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A right SussexRoyal® rumpus.


IT IS AN unwritten requirement of the modern British Royal Family to provide the public the occasional scandal or crisis. That way we get to mix deference with prurience. Without going far back in the last century they’ve done this with panache, providing us with the abdication of the weak-willed, dapper Edward VIII, the dissolute behaviour of Princess Margaret over many years, the disastrous marriage of Prince Andrew with Sarah Ferguson, the even more disastrous marriage of Charles to Diana and the further scandal of Andrew and his association with Epstein.

Now there’s Prince Harry’s ill-advised marriage to Markle and their madcap idea of “stepping back” from those tedious royal responsibilities in raily old Blighty while they cash in on the kudos and punt their wares abroad under their own brand of SussexRoyal. The couple have even set up their own website to foreground their fabulous, fashionable, world-saving altruism. It’s professional, corporate and bland, ticking off the PC boxes – community, well-being, environment, empowerment, etc.

Given Markle’s predictably luvvie-fuelled obsession with PC politics and halo-polishing, this is not a surprise, although you would think that a few years of having been involved with a Royal would have acquainted her with the fact that this does not sit well with the institution. What, we may ask, has Harry been doing while she has been dreaming all this up? Presumably encouraging her. And therein lies the real human story.

You don’t need a degree in psychology to perceive exactly what is going on in the Sussex relationship. You’ve either been in a relationship like this or seen someone else in one and you know it does not end happily.

You don’t need a degree in psychology to perceive exactly what is going on in the Sussex relationship. You’ve either been in a relationship like this or seen someone else in one and you know it does not end happily. Besotted, uxorious bloke gets taken in by selfish, manipulative female who takes him for anything he’s got while estranging him from family and friends, making all the important decisions herself, getting him running around after her and using seductiveness combined with threats to get her way. The seductiveness, of course, wears off pretty quickly, as Harry is to find out.

Soon there’ll be no nooky for the Prince; there’ll be a cooling off, with her spending more time away from him, ostensibly for work but also for cultivating her real friends (and others more intimate) down in Hiollywood. Whether they’ll have another child is an interesting question, given that Markle announced they would have no more than two, in order to save the planet. I think there is a good chance of there not being another royal sprog. Too much hassle for her.

And what will happen to young Archie, sequestered in Canada and the USA? Will they send him to Britain for education to follow the usual royal course – Eton, followed by one of the better universities or a spell in the military or all three? Or will they (I mean she, of course) keep him untainted by the Old Country and send him to whatever the North American equivalents are? The other question is will Markle effectively abandon him once she’s ensconced back in the bosom of celebrityville or use him as a bargaining tool when the marriage falls apart and divorce looms? I have consulted the womenfolk in the family on this point and they were unanimous in agreeing on the latter.

The current brouhaha is at the moment just a mini crisis but I should think the Firm’s advisors are hoping to get her off British soil as quickly as possible so that the inevitable trouble she is going to cause is far away. Her complaints about media intrusion are baloney: she’s a famous actress, for heaven’s sake, she’s used to the attention and has plenty of professional PR advisors. It’s hypocritical baloney as well. Everything she has been doing has been engineered for the media.

In any event, I don’t think we’ll be seeing much more of her this side of the Atlantic. She has made it plain she has no interest in Britain and no desire to spend any more time here.

Poor Harry will end up isolated, humiliated, effectively emasculated, with no say in the running of his own household, and possibly as estranged from his own son as he will be from his own family.

On the other hand everything may work out just lovely for all concerned. Unlikely, of course. If it all goes belly up then at least we can say that it’s not entirely the fault of the dysfunctional Windsor family. There are others just as bad, as Markle has amply demonstrated.

And by the way, she isn’t black. She’s white.

suxcoverCurrente Calamo columnist, poet and writer Michael Blackburn lives in Lincolnshire. A Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Lincoln University (2005 – 2008), his poetry has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies over the years, including Being Alive (Bloodaxe) and Something Happens, Sometimes Here (Five Leaves Press). His most recent book is Albion Days (perennisperegrinator press). Sucks to Your Revolution is a collection of his Fortnightly columns.

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