‘Megxit’ – Prudent or Impetuous?

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On January 13, 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially retired as members of the British royal family. In spring, they will lose their senior HRH titles, and will no longer represent the Queen in royal engagements.

 

In the official statement regarding the royal leave, Harry stated he would like to “take a step forward into what [the couple] hopes can be a more peaceful life.” This idealistic vision of a “peaceful life” can be traced back to the birth of their baby, Archie Harrison. When announcing the name of the baby, Harry and Meghan revealed that the child would not have a title. Instead, he will be only referred to as Master Archie. It was a completely personal decision, and media sources have speculated it was out of their desire for the baby to have a childhood without much attention from the public.

About the couple’s leave, the Queen issued an official statement claiming she is “entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.” She added, though, that “the family would have preferred Harry and Meghan to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family.” The retirement of Harry and Meghan is referred to as ‘Megxit’, and just like Brexit, there is a great divide of opinions concerning the issue. In the debate, the liberals, many of whom voted against Brexit, tend to show more acceptive attitude towards the couple’s decision. At the same time, the conservatives tend to be defensive of the Queen. For example, Dr Byers (a Marymount London English Teacher), who strongly opposes the idea of Brexit, said he respects the decision of Harry and Meghan and pointed out that “the scrutiny they’ve been under is damaging and unfortunate.”

Also should be noticed in this debate is the particularly harsh criticism towards Meghan Markle. Dr Byers commented “the blame derives from the fact that she’s a woman, also because of the racial aspect, as well. Being a mixed-race American woman, she’s an incredible target for people to latch onto.” Similarly, Sophia Solovieva (a Marymount Grade 11 student) noted that “on the superficial level, unfavourable views towards women, immigrants, and the minority have decreased over the past few years, yet the blame Meghan has been getting is the product of remaining discrimination and prejudices towards those people.” She added, “just the fact that the royal leave is called ‘Megxit’ reveals how the British public believes Meghan is responsible for the breakup of the family.”

Anything concerning the royal family often tends to provoke controversy and debates among the public—their weddings, throne, visits to other countries, and so on. The retirement of Harry and Meghan was not an exception. Being an unprecedented event, it received even more attention along with an unusual amount of criticism as well. Some of the British public consider it an immature decision as the couple chose to immediately inform the media of their personal choice instead of consulting with the Queen beforehand. In contrast, others claim ‘Megxit’ was a wise decision for the family, as the official statement revealed their stance on issues of privacy and independence. Nonetheless, the couple will commence the next chapter of life in Canada with their son Archie. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will “share moments in [their] lives directly with members of the public” through the platform of social media, including their Instagram (@sussexroyal) with over 11 million followers.

 

Sources

Duffy, Nick. “Is Prince Harry Still a Prince? Change to Royal Titles Explained.” Inews, Inews, 20 Jan. 2020,https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/is-prince-harry-still-a-prince-change-royal-titles-explained-1369303.

Guy, Jack, and Max Foster. “Read Prince Harry’s Full Speech after Royal Split.” CNN, Cable News Network, 20 Jan. 2020, https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/20/uk/transcript-prince-harry-speech-intl-gbr/index.html.

“Harry and Meghan: What Do We Know so Far and What Will Happen next?” BBC News, BBC, 20 Jan. 2020, www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51041950.

Landler, Mark. “’Megxit’ Is the New Brexit in a Britain Split by Age and Politics.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Jan. 2020,www.nytimes.com/2020/01/15/world/europe/harry-meghan-megxit-brexit.html.