If you have any connection to the outside world, your phone, tablet, laptop, smartwatch, whatever, has been flooded with Meghan and Harry’s decision to take their leave of London and step back from the Royal Family.
Shock, outrage, bafflement, intrigue, and even vileness has thusly ensued from the world. But why? Why is it that a decision made by two people, that have nothing to do with our daily lives, can shake the world on such a sweeping scale?
While we know it is a fact that much of the world loves and is arguably, downright infatuated with the Royal Family, we would also like to hope that we can love them AND wish the best for people. Apparently not, considering the angry and frankly, ruthless responses that have subsequently been directed toward Meghan Markle. Instead, let’s take a moment to applaud Meghan and Harry’s choices and rather than cast hate, examine what we can learn from their choice.
1. It is okay to leave family
Part of growing up means eventually moving on. Even if you come from a functional family, the expectation is that one day you will be able to stand on your own two feet. It doesn’t mean extended family won’t still be a big part of your life if that’s what you choose. It should mean that you and the family you have created for yourself, are supported enough to be able to make your own home, create new traditions, and make independent choices. After all, isn’t that what we really want for any child, to be able to grow up and confidently go out into the world and carve their own path?
2. Build Boundaries For yourself
It’s okay to say “no.” It’s actually more than okay. It’s absolutely necessary. Sorry, not sorry. It’s also okay to step back when, despite your best efforts, something isn’t good for you. When we talk about wellness, we are talking about more than just bubble baths. We’re talking about taking proactive steps to protect your mental health, emotional wellbeing and, in Meghan Markle’s case, the wellbeing of her child.
It’s also okay to step back when, despite your best efforts, something isn’t good for youTweet
3. Celebrities Are Still Real People
We’ve all heard a similar statement like this before, “If they didn’t want to have their life put on blast they wouldn’t have become a celebrity.” Hm, sounds an awful lot like victim blaming to me. And, let’s be honest, the Royal Family didn’t elect their renown. Instead, this is a reflection of centuries of social structures that existed well beyond the borders of England and has only become the spectacle that it is today through a changing society and increased globalization. They are people and they have the right to make private choices.
4. Priorities Change
Before their wedding, Meghan and Harry may have had the intention of remaining front and center in the Royal Family. Then one of the most life changing events that can happen, happened. They had a baby. They’re starting a family. Harry isn’t putting down how he grew up but it is okay for him to want something different for his own child. I think it is fair to say that at some point in life, what you think you wanted no longer fits with the life you are leading.
5. Fame, Glory, and Power Are Not Everything For everyone
While there has been speculation that Meghan is not the first bi-racial royal, she was the first that presents and lives her life as a mixed-race woman. She has been divorced. We know that she was famous before her marriage to Harry but since then she has experienced an incredible amount of hatred. We can make a connection to Wallis Simpson, another American divorcee, who received similar backlash that led to Edward VIII’s abdication.
So much of the world glorifies the Royal Family that they can’t possibly imagine why anyone would want to step away from that lifestyle. The history of the British monarchy is fascinating, I’ll be the first to admit that it is my favorite subject of history. However, I can also see how that fame, glory, and power would make life challenging at times. The reality is that being royal can often be an impossible burden and the added burden of being so obviously an “outsider” must have felt unbearable for Meghan.
We are not involved in their intimate relationship and the Royal Family and therefore, we do not know the ins and outs of this choice. We can only speculate. Rather than cast judgement and negativity, let’s celebrate a happy couple and new child on their new adventure of building a family of their own.