The shockwaves are still reverberating around Britain after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s announcement that they intend to step away from their current role within the Royal Family. Though there’s understandably a measure of scepticism about the importance of the movements of, in truth, minor royalty, ‘Megxit’, as it has not-so-creatively been dubbed by the press, is in fact as culturally significant as Brexit, if not more so.
Despite all the extraordinary trappings and privilege a Royal life has always been one that has existed inside the stillness of a gilded cage. It’s a life of public service, handsomely rewarded. But in the modern world few want to be imprisoned in anything but the limits of their own nature; they want no guides other than the sometimes-wayward choice of their own passions. In such a world, if the Duke and Duchess consider freedom more important than service, frankly, who are we to argue, if they grow the wings to fly beyond the days and weeks and months of stuffy protocol. And to sing their own tune of brave self-reliance. Meghan – the feminist diva; and Harry – the artist formerly known as Prince.
The problem, however, is that this flight of freedom is dependent upon the buoyancy of that which they seek to renounce. In what is an astonishing act of sheer chutzpah and ignorance, they are unilaterally plotting to effectively commercialise the Family’s legacy, and by implication, the country’s heritage, in order to feather their own nest. It appears to be an act of treachery which has been brewing for some time.
It has emerged that back in June 2019 the Sussexes applied to trademark ‘Sussex Royal’. Under intellectual property law they will have the option to attach this brand to an eclectic mix of goods and services, ranging from magazines to sports goods. It also didn’t escape notice that back in July, Meghan Markle was guest editor of the September edition of Vogue magazine, where she was described as a “changemaker” who “is breaking barriers and setting the agenda across the globe”. “Changemaker” is the United Nation’s speak for globalism, which is essentially the gradual dissolution of national boundaries, power centralised under a network of regional bureaucratic proxies, with huge combinations of transnational capital operating behind the curtain.
On their plush new website, which, judging by its polish, has clearly been in the offing for several months, the Sussexes have spoken of wanting to “balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter”. In other words, keep the privilege and relinquish the duty.
That they “intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent”. But, of course, by this they mean only independent of the Sovereign Grant, which accounts for about 5% of their income, and not independent of the allowance from the Duke’s father, the Prince of Wales, who gets most of his income from the Duchy of Cornwall. This is estimated to be several million pounds a year, not a dime of which originates anywhere other than the public purse because it is money made from commercial activities off land that the Royals hold on trust. They also don’t want to give up their round-the-clock security which the British taxpayer pays to the cost of £7.6 million a year, and it will surely only increase if their activities bestride continents.
Perhaps the most symbolic statement of all is that they want to “carve out a new progressive role within this institution”. A progressive monarchy, however, is an oxymoron. Responsibility, duty, and tradition are anathema to modernism. By definition.
Let me explain. It can be summarised as the contrast between the classical world – the world of antiquity from which Monarchy is derived – and the modern world of industrial globalism – from which Liberalism is derived. In the classical world the fundamental question of self was how to conform one’s soul to the divine meaning and purpose embedded in the world, and thus be drawn up into eternal life. The answer was through prayer, virtue and wisdom. That was the central concern of pre-modern, or what we may call, classical man. They believed that the world was full of divine meaning and purpose, and thus every person was born into a world of divine obligation. We were all obliged to conform our lives into a harmonious relationship with that divine meaning and purpose.
For the modern person, however, the question is completely inverted, because they have redefined the world through the lens solely of science, which reduces the great human drama to nothing more than biological, chemical and physical properties. The modern person asks how one conforms the world to one’s own desires and ambitions. And the answer involves tapping into those institutions that operate by the mechanisms of power and manipulation, namely science, technology and the secular state.
That’s the key difference between the traditional world and the modern world, the religious world and the secular world, and the nationalist world and the globalist world.
What’s happened as a result of this paradigm shift is that we’ve gone from a communal life, centred on the moral obligations inherent in family and church and community; and instead moved more into a contract based life, where we have no moral obligations apart from those we enter into through self-interested, rational contracts.
