British Royal Family

OPINION: The Palace is undeniably at fault - but there's an important lesson we can all learn from Meghan's experience in the royal family

The Sussexes shared a jarring, and at points shocking account of their time in the royal family - but we need to look further than the Palace if we're playing the blame game.

By Jess Pullar
Picture this, you're flipping through Instagram, Facebook, wherever, and you come across a glaring headline.
"MEGHAN MARKLE SLAMMED FOR BREAKING ROYAL PROTOCOL WITH LATEST OUTFIT".
Chances are, you'd click, or at least have your interest piqued. Don't worry, we're not naming and shaming you here - it's something we've all done.
But herein lies the problem - we've all done it. We've all been curious, intrigued, triggered by drama, of someone else's woes - hell, it's the reason a bunch of us tuned in to watch Oprah Winfrey's explosive interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry themselves this week, as they spoke freely for the first time about the confines of being a working member of the Royal family.
But at the end of it all, when the Duke and Duchess said their piece, there was a resounding theme that I, and I'm sure many others couldn't help but take note of...
These headlines, and those pertaining to Meghan who is of mixed-heritage, were a reflection of a backwards, ignorant society - and sadly, it's only retrospectively that we can finally read that between the lines.
Let's take a look back for a moment - in June 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, a movement sprung from the devastating and shocking murder of George Floyd. A black man who was killed at the hands of police brutality.
Alarming in itself that this wasn't an isolated incident, it was the trigger that was sorely needed to catapult the Black Lives Matter movement even further into the global spotlight.
For weeks protests across the States, and then across the world ruled headlines. Finally, we saw a flurry of eye-opening, powerful, knowledge inspiring headlines that not only shed light on systemic racism, but also shone a much overdue light on inspiring and talented people of colour.
We celebrated their work, which was finally at the forefront. It no longer got buried in the noise of commercialised, largely white-owned companies and their products. Indigenous communities and people of colour saw their voices amplified. We continue to fight for this.
But then, you look at Meghan Markle, and the way she has continued to be treated, portrayed and painted by the media.
You see how she has been at the centre of blatant racist attacks, of headlines - however indirectly - pitting her mixed-race heritage as something of a disadvantage. Something that sets her apart from others.
It sounds ridiculous when put like that - but really, the proof has been before our very eyes this entire time.
Duchess Meghan has been subject to abhorrent, racist attacks - the time for watching this unfold without doing a thing to stop it this has officially expired. (CBS)
Instagram account @everdayracism summed it up perfectly.
"There is no denying the overt and covert racism that Meghan has endured since the announcement of her dating Prince Harry and joining the Royal family although many will deny that this is anything to do with race," a recent post read.
The caption continued: "Meghan isn't the first member of the Royal family to be scrutinised bythe press however when you understand how racism works, it doesn't take long to unpick message being sent and the way Meghan has been framed. It's racism. Look carefully at the language used around Meghan and who it's coming from."
Scroll through the carousel below, and see for yourself.

Of course, this isn't the only evidence - Duchess Meghan also went into detail about her own experience of racism at the hands of the Palace.
Speaking of a time while she was pregnant with her first son, Archie, she revealed there had been conversations within the royal fold as to what colour her child's skin would be.
According to Meghan, Palace officials informed her that her child would not have a title, and raised "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born."
Oprah asked her more about this, with Meghan telling her: "That was relayed to me from Harry from conversations that family had with him."
She added that her security concerns only deepened throughout her last few months of pregnancy.
"They were saying they didn't want him to be a prince, which would be different to protocol, and that he wasn't going to receive security. This went on for the last few months of our pregnancy," she explained.
The shock from this admission, and the chatter around this topic has been at a peak since it aired. And for a good reason - doesn't this prove that so much of Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry's split from the royal family has everything to do with racism?
Meghan was at the hands of an institution who gave her little to no support - but where was the rest of the world? (Getty)
It's easy to play the blame game here. Yes, it appears the Palace have fallen extremely short - but they're certainly not the only ones.
Looking back at June 2020, the whole world came together to stand up for black lives - to work towards changing systemic racism, to call out racist behaviour, and to see that change tangibly happen.
But still, we kept clicking the headlines, seeking the scandal, the breakings-of-protocol, the questioning of what makes a royal as Meghan's every move was documented.
But as per above, did Kate ever get berated for holding her pregnant stomach? Did the Queen ever get called out for putting her hands in her pockets? And don't even get us started on the thought of how Kate would be portrayed if she chose to take a step back from royal life for a time in the name of her own and her child's safety. A saint? You can positively bet that's how she'd be painted.
But Meghan? Her decisions have been scrutinised, torn apart and made out to be problematic.
Slowly, she seems to be putting herself back together alongside her husband Prince Harry. But at what cost?
It's time to wake up and call out this abhorrent, blatant racism towards Meghan for what it is, just as we started calling out for justice for black lives, all those months ago.
And then maybe, just maybe, we'll understand that after everything, and beyond anything else, behind those headlines is a woman, a wife and a mother - just like so many of us.
There's a lot to learn from that.

For more info on Harry & Meghan's Oprah interview, check out the links below