Meghan and Harry Rebel against the Crown
The current dispute among members of the British Royal Family goes far beyond private family matters concerning Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and the Cambridges. It is about more than personality differences, hurt feelings, and tears about flower girl dresses.
The current battle royale is a symbolic and real struggle between opposite worldviews. On the one side is the constitutional monarchy of Britain, headed by Queen Elizabeth II and all that the monarchy and the commonwealth stand for: lineage, history, tradition, and nation. On the other side are arrayed converts to "woke" ideology who are committed to modernism embracing radical change, egalitarianism, and supranational global interests.
Tellingly, among the allies supporting the Sussexes' rebellion against the queen, the prince of Wales and the Cambridges are progressives who also have considered the Trump presidency and his supporters illegitimate: Oprah Winfrey; Hillary Clinton; Michelle Obama; and Joe Biden, who called Meghan Markle's charges against the Royal Family an act of "courage."
It seems the attempt is being made by Meghan and Harry to portray the royal leaders of the commonwealth as irretrievably racist. The Sussexes' insinuative comment about someone in the Royal Family pejoratively mentioning son Archie's skin color — if indeed such a comment was made at all — became a means for a general condemnation of British royalty. The "firm," as Markle called the Royal Family, has been judged as systemically racist.
The alliances so carefully held together by Elizabeth II are seen as infected by systemic racism that needs to be cleansed by the infusion of fresh blood, by those who will eradicate the remnants of racist colonial oppression by completing the decolonization of the British commonwealth.
The Sussexes' accusations of racism among the Royal Family, if they succeed in being taken seriously, would effectively delegitimize the British monarchy and the commonwealth.
No weapon against the Royal Family could have been more successfully forged or so cleverly and manipulatively employed. That is because racism is seen by progressives as ubiquitous as original sin and therefore as infecting every act and word of the royal family, no matter how seemingly charitable. Since racism is systemic, it does not require proof. It just is there and is removed only by the newly "woke," who see it clearly and who, as the true heirs to the throne, will eradicate it. It may only be exterminated by a replacement of the entire order.
The battle is essentially a religious and political fight, as fights for the throne have almost always been. The contest is just as significant as the centuries' long fights among Protestant and Catholic monarchs, one of which was the struggle between Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.
The irony is that Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry, while clinging tightly to royal titles and privileges, apparently are true believers in the current egalitarian democratic movement that is anti-monarchical and anti-hierarchical in general. Progressivism reflects the influence of the anti-monarchy radicals of the French Revolution. Liberté, égalité, fraternité demanded freedom from all hierarchical restraints, monarchical and religious.
The difference is that the Sussexes give every indication of wishing to retaining the power and wealth of the monarchy but imitate Evita Perón or Imelda Marcos. Retain the designer wardrobe, the 3,000 pairs of shoes and the popular influence, but ditch traditions and protocol. In short, embrace the "woke" idea of equality: access to all the privilege and wealth without retaining the history of the nation, the monarchy, or the church.
Their rebellion also may be seen as an attempt to take advantage of the global reach of the commonwealth and to put its remaining influence under the banner of globalist progressivism. The "woke" routinely seek to eliminate present day "rulers," and to elevate themselves by means of an omnipotent media and partisan mobs that seek to overshadow what crowns still survive. They ignore the words of B.G. Niebuhr, who wrote, "Our hereditary dynasties are our good fortune, which we will realize once we have lost them."
Ironically, some royals like Prince Charles already have some rather progressive but apparently insufficiently radical beliefs, and are considered unqualified by the Sussexes to lead the nation and commonwealth in a more radical direction. The goal may be not to totally destroy the institution, but to retain the riches and privileges while changing the ideological direction and employing the structure of the monarchy and the commonwealth as an instrument of globalism.
No one should be surprised about the current battles royal. The same battles are being fought in every Western institution, including academia, the media, and the churches.
It is noteworthy that the University of Leicester has announced that it may stop teaching Geoffrey Chaucer's work and other medieval literature in favor of courses on race and sexuality. As the Daily Mail has reported, England's foundational texts like The Canterbury Tales and the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf would no longer be taught under proposals to scrap medieval literature altogether as a part of decolonization. Scholars who have spent a lifetime on research and teaching would be replaced. The halls of the University of Leicester would not be torn down, but they will, if the plan is implemented, be occupied by new order courtiers who will utilize academia to promote "woke" ideology.
Last and not so incidentally, the Sussexes have mounted an attack on the Church of England. Queen Elizabeth is the head of the church, which for good or ill has been allied with royal authority since the time of Henry VIII. Markle dissociated herself from the wedding ceremony of the Church of England, which numbers some 85 million members around the globe, by insisting she and Harry were married privately and that the lavish ceremony was just a public spectacle.
One can scarcely avoid the conclusion that the archbishop of Canterbury was seen as a bit player to be moved onto a backyard stage set. But it appears Welby is unwilling to be moved about like a Hollywood extra, entering stage left to perform sacred rituals on command. While he has demurred from accusing the duo of falsehoods, officials of the church have made it known no such wedding took place and that the archbishop believes that the established protocol and liturgy surrounding marriage was properly observed.
The Church of England deals with the gospel of wokeness with varying degrees of success and failure on an almost daily basis. However, it appears unwilling to subject itself to leveling pretenders who are ignorant of the church's history, talking of it with arrogance, and superficiality in order to subject it to lower ends.
There is an answer to the problems the "woke" Sussexes present to the throne of England and the commonwealth.
The anti-hierarchical ideology they promote while seeking to retain royal privilege and wealth should be utterly repudiated by the British monarchy. They also should be given the freedom they continually have asked for: release from any royal title or role and freedom to be merely private citizens.
Otherwise, the English crown will remain uneasy as it is continually beset by rebels against it.
Fay Voshell holds an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her the prize for excellence in systematic theology. An anglophile, she has admired Queens Elizabeth I and II since childhood. She may be reached at email@example.com.