Jim Furlong: Happily Ever After?

The danger of writing to current events is that you can be “overtaken” by those events. That is the caution I offer as I take up pen to speak to the latest quickly moving story in The House of Windsor. 

This story is like an iceberg; mostly underwater. In a previous offering I have related how difficult it can be to fit into the Royal Family. In the past week we have seen another chapter in that story when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, aka the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced they wanted to step back from their royal duties. 

Royal family meeting

Unfortunately this story broke in the press and caught the Queen by surprise. There had already been tensions because of reports of a growing rift between Harry and his older brother Prince William.  To straighten it all out the Queen called a family meeting at her estate at Sandringham. 

The result of that meeting is that the Queen issued a brief statement saying she regrets the decision by Harry and Meghan to step back from royal duties  but she understood and supported them. Thus Her Majesty took the high ground but if you think this is the end of it, I’m afraid you are dreaming.

Meghan Markle is probably a very nice person but she is complicated. 

It must be a very difficult transition  to go from being an American actress to being the Duchess of Sussex. As soon as she married Prince Harry, the press was on her. Someone leaked a story to The Daily Mail that Meghan had complained about the quality of air in the 550-year old St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Meghan had suggested air fresheners might fix it. 

The Duchess of Nonsense 

Well someone should have advised her that coming into Windsor Castle and complaining about the smell may not be a smart move in royal circles.  

Unfortunately the story followed hard on the heels of press reports that said their might be a feud developing between Meghan and sister in law Kate who is married to Prince William. The story said the rift had occurred because Meghan called one Kate’s staff to task for something and Kate took umbrage with that.

Add to this Meghan’s difficult family situation. She is essentially, if not estranged, then certainly in a difficult relationship with all of them, save her mother. Her half-sister called Meghan “The Duchess of Nonsense.” 

Well there you go. Meghan has found a new life for herself in marriage to Prince Harry, but it is not easy. They have gone off to a new adventure in Canada but this not a story where the “they lived happily ever after” chapter has been written.  The Queen is wishing them well in their new “non royal” existence  but that is not the end of it. There will be more in The Sun and The Mirror and all the other tabloids. 

Meghan was a breath of American fresh air into the British institution that is the monarchy, but “breath of fresh air” is something that is welcome only rarely in royal circles.

NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: [email protected]

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