When I was young I read a lot of fairy-tales and watched a lot of Disney films. There were a lot of princes and they did a lot of rescuing of young women. Cinderella - got rescued by a prince. Sleeping Beauty- got rescued by a prince. Ariel - got rescued by a prince. And then they all lived happily ever after.
This taught me and countless other children on a basic level when our minds were all squishy and impressionable that marrying a prince = being rescued...that marrying a prince = being happy forever.
In modern speak, marrying a prince is #lifegoals
Looking at those words as an adult it sounds ridiculous. But I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few year whilst watching Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new married life play out, and even more recently since Laurence Fox’s comments on her treatment in the media, racism, and woke women. I've been trying to pick it apart and figure out my own thoughts on it.
I often think that one of the main reasons the public can’t get on side with Meghan is that she goes against everything ever written in fairy-tales about marrying a prince.* She didn’t need rescuing. She had a successful career, she was charitable, she had a nice house, money, designer clothes, fabulous friends and scores of adoring fans...but wait...isn’t that what is meant to come AFTER you marry a prince?? And she already had it? No wonder people are confused. They’ve done this all wrong. She wasn’t mean to be equal to him, he was meant to come in on a horse and whisk her away from the poverty of being a simple country girl sweeping ashes off the floor under the tyranny of an evil oh no wait that’s Cinderella, sorry. Sorry. But if Cinderella had been a well-known, stylish and wealthy woman who happens to bump into a prince whilst out on a hike I doubt it would have been such a renowned tale now would it? And I definitely don’t think the King’s subjects would have liked her either. But why is that? Is it a class thing? Is it a female thing? Is it a race thing? Yes, there is racism involved, that's indisputable actually Laurence. Just within this little thought stream alone that is painfully obvious, as all the princesses we were shown as kids were white, and that's is just the tip of the iceberg.
*Except the ugly stepsister. She definitely has one of those. Samantha Markle is ugly, ugly of heart.
I abhor the way the media has compared Meghan and Kate and it is very telling (this is a very useful piece collating it all). Kate was a ‘normal’ and completely unknown. And therefore the world could concoct a fairy-tale romance where England’s heir to the throne fell for her and took her away from her dreadful life with her lovely family in Berkshire (note use of excessive sarcasm). The word 'fairy-tale romance' was used in every single press piece about them. Again, what is the obsession with fairy-tales??
Are fairy tales a front for the fact that we all, deep down, want to be rescued from everyday life? We’re all so busy, so pressured, so this, so that. Do we begrudge anyone who gets chosen out of the masses simply because we are jealous that it wasn’t us? I mean, didn’t Meghan have enough already, why did she ALSO need to land a prince (or OUR prince as the daily mail likes to call him. They do, after all own him)?? And why isn't she now blissfully happy and content in her castle? Why isn't she living happily ever after like she is supposed to? That's what the fairy tales told us would happen when you marry a prince, right?
Does being chosen out of the masses and propelled into stardom ever work out for anyone? Look at all the lottery winners who end up divorced, in jail, in debt, in court. Does being 'chosen' ever bring a happily ever after? Marrying Prince William or Prince Harry has many a time been referenced as ‘hitting the jackpot’ but this seems to be an idea put forward by the media with nothing to back it up other than children's stories (fun fact read the history of Cinderella here). Especially since they have then been so quick to point out that the jackpot in question is actually public money*. The contradictions make my head spin.
*Which it is, of course, and with that comes an expectation to spend it responsibly but it doesn't mean we own them as people.
In conclusion, I feel pretty sorry for Meghan and don't blame her at all for running off to Canada. How could she ever succeed when certain media outlets and members of the public just couldn't bear to see a woman equal to her prince. Even a modern one who who met her in Soho House after being set up on a date rather than striding in and saving her.
As an aside for anyone who pays attention to Piers Morgan I will just direct you to the very kind and sickly sweet article he wrote about 'his beautiful friend Meghan' when the news first broke that she was dating Harry. It's now been buried deep in the Daily Mail archive. But I dug it out. And I’ll just leave it here. Now, every time you see one of his hateful headlines you’ll remember this and realise he is just throwing a colossal tantrum at being NFI to the wedding.
PS I had great fun creating the cartoon themed graphics for this post.