Over the weekend, ‘The Firm’ – as the British Royal Family call themselves – saw some of its worst nightmares brought to life by Harry and Meghan, as the royal couple delivered a live television interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The picture the couple presented of the family was one of a mean, duplicitous, racist and vengeful clique, at the head of a feudal relic that is unwilling and unable to reform itself.
Just like Diana before her, the interview revealed that ‘The Firm’ has treated Meghan as an outsider, and with the uttermost spite.
One of the most disgusting revelations include the claim by Meghan that one (unnamed) royal had expressed to Harry “concerns and conversations about how dark [their son’s] skin might be when born”.
For the crime of having a child of mixed race, the Royal Family took their revenge by denying the child, Archie, the title of prince and concomitant police protection. Meghan claimed her general treatment was such that she was pushed to the point of feeling suicidal. And according to Prince Harry, his father Prince Charles is now refusing to take his own son’s phone calls.
Scandals and sheikhs
The Royal Household, meanwhile, continues to protect Prince Andrew from US law enforcement over his connection to the Epstein child sex abuse case – yet unblushingly accuses Meghan of bullying!
To complete this picture of a family brimming with warmth and empathy, we ought to say a word about Her Majesty the Queen.
Her relationship with the Emirati royal, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has been in the spotlight recently. The sheikh has made headlines by kidnapping and torturing his own daughter.
But this hasn’t stopped the Queen from maintaining a close friendship with the sheikh over a shared love of horse riding, and even continuing to accept horses from the man as gifts.
In summary, the kind of family Meghan and Harry have apparently fled is one where it is normal to display racism even towards one’s own relatives; to willingly push a young woman to the brink of suicide; to punish a child for its parents ‘crimes’; to show cold-heartedness so extreme you’d cut your own child out of your life; to show a greater interest in the lives of horses than of human beings; and to willingly hinder a child sex abuse investigation.
The concern of the royals for ‘pure pedigree’ has been exposed as racist white supremacy. Its ‘cool detachment’ is shown up as callous vengefulness. Is it any wonder that there has been an outpouring of sympathy for the Sussexes?
Pillar of the establishment
But this is not any old family. This family is a core institution of the British establishment. Its rottenness is the rottenness of the whole capitalist state. Its crisis is part of the crisis of the whole system, at the core of which it sits, putrefying. And its attitudes are the attitudes of a ruling class that has grown rich off of slavery, colonial plunder, and policies of racist division.
The Monarchy is linked to the whole ruling class by a thousand threads – through a sordid network of public schools, wealthy institutions, banks, private clubs and family ties.
Monarchs and princes; judges and army generals; city financiers and top civil servants; Lords and Ladies: they are all bound together with the glue of an immense wealth, and the desire to preserve this status quo at all costs.
No wonder the yellow press and sycophants like Piers Morgan have jumped in, providing a patriotic chorus of support for the monarchy, and rushing to pour suspicion and doubt on Meghan and Harry’s claims and motives.
Of course Harry and Meghan are as much a part of the same parasitic class as the rest of the Royals. Who can deny it? Their interview with Oprah will prove extremely personally lucrative too. Undoubtedly they will continue to do what they can to profit from their situation as royal outcasts. Therein lies the danger for the Royal Family.
But their allegations tally with everything we already know about the Monarchy. And they look set to cause the institution untold amounts of damage. As BBC correspondent Jonny Dymond pointed out:
“… alongside the personal pain and anger rippling through the duchess’s testimony, there came from Harry condemnation of the institution – the suggestion that it was incapable of change, incapable of love, incapable of understanding.”
This, according to Dymond, was“…a velvet-covered knife into the heart of the modern monarchy”.
Reserve of reaction
The Monarchy is far from a mere ornamental bauble on the British state. It is not for nothing that the British capitalist class are prepared to pay a tidy sum to maintain these reactionary parasites. The reigning monarch enjoys unlimited powers under the British constitution.
We should never forget that it is Her Majesty’s Government, Her Majesty’s Civil Service, and Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. We are allowed to imagine, in ‘normal’, ‘peaceful’ times, that this is a mere formality. But should the establishment require it, in a time of crisis the monarchy can legally assume unlimited powers. It is more than a feudal anachronism; it is a reserve weapon in the hands of the ruling class.
Precisely for this reason, the ruling class are keen to keep the Monarchy clear of the public gaze, appearing ‘aloof’ and above politics. But it is as mired in scandal and filth as the rest of the class to which it belongs. These latest allegations are increasingly discrediting this relic of Britain’s feudal past.
Above all a growing disgust towards the monarchy is growing among the youth. According to one Yougov poll, only 13% of 18-24 year olds believe that Harry and Meghan have been treated fairly by the Royal Family. A massive 61% believe they have been treated unfairly. Only among the over-65s did upward of 50% of respondents say they felt the couple had been treated fairly.
For a socialist republic
Having stood up to racism in huge numbers at the mass BLM protests last year, young people see in the treatment of the Sussexes just one more instance of the rotten institutional racism at the heart of the British establishment.
Last summer, young people rightly toppled the statues of slave owners and imperialists of centuries past. Edward Colston, whose statue was thrown into Bristol Harbour last year, was rightly reviled for his role as a governor of the Royal African Company that controlled much of the transatlantic trade in human beings.
But that company was established by a British monarch. The wealth that company acquired became part of the mountain of wealth that the British Monarchy continues to sit on today.
In the Monarchy we have a living monument to all of Britain’s crimes – one that sits at the very heart of political and public life. It is an institution steeped in that history. But more than a monument, in the Monarchy the British ruling class have a weapon for the defence of their privilege and power.
It is therefore long overdue for us to topple not just statues, but the entire Monarchy, and all the other monoliths of the capitalist establishment.
It is time to throw feudal relics like the Monarchy and the House of Lords onto the scrapheap of history. We must throw out the whole capitalist system, which it serves and forms a part. It is time to fight for a socialist republic.