The notion of the modern autonomous self is that it has no more obligation than what the sovereign individual imposes on his or herself. This stance clashes with the classical world of duty and self-sacrifice – to subsume oneself within tradition and culture and divine obligations, of which the Monarchy is an embodiment. It was this sense of the divine that was the axis on which revolved all other elements – the relations of child and parent, of husband and wife, of brother and friend; life was, in its essential relations, throughout of a divine purpose. But in the world of industrial globalism the social framework is moulded by the character of the sovereign individual. It breaks prior boundaries.
It’s no secret that Meghan Markle is an ultra-liberal: she’s a self-avowed feminist, she’s pro-abortion, she hates Trump. And she’s on board with all the typical liberal talking points. Woke, in a word. It seems evident that it’s this self-identified left-wing liberalism that is clashing with the traditionalism of the Royal family. The clash is of our times. It is fundamentally irreconcilable.
Within the framework of the institution every possible concession had been made to make the couple happy. The Royal Family facilitated glamorous tours to Australia and Africa. The Queen allowed them unprecedented privacy for the birth of their child, Archie, far more so than any other royal birth in the past. And her Majesty accommodated their request to move from Kensington Palace to Windsor. Frogmore Cottage – more of a mansion than a cottage – which is owned by the Queen, cost the British taxpayer £2.4 million to renovate to the couple’s specifications. At the property, which they fully intend on keeping, “so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom”, they had a housekeeper, two personal assistants and two palace orderlies, before public pressure led to them dropping the staff and, in a recent development, repay the public purse for the refurbishment. But one must ask, will they be paying any rent on this multi-million-pound crown property other people had to vacate for their accommodation?
“What Meghan wants, Meghan gets” is the Duke’s now infamous refrain to orderlies, many of whom were reportedly dispatched by the Duchess’ high-handedness as quickly as they were summoned. For a minor Hollywood actress she has certainly taken to the role of difficult and spoilt princess with considerable aplomb. And I’m sure that had this sorry affair been dramatized she would have been in line for several prestigious nominations. The one position in the household that did appear safe from the axe was that of chef, as it was reported that the Duchess preferred to prepare her own meals. Now, there’s a surprise. Often is the case that in the curious compound of character the flavour is sometimes disagreeable in spite of excellent ingredients.
Prince Harry was one of the most popular members of the Royal Family. Blessed with the common touch, like his mother, he has the ability to bring people together. He is human. Approachable. And it’s been evident that behind the bravado and charm is a damaged and sensitive young man for which the public has every sympathy. But since Harry fell for an American actress, he’s undergone a radical transformation. From a boyish, emotional, wayward, fun-loving Prince; to a boyish, emotional, wayward, subjugated Duke.
Harry is the moon-struck slave of Meghan. Not merely deeply in love with her, but completely steeped in her, as if she were his place of refuge in a lifetime of distress. Because his love seems to be attended by a despondency hitherto, we have not associated with him. It’s almost as if some dim unrest has been brought into vivid consciousness by her influence.
To understand the man, we must follow his growth. A love paradoxically mingling with his peculiarly tense and gloomy character seems to derive from the fact that Harry is reliving his life with his mother through his relationship with his wife. An Oedipal transference of a son’s love to a man’s love. Meghan, who is an independent and successful woman three years his senior, appearing to provide him with the Jocastian fusion of conjugal love and maternal belonging. And perhaps after winning the ring, Meghan was pregnant with not only Archie, but Oedipus and Jocasta’s offspring, Antigone. Because the struggle between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Royal family mirrors the struggle between Antigone and Creon. It represents the struggle between elemental tendencies and established customs by which the outer shell of self is painfully being brought into harmony with its inward needs. Indeed, this is rather unravelling like a Greek tragedy – immutable causality and inexorable development are fundamental aspects of this tale.
