Trigger warning. The opinions expressed here will upset some readers. Read at your own risk.
No one wants to be told their baby is ugly.
And now Harry and Meghan have shown in their Netflix documentary that from their perspective the royal baby is ugly indeed. Heads up. I am Irish. We have anti-authority stamped into our DNA. I find the concept of royal patronage to be ghastly. Wasn't that the whole point of the French revolution? To ensure political systems treated all men and women equally. A sort of down-with-kings-and-queens moment?
But back to Harry & Meghan. You know how to curtsey, don't you, he says to his fiancé; you will have to curtsey when you meet my grandmother. And she provides straight to camera a deep Monty-Python curtesy almost kissing the ground. Tug the forelock, Meghan. We did it for 800 years. It sticks in the throat. At least you are an actor. Much easier to act subservient than really be subservient.
The best thing about the six part documentary is a couple so much at ease in their relationship in the Californian climate. Who wouldn’t want to swap the damp and cold of British repression for such joy. This is a couple who have emotional articulacy. Meghan’s mother is the star. A gentle loving mum who cares about her grown up kid. Harry also had a mother (albeit one he lost too young) who helped him learn to recognise his own feelings. To say how he felt. He had unconditional love and touch. That's all most of us need.
And then, poor Jeremy Clarkson was triggered. The troubled child in him shouting (and the Sun publishing). What hurts him by the actions of a woman who married one of the royals in the UK? Why does the woman (in this partnership) trigger him more than the man? For me, as a 61 year old woman, it is deeply disturbing to experience such misogyny being celebrated in a British newspaper. We witness a crime: a newspaper whips up hatred and incitement to violence against a female. Why can’t the laws do anything about this? And the Sun/Clarkson go on, gas lighting us all afterwards with the most patronising of non-apologies...oh dear, silly me, I've upset some people. I was clumsy. I'll ask the Sun to take the column down. I'll be more careful next time. Who on earth can swallow this horse***t?
For The Sun it is business as usual. The way a business operates can be compared to a psychopath — see this excellent documentary on YouTube called The Corporation. No empathy. Callous unconcern for the feelings of others. Incapacity to maintain relationships. Reckless disregard for the safety of others. Weighing up risks with a cold heart. Will click-bait sales outweigh legal compensations? What’s the budget? Hate sells. Sex sells. Disgust sells. The directors (and shareholders) know that the visual concept of a naked woman having excrement thrown at her will sell. Porn sells. Not a very complicated business model. The page 3 model was tame in comparison.
© Alison Hackett 27 December 2022
Alison Hackett — Director and founder of 21st Century Renaissance; author of The Visual Time Traveller 500 Years of History, Art and Science in 100 Unique Designs