Opinion / Meghan Markle offered Queen Elizabeth a chance to lead on diversity – but the British royal family’s response to her and Prince Harry’s Oprah Winfrey interview shows how far the crown needs to go
The trappings of crown and sceptre, coupled with an “everyman” willingness to, for example, pay taxes (in 1992) and embrace Twitter (in 2014), are among the reasons Queen Elizabeth remains today, at 94, perhaps one of the most admired women in the world.
A black and mixed-race generation
And it was particularly enchanting for a generation of black and mixed-race Britons who suddenly found a more accessible monarchy.
But for the House of Windsor, not so much.
Meghan also said she suffered suicidal thoughts during her pregnancy – a time when she was barred from leaving the residence and bullied by the press – and was denied inpatient care by a senior royal, who said it “wouldn’t be good for the institution”.
Buckingham Palace in denial
Moreover, millions in the United Kingdom and elsewhere might benefit from a royal family willing to address emotional despair and embrace those, even within their own family, who suffer from mental health crises. That was another missed chance for Buckingham Palace to lead, rather than slip into denial over something deemed to be uncomfortable or unseemly for the institution.
Meghan Markle wore Princess Diana’s Cartier bracelet for the Oprah interview – what message was she trying to send?
The queen’s popularity is so unassailable, she might weather the crisis. Her grandson and his wife spoke warmly of her during the interview. But when she’s gone, valid questions may persist about whether the monarchy remains tragically impervious to change and truly relevant to future generations of Britons.
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- Meghan Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry offered a chance for Queen Elizabeth to lead on diversity and mental health – but Buckingham Palace is falling short