Meghan will find it hard to come back to Britain now - GulfToday

Meghan will find it hard to come back to Britain now

Sean O'Grady


Associate Editor of the Independent.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle

Even for Meghan Markle fans, and I count myself among the most fervent, it’s a great, great shame that she’s apparently decided not to come with Prince Harry to the coronation.

It looks — though it may well not be intended to be — like a snub to the king and, arguably, the British people, which I am quite sure won’t have been her intention. The telling thing is that Harry will come, but without his beloved wife and their children. That does not feel right.

It’s obviously a very sad state of affairs, and made all the worse because it makes any subsequent visits to Britain by the Duchess of Sussex, private or public, that much more awkward.

When the habit of travelling to see family and friends becomes broken, relationships wither, and it is a loss for all concerned. Those of us hoping for a reconciliation and return to public life by the Sussexes are naturally disappointed. Indeed, Meghan seems like she never wants to set foot in Britain again, and may find some reciprocating that feeling.

As we see from the continued fuss about the Sussexes, they still have star quality, and would be amazing assets for the House of Windsor. Just as was hoped when we learned that “Harry met Meghan” and they got married back in 2018 (five years next month to be precise), they bring an ease and glamour to The Firm not glimpsed since the death of Diana.

Effortlessly, they made the monarchy look more modern and more like the multiracial nation and Commonwealth it purports to lead. They are missed.

I’ve no idea what led to this denouement, or what, if any demands might have been placed upon Meghan by the Palace, or vice versa.

It could well be that, especially with their legal action against some of the more hostile sections of the British media, Meghan feared being subjected to another round of abuse, and the kind of vile comments she was victim to on social media and the “comments” section of tabloid newspaper websites.

No doubt there’ll be rumours about demands for tiaras and appearances and status and the like. That stuff is hard to take. Rightly or wrongly she might well have been concerned about her children’s safety as well as her own. The hatred towards her is difficult to comprehend, and often entirely irrational, if not barmy. She might have been booed. She will have had to take that into account.

There’s also that unhappy echo of the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. Her uncle, the Duke of Windsor, living in exile in Paris, was advised by the prime minister, Winston Churchill (on behalf of the Palace) that he, a former king, and his wife, the former Mrs Simpson, wouldn’t be welcome. For Edward VIII, who had abdicated and prompted a national crisis 17 years before, and whose actions were still resented in royal circles, it was an inevitable outcome.

This case, seven decades on, is very different, with an apparently sincere invitation from Charles III; but it is just as poignant. The Windsors’ humiliation was heaped on them by the Palace; the Sussexes’ are at least partly self-inflicted.

So, for whatever reason, we are left with, at best, an unhappy compromise for what should be a happy day. Harry will be there, and he’ll meet his family for the first time since the Queen’s funeral and the publication of ‘Spare.’

Meghan will not be at his side, nor the children. The King and the rest of the family will feel let down that she’s not accompanying Harry (or at least one would hope so), and much of the public will regret her absence. The coronation will be that much poorer without Meghan, but, on balance, she will have missed out as well. The longer the exile and estrangement goes on, the more permanent it becomes.

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