Monday, 30 March 2020

Harry & Meghan To "Focus on New Chapter" In Final Sussex Royal Post

It feels an age since Harry and Meghan first announced plans to step down as senior royals, doesn't it? Two years ago we were watching a star couple excited to take on their roles and undertaking a slew of successful engagements and away days as we eagerly awaited the royal wedding. I don't believe for a moment either of them expected things to take such a difficult and painful turn. Whether you're an avid supporter of the Sussexes or an observer who has disagreed with their choices from the beginning, if we take bias out of the equation on both sides, we can all come together on the fact Meghan was put through a hellish time by the British press, from a newlywed adjusting to a completely new life and country, through her pregnancy and first months of motherhood. This combined with a toxic situation behind the scenes, warring royal aides whose level of leaking crossed the line of gross unprofessionalism long ago, and the breakdown of Harry and William's relationship all made for an untenable situation moving forward.


There has been a great deal of anger within the royal community and indeed on this blog about the move to Los Angeles. I disagree with the notion we have the right to feel offended regarding Harry and Meghan's decision about their own happiness and the wellbeing of their family. I'm not suggesting their departure was handled as well as it could have been; there were several factors including the publishing of their Sussex Royal website which were premature and I think they were possibly working with people who had their best interests at heart, but were not sufficiently knowledgeable in the workings of the monarchy to make the determinations outlined on the website.

Whilst acknowledging this, it's also important to note how they both must have felt by the time they left Windsor for Canada last November. They felt totally unsupported and alone within the institution and fed to the wolves by courtiers. The sense of hurt, frustration and sadness was laid bare in Tom Bradby's documentary last autumn. Bradby went so far as to write in The Times the whole story could leave the monarchy just about surviving, owing to racism and sexism within the Royal household. "I suspect the Royal family would carry British public opinion still — perhaps only just — but its international standing is a key part of its value to the British state. If that were to be tarnished, it could be very damaging indeed." Bradby is not only a respected journalist, he is one of very few both William and Harry have trusted for well over a decade.  It's easy to blame Meghan - it's become the norm now - before rushing to judgement we need to remember how much we don't know.  We may never know the full story about what really happened, but we do know anyone who thought Harry was going to watch his wife be treated so appallingly was very much mistaken.

It's important to remember too, when they moved to Canada it was with the hope they could continue serving as royals in a part-time fashion and represent the Crown in the Commonwealth country. Essentially it boiled down to all in or all out, and all out they had no role in Canada. They accepted this and gave up a huge amount for freedom from a very unhappy situation. The reality is to become financially independent the US is simply a better place for them to run their charitable entity and take on profitable work such as the Obamas have done through speaking engagements and potentially a production deal with a streamer. They are no longer working members of the Royal family, no longer representing the Queen, no longer using HRH. With that shift, we have to alter our own expectations and the lens through which we view them. I remember several years ago on my other blog, there was a very vocal portion of royal watchers who felt personally aggrieved we didn't see more of the then-baby Prince George. I remember feeling concerned about the level of entitlement and ownership some feel regarding the Royal family. So, in short, while their initial idea of basing life between the UK and the privacy of Vancouver Island was an excellent idea, the bottom line is they will absolutely need to be earning a steady stream of income moving forward.


Tomorrow, 1 April, marks the official end of their time as working members of the family.


To coincide with their final day using Sussex Royal, they shared the following message on Sussex Royal:

'As we can all feel, the world at this moment seems extraordinarily fragile. Yet we are confident that every human being has the potential and opportunity to make a difference—as seen now across the globe, in our families, our communities and those on the front line—together we can lift each other up to realise the fullness of that promise.
What’s most important right now is the health and wellbeing of everyone across the globe and finding solutions for the many issues that have presented themselves as a result of this pandemic.
As we all find the part we are to play in this global shift and changing of habits, we are focusing this new chapter to understand how we can best contribute.
While you may not see us here, the work continues.
Thank you to this community - for the support, the inspiration and the shared commitment to the good in the world. We look forward to reconnecting with you soon. You’ve been great!
Until then, please take good care of yourselves, and of one another.
 Harry and Meghan'

Omid Scobie reports:

'A spokesperson for the couple announced today that though they “would prefer that in the immediate weeks and months, the focus remains on the global response to COVID-19,” the Duke and Duchess of Sussex understand that there are outstanding questions relating to their future outside of the Royal Household, which officially begins on April 1.'
As has previously been reported, the couple will now spend the future focusing on their nonprofit organization, having shelved ideas last year to establish a U.K.-based Sussex Royal Foundation. Though Travalyst—Harry’s sustainable tourism venture, which was to be an anchor initiative for the foundation—will continue, all other aspects of the charity are being wound up.
“The Trustees of the Sussex Royal Foundation have been an invaluable resource to The Duke and Duchess, providing essential guidance,” said the spokesperson. “The Duke and Duchess are incredibly grateful for the Trustees’ support and counsel in recent months.”
Travalyst, one of Harry’s main focuses for the year ahead, is now being established as an independent nonprofit organization based in the United Kingdom.
Despite President Donald Trump’s breathless March 29 tweet about refusing the couple security in the United States, where they are now currently based, Harry and Meghan have already made their own private security arrangements. “For their safety and that of those protecting them, no further comment or guidance will be provided,” says the Sussex spokesperson, who adds that tabloid reports and speculation on security measures “interferes with operational ability and adds risk to all those receiving protection, those who are protecting them, and potentially to members of the public.”

We won't see much of the couple in the months ahead as they focus on family, plans for the future and setting up a permanent home in the US. Carolyn Durand writes:

'ELLE has learned that Meghan and Harry will continue to be focused on the issues closest to their heart including gender equity and education, mental health, conservation, and support for the military community.
Catherine St-Laurent, who was a former senior executive of Melinda Gates staff, has been tapped to become chief of staff to the Sussexes and serve as executive director of their new non-profit organization. St-Laurent, formerly the director of Pivotal Ventures, worked lovely with Melinda Gates, spearheading the foundation’s work on women and family planning initiatives including making sure contraception and birth control is available to women globally, regardless of circumstance.
Meghan and Harry confirmed the hiring, saying today, "We are proud to be joined by Catherine St-Laurent in this next chapter with us. Her leadership and proven track record working within two organizations that have tremendous impact in the world—the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Pivotal Ventures—make her an incredible asset and we are excited to have her on our team.”
St-Laurent expressed her excitement too, saying, “From our very first conversation, Harry and Meghan have expressed a deep commitment to improving lives and having a positive impact on society. Their perspective on the role that empathy, connection, and compassion can play in that mission is both deeply personal and incredibly timely. I am delighted and honored to be able to play a role in realizing their vision as they embark on this journey of learning, listening, and inspiring all of us to act.”
James Holt, a valued member of Harry and Meghan’s staff, will also stay on with the couple in a new role. The highly regraded Holt had served as communications director for the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Duke and Duchess of Sussex before moving to the Sussexes' household when the Foundation split.'

As previously revealed, it will all be reviewed early next year as agreed upon by the Sussexes and the Royal family. They will be represented by US firm Sunshine Sachs for now.


From Meghan's time in the UK, I will particularly remember in the earliest days, before she and Harry married, she chose to support, uplift and empower the women of the Hubb community following the devastating Grenfell tragedy. Many of you will remember Munira Mahmoud: "I lost my best friend Rania and her two children, I was the last person she talked to on the phone, and I remember that she was very happy that I had managed to escape, being aware that she was going to die. She was the type of person that is always thinking of others."


In the darkest days that followed, Murina and a group of women came together through cooking and then one day unexpectedly Meghan arrived. She described the Duchess as "generous, modest and kind" with her "feet firmly on the ground".


 In her foreword for Together, Meghan recalled meeting Munira:

'On my first visit, I asked Munira, the resident chef de cuisine (so to speak), how I could help. An apron was quickly wrapped around me, I pushed up my sleeves, and I found myself washing the rice for lunch. Munira’s sister-in-law, who had flown in from Egypt after Grenfell to help the family, helped me divide the correct amount of butter and fresh thyme to pour into the pot of rice bubbling away on the stovetop. All the aromas percolating in a kitchen filled with countless languages aflutter remains one of my most treasured memories from my first visit to the kitchen.'

Proceeds from Together enabled the Hubb to open seven days per week and to educate the women and enable them to take their careers further. Munira successfully launched Kina Mama, which provides nutritious food to local mothers and their families. Kina Mama is Swahili for ‘the mothers’. The ethos of the business follows that of the Hubb - women supporting women through food. They cater for parties, private occasions, weddings and community gatherings. In a time of great need like this, Munira and her team are providing free meals for our National Health Service staff as they work tirelessly in the weeks and months ahead.


This is the ripple effect Meghan so often spoke of and just one example of why she should be so proud of the work she did in the UK.


