Today Prince William took Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex head-on after Meghan’s polarizing interview with Oprah brought the Monarchy’s feelings on race into question.
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge responded to the media, “We’re very much not a racist family.” Also answering that” No I havent spoken to him yet, but I will do.”
The Queen put out a statement saying that this will be dealt with in private, the correct move for the institution and the family.
“This is not something that she wants discussed in the public sphere,” says British broadcaster and UK expert Jonathan Sacerdoti. Although William spoke today because he was asked a question in public and I think he wanted to show that they’re not running scared from giving answers in public if necessary.”
Meghan Markle’s topics that she focused on in her two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey were mental health and race. Topics of discussion such as those are virtually forbidden.
Meghan being British royalty, to question, is not proper. Now questions of honoring the allegations begin to swirl and Meghan knows that.
In picking these two social issues Meghan may have revealed her aims for the future. She has chosen subjects of enormous relevance to the younger generation.
The allegation that any family is racist is incendiary and upsetting. But this isn’t just a regular family: this is the royal family. That’s why William made himself very clear when he said that they are very much not a racist family.
The implication is also that the wider British ‘family’ is also not racist. They are figureheads for the entire nation.
The family clearly prefers to deal with this in private, but if they’re put on the spot in public they will want to show they aren’t hiding from the issue.
“This wasn’t just an elder brother addressing allegations made by his younger sibling, albeit through the world media, this was number two in line to the throne addressing number six,” said Sacerdoti. “It was firm, definitive, unambiguous.”
Prince William’s responsibility is not just as an elder sibling but also as a future king of Britain. It’s vital for him that he shows a measured but firm control of the situation, as much as he shows compassion and a hint of emotion. That’s what he did today.
Number six may prefer to air the family’s problems through Oprah, but numbers one, two and three — the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William, need to act with more measure and decorum. The challenge for them is to show they do still care about any hurt caused to their family, and about the serious allegations leveled at them.
Barely one year after they left the UK, apparently seeking privacy, Meghan and Harry have shown their true aim is to build the value of their own brand — no matter the cost to others. What they really want is as much attention as possible, not privacy in the traditional sense of the word.
Meghan and Harry’s true focus is on controlling their publicity and attention, rather than avoiding it.
The allegations of racism were inconsistent and unclear, with Meghan and Harry telling different versions of the story. They refused to say who made the alleged racist comment, nor what was truly said.
The public reaction to the interview has created clear divisions between the generations, with young people increasingly on Meghan and Harry’s ‘side’, and their parents or grandparents on the side of the royal family.
Debate and publicity for the couple and plays perfectly to their intended audience.
Meghan has achieved a marketing impossible in a business sense. Markle has gone from being a nobody actress, an unknown l around the world, to being more well known and recognizable than Prince Harry.
He might be the initial reason she’s so well known, but she’s easily the bigger star now.