7 Monarchical Takes

7 Monarchical Takes January 10, 2020

It’s Friday. This is how I feel. So sue me.

Well, I sat down to think about the week and pontificate about–well, who even knows what–but then came across some astonishing news. The fact is, can you believe it, Meghan has flown back to Canada where she left Archie with his Nannie. Crisis in Buckingham Palace!


All I can say is, thank heaven for Twitter. I wouldn’t know anything about this or what each and every news purveyor is flapping about if it weren’t for twitter. So that’s seriously a blessing. Also, a lot of these newsy kinds of sites wouldn’t have anything to write about (like me) if it weren’t for twitter. Anyway, here is the Sussex’s new website which they had all ready to launch the moment they let everyone know how it was going to be. Seriously, if there’s no website it isn’t real.


The website has little gems like “maximizing legacy” and “Communities in all forms – of people, geographies, ethnicity, gender and varied socio-economic groups – have the power to effect change, to combat bias and to promote shared values.” I mean, I’m grateful I can’t find the word “impact” anywhere, but truly, the future is now, no more beauty and grace for you, it’s all about socio-economics and the power to effect change. As you scroll around you’ll find that the bulk of the thing is all about money and how everybody in the royal family gets theirs. It’s an incredibly bleak piece of sparkle.


In the matter of pastoral care, which I’m sure is what the Sussexes both need, even though they are unwilling to look to the church for anything, but are going to get busy saving the world out of their own grief, I must say that the instinct to run is pretty strong and pretty terrifying. I’ve had it, and so has everybody I know personally. It creeps up on you. You get stuck in a situation with another person where you are in psychic pain, and the other person appears not to be, and you have this internal struggle between not wanting to hurt them, not even knowing how to begin addressing the pain that you feel, and a growing sense of hatred for them because they don’t understand you. The easiest way to relieve the pain is to get out. It’s even nicer when you can slap a lot of progressive, psychoanalytical mental health words over it. The problem is, Harry and Meghan are human beings. And like all human beings, their expectations about life have not matched up with what really happened to them. And instead of fighting hard for “community,” for the relationships that have heretofore made them who they are, they are going off to start fresh. Happens every day.


But it’s still tragic. Everywhere this happens it is tragic. When one person says, I’m not doing this anymore, it is always a tragedy. Sometimes the person fleeing is not actually the origin of the “I’m not doing this anymore” feeling. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes one person says to another, ‘I’m not going to try at all, but I want you to stand here and put up with me in my unchanged and unchangeable state.’ If you are a Christian, you can always choose to endure that kind of death. Except if the person who is saying it is cruel or violent. It’s hard to know, from the outside, what is happening in the middle of any kind of horrible division.


One thing I really don’t like, though, is what I will go ahead and call “lying.” That’s where everyone pretends like its a good thing, and there will be growth and happiness. Lying is often confused with “keeping a stiff upper lip,” or “keeping calm and carrying on.” It’s possible to be honest about how you feel and what you think and also then choose to endure something you dislike immensely. It’s also possible to thread the narrow way between being honest about your feelings and thoughts and still not vomiting all your pain everywhere. Honesty should not be confused with Over-Sharing. Nor lying with endurance. I feel like a whole generation of people is confused about these subtle, and yet vital, distinctions.


On some comment thread or other, it was vaguely hinted that I, and others, am “blaming Meghan” for everything and that the British Press is not mainly at fault. I am not actually trying to assign blame for anything anywhere. I do not for a minute disbelieve the narrative that Meghan is very unhappy or even, perhaps, that she has been treated badly. Sin abounds. I believe that everything is very difficult. What I am saying is there there is a big cultural clash going on–two ships in slow motion colliding into each other, two world-views that cannot be reconciled, two visions of goodness. One is that the country and other people and God all must be chosen over the inclinations and desires of the self. The other is that it is immoral to choose those things over the self. We are living out this slow-motion collision in every corner of life, publicly and privately. So no, I am not blaming anyone. I am just observing that this is a very painful situation.


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