123 comments:

  1. Charlotte, if you were a member of the Royal Rota and other RR members wrote with the precision and care that you do, Harry and Meghan might never have left the UK. This is a couple bursting with talent and charisma and I will miss their engagements as working royals but look forward to their next phase. I'm certain that they will be successful in whatever they choose to do. Thank you SO much for your balanced and educational blog posts. Your work has been excellent is very much appreciated!

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    1. I echo the thanks which have been written here, Charlotte. I will always be a faithful reader. You have been a light in my life for nearly 10 years. I should have given thanks ages ago.

      Perhaps I'm not an unbiased observer as a 5th generation Californian - I realize in saying that, in much of the world, it's quite common to have many more generations rooted in the same place! So funny, this world. Well for here, that's gold rush days and a long time. :)

      I have read hrhduchesskate since the very beginning and it's only been this past year on mam that I have truly understood the deep cultural differences between the UK and here. Especially California. The past few days I've read the stereotypes on the blog and acknowledge that the media doesn't do us any favors in many ways.

      But for what it's worth, there isn't a place on earth that prides itself more than California in embracing those with little more than a dream and providing the ground to make those dreams happen. You see it in Silicon Valley, the orchards of our heartland, foothills of the Sierra gold, and yes, in Hollywood.

      They are not just coming to a place with paps & glossy blowouts. It's not just some letters on a hill. They are coming to a place with the infrastructure already built for mapping out dreams and making them happen. We boom and bust, but the promise is always here. And the proof is here too.

      I'm not completely naïve. They may come and bust. But it won't be for lack of trying on their part and it won't be for lack of support from the community around them. (Social media and press are not equal to our community.) They will not want for money. And they won't have to sell their souls to some profane shyster to have it. They have enough seed already and connections.

      There's massive nonprofits and tiny corners of charity all through the state. There's examples and inspiration everywhere. They might not make all they want happen, they might mess it up a few times along the way, but personally, they'll be fine. Trust, they won't be drinking 2 buck chuck from the bodega any time soon. (Unless that's all their security detail will buy for them, of course.)

      And even if it all goes sideways, they are giving Archie a place to grow up with the Pacific Ocean lapping in his front yard and towering mountains made for hiking in his back. And that ain't nothin.

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  2. Thank you, Charlotte, for this thoughtful post. It is a sad day. The royal family is losing a huge asset. But I think Meghan and Harry will be the fortunate ones in the end.

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  3. Charlotte, you said they will require a "steady stream of income" now. I think it's really important to remember that the appearance fee for just one event could very likely be the equivalent to multiple years worth of someone's average salary - just for ONE event. Can we please not forget that they already have a bucketload of money, and that a steady stream of income is just going to make them even richer millionaires?

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    1. And that Charles is giving them money.

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    2. Their security alone will cost at minimum 1.5 million dollars a year. That’s without the extra cost of security while traveling. So saying they need a steady stream of income is quite accurate.

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    3. No one is saying they arent wealthy, but with their security bill alone in the millions they will need a lot more than Harry's inheritance.

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    4. You mean like a very rich father? And an even richer Grandmother?
      You know all the money that was spent on salaries for staff in the UK for the Sussexes out of Charles' revenue from the Duchy of Cornwall -- can now be allocated to security for H&M&A. That's not under review by the government. The Mountbatten-Windsors can afford to look after Harry and family. And the income for Harry and Meghan's own small fortunes will support their everyday living. They don't need any government handouts. They don't need jobs. Do you really think Harry was living on his military salary? A 10 million inheritance from his mother earning just 4% interest every year is $400,000. His Grandmother gives all her Grandchildren a trust at 25 (which is what Beatrice and Eugenie got as well) - Harry probably has at least 20 million in trusts earning interest - $800,000. Given that most royals are "comped" their cars and clothes and restaurant bills or given huge discounts and have access to private jets from aristocrats and generous friends - they spend very little of their own money. I think they will be okay.

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    5. If they have all that money why do they need financial support of Charles? And why the UK government does not want to comment about whether they will have security or not?

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    6. Why do you care what a wealthy person does with their private money? Every wealthy family in the world shares their money among generations. That’s what keeps them wealthy. The point of this is they are transitioning out of public funding for their lives (houses, offices, security etc). Once that is final it’s not the public’s business anymore. Also governments tend not to comment on security arrangements for anyone, that defeats the purpose of security.

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    7. If government was not paying I don’t think there would be any problem to say “the UK is no longer responsible for their security” instead of a “no comment”. I don’t care if Charles if giving them money if that is his private money, but don’t sell us the story that they’re financially independent when they’re not. As Meghan said, fair reports.

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    8. The financially independent was always in the context of public money though. They’re independent from taxpayer money. No story being sold. What people do with their private money is not anyone’s business and they don’t need to call it or not call it anything to please you. Financially independent meant “of taxpayer funds”. Beyond that it is between the family to work out.

      And governments won’t comment on security esp not to say they aren’t responsible. That will only be a clue for anyone plotting an attack, I’m not being a conspiracy theorist but I mean this is pretty basic. Harry will still be the Kings son (and eventually brother) whether he has a public role or not. That puts a target on him and his family. Even they had private security contractors they would have to work with the government to share information. I don’t think you’ll ever see the detailed accounting of how this will break down. I assume it may still be government run through the RPO’s in some fashion but perhaps costs reimbursed by the family privately.

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  4. Beautiful post Charlotte. I appreciate your effort to always provide meaningful information on your blog!

    I have mixed emotions, I’m disappointed that despite the intelligent & hard working ethic that Meghan brought to the BRF, it wasn’t appreciated the way it should have been. Meghan’s continuous professionalism & kindness will stand the test of time. In my opinion, Harry & Meghan are a terrific match, their love, energy & commitment to work is excellent!

    As a British-Canadian citizen & longtime royalist, I’m extremely disappointed in the way Harry & Meghan have been treated! Harry served his country on the frontlines, he should not have been stripped of his ceremonial titles! Shame on all those who decided to punish Harry like this. He had a right to defend his wife & child from abuse. It is unforgivable that the attacks on Meghan didn’t even stop when she was pregnant & postpartum!

    If it’s true that they’re in LA or somewhere in California, then I’m happy that they’ve returned to the place Meghan has spoken lovingly about. Several years ago, Harry also spent time in California, now he and Meghan can introduce Baby Archie to a place that means a lot to them. My royalist days have come to an end, however, I will fully support Harry and Meghan in their future endeavours!

    Dena

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    1. @Dena,
      Well said! I completely agree!
      Renee

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    2. I agree. The BRF not accepting Meghan, is them not accepting me, or my biracial children. I loved the romance of the BRF for my entire life, no longer! If they don't find some way to bring Harry and Meghan back, let the British monarchy be abolished!

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    3. I have to agree. As an American I had always loved the RF and was introduced to them by my Mom. I loved the pomp and circumstance and the glamour. As a black women I am so very deeply disappointed in how awful Meghan was treated. It was uncalled for and deeply disturbing. I wish Harry and Meghan the absolute best and will continue to cheer their progress.
      Thank you especially Charlotte for your incredibly unbiased journalism. I found this website because of Meghan marrying into the family and I follow Kate as well. I am going to continue to support both of your sites because of the knowledgable insights you provide as well as the fashion. I am trying to keep an open mind about the royal family but it is really hard. All they had to do was publicly support their brother son grandson and the woman and child he loves. The fact that they chose not to says so much about their character.
      To moving forward.

      Lemonypeachsnapple

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  5. Dear Charlotte
    Thank you, as always, for your balanced reporting. I agree with you that it is not our place to be offended by Harry and Meghans decisions for their future. I first heard about Meghan here on your blog and it is nearly the only place I choose to read about her.
    I am still impressed by how much H & M accomplished together in less than 2 years. I have every confidence that their passion, energy and intelligence will continue to propel them forward in meaningful ways.
    Renee

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  6. It has been reported in one of Daily Mail's articles, that there had been planning royal tour for Harry and Meghan to Mongolia and South Korea, before they announced their stepping down. Do you think it's possible for Kate and William to take the tour over after the crisis with coronavirus?

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    1. Definitely not. The world is going to be in a financial mess with millions of unemployed people and others mourning their dead. It costs a lot to have a royal tour and no government could justify spending money on it. They would be better to knuckle down and share some of their wealth.

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  7. Thank.you. Charlotte. As a!ways, you speak truthfully and with thoughtfulness and love. Readers of both your blogs are so fortunate. Thanks also for resetting expectations of what we'll get from The Sussexes for the immediate future. I'll just be thinking with smiles of their celebration of their beloved Archie's first birthday!

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  8. I think they were possibly working with people who had their best interests at heart, but were not sufficiently knowledgeable in the workings of the monarchy to make the determinations outlined on the website.

