I am trying to work out in my own mind my exact feelings about Meghan Markle’s Royal Knees Up and the role of the Royal Family in general.
It’s all a bit muddled in my mind as I have changed my position once or twice over the past 60 odd years but I reckon I now know how I feel.
As a schoolchild I think I must have been a fervent fan of Royalty. Certainly I was delighted to be an usher at a couple of Royal Bashes at Westminster Abbey – being at Westminster School in the grounds of Westminster Abbey, we were asked if we would like to help. The occasions were magnificent, no other word for it. Princess Anne’s wedding was one such occasion, the other I am ashamed to admit I can no longer recall. I guess it all arose because the school (with origins before the 12th Century) was re-founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560 and there has always been a royal tie.
By the time of Prince Charles’ wedding to Diana I had become a bit jaded by privilege and wealth since I was having an utterly miserable time as a young banking lawyer at a renowned City law practice. I vividly recall my first day there – it was like being handcuffed and chained to a desk. So I guess I became grumpy and jealous of those who appeared to lead sybaritic lives of “idleness and luxury” and had flunkies to put toothpaste on their toothbrushes. What a childish motive I had – and envy is never a laudable trait. Nonetheless I think that is the truth of what I felt at the time.
I became very disenchanted with the whole Diana charade, the hysteria over the death, Squidgygate, the War of the Wales and the whole silly national mourning fest.
I was and am saddened by her violent death and her unhappiness but let’s face it she was hardly alone in misfortune. Torture, slavery, child prostitution seem equally grim fates.
And what of Miss Meghan Markle? Well she is very beautiful and she is of black African descent somewhere along the line. It seems to me that has to be a good thing, in the same way I was delighted by the election of President Obama for similar reasons. As with Miss Middleton, some of the relatives are a little different to those the Royal Family might be used to but that seems no bad thing.
And what of Royalty and its role in modern Britain? Well, people seem to like them and they surely to do more good than harm? I would rather have Queen Elizabeth at titular head of state the the truly awful Donald Trump. Even if Royalty are un-elected they have no real political power so they can be forgiven the lack of mandate.
Many make financial arguments – they are a waste of public money at one extreme and at the other they are claimed by some to actually help GDP by attracting tourist revenue. I have no idea where the truth lies.
If I am to be honest I confess a smidgen of envy still for the palaces, the cars, horses, country estates and flunkeys but equally I could never have begun to do the Queen’s job.
On balance I wish the whole lot of them well and particularly, on this their wedding day, I wish happiness and health to the young prince and his bride.
There, I have said it.