Meghan and Harry's announcement, dubbed "Megxit," angered the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William who were not notified of the couple's decision.
Rabat – Following an unchanging ceremony dating back to 1536, the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II left Buckingham Palace on October 14, 2019, to travel to Parliament in a carriage, accompanied by a platoon of horse guards. Dressed in the crown diamonds and an ermine coat, the 93-year-old sovereign entered the House of Lords, preceded by a sergeant-at-arms who shouted “Hats off, strangers!”
Elizabeth II then delivered the traditional “speech from the throne,” words that were not necessarily hers but which were her responsibility to speak to the nation. For the duration of the ceremony, the royal flag floated above Parliament instead of the Union Jack.
In the midst of the UK’s current political chaos, the ceremony seems reassuringly timeless, as if the monarchical pillar were the only one to stand unwavering. And yet, the monarchy is split within with intense feuds that could, if not solved, threaten the monarchy’s stability and the well-being of the country.
Monarchy in crisis
At 93, the Queen of England is far from being spared royal drama. In addition to dealing with a complex political crisis amidst an endless Brexit, Elizabeth II faces one of the biggest scandals in her family’s history since the tragic death of Princess Diana.
Some even claim that the sovereign is experiencing her second “annus horibilis,” a term she used for 1992, the year when three of her four children separated from or divorced their spouses.
Evidently the Queen’s family, in addition to the Brexit affair which could force the sovereign to abandon her political neutrality, gives her concern. Most recently, Meghan Markle, duchess of Sussex, has been in the crosshairs of the media.
In the midst of a monarchical crisis, Meghan Markle decided to set sail for a good reason: She will join her son left in Canada. In the meantime, Prince Harry is managing the crisis created by the announcement of their desire to withdraw from being senior British royals.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry dropped the bomb on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. The duke and duchess of Sussex wish to work to be independent, at least financially. The announcement came after their return from Canada. The family had taken refuge there for six weeks, with the blessing of the Queen. But the return was very complicated for everyone.
Meghan and Harry’s announcement, dubbed “Megxit,” angered the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William who were not notified of the couple’s decision. The Sussexes preferred to leave their son Archie out of the crisis in the British monarchy, leaving the eight-month-old boy in Canada.
Meghan’s friend Jessica Mulroney took care of him for a few days, a suggestion, among many others, that they did not intend to stay long in London. Soon after she arrived in the UK, Meghan Markle flew back to Canada.
Prince Harry is expected to stay in London for a few more weeks. The Queen asked her team, including Prince Charles and Prince William, to find a quick solution to the crisis of the surprise announcement.
In the midst of a royal storm caused by his desire for independence, Prince Harry displayed a united front with his older brother William before a meeting organized by Queen Elizabeth II to bring the British monarchy out of the “Megxit” crisis.
While the subject made the headlines of almost all British newspapers, the Queen’s two grandsons issued a joint statement denouncing a story that said William “constantly bullied” the Sussexes. The brothers said the story’s “use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.”
“Injured,” according to newspapers, by the shock, the head of the family reunited her son Charles and her two grandsons in her residence in Sandringham, eastern England, to discuss Megxit.
At 93, the sovereign wants to quickly lay the foundations for the new status claimed by the duke and duchess of Sussex who want to keep a foothold in the monarchy while earning money and living part of the year in North America.
The episode brought back memories of the abdication in 1936 of King Edward VIII to marry Wallis Simpson, a divorced American woman—like Meghan. He ended his life in exile in Paris.
Harry, anxious to get away from a ruthless tabloid press with his wife, had previously distanced himself from his brother. He had moved from Kensington Palace where he previously lived with William and Kate and had broken with the foundation where the two couples worked together.
A troubling sex scandal
In 1992, Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son, set off the annus horribilis when he separated from his wife. Recently the prince, long implicated in the American Jeffrey Epstein’s sex scandal, again faced the accusations of a woman who said she was forced to have sex with him when she was a minor.