    I have to firmly challenge this statement. You cannot talk about how they handled the situation asserting that their team did not understand how the monarchy works without taking into account what they were up against.

    Tom Brady stated that it was never their intention to make anything public until internal discussions had been held. But the palace leaked the information to the media and H&M needed to take control of the narrative.

    A lot has been written and scrutinized about H&M but nobody is putting the firm under scrutiny for:
    1. Failing in their duty of care to protect Meghan against the lies and character assassination
    2. Colluding with the media to bully Meghan
    3. Stealing Meghan's ideas and using them to uplift the others while demonizing her.

    At the end of the day Harry and Meghan did not steal, kill or hurt anyone. They did not lie or cheat or betray. They simply took a moral position and refuses to kowtow to a corrupt family and the media.

    Your blog was one of the first I came across when I started following H&M's story and I applaud you for the work you put into this but I can very safely say that as a member of the Commonwealth I am disgusted that my country has any affiliation with the Queen and the BFF. And I am going to out every effort that I can muster to campaign for the dissolution of the Commonwealth. I despise the BFF and everything they stand for and Harry and Meghan will always have my admiration for refusing to align themselves with their moral decadence

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    1. Can you explain how exactly the RF collided with the media and stole Meghan’s ideas to uplift another member of the firm? Thank you.

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    2. I totally disagree with you.
      There is no indication the RF did any of this.
      Also having read HM many statements they have repeatedly stated that the RF supports them. Do you call them liars?

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    3. I'd be curious to know what colluding the RF did with the media and who was stealing Meghan's ideas and using them to uplift others while demonizing her?

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    4. Wow. I read a lot of hate and anger but sadly less factual points. Sounds like a Meghan hate page just in reverse. We have absolutely no proof of who exactly was about to leak what. We don’t know what happened behind close doors- privately and professionally but you seem to be very happy to cherry pick leaks and info to just get your opinion confirmed. Can I remind you that Harry and Meghan NEVER spoke ill of the BRF. And frankly I believe they would be horrified to read that.

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  9. I’m glad they’re going and so happy for them. As a member of the Commonwealth Meghan’s experience has really opened up my eyes to how little the UK & the British Royal Family has changed in its racism, how clueless people are about it (their denials are endless) and thus their unwillingness to change.

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  10. Charlotte...I have commented only once on this blog but I am always checking for your thoughtful posts.

    I have said elsewhere that I am a supporter of the Sussexes...not neccesarily a fan but right now I fear for them. They have made some mistakes. I feel that they should not have made public their proposal for leaving the family and I never felt that the half in half out would work.

    But it is not acceptable for the press to be writing the things that they write . Stories that are so blatantly untrue. I am sure though that Harry and Meghan would have stayed if it wasn't clear that the stories were coming from within the family.

    I don't want to say it but I feel that it is the intention of the Royal family to break them so that they will come running back.

    I hope not. I wish Harry and Meghan and Archie well.

    Even now ..they have left, they are repaying monies spent on Frogmore Cottage, Harry has given up his military patronages. They will basically have to start over..yet the stories are still coming from the palaces, mostly Kensington.

    If these stories would stop maybe they wouldn't need the kind of security that they do. As it stands, there is a bitterness and hostility in all of them that is heartbreaking because I keep thinking that even if they don't care what happens to Meghan, Harry and Archie are they blood relatives. Yet it seems as though the stories are written to rile up the masses.

    I do hope that they remain safe and I also hope that if they plan to work behind the scenes that the media will leave them alone.

    I feel that with the Carona Virus and all that is happening that I have to take a break from the Harry and Meghan story.

    Thank you again Charlotte for being a voice of reason.

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  11. Denise in Virginia31 March 2020 at 00:37

    Dear Charlotte, thank you for yet another lovely post. It's been a day filled with grim news everywhere we turn, and you remain a bright spot we can count on. Though you and I have never met, I'm struck by how similar you must be to Meghan herself- you're both unfailingly positive in a world awash in negativity, and you both make the world better in your own ways. It can't be easy dealing with the unpleasantness that comes your way on this blog (though why do the detractors always show up when the name is Mad About Meghan?) Thank you again for all your hard work. You've made things better and, especially today, that was something I really needed.

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    1. Susan in Florida1 April 2020 at 00:52

      Well written Denise ! Charlotte you are a level head and very fair. Thank you for how hard you work

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  12. Well written. Thank.

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  13. I wish Harry and Meghan the very best. It takes tremendous courage and strength to have lived their lives the last three years -- years that should have been their happiest. All they wanted to do was to work together to make the world a better place. Hopefully they will be able to do that now with less interference from courtiers and official royal media outlets.

    Thank you, Charlotte. I look forward to your continued coverage when they re-emerge in their new roles.

    R

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  14. It is very sad. You are so right in your assessment. Most of us did come I. With high Hope's for them and it is a damned shame they felt the need to leave. I'm sorry it came to that, and I hope they are happy in their new life. I also hope the royals take some time to think about what they have lost, as I think a little spark has just died.

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  15. The saddest part of it all is the breakdown in communication and family ties. It doesn’t really matter how they choose to make an income that’s their choice. It’s their life now, in their hands. I hope that there is a sliver left in the lines of communication if only for the kids to get to know each other.

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  16. Many thanks for being such a fair and rational observer of this whole situation, Charlotte.

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  17. I sent a memo to myself -- read what Charlotte writes and then read it again, and then don't read anything else. Thank you so much!

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  18. Becca in Colorado31 March 2020 at 02:52

    WELL SAID!

    No one has to approve of their every move, but come on and recognize what they’ve been through, what they continue to go through as they *still* battle hatred from many sides, and give them some time to put their next steps together. Good riddance.

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  19. The best part about this couple, is just like they chose each other for marriage, the public is also updated with their decision and plans at turning points of their life. The best defining fine line is the update that “no royal sources” will represent them. So many distorted articles had been written in the name of “royal sources”.

    I had been reading the MAM post since yesterday (announcement on move to LA). What crossed my mind regarding their updated status, expectation and posts from disappointed commentators of MAM readers, is best expressed in Charlotte’s opinion on this very post.

    “They are no longer working members of the Royal family, no longer representing the Queen, no longer using HRH. With that shift, we have to alter our own expectations and the lens through which we view them.”

    I found the news of their move to LA as interesting as their day of their engagement for marriage. I felt full of an interesting suspense mostly good. It is also interesting how their move from UK after the last engagement (PH) had to be rushed before Canada closed borders for non-essential travel. Their move from Canada to USA also happened to be rushed before USA closed the border to Canada. Their move may be for work, taxes, visa issues, climate, security etc. Meghan’s mother is 20 miles away from where they are assumed to have “settled”. As young parents and considering the current fragile times with global health, it is good news they have her nearby, and she has them close enough especially for Archie’s sake. Their experience of leaving him in Canada while they travelling could be another reason for their move. All possible reasons make a lot of sense.

    When their expected “Hybrid Royal” status was denied, so did their plan for Canada. In fact Charlotte had expressed this as well. One best thing about her blog is when she posts her transparent, balanced and fearless opinion. Although she is a royalist, the encouraging part, is she has her own mind based on factual information. There are some of us who are not exactly royalists / and yet find it as an interesting part of government for better or worse. It is good to find an independent mind without being totally swept in what one is reared to believe in. In my case because I had seen the good and bad in monarchy as well as the good and bad in democracy, as if by default I try to understand both. A corrupted democracy is a threat and so is a controlling / “absolute” monarchy. The UK system seems to have found a reasonably mutual and acceptable co-existence in two systems in a Constitutional Monarchy. Palace intrigue historically and may be by its very form has its own kind of defined / undefined power structure, class system, culture, conspiracy, the good, the bad and the ugly as well. Each human being’s life is lived once on earth. At this point, it is reasonable to wish Harry, Meghan and Archie the healthy best (Hollywood can be wonderland with positive results and/ or treacherous). It is good Harry and Meghan had continued to have a trusted professional member in UK. Basically they changed a country and work away from the system which protected them, as well as “freedom” from the “fourth” state which used them.

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  20. Thinking back to the thousands of words we have all read about Harry and Meghan since the announcement of their departure as senior members of the RF I think none have said it better then you dear Charlotte in this moment in time. There is little left to be said as this chapter ends tonight and begins anew tomorrow. I truly believe the best is yet to be for the Sussex Family and wish them great peace of mind and happiness.

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  21. Happy Homecoming, Meghan! And welcome to America, Harry and Archie. This wasn’t their vision, but here they are, forging a new path. Neither of them are ones to wallow in what is not to be. They have each other and a very powerful love for one another and the world. Surely, once they are settled, we will marvel with them at what they are able to do. I for one cannot wait to see their vision for their new way of approaching philanthropy.

