Thursday, 17 Jun 2021

Queen’s reputation trumps Prince Harry allegations as Commonwealth has ‘affection’ for her

Queen: Commonwealth 'affection' for monarch discussed by expert

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Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Professor Philip Murphy was not convinced the accusations and vitriol thrown by Prince Harry towards the Royal Family would do anything to jeopardise their position in the Commonwealth. He explained to the historic support and duty shown by the Queen could not be easily thrown away thanks to an interview adding much of the condemnation comes from the US who are not as well versed in the Royal Family. But Professor Murphy added the racism accusations toward the Royal Family could fuel existing republicanism in the Caribbean.

Professor Murphy was asked how the Commonwealth has dealt with the accusations from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, he told “So they’ve certainly been aware of this. 

“I think it’s unlikely that it will have done any sort of long term damage and I think it’s played much more strongly in the United States and particularly the issues around race. 

“And I think that you’ve got to understand there is a huge amount of affection for the Queen personally across the Commonwealth. 

“There’s a very justified feeling that the way the Queen has behaved in the Commonwealth context, she has really avoided accusations of racism personally. 

“She’s been tremendously sympathetic towards the Commonwealth when the Commonwealth has come to conflict with British governments over the issue of South Africa.”

In 1987, Commonwealth leaders and the Queen supported putting sanctions on South Africa against apartheid. 

But clashes with the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher nearly caused a constitutional crisis after the Queen’s political views were leaked. 

Ms Thatcher was opposed to sanctions due to her strong beliefs in free trade and instead suggested voluntary sanctions which would see people choose not to visit or do business if they so wished. 

Prince Charles' interest in Commonwealth discussed by expert

Professor Murphy continued: “So I think the kind of the rumours flying around of racism within the Royal Family – I’m sure there are many in the United States who believe that. 

“I suspect, on the whole, that the Commonwealth is more well disposed towards the Royal Family. 

“Although, again, in the Caribbean, I’m sure that this will feed into debates around republicanism and the idea that the Commonwealth is some sort of Imperial throwback.”

Barbados is currently planning to turn into a republic by the end of the year and will install an elected head of state rather than have the Queen as theirs. 

They are still expected to remain part of the Commonwealth however. 


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In their sit down with chatshow host Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed what their experiences were like in the Royal Family. 

Meghan Markle revealed there were concerns over how dark baby Archie’s skin tone would be before he was born. 

She also hinted he was not given the title of prince because of his skin colour. 

However, it was revealed shortly afterwards that the decision to not give Archie a title goes back to a 1917 letters patent which, in short, would make Archie a prince when Prince Charles becomes king. 

In a later interview with the Armchair Expert podcast, Prince Harry said Prince Charles passed on his “trauma” to him due to his tough upbringing. 

He then compared life in the Royal Family to “living in a zoo” and explained he suffered greatly with his mental health in his younger years.

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