RoyalTea: The Meghan Markle Interview and the Importance of Safe, Healthy Communities

I am a child of the Diaspora. I am a child of the Commonwealth. My aunties had memorabilia of the Royal Wedding of Diana and Charles around their homes. So, speaking on the British Royal family might be my birthright. If you want to know anything about the Royal Family from King Henry VIII to current day, I am your girl. So like millions around the world, I made myself a cup of tea to watch Oprah’s interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

There are events in world history that serve as placeholders for how generations understand specific moments in time. For me, that moment was the death of Princess Diana and the spectacle that surrounded her toward the end of her life. As a storyteller myself, Princess Diana’s life served as a foundation for my passion for politics and pop culture, and also gave me the framework for understanding power, influence, and owning your own story.
Some of the details of the highly anticipated interview were cute. Archie’s Chick Inn, Baby Girl Sussex, the dramatic smokey eye that I need a tutorial for!
Other revelations were shocking, but upon reflection, they should not have been. So many of us have experienced the things Meghan shared with the world.
Feeling unprotected in the workplace—by the boss, by your coworkers, by HR.
Being denied or discouraged from seeking mental health care.
Experiencing the weaponization of white women’s tears.
Being told there’s no more money in the budget to pay you more or for you to do your job.
Having your appearance, skin color, and physical body scrutinized and policed.
And reliving trauma is never fun or easy. We are seeing Meghan (and Harry) deal with personal trauma, family drama, and a family business. It’s both fascinating and triggering to witness. It gets dicey when the family business is colonialism, and the family are perpetrators of the oppression of billions of people around the world. For the Royal Family to acknowledge the harm done in their family means they also would need to acknowledge the harm of The Empire. Acknowledging that harm means a public apology to Meghan and Harry. Acknowledging that harm means the dismantling of the system (and providing reparations—pay my people!).
The last thing that is living rent-free in my head about the interview is Prince Harry noting his father cut him off financially. He was told that Meghan might have to go back to work in order to support their family. Now, we don’t stan m/billionaires and their level of comfort is very different compared to the lives of us commoners, but the Duchy of Cornwall (Prince Charles’ ‘personal’ estate that funds William and Harry) was worth around £900M in FY2020. Y’all told that man you didn’t have enough money to keep that family ALIVE. That’s actually grimy… and unfortunately so familiar here in America.
States, members of Congress, and the White House: stop telling us you don’t have the money to ensure people have the things they need to keep stay alive! Give people money! Fund everything!
There’s so much unlearning everyone needs to do for the world to dismantle the patriarchy and white supremacy—a symbol of the root of all that is quite literally the British Royal Family. The basic thing we are talking about here is ensuring everyone lives in safe and healthy communities. In a world where laws and policies are rooted in white supremacy and the patriarchy, it should not be difficult to demand women, especially women of color, have the resources they need to both survive AND thrive, in the words of Meghan.
While we won’t be channeling our rage by marching down to Buckingham Palace (for now), we are sending the best energy to the Sussexes as we work to build a world that is better for women and girls.