COLUMN: Meghan Markle and Harry should be applauded for their strength to leave the royal family

After Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah, her kindness and charm reminded many of the beloved Princess Diana.

Campbell Biemiller is a first-year journalism major at MU. She is an opinion columnist who writes about politics and entertainment for The Maneater.

On March 7, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry regarding their decision to leave the royal family. Meghan carried herself with an elegance that reminded the world of Harry’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Diana’s death on Aug. 31, 1997 shocked the world. People were distraught over the car crash. Diana married into the royal family through Charles, The Prince of Wales, and quickly became an internationally famous member of the family. Meghan drew similar attention when she married Harry.

Diana was seen as a wonderful mother, most prominently in the eyes of Generation X and millennials, for giving them a normal life outside of royalty. She was a selfless humanitarian and made constant efforts to help the less fortunate.

She pushed royal boundaries to show she was human, and people around the world resonated with that. This is also what made her death tragic.

From ages 15 and 12, Prince William and Harry grew up without a mother. The royal family had been very traditional since Diana’s death, until Harry married Meghan. She is the first mixed-race woman and American introduced into the royal family since 1937.

In the interview with Winfrey, Meghan reflected on how members of the family treated her, although everyone was kept anonymous. She said that some questioned how dark Archie’s skin would be before he was born. He wasn’t given a royal title, and therefore didn’t get 24-hour daily security from the Royal and VIP Executive Committee like the rest of Queen Elizabeth II’s great grandchildren.

Diana received negative publicity from the British press for the way she chose to live within the royal family. Meghan has been receiving the same treatment over her marriage and pregnancies. They both had to teach themselves the rules of royalty because no one helped them.

"There was no guidance. Unlike what you see in the movies, there's no class on how to speak, how to cross your legs, how to be royal. That was not offered to me,” Meghan said to Winfrey.

She put in the work to learn on her own in order to please the royals, which she later mentioned left her feeling suicidal and alone.

The couple brought up Diana throughout the interview, saying Diana "would feel very angry with how this has panned out, and very sad," Harry said. The public views Diana and Meghan in the same way.

Meghan wants a normal life for her children and to live in an environment that is loving and accepting, which is exactly how Diana carried herself. The world fell in love with Diana and Meghan emanates that same energy.

The royal family financially cut off Harry and Meghan from the royal family after they decided to stop their royal commitments. After Diana’s death, her wealth was split between her sons, leaving each child well-off for their future endeavors.

Some conspiracies say Diana predicted a royal split. In the interview with Winfrey, Harry gave credit to his late mother because he couldn’t have left without her emotional and financial support. Diana was always courageous and the idea that she would leave her children money is no surprise. She was an admirable figure for rebelling against royal protocol. She didn’t do it to spite the royal family, but as a way to connect with the people and show she was human, which made her such a lovable figure.

By leaving the royal family, Meghan and her husband are challenging the standard, and they deserve kudos for that. They were in a bad place and silenced by the rest of the family, so they took initiative and distanced themselves to make their life together better.

Diana would be proud of her son and daughter-in-law for giving their children the life she always wanted for her sons. She would have wanted her children to follow in her suit if that meant they would be happy.

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Edited by Sydney Lewis | slewis@themaneater.com

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