Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Meghan Markle was right to skip the coronation – but she was damned either way

It must be exhausting to be Meghan Markle.

For the last few months, the usual suspects have been routinely cursing her name and telling her that she is not welcome at the coronation of King Charles III.

After plenty of speculation about whether they will or won’t attend the 6 May celebration, it’s now been decided that Prince Harry will fly into London alone, while Meghan remains in sunny California with their two children.

You would have expected those same right-wing commentators were overjoyed that their campaign of criticism had worked and Meghan had bowed to their pressure in declining the King’s invitation. Except, they weren’t.

US conservative commentator Megyn Kelly called Harry and Meghan ‘pathetic money-grubbing spotlight addicts’ on Twitter last month after a Sussex spokesperson reportedly confirmed the couple had received an invitation to the coronation but were still thinking about their attendance.

Then, after news broke that Meghan would not attend, the former Fox News host hypothesised that she ‘couldn’t face the thought of being booed publicly’.

So which one is she? A ‘spotlight addict’ or seemingly cowardly for not wanting to be ‘booed’?

Meghan is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t

The baying wolves were apoplectic that the Duchess of Sussex dared to stay away from a country that has roundly treated her with contempt. How dare she acknowledge her own self-worth and value self-preservation over facing the inevitable onslaught of negativity if she attended?

So instead of accompanying her husband into the lion’s den, Meghan has made – in my opinion – the right choice. She is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.

How is it possible that she was derided for months and told she’s not welcome at the coronation and she’d be a distraction from King Charles, and then when she announces that she isn’t coming, she still gets torn apart?

It was even reported that Prince William was deeply concerned about Meghan and Harry stealing the spotlight from the coronation by visiting less privileged London boroughs. If the reports are accurate, why would a kind act be rued so much by our future king?

It is quite plain to me that Wills is insecure and jealous of a woman who has never posed any threat to the Firm, other than to highlight their shortcomings, lack of warmth and antiquated ways of operating.

The toxic energy from all corners in response to Harry returning from the States alone is unhinged. Meghan has been called ‘gutless’, ‘cowardly’ and ‘selfish’ by some, but I think this is the very best outcome for all concerned.

Meghan likely knows that if she did come to the coronation, every single movement of hers would be scrutinised beyond belief. 

If she wore a bright coloured dress, people would say something ridiculous like she was snubbing protocol to upstage Queen Camilla. If she waved to the crowds or gave them a nod, they would claim she was revelling in the spotlight and stealing the attention away from Charles. 

Even now, when we know she will not be there with her hubby, some will lie in wait for her social media activity across the coveted day hoping that she does or doesn’t post anything.

I sincerely hope Harry holds his head high and smiles for the cameras for the sake of his father. The only way to minimise the condemnation from the loud minority is to maintain a dignified silence and honour the King.

He shouldn’t linger around or use the trip for anything other than attending the coronation – unless summoned by his dad.

Instead of concentrating energy on why Meghan has declined attendance, I’d rather we looked to leadership from the man of the hour. Charles has proven to be a good monarch thus far – continuing to fight for the environment, reportedly reducing the size and cost of the coronation in light of the cost of living crisis, and refusing to let Andrew be an active member of the Firm.

Now, we need Charles to be a father and to take the lead by bringing both of his sons together to mediate a resolution between them all. Harry has said repeatedly that he wants to sit down with his brother and father and hash things out. It won’t be an easy conversation, but it’s one that needs to happen.

His first act as King after the official coronation should be that of a dad – mending his broken family. And Meghan should just be able to live her life without her every decision being scrutinised.

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