Royal family need to ‘stop taking our money’ says Republic CEO
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Professor Jenny Hocking, who is on the National Committee of the Australian Republic Movement, argued that in order to preserve the monarchy, the family has to suffer. She claimed that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey highlighted the “duality” of monarchy as both an institution and a family, and how it succeeds in the former by damaging itself as the latter. She asserted the normal family components of “warmth, compassion and care” are sacrificed in order to maintain the monarchy’s position.
The republican described how Meghan and Harry’s experience demonstrated this and that it is “very upsetting”.
Prof Hocking told Express.co.uk: “You also get a very clear sense of the duality of monarchy, both as an institution and as a family and that’s fascinating.
“It succeeds institutionally only by causing a form of damage over itself as a family.
“Because the sorts of things that we normally associate with family life become very dysfunctional in order to protect the other part of the Palace, which is an institutional role.
“And that, again, I think is something that’s really very poignant and quite sad.
“What’s very sad about the interview is that it revealed this tension between the institutional requirements of the monarchy and normal family expectations of warmth, compassion, care and engagement.
“And so both from Meghan and Harry I thought the revelations were personally very upsetting and institutionally very important.”
Meghan herself highlighted the duality of monarchy when she told Oprah: “There’s the family and then there’s the people that are running the institution. Those are two separate things.”
Prof Hocking may have been referring to Meghan’s claim that she was unsupported by the institution with her mental health because of how it might look to outsiders.
The Duchess of Sussex told Oprah that, after admitting to the Duke that she was experiencing suicidal thoughts, they “went to the institution” to ask to “go somewhere” to get help, potentially a residential mental health care facility.
However, she claimed she was told this was not possible.
She said: “I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help.
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“I said that, ‘I’ve never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere’.
“And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”
However, it has been pointed out that Harry has been receiving psychological help for years and has been very open about it.
Meghan also argued that she and Harry were not being “protected” in that the Palace were not refuting stories in the press that she believed were inaccurate, yet would do so for other royals.
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She said: “It was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected, but they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”
However, the Royal Family’s mantra has always been “never complain, never explain”, which they have generally found most effective for criticism.
It is argued that if the Palace were to stoop to responding to every allegation or claim, they would be consumed by it.
However, Prof Hocking is not the first to put forward the view that the Royal Family put monarchy before family.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana endured many years of an unhappy marriage due to the intense pressure to make it work.
King Edward VIII also felt that he was unfairly treated by his family when he put love before the duties of the monarch.
Even more heartbreakingly, it was revealed in recent years that two cousins of the Queen were put in an institution and were never visited by family due to a genetic condition they possessed.
In the Netflix drama The Crown it was suggested that this was done in order to prevent people from “questioning the integrity” of the royal bloodline.
‘The Palace Letters: the Queen, the Governor-General and the Plot to Dismiss Gough Whitlam’ was written by Jenny Hocking and published in 2020 by Scribe UK. Details here.
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