Elizabeth II understood her duty—do we?
Duchess of Decline
Meghan Markle obsesses us because she is a symbol of our willful degeneration.
The queen is dead; long live the king.
The queen is dead, but the world media wants to make it about cable actress and fashion blogger Meghan Markle. This includes everyone from Markle’s low-IQ lackeys, who have used the opportunity (following her example) once again to belabor the subject of the royal family’s supposed racism, to her haters, whose blinding outrage propels them to seek the devil (the duchess) under every rock.
How did we get here? Why does Meghan Markle affect everyone so? Why can’t I log on without seeing her face?
Some answers are straightforward. She’s relatively good-looking, for one, and she operates at the precise nexus of palace intrigue and celebrity gossip. She’s also explicitly political, in the sense that she’s all too eager to demonstrate fealty to the gods of woke in every elaborate flourish. She’s familiar.
Many of us have a Meghan Markle in the family, or have at least encountered one in the wild. It’s a type who is basically willing to ruin someone else’s reputation to enhance their own. This particular kind of person has been especially empowered by the advent of cancel culture and a political environment which perceives victimhood as currency. It may be the jealous sister-in-law, or the abusive spouse, who despite being constantly caught up in her own elaborate web of lies, finds a certain legitimacy in performative victimhood. Amber Heard. Jada Smith. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We all know her! Feigned injury is the narcissist’s fog of war: the thing that prevents the world from perceiving her true viciousness.
One story illustrates the example clearly. Ahead of her marriage to Harry the spare, Meghan Markle made Catherine, Princess of Wales, cry. This she did by insisting that Catherine’s daughter Charlotte, a flower girl, could not wear stockings to the wedding. To have bare legs at a formal event is against royal protocol, and the dresses Markle had picked for the little girls were insufficiently modest. Having twenty years of experience under this particular limelight, Catherine worried about her young daughter stumbling and revealing too much during the second-most photographed social event of the decade.
Nevertheless, Meghan persisted. She summoned the flying monkeys (her socialite friends) to bully the Waleses into submission. Kate cried. After this story was reported to the press, and after the royal family did not dispute it, Meghan secured an interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which she explicitly stated that the precise opposite happened, citing as proof of her innocence the fact that Kate gave her flowers, insinuating that Princess Catherine’s ex post facto signal of good will was an admission of guilt rather than a palliative gesture of charity ahead of the wedding.
That wedding was entirely funded by the British taxpayer, whom she also trashed in the Oprah interview, and in several others since, as deeply racist.
Little indications of the truth will occasionally peek through the facade. British people in general don’t use plantation slurs to refer to black people. That unspeakable word is entirely an Americanism. So when Markle complained in her most recent interview to The Cut that the royal policy of inviting the paparazzi to photograph royal children’s first day of school was her personal Afghanistan, because it forced her to share images of her son with “people who called him ‘the n-word’,” she ever-so-slightly showed her hand. This almost certainly never happened. But alas, the American media is permanently hungry for a Django, Unchained story to confirm the inherent evil of whites, and a particular kind of insecure American enjoys the psychodrama of self-flagellation. Or at least some vocal minority do.
But the Anglosphere’s collective obsession with Meghan Markle is still deeper than her familiar penchant for calumniating family or even her predictable position on abortion can explain.
It’s no secret that monarchs have been reduced to symbolic and ceremonial icons in today’s Europe. And that’s the only level on which they are relevant in public life. But what do they symbolize in the hearts of millions? They represent sovereignty, tribal loyalty, and an organic and socially accountable relationship with the state and its institutions—all of which have no place in our alienated, deracinated, and technocratic modern Western world.
Meghan Markle isn’t just the in-law from hell. She’s fashioned herself as the symbolic antithesis of monarchy. She represents the hatred of hierarchy and order. She represents the end of institutions, of proper distinctions, and of formality as the substance of respect. She hates what the firm represents, but she still wants to keep the honorific titles. She wears the monarchy as a profitable skinsuit while hollowing out its dignity. Worst of all, she reminds us of the fact that the demise of all these beautiful features of Christendom, and of Western civilization itself, came by invitation.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.