British lefties (and some non-lefties) have long waged war on the British Monarchy. Had Harry and Meghan really wanted to destroy it, they would have stuck around, penned angry missives in The Guardian, and run for public office. Instead, they absconded to California to build a career in the entertainment industry, and particularly that corner of it where politics and entertainment intersect in frenetic virtue signaling.
The more conservative British publications responded to their Oprah interview by taking Harry and Meghan seriously on a political level. That’s understandable and foolish. If Harry and Meghan were out to destroy the British Monarchy, they would have stayed in the UK. Like a number of other disgruntled royal relatives and spouses, they headed to America and specifically California, because that’s where the money is.
False accusations of racism and identity politics is just the currency of the place.
As an American, I’m not too fond of the British Monarchy. But it’s in no danger from Harry and Meghan whining on television in a deal bound to make Oprah and everyone involved lots of cash. People destroy their own institutions by abandoning their values, principles, and duties.
Harry and Meghan are trading one kind of celebrity for another. The California kind potentially pays better, comes with fewer responsibilities, and is entirely self-directed. To be a member of a royal family is to owe duties to something greater than yourself, whereas to be a celebrity in the American entertainment industry requires mining your own feelings to put on performances that, especially in the age of reality programming and social media influencers, blur away the line between truth and ‘my own truth’. Or to put it simply, being a celebrity means that you get to be all about yourself.
And angrily whine about your feelings while pretending that you still have them.
The British Monarchy is in a bad way, but the odds are that it will still outlive the American entertainment industry which now mostly exists to distill comic books into blockbuster movies aimed at China, make artsy films about the incredible racism of America and dump a hundred new shows a week into the streaming dumpster pipeline for suburban millennial soccer moms to binge watch while trying to fall asleep.
Neither of these is a very good business model and only two of them make any money.
But in the short run, before the Netflix bubble bursts along with the Peak TV business model behind it, it’s a pretty good bet if you’re Harry and Meghan, with few prospects as second-tier British royals. Had Harry and Meghan stayed where they were, dutifully popped out a few third-tier royals, and showed up to wave at ceremonies, they would have been bored, in a dead-end career with not enough attention or money.
California is a better move for two vapid narcissists looking for attention and self-expression. It just has no future. Neither do they.