new role within this institution’. They sound more like Silicon Valley millennials making the case for a job promotion than members of a family that was allegedly chosen by God to rule the nation.

Even more startling is the way they talk about the queen. They say they will ‘continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen’. Collaborate with? They sound more like Kendall Jenner talking about her adverts with Pepsi than individuals who are meant to devote themselves for life to royal duty and the preservation of the crown. I’m about as republican as it gets (abolish the monarchy is my view), but even I recognise that treating the queen as a kind of big business one temporarily ‘collaborates with’ is out of order. Meghan comes off like a woke Wallis Simpson, taking away a senior royal into a new life of PC globetrotting.

Of course, the Meghan-loving liberal set are responding to Megxit by chastising the British tabloids and, by extension, the riff-raff who read them. You racist shits drove this wonderful woman away – that’s the undertone, and sometimes the overtone, of what they’re saying. It captures how snooty the woke brigade is, where they are essentially reprimanding the masses for daring to criticise their royal superiors. Overlooking, of course, that there was a lot to criticise about H&M, from their moaning about their privileged lives to their hypocritical jetting around the world to make platitudinous lectures about climate change.

Harry and Meghan haven’t been driven out by racism or prejudice or hatred. Rather, they’re ducking out of their own accord so that they can go even more global, more woke, more famously, internationally, irritatingly PC. They’re going to become even more insufferable. And here’s the thing: they will trade on their still existing royal titles to do so. So Meghan spent a couple of years in the royal family and now is pretty much leaving it while holding on to the duchess / princess thing in order to give her naff feminism and eco-posturing and celeb shoulder-rubbing more oomph? I’ll say it again: abolish the monarchy.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

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


Eunic Noah

31st March 2020 at 9:33 pm

How to get your ex lover back contact Ededetemple @ gmail. com

Jen Fran

20th January 2020 at 1:49 pm

meghan the actress wanted fame and fortune, now that she’s got all the attention she could ever dream of… and her ‘true’ nature revealed… more than she bargained for… its time to ‘hide’ now… too late… you’re fake

Fiona Allen

16th January 2020 at 12:26 pm

Excellent article, however, the comparison between Simpson and Markle doesn’t hold water. Not even the Duchess of Windsor in all her shame- and ruthlessness, who was, by the way, 41 as a bride and thus only 5 years older than Markle, went to the length of this former Z-list actress.
They were respectively are, both American and both tarts, but that’s where it begins and ends. The Duchess of Windsor, however, had been no CHEAP tart. She had impeccable taste, knew her etiquette, never intended to harm the monarchy as an institution (after all, she wanted to be part of it) and came from a RESPECTABLE American family.
I’d never thought I’d ever say anything nice about that woman.
Her Majesty the Queen is, next to Pope Benedict XVI, first among the living persons I venerate most. But, sadly, in a way, she has brought it upon herself. I was one of the very few bloggers who had looked through this piece of work… excuse me… through this new addition to the Royal Family from the start. One can only speculate why HM allowed this fateful union in the first place. https://evilstylequeen.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-little-mole-and-prince-fairy-tale.html
(I may be wrong, but at least I tried.)
I’d never thought, too, that I’d ever believe in a conspiracy theory, but I think that this woman was set up to discredit the Royal Family. She didn’t intend, right from the start, to play by the rules. And I believe that her ever so slightly not-being-white was part of the agenda. She would never have been, considering her past, allowed to marry the prince had she been 100% “white”. The accusation of “racism” is a powerful lever. Find a woman who is not (quite) white, who is ruthless and (just) attactive enough to ensnare a dim prince, and lo and behold – you’ve got Ms Markle.

Lancelot Gobbo

14th January 2020 at 6:58 pm

I quite agree about La Markle’s narcissism, and I’d point out that Harry might be especially susceptible to her charms given his mother’s borderline personality. Deliberately on her part, and unwittingly on his, they will do great damage to the monarchy, perhaps completing his mother’s work. Cluster B at play, I suppose.

Michael Lynch

14th January 2020 at 8:12 pm

As one wag recently commented – a prince and a showgirl, what could possibly go wrong?

W. Hash

14th January 2020 at 10:43 am

I have the feeling it is Meghan manipulating Harry as I think she is quite narcissistic. And she knows Harry has a problem with British press re: his mother. She may be exploiting that. I also think their marriage will therefore be in shambles in the not too far future. We had a Dutch prince, second in throne, that also left the royal family. But for different reasons. And fully earning his own money as a highly intelligent prince. It should not be a problem in itself.

Melissa B

19th January 2020 at 2:25 am

You’re absolutely right. Harry very obviously has a vulnerable personality. It’s always been clearly evident that he blamed the paparazzi for his mother’s mistreatment in life and her untimely death so it’s a very easy tactic for Meghan to use the media to her advantage “Harry, save me! I know you couldn’t help your mom but you can finally make it right for me”. Narcissists are incredibly skilled at knowing what vulnerabilities their partners have and playing it out fully to their advantage. They are always 10 steps ahead. Look at the ease with which Trump became president. He’s the most famous narcissist in the world. To date, he has never paid for his misdeeds and neither will Meghan. She has won a large following of people, partially by utilizing the whole ‘I’m a targeted woman of colour’ nonsense. It’s that argument that unfortunately forced the Queen to allow Harry and Meghan their so called freedom, living where they so desire and cashing in on the brand ‘Sussex Royal’ which will probably rake in billions, none of which will make it back to the royal family even though it utilizes the family’s position and prestige. Can you imagine if the Queen had told them they weren’t permitted to use ‘royal’ in any promotional products or work? The mass followings would call her a racist old white lady. Meghan knew this and is laughing all the way to the bank. Harry will remain as her spouse as long as ‘their brand’ has more prestige with him involved. Should her devious plan fall flat or public interest wane, then she will toss him as quickly as she did her ex. Meghan will never stop until she is one of the most powerful women in the world. I’m always surprised when people are shocked to hear anyone calling Meghan a narcissist when all you have to do is look at how she was brought up, the challenging personality types in her family and perhaps her upbringing as someone who is biracial as well. Narcissists always have childhoods heaped in problems and they spend the rest of their adult lives overcompensating for the pain they endured as children. They carry that hurt in their ‘core’ every day and use money, fame, etc. to fill the irreparable void.

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