Meghan is calling the shots. Not only has Harry learnt the lexicon of Woke, her introduction into his life has led to the breaking of boyhood friendships, many of whom weren’t invited to the wedding or evening reception, apparently their much-valued place being taken by more photogenic international celebrities. These are the aristocrats of the modern day. A-listers mingling with one another as the blue-blooded Royal households of the past forged alliances by intermarrying. It’s a hierarchical network of publicised friendships, each feeding off the other; with lesser lights, in a pitiful pecking order, scavenging after resource rich targets like seagulls circling as they search for food.
International super stardom is essentially all the obnoxious elements of monarchy shorn of its redeemable features. And it seems that the Sussex’s plan for modernising the monarchy is for it to essentially be all the obnoxious elements of celebrity shorn of its redeemable features. Exactly what talent are they selling?
The more they flog their Royal titles for personal gain, the more they devalue it. Even if they have now lost the HRH, they still plan to crassly trade off the back of the Dukedom of Sussex, which is part of the country’s history and legacy. This destroys the whole raison d’être of Royalty. It breaks the divine bond with the public which will therefore owe them no favours and no obligations. And, of course, the liberal world owes the Sussex’s no favours and no obligations – with incessant exposure the appeal of a picture-perfect lifestyle will fade with time, like a photo left out in the sun. By flying the nest in this manner, they are cutting off the branch on which the nest was built.
The reason for their departure is that this lavish lifestyle they’ve enjoyed to date has made them rather unhappy. On the couple’s tour of Africa, the Duchess confided to a Royal reporter that “it’s not enough to just survive”, that you have got to “thrive”; that she has “really tried” to adopt the British stiff upper lip before concluding it is “internally really damaging”. Apparently, nobody asks her how she feels. The Duchess was speaking just after attending a centre which caters for children who have had their limbs blown off by landmines.
It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, and who you’re with, in our society if you say that you’re not ok suddenly you become the centre of attention. You’re irreproachable if you play the mental health card. It’s classic narcissism, born of an inherently narcissistic ideology. And it speaks to the extraordinary levels of an entitled and self-absorbed victimhood culture that these comments can be uttered without shame and, more to the point, taken seriously. But liberalism is essentially a parasitic ideology, seemingly immunizing many people to their own self-awareness.
It is certainly the crowning glory of liberal civilisation – the sight of somebody who has everything in grief. Naturally, the Duchess received some criticism for these comments. But since the Sussexes have announced that they intend to step away from Royal life left-wing liberals are claiming that the press have hounded the Duchess out of the country. Because the country is racist. Apparently. On the contrary, apart from a few examples in this regard – which doesn’t make the country racist – the public have been very welcoming to Meghan Markle. Had she been white and British the coverage would have been brutal. She’s escaped much of that on account of being a “woman of colour”, which increasingly people wear as some sort of Woke shield, protecting them from legitimate criticism. People are just so frightfully worried of being called “racist”, they’re hesitant to ‘go there’, even when criticism is deserved. Because as soon as that word is uttered you become a kind of social leper.
So, you can trash a country’s culture, its heritage, disrespect and threaten the Queen, by suggesting that you will do a candid interview if you don’t get your way, and help to turn one of its most precious, historic institutions into a crass circus, but left-wing liberals will still present you as the victim. To which the public get no right of reply.
Presently, moral obligations don’t exist prior to the sovereign individual having chosen them. Unless of course you happen to be a white man. In which case you’re obliged to walk on eggshells; where a special set of moral obligations exist in the present as a result of choices made by people hundreds of years ago in the past based upon shared skin pigmentation and sex. Other groups inherit concomitant grievances in proportion to these moral obligations. So, liberals will reject the idea of inheriting responsibility or duty or loyalty, but they’re eager to inherit some abstract grievance. This aspect of Woke culture, the ranking of groups in ascendant victimhood, is not liberal; it’s neo Marxist. The moniker Liberalism is merely a smokescreen which hides the guilty.
