For the love of God, at least stop saying “Megxit”.
By Colleen McCann
Staff Paparazzi Police
Here’s the thing about the English monarchy: they don’t really do anything anymore. Thanks to the country’s parliamentary monarchy system, the Queen and her family have no actual power when it comes to lawmaking or governing the country. The job is often purely ceremonial and at some times, even downright performative. A far cry from the powerful previous Kings and Queens, the Royal Family, at this point, are more media personalities than global leaders.
But the western media’s obsession with the Windsors is almost entirely unrivaled; if the Duchess’s sister’s dog takes a shit on the front lawn, the Daily Mail has an article about it within the hour. So-called “Royal Watchers” will froth at the mouth over even the smallest events in the lives of the famous family, and anyone who even went near a television in 2011 or 2018 knows exactly what kind of chaos happens when a wedding or birth occurs.
But at the close of 2019, another earth-shattering event took place in the Royalsphere when recently-wed Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle announced their plans to leave Windsor Palace, renounce their public duties, and go live their lives somewhere else. Now, this is admittedly a shocking and notable event if you give two shits about the Royal Family, but in the grand scope of our currently-on-literal-fire-world, it’s not even a drop in the bucket of insanity. But the media, as it tends to do, catastrophized the split to no end. They even gave it the most obnoxious name possible: Megxit (insert eye-roll here).
It was a scandal, a downright betrayal, an affront to the very dignity of England, Royal Watchers cried. How dare they? They’d given up on England, people alleged. What possible reason could they have for abandoning the family that gave them everything they could ever need or want?
Well, a lot of reasons, actually.
Why not start with Harry’s mother? Princess Diana was The People’s Princess, but much of her life is overshadowed by her death: killed after her limo crashed into a wall while trying to escape the paparazzi, who’d already been hounding her for ages following her divorce from Prince Charles and the recent revelation of her relationship with Fayid Dodi, also killed alongside Diana and her driver. Harry and brother William have been rather outspoken in blaming the media for the death of their mother instead of the driver of the limousine; they know full well that the burning obsession of the tabloids isn’t just limited to words on paper—when they completely dismantle the concepts of privacy and personal space, the real world starts warping to their will and people end up humiliated, emotionally wrecked, or even dead.
In the year 2020, you wouldn’t be crazy to perceive that history is beginning to repeat itself. Meghan Markle is an outsider in every sense of the word—not just an American, but a black American at that—and ever since her engagement was announced, she has been ruthlessly picked apart by tabloids and the people who consume them. First, they began digging up information about her previous divorce and estranged father; then, they all reported that Queen Elizabeth disliked her and was not excited to welcome her into the family; and as of recently, they’ve pitted her in a cage match against Kate Middleton, the “proper” royal wife, while notorious attention-groper Piers Morgan calls Meghan a “ruthless social climber.”
Imagine, now, being Prince Harry, watching his new wife incur the same ferocious exploitation that drove his mother into misery and eventually the grave, and spending his whole life hearing the rumors that the other members of the family orchestrated her death. And remember that he never chose this lifestyle; he was born into it. It was one thing when someone leaked photos of him naked at a nightclub; it’s another thing when the cameras go beyond threatening your reputation and begin to threaten your marriage and your child.
And while we’re at it, why not point out the pure inanity of the name “Megxit”? Imagine being Meghan Markle, having the world blame you for a conscious decision made between you and your spouse. People have suggested the Meghan is “stealing” Harry from the Royal Family to go live in luxury back in Hollywood again—never mind the fact that they’re actually planning to live in Canada, with no financial support whatsoever from Windsor Palace.
It’s easy to forget that the figures we worship and ogle from afar are people all the same, and to an extent, public figures to have to expect their lives to be the topic of public scrutiny. But the narrative of villainizing two people for the decision to remove themselves from a grandiose, exhausting, and mentally draining lifestyle isn’t just tabloid nonsense—it’s a complete disrespect.