Would Queen Elizabeth Approve of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Commonwealth Message?
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex recently had a talk with leaders from the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. There, the couple brought up the subject of colonialism and made statements about the Commonwealth’s colonial past.
The talk attracted some criticism from onlookers, but the other members of the royal family have not shared their thoughts on it. That has led some fans to wonder: How would Queen Elizabeth, the head of the Commonwealth, feel about Harry and Meghan’s comments?
What did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say about the Commonwealth?
Harry and Meghan’s message centered on urging people to acknowledge the colonial past of the Commonwealth.
“Certainly, when you look across the Commonwealth there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past,” Harry said. “So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do.”
Meanwhile, Meghan added, “We have to, in this moment in time, say ‘we’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now’ because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this and find the place, as you’re pointing out, where a high tide raises all ships.”
She, then, touched on the subject of racism in the Commonwealth, noting, “It’s not just in the big moments, it’s in the quiet moments where racism and unconscious bias lies and hides and thrives. It makes it confusing for a lot of people to understand the role that they play in that, both passively and actively.”
Harry and Meghan’s message attracted some criticism
While Harry and Meghan’s message seems to have come from a place of good intentions, not everyone approved of it.
For example, Yahoo! News pointed out that the Commonwealth—which is made up of 54 nations who joined voluntarily—is actually different from the British Empire. The outlet wrote, “Many say the Commonwealth is a force for good and has done much to progress beyond Britain’s slave owner past.”
Royal photographer Arthur Edwards also told The Sun that Harry and Meghan’s talk is an “insult” to Queen Elizabeth.
“To criticize the one thing the queen cherishes above all things, which is preserving the Commonwealth, is an insult to her — no matter what the palace may say officially,” Edwards said. “Any country can look back and find faults, but we learn from history and move on.”
He also held Meghan responsible for “filling [Harry] full of these ideas.”
Would Queen Elizabeth approve of Harry and Meghan’s comments about the Commonwealth?
Of course, the queen herself has not spoken out about this event. However, contrary to what Edwards said, not everyone believes Her Majesty would be offended by Harry and Meghan.
As reported by Express, politician Lord Howell thinks Queen Elizabeth can see where Harry and Meghan were coming from.
“I would think she fully understood the context,” Lord Howell said. “[Harry has] been very active and committed to Commonwealth activities. He’s a real champion of the Commonwealth and I think he was trying to explain to others outside Government where we are going. I would have thought she understood it fully, frankly.”