    I might also add a consideration that, regardless of personal preferences or opinions, it just remains for this community to wish them well, even if it is bittersweet, or even just bitter. We’ve all invested a portion of our days and our mental landscape in this following this couple’s journey. It may sound out strange, but I think we should use that inclination to invest in them to wish them well, in whatever active or contemplative forms (prayer, good thoughts and vibes, whatever...) we practice. After all, almost all of us agree that they are forces for good. And humanity needs all possible good, now and always. But especially now.

    Again: Welcome home, Meghan! And welcome to the USA, Harry and Archie! You’re going to do amazing things here, and we can’t wait to watch!

    KB

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  22. Good points Charlotte. But I think to say that they were alone and unsuportted by the royal family behind the scenes is not heavily true. They could chose to stay with the family at Balmoral last summer. I believe firmly that the royals were supportive with them since the beginning, but they began to distance themselves. Did they give HM a chance to show them publicly support? Or did H&M expect HM's public praises and palace statements against the media? If HM and the palace put out statements could it stop the media bullying?(We can remember that statement issued by Kensington Palace against the racism, sexism and harassment towards Meghan in 2016. The things only went to worst) This are my fair questions. I'm said with they departure and excited at the same time. I want to hear about they new endeavors. I'm so hopeful. I will wait.(Don't forget guys: english is not my language. Sorry for errors)

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    1. Thank you! Without a doubt, more and more explicit support could be envisioned, I don't doubt that. But then, people who are so critical now were so over the moon about Charles and how he embraced Meghan. Isn't that contradictory?, also, when has the RF spoken out? When George was being mocked for liking dancing and for being timid, did anyone request a public show of support?
      In my mind, what is most important is the inside of the family. If the family wasn't supporting there, I have no qualms about proclaiming any family member horribly rrwaten and entitled to leave. But if we are saying that a family than never speaks out about anything, didn't speak out on the outside but embraced with affection the actual person, then I don't agree with blaming the RF. It's not the fair narrative. If they wantee to leave, that should be enough: they are free human beings with independent will. And should be respected as such. No need to justify a decision by blaming others

      Delete
    2. Anon 15:22, your statement "no need to justify a decision by blaming others" resonates strongly about what is wrong with the world these days. We all see through different eyes, can't we at least be respectful enough to appreciate the other's point of view, even if it doesn't meet with ours? I too remember all the media coverage on how Charles and the RF seemingly embraced Meghan and made exceptions to rules, how quickly we all forget when the tide turns. I also don't agree with blaming the RF, none of it is fair narrative without the facts, of which we know nothing but what we are fed by the media. Why does there have to be sides in a family decision, its their lives and we need to respect it, move on, and wish success and happiness for all invovled.

      Delete
    3. A couple of years ago people were saying here that Meghan was TQ’s favorite because she invited her to her house before marriage, to her train, Charles walked her to the aisle...now TQ, Charles and William are racist and jealous of Meghan. Sigh.

      Delete
  23. I hope they can finally find their peace in LA. I always thought Doria would be a great supporter for them so I guess it is wonderful to have her around. Maybe the concentration of known and famous people will also help them stay under the radar and feel more normal.

    The PR side of things is a bit disappointing for me again, though. I feel that to state that they want the focus to be on Covid-19 and therefore are taking time off (out of the public sphere) is insensitive and entitled to say the least. To be clear - I understand they want to disappear for a bit and focus on themselves. I wish they did it much earlier, still within the RF, before any definitive steps were made. The problem for me is the optics they are trying to engage here, as if they could somehow "overshadow" the pandemic if they continued being in public sphere? It sounds very weird to me, because of how bad and big of a problem the pandemic is. I don't think that the world's focus would slip if Harry and Meghan did some public work.

    Plus, their commitment to being a trustful source and support for the time of the pandemic is gone, too. Again it shows a big and apparently unplanned shift in their course. Their team should have planned better.

    Thank you Charlotte for always being a great source on the Sussexes. Even though at some times, I did not understand their actions, there were always amazing moments to follow, be it fashion-wise, lovestory-wise or just getting to know royals and royalty a little beter.
    Ella

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    1. I think optics is often confused with opinion. If I never see the word optics again I will be a happy woman indeed. You interpret their decision to stay private during this time as bad optics. Plenty of people see it this opposite way and appreciate them realizing the current moment of global emergency is not about them. I think it would be quite tone deaf to roll out a new foundation with all the associated PR in the midst of this challenging time.

      I also think you are making a rather large assumption that this is an "apparently unplanned" shift. Were you aware of their original plans? All they've ever said is that more information about their future endeavors would be forthcoming. Nowhere did they say it would be announced on March 31 as their royal role ends.

      Delete
    2. Anon, as unplanned shift I meant the abrupt end to being a source of Covid information. Yes, I was aware of their plans, because they literally said they would offer facts from "trusted experts" etc., days later they are no longer providing us with information or planning to do so. Actually they are doing the opposite by "disappearing" due to Covid.
      Ella

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  24. Thank you Charlotte for your words. These past few weeks have been work filled without much time to decompress. Lately though it has been harder to enjoy my favorite blog as the comments have been a minefield. Ordinarily, I love a good energetic debate- when it’s logical and done in a good hearted way. That hasn’t been the case for awhile. How can I debate when people put up baseless conjectures and misinformation lifted out of the tabloids? I don’t know why people who clearly don’t like Meghan are here, except to give this woman no safe space.

    Neither Meghan nor Harry are perfect beings and have had to muddle and fumble at times trying to sort themselves in a sea of uncertainty. Unlike other royals, they didn’t get protection from the royal establishment. The tabloids and haters were relentless in their attacks. It has been a war on these two. A war that has migrated onto this blog.

    I’m tired. In these uncertain times, I had hoped people can leave some of the meanness aside. I don’t understand why if people dislike so many things about Meghan and are so disappointed, why spend time on this blog? I’m not even sure how people are so comfortable thinking they can get into Meghan’s mind or Harry’s or other members of the royal family and tell us all about their inner dialogues. But without actually knowing any of these people. It’s a weird obsession and displays an unhealthy sense of ownership of people that bodes ill in this fandom world. It’s not like one needs to shower endless praise and adoration as on other blogs about their favorite celebs or royals, but at least be fair and used facts when critical. It’s not even clear what these people want of this couple except that they don’t succeed.

    To counter the negativity, I’ll end in that I hope Meghan and Harry will find meaningful success in their work and sustainable financial independence. In doing so, they may help develop a blueprint for the next generation of lesser royals to navigate so they too may find financial and social independence in a much slimmer monarchy. It would be something healthy minds would want for anyone whether they are royal or not.

    Stay safe and be well out there.

    - Martine





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    1. I agree with your points - I couldn't have said it better.
      I also don’t know why people who clearly don’t like Meghan flock to the posts about her, except as you say "to give Meghan no safe space".

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    2. Very well said! Thank you

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  25. I remain sad at the appalling treatment Meghan received while living in the UK. I wish them all the very best. It is indeed not enough just to survive. Go well Meghan, Harry and baby Archie. 💙💙💙

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  26. Thank you for your thoughtful and sensitive post today. The poisonous effects of racism are deeply embedded world-wide, not just in the U.K. as we have so clearly seen. I grieve for its effects on Meghan and Harry, and for the loss of the vision and energy they brought to the U.K. and to the world. I hope that I will still be able to follow them here. My blessings to Meghan, Harry and baby Archie as they create their new lives together.

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  27. I guess this means the end of posts on this blog so I do want to say that you have done a wonderful job of being truthful and sensible in reporting and discussing this fraught situation. For me, it is just sad to see the two brothers basically ‘divorced’. I am disappointed in William. He should have supported his brother but he seems to have chosen his role as future king instead so, all in all, I no longer hold the royal family in much esteem. The romantic aura around them has dissipated. They’re just a family with problems which I don’t think they handled well and it will be hard for me to be interested in them. Thank you,Charlotte, for being one source who has been respectful to everyone, including your readers.

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    1. Tammy from California31 March 2020 at 19:07

      I think your comment quite unfair to William. No one knows what really happened.

      Delete
    2. What an unfair assessment of William! How can you know what actually happened between the two brothers? Should he have stepped aside as future king so that his brother may be the king? If it was his 'choice' to stay in line for his role as king, then he has that right to do so, just like Harry has his 'right' to step back from royal duties. It's so easy to judge without facts anymore. You are right though in that they are 'just a family with problems' who may not have 'handled well' their issues, but not all of us can handle ours out of the public eye and the press.

      Delete
    3. I agree Tammy. To speculate that William did anything wrong, is just more tabloid news. The fact is, Harry found a way out of the royal family with his marriage to a bright and talented wife. They made the hasty decision to bail out without even giving anyone time to react. Look how long it took Kate to be accepted and grow into her role as senior royal. He wanted out, he's out, and I wish them the very best.

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    4. I agree Anon 16.01. He should have done things, which he didn't.