The entire ideology is rife with contradictions and phoniness, which is primarily why many high profile, self-identifying liberals are insufferable hypocrites. Preaching, say, to everybody about the importance of making lifestyle changes to counter the purported perils of anthropogenic climate change, while regularly going off on jaunts in private, carbon guzzling planes. And nothing says environmentalism quite like intending to set up a lifestyle that has you flying across an ocean on a private plane multiple times per year! But irrespective of the claims of hypocrisy, to hold court and flaunt your moral virtues as the Sussexes have done, is simply vulgar; like flaunting the fact that you are wearing the latest designs from New York. Something the Royals have always commendably avoided.
The Sussexes are essentially part of an elite class of individuals who proselytize to each other in what is little more than a fanciful game. In truth, they are the enablers of all that they oppose. They take as a mistress the very lavish lifestyle they advocate against, and yet they act as though they have moral superiority. It’s shallow; transparent. Mostly because in the liberal world of industrial globalism words carry little burden outside of contractual obligations. Thus, words and actions and combined endeavours are often debased to such a point where only their outer shell is left, which remains intact for the sake of appearances.
Of the two, Harry’s conduct has been far more abominable. It is, after all, his family, and his country. He is still, though, in spite of everything, very much a product of his environment. It seems the duty he had to family and country has merely transferred to the woman he loves. This chivalry towards his wife has strong and deep roots, derived from a background of duty and piety, and no doubt wanting his marriage to succeed where his parents’ marriage failed; but the double-irony is that this chivalry, in his own search for love and happiness in a wider world, has effectively severed him from his roots, and it will most likely lead to the breakdown of his marriage.
Chivalry relies upon the purity and chastity of its recipient – a state of utter subjection to the will of a disdainful lady is clearly not a wise approach. And especially not if the object of the devotion is a left-wing feminist with history. As soon as this lady had the child, she had the leverage to change a situation she chose to participate in, and to take Harry along for the ride. It seems feminists are so miserable that not even a Prince is good enough. In fact, nothing will be. Ever.
Harry will find that his wife will keep turning the screw. The more he yields, the more he’ll weaken their relationship and reduce their sexual polarity. They’ll grow to resent one another. If he doesn’t yield, she’ll think he’s being unreasonable because she’s become accustomed to getting her own way. It’s a catch-22. In the meantime, Harry will grow resentful of being removed from his station in life. That would be a kind analysis. If we’re being unkind, we would say much worse.
Either way, the marriage has no future. Which is fine. Because marriage has essentially been degraded into being little more than a social contract. Certainly, it’s this sense of having a retreat which sterilizes much of the meaning of the vow and its significance. Everywhere in the liberal world there is this dogged effort to obtain gratification without paying for it.
The great flaw of Liberalism is that it unanchors people from a sense of allegiance; a unifying principle. The ideological by-product of industrial globalism, which has broken down barriers to trade and growth, it has taken the very basic idea that we are born into some fundamental unit of existential solidarity, from which we derived meaning, and replaced it with an inordinate patchwork of contractual reciprocity.
It is devoid of the sense of the sacred. Tremendous economic growth has not been matched by individual, social and spiritual growth. Everywhere people running about with nothing firm beneath their feet. With no law but the inclination of the moment. No warrants for treachery and cruelty. No sense of social shame. Not a great deal binding people to the past or to each other. Liberalism is an ideology where selfishness takes possession of a culture.
On the other hand, lives simply woven together by divine trust and love isn’t enough to keep a civilization alive. Because it mostly depends on a small, static society that never looks outside or beyond. Such as ancient Sparta, which in anxiously trying to hold on to its own social order, was already imploding before it fell to the Macedonians. Successful societies have never drawn a curtain; instead, have invariably looked outward, never ceasing to develop.
Megxit does in fact reveal this clash between core values – one which we can trace as far back as the 13th century when the church became part of the international banking system. It’s the clash between monarchy and liberalism, traditionalism and secularism and of course nationalism and globalism. And it’s precisely these kind of tensions that we can expect to see more of as that clash only promises to intensify.