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Life’s a riot with Meghan Markle

Why send in the troops when you can send in the clowns?

Americans stopped fighting in the streets on Thursday morning as the balm of Meghan Markle’s platitudes washed over us like a healing draught of tear gas. Why send in the troops when you can send in the clowns?

The Duchess of Malibu has released a video of her graduation address to the seniors of Immaculate Heart High School, the private Los Angeles school whose teachers bear at least some of the responsibility for launching the woke royal upon the gas-guzzling, meat-eating, racist public. The video is, as Markle says of the George Floyd riots, ‘absolutely devastating’.

It’s a vintage performance: the dress-down ponytail and Diana-like white shirt, the Diana-like rolling of the spontaneously moistened eyes, the Diana-like repetition of the clichés of the day as if she is thinking of them for the first time, the long pauses where she is overwhelmed, speechless but still profoundly moved by her own compassion in a sensitivity that could only be called Diana-like, or Diana-lite.

It is impossible not to be impressed by the conviction with which the millionaire wife of a ginger prince faces the pervasive hierarchies of white supremacy. Only a racist cop would refuse to take a knee, and perhaps a Sussex Royal tea towel, when hearing Meghan’s tremulous account of witnessing the Rodney King riots as an 11-year-old. The bit where she quaveringly recalls seeing ‘men in the back of a van, just holding guns and rifles’ must have been especially upsetting for her.

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Since the dark day that Charlton Heston hung up his wig, no man in Hollywood has held more guns than Prince Harry. Meghan’s husband is — or was, until she had a word — a habitual hunter of furry animals. He also served two tours as a helicopter gunner in Afghanistan. Prince Harry probably fired more rounds at people of color than the combined police departments of America have over the last week. But Meghan bravely soldiers on.

In apartheid Britain, the aristocracy call it noblesse oblige: the duties that come with the privilege of rank. Mostly, Meghan feels obliged to aggrandize herself by speaking down to us peasants. As a prince or an archbishop might have mounted the steps of a church and lectured the unlettered turnip-suckers of yore on their ignorance and wickedness, so Meghan and her dim duke claim the right to hector us about our depravity.

Meghan is entitled to her opinion. She is entitled in everything: entitled as the Duchess of Sussex, entitled to tell the plebs what to do about the environment, entitled to franchise the royal brand for tea towels, entitled to monetize her son as a proto-celebrity, and now entitled to commandeer the spotlight at a time when it might more usefully be directed toward the poverty and violence of our cities.

Until the media opportunity that is the George Floyd riots arose, Meghan seemed more concerned with the lives of African elephants than those of African Americans. During her brief reign at Frogmore Cottage, she denounced her husband’s people as incorrigible racists — though London might be the most racially diverse city in the world. But she didn’t say much about her fellow Americans.

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She didn’t say anything about race in America when she chose to return to Los Angeles, a city whose recent history and deep inequities are a paradigm of America’s racial division. She didn’t say much about race in American when she and Harry rented a fortified citadel, high in the hills above the gangs and guns. There was more important work to be done: catching a thermal from the hot wind emitted by Greta Thunberg and her end-times followers, preparing for the long haul by setting up the Sussex Royal brand and the Archewell tax dodge.

Meghan’s video is a product placement, placing the Markle-Windsor brand at the center of our digital attention. She ends with the usual exhortation to vote if you want to see change. She doesn’t say who the students should vote for, but it’s obvious what she thinks, and why she emphasizes her traumatic memories of rioting and looting. Decades of gang violence and drug dealing have blighted lives in Los Angeles as in every other Democratic-run city. Meghan Markle is endorsing the candidate of law and order. 

Dominic Green is Life & Arts editor of Spectator USA.

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