I’ve only seen bits and pieces of THE INTERVIEW because I cannot abide Oprah. I am, however, a notorious Anglophile with mixed feelings about the Battenberg/Windsor clan. They make for good costume movie and teevee dramas as well as fodder for the British tabloids. I’m even enough of a Peter Morgan fan to wonder if The Crown will cover the same territory as his earlier drama The Queen. Otherwise, I have no stake in the British monarchy.
The presentism of much of the MSM coverage of the face-off between Meghan-n-Harry and “the Firm” cracks me up. The British royals are like inbred cockroaches or Keith Richards, they’ve weathered many past storms and they’re still standing. If they could survive being a family with a German name at the outset of the Great War they can survive a rerun of the Diana drama.
It’s not a carbon copy of the Diana mishigas since Meghan-n-Harry have run away to Beverly Hills together. Hopefully, nobody will die as a result of this but the threat to the monarchy is the same. They’re still standing.
It’s obvious that Meghan is either naive and didn’t do her homework about her Prince or that she fibbed to Oprah when she said she never googled Harry. That’s how she missed this:
Yes, he was young and stupid but racism in his family shouldn’t shock anyone let alone its newest member. It’s like marrying into the Trump family and being shocked to learn that Donald is an Impeached Insult Comedian with a dead nutria pelt atop his head.
That’s not the only example of Harry’s wicked old ways. There’s this graph from a great piece by Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic:
She told Oprah that she had never even Googled her future husband’s name—a remark that united the viewing world in hilarity, time zone by time zone. It was an assertion that strained credulity, but it was necessary to her contention that she’d had no idea that the Windsors had not, as we now say, “done the work” when it came to exploring their own racial biases. Had she herself done some work by punching her beloved’s name into a search engine, she would have understood that she was not marrying the most racially conscious person on the planet. She would have seen pictures of him dressed as a Nazi at a costume party (his great-granduncle—briefly Edward VIII—had palled around with Adolf Hitler) and a videotape of him introducing a fellow cadet as “our little Paki friend.” The Palace said that “Prince Harry used the term without any malice and as a nickname about a highly popular member of his platoon.” But the palace had no good explanation for why Harry introduced another cadet in the video by saying, “It’s Dan the Man. Fuck me, you look like a raghead.”
In the immortal words of one of my favorite British teevee characters:
I believe that people can change and now that Harry has a multi-racial kid, I’m sure he’s left his wicked, racist ways behind. But once again, Meghan shouldn’t be shocked by any of this. It’s like joining my family and being surprised that you don’t say the word malaka in the company of the older generation. They’re all gone now but my Aunt Mary would have boxed my ears if I said the M word in her presence.
You’re probably wondering when I’m getting to The Curious Case Of The Tea Party Royalists. The time is now.
American right-wingers never get the American Revolution right. They bang on about the Boston Tea Party and even wear silly tri-corner hats in public, but they never get the “taxation without representation” thing right. They always overlook the “without representation” bit.
In the early days of the American Revolution, many patriots would have found having American MPs at Whitehall acceptable. If mad King George had given in and listened to the likes of Edmund Burke, we might be a warmer version of Canada right now.
But I’ve been struck by the recent efflorescence of pro-monarchism on the American right, something that seems to flow in this particular case downstream from hostility to Meghan Markle, but is yet part of something larger. In the midst of the Markle drama, Trump immigration czar Stephen Miller hopped on to Twitter to defend the monarchy as a symbol of national service and praise the royals he met during President Trump’s state visit as “unfailingly gracious and deeply committed to preserving the traditions and heritage of the UK.” (emphasis added). A week later The National Review published An American Defense of Britain’s Constitutional Monarchy.
Some of this defense is merely situational. Markle, who is young and black, has been cast into the morality tale of ‘cancel culture’, with the royals allegedly on the receiving end of being canceled. So Republicans, as enemies of all this cancel culture, have rushed to the Royals’ defense. But again, it’s bit more than that. Miller name checks the telling catch phrases of white nationalism with references to ‘tradition and heritage’. National Review similarly explains that “modern liberalism” wants to “tear down everything the monarchy represents: tradition, authority, virtue, duty, love of country, and biblical religion.”
There was a similar outbreak of weird pro-royalism in the early years of the Regan administration. Reagan took office in the same year the Charles and Diana drama began with a smashing royal wedding. It was one of the first major events that CNN covered wall-to-wall and in those days they were the only cable news game in town.
I recall many conservatives saying that Reagan would have made a great constitutional monarch. That’s a point I never argued because he was a master of the ceremonial aspects of the presidency. You know, the stuff that the Kaiser of Chaos disdained. I recall saying that I might have voted for Ronnie for head of state but never for head of government. Our presidency encompasses both roles, which always seems to baffle the genuine conservatives of 1981 and the fake conservatives 40 years later. So it goes.
Don’t worry I haven’t changed sides, the words “cancel culture” rarely pass my lips and never in the sense that, say, Donnie Junior uses them. I’m exercising my right to be a contrarian who finds both Meghan-n-Harry and the Tea Party Royalists to be equally silly. Perhaps it’s the Monty Python fan in me. Oh well, what the hell.
The last word goes to Oscar Peterson and Nelson Riddle:
One more from my favorite Canadian:
Have I mentioned lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?