      Delete
    5. I agree with the others that it is wrong to speculate on what William may or may not have done wrong.

      I have two older brothers & they have varying styles in giving me advice. If it’s true that William cautioned Harry to take things slower with Meghan, I could easily see Harry overreacting & assuming William didn’t mean well by it. It’s frustrating to be about the same age as Harry, seeing my brothers happy with their wives & children, seeing so many friends happily married & parenting, while I’m single and childless. I can understand if William did caution Harry to take things slower to help Meghan better understand what she was getting into by being in a relationship with a royal (let’s not forget how Kate was dragged through the coals during their courting and early marriage, she may not have had it as bad but she didn’t have it easy either). And I could understand Harry being afraid of losing yet another girlfriend, and being single forever.

      We have no idea of what really happened between the brothers & I have a feeling that both were at fault.

      Delete
    6. I agree anon 16:01. What happened to Meghan was outright racism and sexism. She’s just one of many victims targeted by groups in British society.

      By doing nothing to help her, the royal family is complicit and helpless. This tolerance by the British government and ruling class is why xenophobia and the racist policy against the Windrush generation prevailed. The Royals have a moral obligation if it wants to reign over its kingdom and the Commonwealth. The musn’t rock the boat is useful because it’s a good policy to hide behind and do nothing. But stiff upper lip and turning its royal back aren’t supportive actions to HMG royal subjects.. They are actions of abandonment. They are empty gestures and speaks to an institutional hollowness. There’s a depth of such deep betrayal here that many readers who love the royals for the gossips, fashion, and photogenic royal tours don’t seem to understand.

      Maybe it’s asking too much of these royals. They have no power. They aren’t leaders who make policies. They aren’t supposed to be political and yet their do nothing acts are political as are the people the royals chose to surround themselves with. They aren’t the Kardashians, yet their lives are treated as such by the royal rota. Their attempt to be noble happens under perfect conditions. This pandemic exposed many societal fault lines, of privileges and great neglect, of science and peddler of lies and half truths, of the people who really matter and who lead in times of crisis. And if anything which gives me hope in all of this is that it’s the common people who lead, who stepped up when their leaders won’t, who sacrificed and paid societal dues for the common good.

      -The magic disappeared

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  28. very nice post Charlotte. I have to say I disagree with some of you wrote. I was not a fan of the move to los angeles and it wasn't handled right but i feel no entitlement or ownership of the royal family. I am a royalist and a royal subject as a citizen of Canada and i think it is ok to critize royal family when you a subject. Prince Harry is no longer a member of the royal family and you can still like him and Meghan but think their actions are not correct. I think they have handled things very poorly in the royal exit and I think it is ok to say so but still wish them the best in their future.

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    1. Their move from Canada to LA, IMO was probably dictated by their immigration status in Canada (which was probably six-months tourist visa), and the fact the Canada/US borders were closing. That's within their rights.

      Delete
    2. I agree with you Melissa. I think they handled things poorly and in haste. Everyone makes mistakes and hopefully they’ll learn from this experience. I think the royal family made a lot of mistakes too and hope they learn as well. Honestly, I feel that the “magic” has worn off for me and will probably not follow them I like
      I used to. Though I will still follow Harry and Meghan and wish them the best.

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    3. Prince Harry is still a member of the royal family. Full Stop. For that matter so are his wife and son. Communications directly from the Queen confirm this. They chose not to have official roles. He's the Queen's grandson, will be the King's son, and eventually the King's brother. Nothing about his official working status changes that.

      Delete
    4. You are right, when you are a subject you have a right to have say in things, Harry is though no longer a working royal, so you have no right to critize (your word) his decision and what is best for his family. You can plenty of royals to find fault with if you want.

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    5. I quite agree with you Melissa!

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    6. Melissa, you are truly misinformed Harry is and will always be Diana and Charles son. He will forever be a member of the Royal Family. Choosing not to work for the family firm has absolutely nothing to do with blood.

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    7. Thanks all for your input. I appreciate it. Anett I have no interest to fight with you just stated my opinion have been a huge supporter of meghan and harry from the beginning you can see it here from Charlotte's first post but im entitled to critize any public figure and have an opinion on them . I still wish them well and only the best.

      Delete
    8. ps yes of course prince harry is still a member of the royal family forgive my verbage i am well aware he is I meant to say non-working royal. kind regards

      Delete
    9. Given the fact that "They are no longer working members of the Royal family, no longer representing the Queen, no longer using HRH", why should they stay in Canada or go live in any of the commonwealth countries?

      Yes, it is true that some people think they are entitled to criticize/opinion on public figures or anyone for that matter. But the question is: do our criticism/opinion really matter? Public figures do not consult the public to make decisions for them - nor should they. I certainly read about it only for entertainment but do not take it personal because my opinion does not really matter since it's a very personal choice to move/change careers/or how they do it, only that individual needs to make for themselves and their family and it does not affect me.

      Delete
  29. Harry will always be a member of the royal famil.my. His parents, brother, and/or grandparents will not cease to be family because he no longer works in the family business. It’s important to remember that.

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    1. Very true and I corrected my wrong use of words above. I knew this and wrote it incorrectly thank you !

      Delete
  30. I love seeing the faces of the women with whom Meghan is interacting. She just fits in and everyone looks so comfortable and included. As an East Coaster, I enjoyed hearing what people wrote about LA. It is indeed a huge area and full of the energy and creativity that I associate with NYC. Aside from being near Doria (and seriously how important is it for Archie to be near a close family member who has time to see him often?), I can see them settling down and also spending time in NYC. They said they will split their time between the US and the UK, so they may spend months in the UK, and that would be a more relaxing time if they stay in Windsor. I hope with time, they will be so involved with loving friends and respectful colleagues that they will feel comfortable in their new life. Really, life has been "new" for them for years now!

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  31. Being born a prince or princess to the direct heir of the throne means even in pregnancy and birth, their lives are in the public domain. There are benefits to be sure, but if you are the spare and further down the list, that life is akin to being on the royal dole. Elizabeth’s children have fared better financially as she has taken care of them, bought them large estates, bestowed various charities and good works to keep them on the payroll and adorned in titles and ribbons.

    According to Charles and William, that welfare is coming to an end for the next generation. This only adds to the dysfunction. What do you do when your family used you as a child to prop up the myth, to put out the cute human PR factor, to round out the photo ops and feed the gossip grist mill from birth and then as adults, you have outgrown that role?

    Can such publicity go away when as adults they must make their own way and find a life of their own? Will the public and tabloids be able to leave them alone? In peace and without security? Obviously not. Harry didn’t have that choice. Even before he was born, his life was already dissected and gossiped about. People and media groups made a great deal of money off Harry’s presence. Truth matters little with this enterprise. Harry was a good product that sold well. Now that he married an inappropriate woman, they are an even better cash cow. Hate and drama sells better than calm and boring. It doesn’t matter to these people that fanatic fans and haters may be gunning for Harry and his family. That just add to the ratings much like Diana’s death.

    Harry broke a royal rule. He married an outsider. A mixed race woman who was self-made and not a blank canvas. It wasn’t going to end well given the backdrop of the country’s xenophobia, pump up nationalism and a monarchy yearning to rebuild the empire via the Commonwealth again. Harry and by marriage, Meghan and their son, Archie, are being punished for being “not one of us”.

    My interest in this family started with a love of world history. My extended family spread across the world, some live in former British colonies whose legacy isn’t one of admiration and my parents, in the rebellious states. In everyday life and society, the BRF doesn’t evoke, except when they make the occasional headlines in the entertainment/culture section. I’m the odd person out with my interest in Diana’s work and the cultural ramification of Meghan’s presence in the BRF.

    The royal family wasn’t around when the West Coast of N. America was burning two summers ago. Or when a category 5 hit the island. Or in the pandemic today. That’s not their role. The royals are cheerleaders. In the UK, they are big on the charity circuit. But many economic NHS refugees who have found home in the states or Canada have told me, years of brutal austerity have deconstructed British society. The safety net failed. Charities are nice, but they cannot make up for huge gaps where billions are needed. That’s a governmental and political failing. A failing the royal family cannot fix for its subject. These ex pats don’t plan to go back to England. My husband’s British cousin also look to send his children abroad for studies and work. Somewhere in the midst of this change, the BRF is figuring its new role and a much slimmer working monarchy. Just like the rest of us as we navigate a recession to come, a world where some governments aren’t always there to lead and support their citizens. Countries where corporations and the very privileged class come before the common folks. People look to new opportunities and new leaders and that makes for Interesting times indeed.

    -Martine

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    1. Martine, the disparity of wealth distribution is a pandemic of its own throughout the world, not unique to just the UK. The wealthy just keep getting wealthier and the gap is becoming wider and wider and harder to bridge. It exists largely everywhere and the West Coast of N. America is no exception, California, Hollywood, Los Angeles are also part of that large disparity. Our enamorization of following old world royalty and new world royalty are about to change as the reality of day to day faces many. The BRF is absolutely trying to figure out its new role in a world that is yet to be defined, that's called survival and we all must navigate those stormy waters.