A photo showing the prince and a young girl named Virginia Roberts holding each other about the waist circulated widely in the media. In the background appears Ghislaine Maxwell, presented as Epstein’s “recruiter.” Buckingham Palace has repeatedly denied any inappropriate behavior on the part of Prince Andrew, who was a friend of Epstein.
In an unprecedented nearly one-hour interview filmed at Buckingham Palace and broadcast in full on the BBC, the 59-year-old prince said he had no memories of ever meeting his accuser.
Virginia Roberts says she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew in London in 2001 when she was 17, then twice in New York and on an island owned by Jeffrey Epstein in the Caribbean in 1999 and 2002 when she was Epstein’s sex slave.
“I can categorically, absolutely tell you that it didn’t happen,” stated Prince Andrew emphatically, saying he was ready to testify “under the right circumstances.”
He also denied dancing with the young woman in 2001 at a London club called Tramp, citing a physical condition that prevents him from sweating to deny Roberts’ claims he was sweating a lot.
According to documents made public by New York prosecutors in the Epstein case, Prince Andrew had sex with Roberts on the private island of Jeffrey Epstein in the Caribbean, then in her apartments in London and Manhattan.
The duke of York is also accused by another woman, Johana Sjoberg, of touching her breasts inappropriately. The palace denied the accusations against the eighth in the order of succession to the throne.
The facts are, however, overwhelming for the prince. He had met Epstein in the late 1990s through Ghislaine Maxwell, who was the girlfriend of the New York financier. According to the indictment, Maxwell was the chief recruiter of underage girls for Epstein’s friends.
In addition, a photograph shows Epstein and the prince in Central Park after Epstein’s release from prison for pedophilia. Andrew’s former wife, the duchess of York, admitted that Epstein had paid her debts of up to $15,000 at the request of the prince’s cabinet. The couple divorced in 1996.
Andrew has also been linked to the sons and sons-in-law of dictators like Tunisia’s Ben Aliand Libya’s Gaddafi. In July 2011, he was forced to resign from his post as British foreign trade representative due to his financial ties to disreputable businessmen from the former USSR.
What future does the monarchy have?
When Princess Diana died in 1997, the Queen was widely criticized for being cold, not as sad as everyone else, especially when the whole English public were lamenting her sudden death and cried in public. At that time, there were many calls to abolish or reform the monarchy.
Since then, the Queen and the royal family have taken care of their image. They have become more economical and closer to the people. People, now, can see much better that behind the crown and its coldness, is an elderly woman with a good sense of humor.
The pinnacle of that was in 2012. For the London Olympics, the Queen famously received James Bond at Buckingham Palace with her dogs. She was seen getting into a helicopter, and everyone thought she would parachute into the Olympic stadium. But suddenly she appeared in the royal box. The fact that she did something like that to represent the nation in a quirky style brought out her humor.
The Queen has always had a sense of humor, but now she and her family are much more aware that they have to look nice to the whole nation to be loved and cherished sincerely.
Especially with the chaos of Brexit, the Queen’s stability reminds politicians that they are in power just for a few years.
The Queen assumes this role of a constant figure who never expresses a political opinion except humorously with gusto and courage. A year ago, when she had to announce Brexit before Parliament, with a speech written by her government, she chose to wear a hat in the colors of Europe, blue with golden stars.
It was great! She has no right to express herself so she does it with much humor with such calculated gestures.
Every Tuesday she welcomes the prime minister to Buckingham Palace. There are plenty of very funny stories of those she liked and disliked.
The Queen is there to listen, to read the speeches written by the government at the opening of Parliament, and to announce the government’s program, but she has no influence on it.
She is just there to represent the nation, a bit like a living flag. But, all in all, the Queen is a landmark of a great country, once an empire over which the sun did not set.
The Queen is a living symbol of a world-famed democracy and culture. And most importantly she is the symbol of unity. She is loved by the whole world for her phlegmatic personality and colorful dresses and hats that express a boundless joie de vivre and internal peace and love. Long live the Queen.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial views.
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You can follow Professor Mohamed Chtatou on Twitter @Ayurinu.