Legitimate Royal Scandals Show A Lack Of Proportion In How We Treat Meghan

Prince Michael of Kent has made headlines this week. It's a reminder that we need to recalibrate the way we respond to royal scandals.

Michael of Kent

by Guy Pewsey |

This weekend, Prince Michael of Kent became the latest member of the royal family to become embroiled in a scandal. The Sunday Times and Channel 4 reported that the cousin of The Queen had displayed a readiness to use his royal status to gain access to Kremlin officials. Undercover reporters covertly recorded The Marquess of Reading, a friend of Prince Michael's, describing him as 'Her Majesty's unofficial ambassador to Russia.'

Prince Michael has denied these claims, with his spokesman adamant that the Marquess had 'made suggestions which Prince Michael would not have wanted, or been able, to fulfil', and 'as is standard practice, Prince Michael's private secretary made it clear to the company's representatives during their conversations that nothing could proceed without the agreement of the British Embassy and the help of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, of which Prince Michael is patron.'

The ongoing story has, naturally, hit various front pages this morning after newspapers rushed to follow up the story, and Prince Michael's behaviour has been scrutinised and criticised by pundits and correspondents. The story will surely develop further in the next few days, and while I will never welcome any scandal with glee, every incident of alleged deceit, infidelity or corruption in the monarchy serves as an important reminder to the world: the royal family may depend on their subjects believing that they have an inherent, God-given right to rule, but they are far from angelic. And it is in moments like this that throw our treatment of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, into such sharp focus.

The allegations surrounding Prince Michael of Kent are just that: there is no proof that he actively sought out a cash-for-access scheme. But the reports are fascinating, and at the very least speak to the potential for corruption in a group of people whose authority and influence goes largely unchecked. Just look at Sarah, Duchess of York, who was caught on film offering to 'open doors' for a Fake Sheikh. But that's far from the only example of problematic behaviour. The family's history is full of stories of torrid affairs that have eventually been revealed. Many royals have been recorded or captured on film making unsavoury comments - racist, bigoted etc. Peter Phillips used his royal lineage to make money advertising milk in China. Princess Michael of Kent showed up to a luncheon, attended by Meghan, wearing a racist brooch. Prince Harry dressed up as a Nazi to a costume party. And how could we forget Prince Andrew, incapable of sweating and embroiled in ongoing investigations surrounding the late Jeffrey Epstein.

In the same week that Prince Michael faced these new claims, Meghan had announced that she was releasing a children's book. Shortly after, she was accused of 'ripping off' the concept of another book. The Daily Telegraph suggested that she would put a nation of children off reading. Such responses seemed ridiculous from the get-go, of course, much like the now notorious suggestion that her love of avocados was destroying eco systems halfway across the world. But the absurdity of the levels of vitriol and mockery thrust toward her is really thrown into focus when an actual scandal centred around another member of the family emerges.

You can object to Meghan releasing a book, or doing an interview with Oprah (even though Sarah, Duchess of York has done both). You can think that her and Harry's ongoing journey into the world of California celebrity is a bit cheesy (even though they are simply trying to make money and build careers). But if you are actively angry with such moves, and truly feel your blood pressure rise every time you read a story about their latest development, then you need to work on your sense of proportion. If realising that Meghan would make some money from a book deal enrages you, then you should be doubly livid that Prince Michael of Kent has - by no fault of his own, he claims - brought a new drama to his beloved cousin's door. If you are annoyed that Meghan's choice of toast topping has a harmful carbon footprint, then you should be one hundred times more angry that Prince Andrew is yet to be interviewed by the FBI. If you disliked that Meghan once closed the door of a car, then you should be catatonic about the fact that the late Prince Philip once hit a woman with his.

If not, then why not? It's time you really thought about that.

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