      Delete
    2. Goodness me, Martine. NHS refugees, to borrow your term, leave the UK to go and work in the States because the American healthcare system has more money? Yes, many of their hospitals do, but that's because it's not a public healthcare system. The NHS is for EVERY UK citizen whereas the American system is for the insured, and millions are uninsured. Maybe think about that the next time you decide to pontificate on the subject!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous at 23.21, I think Martine mentioned some time ago that she is a nurse, she would know about health systems. Thank you to all healthcare workers, we stay at home for you (and ourselves).

      Maggie – short for magpie

      Delete
  32. Thank you Charlotte, for a very nice, well-reasoned, and poignant post. We all wish Harry, Meghan, and Archie a happy, healthy, and purposeful life. It is a shame that their vision for their life did not coexist peacefully within the confines of Kensington Palace or Windsor Castle. Meghan had a major upheaval in her life 2 years ago. She may have thought that she could handle it. The Royal Family have never been an effusive bunch and the Queen and her older courtiers are of the Keep Calm and Carry On generation. When things get tough, they just get on with it. Don't expect a pat on the back, just do it. And Meghan did things beautifully. All of that, plus plan a wedding , renovate a house and have a baby- very impressive. It is my hope that they head off into the California sunset modelling themselves like the Obamas and the Gates rather than the Kardashians. If they do this right ( and I believe their intentions are good), they will extend the reach of the British Monarchy around the world and the Commonwealth in a more meaningful and relevant way.

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  33. Charlotte, I have faithfully read both your blogs for years and I am so appreciative of the tone and approach you have taken. Thank you so much. I really don’t know how you’ve managed it; you must be a very special person.

    I just wonder when we as a world decided to stop cheering others on and instead judge others from afar? H&M are real people and the way others treat them have real consequences - intended and unintended. I wish them all the best as they ride out the coronavirus like the rest of us and plan for what’s next. I look forward to watching them rise.

    MN girl

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  34. Thank you for your post Charlotte. I have read a lot of great comments at this point and agree with many. It’s crazy to begrudge them to leave the royal job. For me it was never about the fact or the why but the how. The saddest thing is the strain in their private relationships but I do hope that with time and space they all can overcome it and rekindle. But if or if not - it’s not our place to judge.
    As they want to concentrate on their private life and working out a solid plan for their future I can only wish they find the solutions they are looking for. Some quotes sound good. Taking time before the next step is a good decision after a long time of blurry and fast statements. Hiring St-Laurent sounds promising but holding onto Mr. Hold might not be wise. A clearer and more pointed communication strategy is desperately needed and I feel he didn’t do a good job in the past. I find it sad, that they couldn’t come up with a new handle in time though (the name change was clear for a long time now) to provide the facts and truth in the current crisis they promised. That ended quickly.
    Omid Scobie’s comment surprised me. Why is he harping on about the titles again? I sometimes do wonder if he actually supports them or puts those little remarks in so people that are unhappy about it can go on about it.
    I wish them the very best for their future and I will be very happy to read about them here again.
    C.

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  35. I echo the thanks which have been written here, Charlotte. I will always be a faithful reader. You have been a light in my life for nearly 10 years. I should have given thanks ages ago.

    Perhaps I'm not an unbiased observer as a 5th generation Californian - I realize in saying this, in much of the world, it's quite common to have many more generations rooted in the same place! So funny, this world. Well for here, that's gold rush days and a long time. :)

    I have read hrhduchesskate since the very beginning and it's only been this past year on mam that I have truly understood the deep cultural differences between the UK and here. Especially California. The past few days I've read the stereotypes on the blog and acknowledge that the media doesn't do us any favors in many ways.

    But for what it's worth, there isn't a place on earth that prides itself more than California in embracing those with little more than a dream and providing the ground to make those dreams happen. You see it in Silicon Valley, the orchards of our heartland, foothills of the Sierra gold, and yes, in Hollywood.

    They are not just coming to a place with paps & glossy blowouts. It's not just some letters on a hill. They are coming to a place with the infrastructure already built for mapping out dreams and making them happen. We boom and bust, but the promise is always here. And the proof is here too.

    I'm not completely naïve. They may come and bust. But it won't be for lack of trying on their part and it won't be for lack of support from the community around them. (Social media and press are not equal to our community.) They will not want for money. And they won't have to sell their souls to some profane shyster to have it. They have enough seed already and connections.

    There's massive nonprofits and tiny corners of charity all through the state. There's examples and inspiration everywhere. They might not make all they want happen, they might mess it up a few times along the way, but personally, they'll be fine. Trust, they won't be drinking 2 buck chuck from the bodega any time soon. (Unless that's all their security detail will buy for them, of course.)

    And even if it all goes sideways, they are giving Archie a place to grow up with the Pacific Ocean lapping in his front yard and towering mountains made for hiking in his back. And that ain't nothin.

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  36. Dear Charlotte,

    It isn’t an easy task you have trying to keep a certain neutrality on this blog but bravo, you have done a commendable job!

    I became a royal fan and watcher when I stumbled across your blog during Will & Kate’s second Canadian tour. I’ve greatly enjoyed your Kate blog and when Meghan arrived and you began this one I happily followed it as well.

    It is sad that after just 2 years that Harry and Meghan decided to throw in the towel on being senior members of the Royal family. For me, and I feel there are other women who may identify with this, as a woman of colour as well who worked hard to find acceptance and earn people’s respect and regard as well as change certain stereotypes that some had in mind before meeting me, Meghan’s departure feels like a let down. I truly believe that had they handled certain things better and just kept their heads high like Camilla, Charles and Kate all had to do, that they would have found their place and the media attacks would have fizzled out.

    It is their life and they can live it as they choose. The stardust has gone for me..

    Thank you for the work you put into this blog

    Greer

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    1. Greer, I can completely identify with your feelings of being let down. Many of us have had to earn our place of respect and continue to do so despite the odds and difficulty in changing someone's perspective and winning their trust. Sometimes its just about holding your head up like you can hold out that silences the critics. I wish them well but thought they had it in them to stick it out.

      Delete
    2. As a woman of colour, I learnt from Meghan that ‘Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women’― Maya Angelou.

      No woman, (or man), should stick around to be abused. H&M showed great strength to walk away. They are still members of the RF, just not a part of the destructive and poisonous game playing of the tabloid press. I am proud of what they did and wish the well.

      Delete
    3. Anon 11:04

      Thank you for saying that. No one should expect anyone to wait out racism.

      I was initially very disappointed they couldn’t have a thick skin and stick it out, but now that the dust has settled I am realizing what strength they must have to leave a toxic situation.

      Monika Rae

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    4. Anonymous @ 11:04,

      I agree completely.

      R

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    5. Greer, Unfortunately racism will always exist no matter what we say or do. I highly recommend Michelle Obama's book as she explains it all so well. H&M did keep their heads high and worked hard and had great accomplishments before, during and after Meghan's pregnancy. Detractors did not recognize ANY of it. What did they do instead? They disregarded H&M's work/accomplishments and instead spat out racial venom, even criticized Meghan for working while pregnant, ect.

      I have commented before and I'll say it again: As a biracial woman myself, having my baby compared to a chimpanzee would have been the last straw for me. They didn't stop at Meghan but had already started verbally attacking an innocent baby. How could ANY parent "ride that out" especially on a global stage? I admire H&M for walking away from a toxic situation. Royal title or not, NOTHING is worth your mental health. Harry has spoken many times about life as a royal and dealing with mental health (lets not forget what happened to Diana; she became depressed/bulimic). Understandably, H&M are trying to do the best for their son. Archie is so lucky to have them as parents. So in a nutshell, is not only about wanting to be independent, but also about protecting their mental health.

      And yes, the stardust has gone... perhaps for people who might have wanted to live through them vicariously, not realizing that real life is not a fairy tale even for someone with a royal title.

      Delete
  37. "just kept their heads high like Camilla, Charles and Kate all had to do, that they would have found their place and the media attacks would have fizzled out."

    Some will refuse to acknowledge/never understand that the media attacks experienced by the other royal (though not right) are not comparable.

    Camilla and Charles: adultery. Both decided to engage in an affair and when it became public they were roasted by the press. This was their decision that led to this outcome.

    Kate: Waity Kate, lazy, social climber etc Not right at all that these awful assumptions were made about her but they were able to be overcome with consistent hard work.

