I'll be quite honest. I probably would've left my British "history" in the past except for all the buzz about Oprah's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I'll admit that as soon it was announced, I put it on my calendar as "must-see" TV. I know, I know, I need to get a life. But in my defense, once upon a time, my life had included living in England and being married to a Brit, plus a love of Tudor history going back to when I was a teenager. In other words, I've always been interested in the Royal Family.
So, what did I expect? Remember the TV game show "Family Feud" hosted by the British comedian Richard Dawson? Well, that was my first thought. How every family has an assortment of "characters" that, by definition of their relationships and different personalities, provide endless amusement, aggravation, conflict, misunderstandings, and stories. Countless stories and different versions of those stories. So why should the Royal Family be any different?
But they ARE different. They live a larger-than-life existence and us "mere mortals" see them not only as members of the Royal Family but also as celebrities. And the British, including the many countries that comprise the British commonwealth, also see them as "civil servants" since their salary and staff are paid for by the people. All of which is to say, they play many roles – both in public and in private.
Fast-forward to the interview. I've already said quite a bit about my thoughts in our Banter Bite from earlier this week, Talk About Getting The Royal Treatment. But what I didn't include there, but what I've kept thinking about since, is how I feel that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wasted an incredible opportunity. So, have I now become a public relations or communications expert? Hardly. But since I can't help but think about the significant issues they exposed,
I wish that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had used their experience not to make anyone look bad but rather to merely tell their story and lay the foundation of why they're going to dedicate themselves to bringing greater awareness to incredibly important topics – racism and mental health – that apply to all of us, whether Americans or Brits.
|Did you know that April's Autism Awareness Month? I wasn't aware (pun intended) of it until I read our local homeowner's monthly newsletter and it caught my eye.|
|Actually, last month the founding organization, the Autism Society, changed "Awareness" to "Acceptance" to foster inclusivity, as knowing about something is very different from accepting it. But I am guessing that is not the point of this call.|
|Although it isn't autism, it reminded me of years ago when we found out that Natasha has learning disabilities.|
|I think you mean DIFF-abilities.|
|Of course, that's another thing I remember. I was focused on the negative aspects of her diagnosis until you asked me, point-blank, "Why are they called disabilities?" And proceeded to explain that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.|
|Exactly! Imagine the world if everyone excelled at math, but flunked English. Or, a world of lawyers, but no musicians. Some people are better at social skills, while others excel at handling technical data. Why not just say that people who have different skillsets and abilities have DIFF-abilities versus making them feel like they have shortcomings?|
||Well, the Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was over a month ago, but I still see plenty of articles about it. It's really "stirred up" things in the Royal Family.|
||Well, I guess it put "a bee in the royal bonnet." Although, I would not believe everything you read. Right after the interview, I read several articles suggesting the monarchy should end with Queen Elizabeth. I cannot imagine that happening.|
||Oh, that isn't anything new. It's been going on for a long time; there was even talk of it when I lived in England decades ago. All the interview did was further encourage those who are already advocating it.|
||At the risk of sounding like a broken record, but as I said in our Banter Bite, Talk About Getting The Royal Treatment, the Royal Family does seem to have "issues" in terms of race relations and dealing with mental illness. I can understand why people are questioning whether the monarchy, with its "old-fashioned" traditions and beliefs, is still relevant.|
||But it's not like that's the only place those issues exist. Just pick up a newspaper, turn on the news – it's everywhere! Unfortunately, the Oprah interview put a very public face on it – The Royal Family, or The Firm, which is how the family and institution refers to itself.|
||Who nicknames themselves The Firm? It sounds like a Netflix series, but with less class than " The Crown."|
|I know I can just search on "Monthly Columns" or scroll through the Words & Banter section page, but I wish there was a list of our columns to make it even easier.|
|You and your lists.|
Since Red wanted a list of our most recent columns, here it is:
- RED & BLACK … Royalty & Relevance (April)
- RED & BLACK ... Don't Regret Your Regrets? (March)
- RED & BLACK ... A Year-Round Valentine (February)
- RED & BLACK ... 2021 – A New Normal (January)
- RED & BLACK ... Stop. Think. Enjoy. (December)
- RED & BLACK ... What Would The Pilgrims Do? (November)
- RED & BLACK ... A Statesman vs. A Showman (October)
- RED & BLACK ... Going Back To School (September)
- RED & BLACK ... An Extreme Summer (August)
- RED & BLACK … A Time For Independence (July)
- RED & BLACK ... Racing To Launch (June)
- RED & BLACK ... FREE And Animated (May)
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