Have you heard the news? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to quit the royal family.
Well, maybe not exactly quit. But, nevertheless, they released this statement to the press:
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan 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, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
As a woman who believes in tradition, duty, and responsibility, many of Meghan's actions have struck me. She has constantly flouted the rules - she doesn't follow the dress codes, she makes her political leanings known, she still acts like a Hollywood celebrity even though being a part of the royal family dictates a whole new list of rules. And this most recent decision to release a statement without consulting with the Queen - her husband's grandmother - was surprising, if not downright disrespectful.
So for all of those who are defending Harry and Meghan's choice, here are 5 reasons why you may want to reconsider:
1. When you marry someone, you marry their responsibilities. Many people discuss love as though it's something entirely uncontrollable, as well as entirely separate from all of the responsibilities that come with it. But here's the thing: when you marry someone, you marry ALL OF THEM. You marry their family, their struggles, their baggage. If you marry a man with debt, guess what? You have debt too. If you marry a man who is a recovering alcoholic, guess what? You now have to help him with his journey. If you marry a prince, guess what? You are part of a royal family. You now have all the duties and responsibilities that go along with that choice. If Meghan didn't want to marry a prince, she could have left England and never come back. There are many ways you can prevent yourself from falling in love, especially when you're not seeing that person every day - but that's a topic for another time. Meghan chose to get involved with Harry. That meant getting involved with every part of him. Including his royal duties.
2. It's your spouse's responsibility to support and bolster you in your duties, not help you run away. This is something I think is overlooked frequently in today's society. The best relationships are the ones that bolster you in your faith, your job, your duties - not help you shirk them. Prince Harry may have been born into a position that he did not want, but it is his duty to find purpose in his role. Meghan, on the other hand, married into this world voluntarily. Her responsibility is to help her husband when he is struggling to find meaning. She should be by his side, helping him when times are hard instead of encouraging him to recuse himself from his birthright. It's not easy - but finding purpose in duty is a worthy cause.
3. Meghan signed up for this life. Some women have responded by saying, "It's her life." That's true. I don't deny that. But she chose to marry a prince. That's the first and most essential point. By marrying a prince, she accepted upon herself a life of royalty. In trying to upend the entire royal structure, she and Harry are acting rashly and irresponsibly, throwing out tradition in favor of the here and now.
4. Being a royal is an essentially selfless act. As a part of the royal family, you are there to serve your country and your people. It's a selfless life, in a way, although you are definitely rewarded in beautiful clothing, delicious food, and plentiful help. But much of your life is spent doing charity work, attending official engagements, and supporting your country. Harry and Meghan have essentially said that they are choosing not to engage in the selfless act of being royal. They would rather pursue their own interests (including charity work, although perhaps it's political and not in line with the royal dictate) - which for the average person, might make sense. But for someone whose duty is to serve his nation, even if his capacity is not as king, Prince Harry has shirked his duty with the encouragement of his wife.
5. Tradition isn't bad. Last but not least, I'd like to address tradition. We live in a world that eschews tradition, says that the time has come for things to change. Even the terrible Netflix trilogy beginning with "The Christmas Prince" is obsessed with the idea that the king and queen need to throw out the old and bring in the new. But there's a reason that traditions last. There's a reason that entire cultures are built on tradition. It's a beautiful thing to look at a monarchy, a family, that has lasted generations, and is still serving its people. It's nice to see traditional families and women dressing like ladies and men dressing like gentlemen. Yes, sometimes things need to change. But Harry and Meghan seem to snarkily shake a finger at royal tradition. The Queen says to wear tights? Meghan goes bare-legged in her engagement photo shoot. The royal family discusses announcements before they're made? Harry and Meghan announce they are stepping back from their royal duties without consulting Kensington Palace.
This is not a respectful choice made after careful studying of the rules and clear thought regarding changes that could be instituted. This is the action of a couple who is going to do what they want, regardless of the outcome.
And that is the problem.
Do you agree? What do you think? Let me know in the comments down below!
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