I had intended to write on a completely different subject for my March blog – but since that explosive interview with Harry and Meghan, I changed my mind – and decided to tackle the thorny subject of ‘Families’!
It seems obvious to say it, but ALL families are complex. The Royal Family are no exception. No family, unless it is extremely dull and boring, escapes the complex and often dysfunctional relationships that make up family life. It is a labyrinth of complications, eruptions, lies, betrayals and secrets. But there is also love. This hopefully is the most enduring part of being in a family, but along the way there can be misunderstandings and heartbreak, and few families escape these. Nobody should expect it all to be perfect. In a confined environment, the problems arrive suddenly from nowhere, and become alarmingly difficult to solve. Sadly, during lockdown, the areas of family breakdown will have greatly increased and relationships put under even further strain.
This private drama is what the public have wanted from the Royal Family. Nobody can ever know what really goes on behind the closed doors of family life, except those involved. But the British press, particularly the tabloids, thrive on stories of breakdown and gossip with the Royals, it is what sells their wretched papers, and for reasons I haven’t been able to fathom, they have been malicious and cruel towards Meghan – story after story, attack after attack. which in their turn have affected Harry as well. Hasn’t he gone through enough already? And where is the truth in all their stories? Nobody knows. It is bullying of the worst kind, most often by men! Now, inevitably, Meghan and Harry have felt compelled to make their side of the story public. It is a story of a difficult life within the family, made even more impossible by the actions of ‘the Firm’ . This, combined with the vile Tabloid press coverage, made them convinced they had to break free. It is certainly tragic this has had to be such a washing of personal laundry in public, but quite frankly it was only to be expected. Nobody wins from this, and only the Queen remains above it all.
Whatever comes of this, I hope nobody will think seriously of abolishing the Monarchy. It is part of our rich history and after Brexit this country has little left to be proud of, apart from our poets and our countryside. Think of the alternative. We could be landed with the equivalent of Trump – a President Farage, Gove or Johnson. Yes, the Monarchy needs to be modernised, slimmed down and re-organised – but it would be a terrible day if it were abolished.
On a final note – today is International Woman’s Day – and it reminds me of all the wonderful female friends and relations for whom I have such admiration – and particularly of my two brilliant daughters of whom I am so proud.
I now look forward to Spring and sunshine.