Yet, while Her Majesty’s instinct is to close ranks and deal with matters ‘privately’, the broadcast has revealed a societal divide which cannot be ignored.
For, while the Queen’s exemplary example at the age of 94, and stoicism during both the Covid pandemic and Prince Philip’s health struggles, has near universal respect, younger people do appear more sympathetic, certainly in this instance, towards Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.
And this poses challenges for the Prince of Wales, as both the heir to the throne and as a father, as he, in time, prepares to be crowned as King Charles III. To this extent, he has said he will be ‘defender of all faiths’, a significant divergence, and the symbolism of him walking Meghan Markle down the aisle of St George’s Chapel on her wedding day was an iconic image that was supposed to be a watershed.
It has, however, not worked out due to mistakes on all sides. Now Buckingham Palace’s attempt to keep matters ‘in house’, while noting varying ‘recollections’ about the events in question, risks giving the inadvertent impression that the Royal family is ambivalent towards racism, an abhorrent societal disease that must not be tolerated in any form whatsoever from tactless questions about baby Archie’s skin colour to the vile hatred being meted out on social media.
Now, therefore, is an opportune moment for Prince Charles to articulate the modern, progressive and inclusive monarchy he desires to reign, and how he expects the Royal households to modernise, before this scandal’s toxicity causes lasting damage to an ancient institution that can offer so much more, if it so desires.
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