- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been accused of trying to destroy the monarchy.
- They have faced criticism ever since they spoke out about their struggles as former working royals.
- Royal commentators told Insider that the couple is modernizing the monarchy.
Critics claim the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are trying to destroy the monarchy by speaking out about the problems they faced while working as royals. But in reality, royal commentators say the couple is making the institution better.
Two people who recently condemned the couple are Tom Bower and Piers Morgan. Speaking on “Piers Morgan Uncensored” in July, Bower said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “posed a real threat to the royal family”.
“I think they’re destroying a lot of the magic of the monarchy,” Morgan said. “They call the royals a bunch of unrepentant racists, and so on, without any hard evidence to support any of these claims.”
It is likely Morgan was referring to Markle and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey last March, in which they said an unnamed member of the royal family made racist remarks about their son Archie’s skin tone before he was born. Harry added that the royal family has never acknowledged any of the tabloids’ racist coverage of Markle.
After the interview aired, a palace spokesperson said in a statement that the issues raised were taken “very seriously” and would be addressed by the family privately.
Insider spoke to royal insiders, who say the couple are far from destroying the monarchy. The pair are modernizing it – a move that will ultimately ensure its survival.
Bower and Morgan have been criticized for their comments about the couple
It’s worth noting that both Bower and Morgan have faced backlash for their previous coverage of the Sussexes.
Bower’s book about Markle, “Revenge,” was criticized by some featured in it, who said he made inaccurate claims about the duchess. For example, journalist Sam Kashner denied Bower’s claim that he felt manipulated by Markle when he interviewed her for Vanity Fair in 2017.
As for Morgan, the former “Good Morning Britain” host resigned from the show last year after receiving complaints about comments he made after the Winfrey interview. British broadcaster Ofcom said it received more than 41,000 complaints after Morgan said on the show that he did not believe Markle’s comments about feeling suicidal when she was part of the royal family.
Some members of the British public share Bower and Morgan’s disapproval of the pair, as their popularity in Britain has waned in recent years. When a 2018 YouGov survey asked the public for their opinion of the royals to find out who was the most popular, Harry ranked first with a 77% positive opinion rating. Markle ranked sixth with a 55% favorable rating.
In the same 2022 YouGov survey, Harry ranked 11th with a popularity rating of 34%, while Markle ranked 14th – second to last – with a popularity rating of 25%.
But royal watchers say Harry and Markle aren’t destroying the monarchy – they’re ensuring its survival
One person who disagrees with Bower and Morgan’s comments is Grant Harrold, a former butler to Prince Charles. Harrold told Insider that he worked at the palace from 2004 to 2011 and that he personally knew the Duke of Sussex.
“I don’t think for a second that Harry would intentionally try to destroy the monarchy,” Harrold told Insider. “I wouldn’t put it past him to want to modernize it … to make people aware of things that have happened that are wrong.”
Harrold said the palace’s HR department is likely to use Harry and Markle’s feedback to improve the institution, just as any large business or organization would. He said he speaks from personal experience, as he was always encouraged to raise concerns with the palace’s HR department when he worked there.
Kristen Meinzer, a US-based royal commentator, argues that Markle could not possibly be trying to destroy the monarchy. After all, she was advocating for humanitarian issues long before she met Harry. She spoke about equality at the UN Women’s Conference on International Women’s Day 2015 and in 2016 she spoke to Elle about her experiences with racism.
Meinzer told Insider that the royal family “skirted around” these issues before Markle joined the royal family. And when they did finally talk about them, it was in the “narrowest sense”, said Meinzer, which e.g Prince William tweets about racist heckling during football matches in 2021.
William was publicly criticized last year for talking about racism in football, while failing to acknowledge Markle’s experience with racism.
“You have the ability to condemn racism – not just in football – but when it’s directed at your own family members. Please use that power. That would mean a lot,” Meinzer wrote on Twitter at the time.
—Kristen Meinzer (@kristenmeinzer) 12 July 2021
Meinzer told Insider that while it would have been nice if William had publicly supported Markle, at least he and the royal family are now talking about issues like racism.
“Meghan, as well as Harry, helped bring the monarchy to this point,” she added. “And if they survive into the next century, they will have the Sussexes to thank.”
Representatives for Buckingham Palace and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.