Prince Harry and his wife Meghan want to lead private lives. They are stepping away from their official duties as members of the royal family and are moving to Canada. They plan to become financially independent.
It’s a bold move.
The royal family has always been one of England’s favorite soap operas. Their weddings, births, deaths, and most of all, their indiscretions, are a source of endless fascination to the public and a surefire way to sell newspapers.
Harry has reason to hate the press, especially the tabloids. In 1997, when he was 12, his mother Princess Diana died in a fiery crash when her car was pursued by paparazzi.
The fairy tale coverage of Harry and Meghan’s wedding two years ago turned rancorous as the couple tried to carve out some private space. Meghan was divorced, American, older than Harry, an actress, bi-racial -- a breath of fresh air for some, but just too different for many traditionalists. The tabloids, which reflect and shape a conservative view in England, were vicious, their coverage of Meghan tinged with snide racism.
No doubt this wasn’t the only reason for the couple’s decision to break from the royal family. But it was a big factor.
They will be missed by the many people who saw them as a new kind of royalty, less hidebound, more 21st century. And there’s no guarantee they will find the privacy and independence they are seeking. We wish them well and hope the paparazzi and the public soon lose interest.
I’m Deborah Booth and that’s my perspective.