    Meghan's media attacks showed NO sign of abating. Look at how Charlotte summarized all the hard work she did and what she accomplished in such a short time. Her hard work/head held high did not and would not have solved this problem, the root of which is because of her nationality, past occupation and not looking like a classic English rose. Things that she has no control over and cannot change. The found fault with absolutely everything she did and said. In addition to what we don't know went on behind the scenes the media profited and is STILL profiting massively over the maligning her whether it's obvious or subtle. Not likely they would have given up all that revenue by letting their attacks/clickbait "fizzle out".

    Monika Rae

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    1. Monika, take Camilla. She still is very unpopular. People just tolerate her. She still has to be very very careful. She doesn't give up.
      I don't mean the reasons are comparable but the situations are.
      And I think that the real reason members of the RF are attacked is common to all of them. They are privileged, through no merit of their own. The press and the public have a conscious or unconscious resentment because of this. The campaign against Meghan may have been rooted in racism, the one against Kate in classism and the one against Camilla in morality. But those are only the trimmings. Deep down there a structural dislike of the simple fact that royals exist.
      So I agree that it could have been done. I mean keeping their head high and winning at the end.

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    2. The situations aren't comparable that's what people are saying. You cannot keep your head high and expect racism to stop. It never will. Michelle Obama's book has an excellent breakdown of this as well. Racism is not a trimming or an inconvenience or a challenge to overcome. It is deeply hurtful and destructive. And while I think any "ism" is bad, racism is objectively worse and more destructive than classicism or moral judgement. It has a vile history of bondage, violence, and oppression. I think it's ridiculous to suggest Meghan should have held her head high and it would have eventually abated. The situation was clearly untenable. And as I read once on this blog and I tend to agree, the moment my baby was subject to a racist press attack that would have been it for me. And no royal status or sense of obligation would have changed my mind.

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    3. I agree with you totally Anonymous @16:00. It is hard for most people to understand how painful these racial attacks can be, because they do not experience it.

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    4. It is hard for most people to understand why saying Kate’s updos are matronly is ok but saying Meghan’s hair is messy is racist. Could give a lot of other examples if you’re interested...

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    5. Anonymous at 19.41, African American hair is really hard to do because it is so curly and, especially if straightened, brittle. Even I know that, and I am white. The Duchess of Sussex controls her hair exceptionally well. Demanding that her hair should be nice and tidy like the Duchess of Cambridge’s is not that different from saying that her skin should be nice and white like the Duchess of Cambridge’s.

      Maggie - short for magpie

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    6. Charlotte, it seems my reply got lost. I’ll try again.

      Where did I say that that Meghan’s hair should be like Kate’s hair? All I said was that through the years we have discussed plenty of times if Kate wore extensions, dyed her hair too blonde, wore updos that were matronly, was playing with her hair too frequently, should wear a ponytail when windy because her hair looked messy, and all that was ok. Now one says that Meghan’s bun is too messy and that is racist. Sigh.

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    7. Anonymous at 20.09, I did not say above that you stated that the Duchess of Sussex’s hair should be like the Duchess of Cambridge’s, so you are using a straw man argument. Since you choose not to sign your statements, I have no idea what you said in the past. You are, however, refusing to acknowledge the differences in styling African and Caucasian hair right now; nothing to see here, move on.

      Maggie – short for magpie

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    8. “Move on”, very polite of you when you’ve run out of arguments. You said we cannot demand her hair to be as tidy as Kate’s hair, and I never said that. I just said that any comment related to how Meghan is dressed, her hair styled or her make up done is classified as racist because apparently one cannot comment about African hair or bodies.
      She has worn wonderful polishes pony tails and buns so yes, she can style her hair untidily and we have all the right to comment about it.
      Anyway, the hair comment was just as an example of all the comments that are allowed about Kate but classified as racist if made about Meghan. People can have opinions not based on race. People can like her clothes, hair and personality without basing their opinions on race. But of course it’s easier for you to classify all of us as racist instead of thinking if we may be right in what we’re saying.

      I can sign my comments if you want to keep track of what I say to keep calling me racist anytime I don’t like something Meghan wears or does. I can also do the same thing on DK blog, but I don’t know what you will call me if I criticize something Kate does or says or wears considering the race card would not apply.

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  38. Kathy from Tennessee1 April 2020 at 19:02

    I've just found your lovely blog, thank you so much for all of your hard work.

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  39. I am really enjoying hearing about people's love for California! The natural disasters have been so terrible that it's easy to forget what an historical and amazingly beautiful place it is. I visited the San Diego area and went up into the mountains where the old gold mining towns had been -- that was fascinating. There is such a variety of natural beauty, and, like all great states such as New York, there are incredible people. And the most likely reason they moved there is because she is from there and has her mom there! I do not know why people think this is a minor detail -- she feels comfortable there. And while she has my permission to move anywhere in the world without asking first, this seems like a natural location to have a base.

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    1. I just read a report that Meghan and Doria live only ten miles apart but can't get together because they are locked in. The article quotes Meghan as being "heartbrokem" But of course many many of us are in the same situation. At least she and Harry are not penniless and out of work. We must all knuckle down and make the best of it.

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    2. Anon: Articles are always using superlatives -- people are always heartbroken or stunning when really they are just sorry that something is occurring or just look very nice. :)

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  40. I keep thinking of the 12 month review thing. At this point what is left to review beyond Prince Charles footing their security bill, which they could well be doing on their own by then? Perhaps it’s hoped they’ll be homesick enough to come “home.” However, if they don’t go back to the RF, they could lose Duke and Duchess of Sussex. You can’t take prince away from Harry but they could lose the duchy.

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    1. Not just that but also their Irish titles and of course Harry‘s and Archie’s spot in the line of succession. I always hoped they would give it all up themselves. As long as they hold unto it, it will tie them to the firm and its rules somehow. Without it they can build something completely new without being called coattail riders, will probably need less security and are even freer in their business decisions. They could relate to his side of the family in a completely private role which also might soften disagreements. Their titles aren’t anything they worked for or are entitled to hold, they are tied to a job (at least they should be) and I am a bit baffled why they hold unto it especially as they seem to want to be free and do their own thing. This old job didn’t work as they wanted it- so yeah leaving was the logical step. But you cannot keep on using old business cards in my opinion.

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    2. Highly unlikely. It takes an act of Parliament to remove a peerage title. The Queen can't do it, as she can with the HRH, and Parliament is going to have far more important things to do for decades ahead after Corona.

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    3. Actually Unknown 9:41, H&M's titles are not Hereditary Peerage Titles, they were in the gift of The Queen, who in fact can revoke them! Harry of course will always be a Prince of the blood!

      Becca USA

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Well said Anon 22:51!

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    6. @Anomymous 2 April 2020 at 22:51. Prince Harry and Archie’s spots in the line of succession are based on their birthright, just like the Tindalls, the Phillipses, etc. And by the way Archie is too young to renounce his place in the line of succession.

      @Becca USA - Harry Duchy's title is hereditary peerage.
      Archie is listed as the heir apparent to his father's Dukedom of Sussex.
      Just like Prince Charles is listed as the heir apparent to his father's Dukedom of Edinburgh
      Just like Princess Margaret son David inherited his father title and became The 2nd Earl of Snowdon. And David's son Charles is in line to become the 3rd Early of Snowdon.

      The Queen cannot revoke them. It would take an Act of Parliament.

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    7. Coco, to clarify.... while yes it is hereditary now for H&M's descendants.... Harry did not inherit it! It was in the gift of the Queen when Harry married Meghan!

      Becca USA

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    8. @Becca -All the peerages Dukedoms eg. Edinburgh, York, Cambridge, Sussex, were conferred to Prince Philip, Prince Andrew, Prince William, and Prince Harry, respectively, just before their respective marriages. They all got their gifts from the King/Queen.

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  41. Very much enjoyed the interesting and thoughtful comments here, especially Victoria @14:00, Hoosier Lori @00:41 and Anonymous @23:08. I would like to respond to those that think Meghan should have just stayed longer and waited out the racists. I don’t think the attacks would have stopped. Greer @14:27 said Meghan should have just held her head high like Camilla. I don’t see any similarities between Camilla’s situation and Meghan’s. I think Megan has held her head high, worked prodigiously for the Firm, and brought Brits who had felt left out before into the fold and did it all with her heart and soul. As an observer, I was outraged at the abuse thrown at Meghan, so imagine how she felt. No one should ride-out abuse because abusers do not stop. Racism in the British Media would not stop as it seems deep rooted and systemic. One can only fight back or try to do something about abusers from the outside.

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  42. To Anonymous 23:51
    I too have been outraged at the unconscionable abuse directed at Duchess Meghan and her family.
    I agree with every comment stating that it is wrong to compare Camilla and Kate’s treatment to what happened to Meghan. C and K were over-criticized based on their own actions. Meghan was attacked based on her race. An earlier comment: You can not negotiate with your abuser. This is true.
    Thank you 23:51, Monika Rae, Hoosier Lori and many others who wrote about this so eloquently here on MAM.
    Renee

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    1. I don’t agree that Kate was critiqued because of her own actions specifically the criticism she received for her “common” family. Having followed her for many years, there was a lot of criticism that I am sure was very hurtful to her. I don't agree with comparing who had it worse. It seems to create a very divisive discussion. We should be able to discuss each on their own which I think will lend to a more objective discussion. Just my two cents. Stay safe everyone!

