Prince William’s Secret Coronavirus Diagnosis Displays Our Double Standards With The Royal Family

We felt we deserved to know everything about Harry and Meghan. Why is William any different?

Meghan Harry William Kate Coronavirus

by grazia |
Updated on

The Duke of Cambridge is believed to have tested positive for coronavirus. The Sun states that Prince William is reported to have been diagnosed in April, at around the same time as his father, the Prince of Wales. And yet, we are only hearing about it now, in November.

The reasoning behind this seems fair - a source says that 'there were important things going on and [he] didn't want to worry anyone' - but I can't help but find the discovery (still not confirmed officially by Kensington Palace) rather baffling in how it exposes this country's continuing double standards in how it treats William and Kate versus Harry and Meghan. Do we want to know everything or not?

Prince William is second in line to the British throne. Reports seem to suggest that his experience with the virus was not severe. Nevertheless, for a short spell of 2020, there was a genuine possibility - slim, of course, but one cannot underestimate coronavirus - that the United Kingdom risked losing the two men who were set to be our monarchs for the next several decades. After the eventual passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the crown would pass to Prince George, currently seven years old. I may sound like I'm being silly, that I'm catastrophising by suggesting that we were on the precipice of an unprecedented crisis. But however slim the chances, I wonder: did we not have a right to know that our future king was dealing with such a thing? We pay for the lifestyle to which he and his family have become accustomed. Does this not make certain information a matter of public interest?

Perhaps I really am catastrophising. But being left in the dark about something so undeniably important makes me look back at 2019 and the birth of Archie, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The proceedings were cloaked in secrecy. There were rumours that Meghan had gone into labour, but we didn't really know because the couple don't seem to have kept royal aides in the loop. They declined to participate in a post-birth photocall, and the christening was private. The backlash was swift and angry. The overwhelming public consensus was that we were owed a bare minimum: a birth announcement, a picture on the steps of the hospital, a list of godparents. Harry and Meghan's detractors argued that there is an understanding implicit in our dealings with this family: we pay their bills, we maintain their palaces, we learn the anthem. The least we deserve in return is a base level of information. Treating a new mother with such disdain seemed needlessly cruel to me, but there was a vague logic.

Harry and Meghan heard these complaints and acted: they decided that exchange was not something they could tolerate, so left their roles as senior royals. The venom that was directed their way did not cease. But if you were one of the people who felt we deserved a briefing on little Archie, the need-to-know of his birth, the Cliff Notes version of his conception, should you not be equally up in arms about being kept in the dark about William's illness?

It all comes down to quid pro quo. What does our money earn? What do we have a right to know? Sometimes it feels like the loudest voices in this country hold inconsistent beliefs. Those praising William's stoicism for battling a killer illness with decorum and silence were the same calling Harry and Meghan ungrateful, or ignorant of the rules, when they dared to maintain certain privacies. Perhaps William really did deserve privacy at a stressful time in his life, but by that logic we also need to accept that Harry and Meghan warranted it too.

It's almost as if there's one rule for William and one rule for Harry. Can you imagine?!

READ MORE: We Look At The Maths Behind Harry And Meghan's Africa Trip Costs

READ MORE: There Is Enough Meghan Markle Hate Going Around Without Adding Lies To The Mix

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