Celebrities and politicians court criticism – the royal family deserves better

But then royalty, the king, in his words, deserves it. After all, as Scobie often points out and reiterates on Newsnight, the King is a “publicly funded official”. The incident must be investigated and those involved must be held accountable because, he says, “this is a conversation that happened behind private doors and was conducted by public officials.” He continued that “they should be watched closely, as we politicians do, as all other public servants”.

And he’s being egged on by Republicans, with cheerleaders like Yasmin Alibhai-Brown shouting on X, ex-Twitter, that “we’re paying for this…”. The idea is that because the royal family is partly funded by the sovereign grant, raised from taxes approved by the government, they are fair game: in front, behind, above and below these private doors. All utterances, behaviors and actions, trivial or not, are ours for dissection and opinion.

So Kate can get it from Scobie because she fell in love and married William. She made a choice, by marrying a public funding officer, to become one. She then gave birth to three civil servants (age is no barrier) and no doubt used it as a stick to beat the children when they misbehaved: “Louie, give Charlotte back her yellow digger. This is NOT the way a publicly funded employee behaves.

Never mind that this approach is dehumanizing and cruel. We pay for them, we own them. We can do whatever we want with them. In fact, Peter Morgan, the creator of The Crown, doesn’t even feel the need to offer a justification for his fictional portraits of living royalty, which most people look at and believe is a kind of good-looking documentary.

“Playwrights are born to write for kings and queens. This is what we do,” he once said. And his friend, Netflix boss Ted Sarandos, actually dared The Crown to “humanize them. Those people who are not related by design, [Morgan] make them close.” And in this way, The Crown portrays even (or rather especially) the most personal moments. And portrays them as—or at least interpreted as—facts. Although the series is nothing more than a red-haired, dressed-down, decorated, styled and acted with great taste, skill and precision. I wonder if the actors ever think beyond their performances. Can those who portray the most personal moments of the lives of a living royal family expect that then they too have to be immune from unfair, inaccurate or outright fabricated stories?

If we, as the Republicans would have us, succeed in destroying the monarchy, tearing it to shreds and throwing it into the bucket of historical anachronism, then what? One can only assume that the next head of state (bribed only because he actually wants to do the damn job) will be a publicly funded official along with their entourage who will similarly attract endless attacks until this institution is finished.

Except an elected head of state would expect that. Politicians court criticism, it goes with the territory. They give up their privacy, they cannot complain about (legal) media control. They are certainly schooled in the treacherous ways of political life. As they sit around the cabinet table, they know that most of their senior colleagues will at some point write a book in which they will try to stitch up their fellow ministers. And if they don’t, one of their wily women will.

That is why it is surprising when they convey highly personal, offensive or indiscreet thoughts on WhatsApp. And so it’s not surprising that after making a mistake like that, they then, uh, manage to, uh, somehow, somehow lose all those incriminating messages when, uh, the damn phone somehow shut down, then restarted and all, uh, messages were (for the first time in IT history) deleted.

In a functioning democracy, politicians invite and encourage media criticism. But the Royal Family, as the embodiment and backbone of our traditions, cultures and values ​​– which works for, represents, encourages and supports so many good and important endeavors – deserves more. Better than Scobie’s gossip dressed up as a vital debate on the future of the constitutional monarchy.

Especially when it comes to digging up and dusting off that old accusation of racism, as implied in Meghan’s initial revelation to Oprah Winfrey. You remember her saying that there were “concerns and talk about how dark [Archie’s] the skin can be when it is born”. Except, of course, Scobie (and Prince Harry) says it’s not racism, but “unconscious bias”. I once gave a course on this subject at a company I worked for. I didn’t feel the need to have my instincts corrected. If you think a person might be wrong about a certain task because they seem like an annoying, lazy fool to you, you’re probably right.

Scobie now complains that he is facing backlash from what he sees as misrepresentation of himself and his book. Exactly what his book does to royalty. Perhaps the King should convince Princess Anne to marry him. Thus subjecting him to daily terror and allowing the rest of us to tear him to shreds!

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