      Lisa M

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  43. Hi Charlotte,
    I have just posted about Together. Just an idea perhaps you could do a review post on Together and readers who have bought the book and supported the charity could comment and their culinary efforts. In this time of lockdown in might be an entertaining post and encourage more people to buy the book , cook from it and share their experiences. A chance for our virtual community to come togther in the new world we are all living in. My thoughts are with you all as we all strive to navigate the hand we each have been dealt.

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    1. Libby that is a lovely idea, I've just added it to my list :)

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  44. Libby, I love that idea! Allison in US

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  45. Dear Charlotte, I have regularly followed your blog for a few years now because of its civil tone. No hint of false gentility, just sensitive, pragmatic, and fair-minded reports and like-minded commentary, It’s a tribute to the work you do here and to the community drawn to your blog that you have more recently attracted some of Meghan’s brightest and most articulate if, from a royalist perspective, more radical supporters.

    However, I also sense that on the “Never complain, never explain” issue particularly — for various reasons, including that so many of those who follow Meghan are relatively new to both the Royal Family and the British Media — commenters do not share a vocabulary. The knowledge base on this issue does not go back a long way..

    While there is lots of argumentation out there in favor of the position that “the Royal Family has done nothing unusual here,“ there is less available on the belief that “the Royal Fmily itself gave Harry and Meghan no choice but to leave.” I would like to point out two well-written and well-researched articles that factual data and interpretation in support of the latter position: o

    Part 4, “The Profound Silence” — from The Agonizing Press Behind Meghan Markle, a four-part series analyzing Meghan Markle’s Press, by “researchwrites,” October 17, 2019. https://medium.com/@pngwrites/the-profound-silence-b362ae009c54

    “3 Harsh Truths: Why Harry and Meghan Left, by Sonia G, July 29, 2020. https://sussexsquad.com/why-harry-and-meghan-left/

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    1. I'm going to put out there a "radical" thought -- even if there had been NO media abuse and incredible and vocal support by the RF, Harry and his wife have a right to choose their life path. They are free persons -- Harry should never feel guilty about having his own life as he choses. That's what has amazed me -- would we refuse to leave home because we need to "honor our parents"? Yes, he was born as a prince but this must he sacrifice his life to make royal watchers content? It's just not our business, and the stardust is what he and Meghan shower when they chose to do something to help people rather than just help themselves. Allison in US

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    2. The medium piece is very insightful and on point. And posts many good questions.

      For me this is beyond the royal family. It’s about how ‘news‘ is being manipulated. It’s especially concerning as I watch covid19 spread and change our world. MSM and the tabloids help shape people’s responses. The response varies from where they get their news. Politicians and media personalities use their bullhorn to do good, to do bad, to persuade, reassure, lie, excuse, self-promote, sow misinformation and misdirection and when they do things right, to inform.

      Catastrophes do one thing well. They spotlight what’s important. What’s relevant to keep people safe, healthy, and survive a catastrophe. Catastrophes also spotlight institutional failings — of neglect, of poor mitigation d/t harsh austerity and incompetence, of malevolent acts by leaders- and weigh the institution’s worth.

      The royal family is a bit like the canary in the coal mine. It sits in a tough place. It’s not supposed to be the stuff of celebrities, because it’s an institution. Like government. Yet its survival depends on its popularity, so the most royal coverage are on media groups that profile a lot of celeb news! For the BRF, that means getting good publicity by being seen, doing and saying things that keep its image magical and popular. That makes the BRF dependent on the media and PR people (the royal rota group) who report about them. The same royal rota and royal watchers look to make money and have their own political bias. With the royal rota, it swings conservative and right: Piers Morgan, Sarah Vine (Michael Gove’s wife) , Camille Twomey, Katie Hopkins, and many others whose jobs depend on their ‘insider’ connections like Rebecca English and Dickie Arbiter. The politics in this case conjoin with money making, and voila, create new targets.

      It’s no wonder the negative press has been so relentless and punishing. All the royal family can do is practice herd immunity: cull and sacrifice while simultaneously calling for unity, kindness, mental heath, protect the vulnerable, and national healing. With stiff upper lip and good clothes of course.

      - Martine

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  46. Annette New Zealand4 April 2020 at 09:26

    Charlotte, I have really enjoyed your two blogs over the years and the comments from women from all over the world. Thankyou for all the work you have put into maintaining them. However at this time when people everywhere are locked in and many dying because of covid19, it is really upsetting to see how angry with each other many of us are. Surely at this time of crisis we should be trying to show kindness and tolerance. I am personally feeling very depressed about being cut off from all my children and grandchildren for the last two weeks. My husband and I can't even go out to the supermarket as we are in the vulnerable group. I find I can't read this blog anymore because most comments are so irrelevant to the present horrific situation and make me feel even more depressed. I send my love to all of you who are in difficult situations especially if you or members of your family are ill or fearful for the future.

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  47. Hi Charlotte I would like to take this opportunity as a break from the somewhat polarised comments to acknowledge the women contributors to Together. Each recipe is prefaced by a short comment from the contributor. How enjoyable has it been reading their stories, the transition to their new lives and their inner strength in adapting to marked different lives from past times.

    I have made and enjoyed dishes of

    Leila Hedjem from Algeria
    Shaskshouka - one pan dish of eggs on a sauce of onions tomatoes and peppers
    And her Hummus
    And an often made vegetable lasagne

    Oxana Sinitsyna from Russia
    Green omelette - mushroom and herb omelette

    Ahlam Saeid from Iraq
    Timman Bagilla (green rice) broad beans herbs and lamb

    Faiza Hayani Bellili from Algeria
    Algerian couscous - vegetable chick pea and chicken on coucsous cooked the traditional way

    Gurmit Kaur - from Uganda
    Aubergine masala

    Hiwot Dagnachew from Ethiopia
    Spicy red lentils with greens and tomato salad

    Just to mention a few. Most of the recipes are fairly easy, and ingredients not hard to get. Perhaps in this time of universal lockdown those of us with the book could share what they have cooked as a tribute to Meghan for what for me was her greatest achievement as a working royal.

    A very big thank you to the women who contributed and shared a small part of their lives and in doing so have helped so many. I salute you all.

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    1. Libby this is a lovely post thank you so much. And a reminder to us all of what we should be focusing on. I’m sure it would be Meghan’s wish to read that people purchased and enjoyed the recipes in this cookbook. I am off to scrounge up some ingredients for a few of these now!

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  48. I watched the two new Disney nature movies Elephant and Dolphin Reef. They are both excellent. Both focus around a mother and her son. Dolphin Reef addresses the environment and the balance of nature. The cinematography is stunning. Natalie Portman does a great job as narrator. There are many humourous and educational moments. Elephant is beautifully narrated by Meghan and focuses quite a bit on the concept of community and family as a small herd of elephants make a perilous journey in search of water. There are some very moving and perilous moments in Elephant which Meghan conveys very well through her narration. It was lovely to hear Meghan’s voice, and the elephants’ story was especially touching because of her own recent life story. Hope many of MAM community will take the time to watch the two movies, especially since most of us are self-isolating. They are streaming on DisneyPlus.

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  49. I hope Harry, Meghan dnd Archie are happy. I look forward to seeing what Harry and Meghan will do in the future. They certainly have what it takes to help make the world a better place in which to live. Thank you, Charlotte.

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  50. Dear Charlotte,
    I always read with interest your balanced articles and though I'm not a Meghan fan I enjoyed following her engagements and projects.
    About the present article I just feel that in order to understand H&M decisions there is an unbalanced opinion towards the firm. I for one can't honestly says Harry's family didn't support them. I can't believe we aren't recalling at all what the prince of Wales and her wife did for them. Always chatting together at events, the prince took Meghan down the isle! The Duke and duchess of Cambridge were supportive too, I recall Catherine pregnant at the event with the blue dress were they were laughing all four together. And all the times Catherine and Meghan went to Wimbledon together.
    I don't know how I feel about it, we are assuming the family didn't help them, why? Because they didn't spoke against the press? They never did. Ever.
    And if it's true that we don't know what happens behind closed doors how can we reasonable tell that the family did not help them or tried to advise them ore their team in what better way to proceed? We can't.
    So, I was just thinking that many here and on the web just focus on one way or the other but there is more in both party in my opinion.

    No need to publish this comment, just wanted to express my thoughts on all the comments and opinions I read.

    Thanks as always for your amazing blog.


    Silvia

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)