As part of the Sussexes European tour, Meghan Markle has recently delivered remarks at the One Young World Summit in Manchester. This was the first public speech in the UK the Duchess of Sussex made since she and Prince Harry resigned from all their royal duties in February last year, and it did not go down very well with a large part of the British (and Commonwealth) public. Critics have highlighted that her remarks were astonishingly self-centred. What she was supposed to be talking about was gender equality, but instead, she seemed to be only preoccupied with herself. Most of her speech was dedicated to her emotions and how she has been trying to prove to herself that she belongs in ‘elite’ circles. Nothing proves better how self-absorbed the speech was than the fact that in her seven-minute-long speech she referred to herself 54 times. While the audience inside Bridgewater Hall gave the couple a warm welcome, Meghan and Prince Harry were booed by a crowd gathered outside the conference venue.
It is not only the British public with whom the couple seems to have strained relations, but with their own kin as well. The Duke of Cambridge apparently found out about his brother’s visit to the United Kingdom from the media. The siblings did not meet during Harry’s short visit to the UK, even though the Sussexes were staying at a stone’s throw from the Cambridges. According to insiders, the two brothers have not spoken to each other in more than a year, since their relationship declined after Meghan persuaded Harry to leave his duties as acting royal and move to the US. The rift between the brothers is understandable, given that ever since the couple left the United Kingdom, Meghan has been accusing the royal family of having mistreated her. While the accusations Meghan levied against the royal family are very serious (including allegation of racism), she has failed to provide any evidence whatsoever that any of her accusations actually stand. She has, on the other hand, been very successful at building her public image as a victim—a victim of racism and misogyny.
Well, it is an interesting kind of victimhood indeed, one that many of us would rather call a life of privilege. Meghan and Harry flew to Düsseldorf in Germany and back to the UK after her talk at the One Young World Summit on a German taxpayer-funded Luftwaffe jet. The Sussexes were landed the aircraft by the German military so that Harry could attend the Invictus Games 2023 One Year to Go launch event. (The Invictus Games were dreamed up by Harry, with the aim to use the power of sports to help the recovery, support the rehabilitation and generate respect for wounded, injured and ill servicemen.) The couple is expected to be offered the German Air Force 19-seater normally reserved for senior government officials again when the Invictus Games actually start next year.
Using German tax money-funded flights is quite hypocritical of a couple that owns a $14.65 million, 9-bedroom, 16-bathroom house in the United States. But her many privileges do not stop Meghan Markle from posing as a victim, despite leading a luxurious life thanks to having married a British royal. And to her talent at cashing in on her Duchess of Sussex title—for instance, by securing a multimillion dollar Spotify deal (and not doing a single podcast for an entire year after signing the contract). Nevertheless, she did not refrain from making claims about being a victim of the royal family again in the first episode of her Archetypes podcast the other day, even though the programme was supposed to be about Serena Williams.
Unfortunately, it is not suprising that Meghan Markle was considered to be the most qualified and credible person to speak about gender inequality to young people by the organisers. This is an era in which (imaginary) victimhood is celebrated, in which, therefore, the likes of Meghan Markle thrive.