Royal in baby racism row needs to apologise after Oprah interview
- Credit: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions/PA Wire
The Sussexes' revelations about racism, mental health, the media and other members of the Royal Family have pitched the House of Windsor into the biggest crisis it has faced for 85 years.
When King Edward VIII abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson in 1936, it led to a sea change in the monarchy. George VI acceded to the throne three years before the outbreak of the war, which may have had a different outcome had his brother not stepped down.
George's reign paved the way for the current Queen to take his place after he died at Sandringham in 1952. Still at the helm at the age of 94, she now has a mountain to climb if the institution she has led for almost 70 years is to weather the storm and come out better on the other side.
Two distinct threads have emerged amid the slew of accusations. While levelled at other family members and the way the institution operates rather than directly at her, she will have been left deeply wounded by the fallout all the same.
There is, of course, no way in which racism in the form of a discussion regarding how brown her great grand-child might be can be tolerated at the heart of the family which rules a racially-diverse kingdom and Commonwealth.
If the Queen is aware of which family member made the remarks, she should compel them to come forward and apologise. For until they do, their conduct besmirches them all.
Beyond this, the wider issue is how the Firm appears to have degenerated. Friction between the Sussexes and the Cambridges is the tip of a bigger iceberg than who made who cry in the row over bridesmaids' dresses before Harry and Meghan's wedding.
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Beneath the surface, it is about why the palace did not defend the Sussexes against an increasingly hostile media which portrayed them as the villains of the piece.
When Kate ate an avocado, it was heralded as a cure for morning sickness. When Meghan followed suit, she was destroying the environment.
Meghan's claim she found no-one willing to help within the institution when she felt suicidal shows where its culture needs to change from stiff upper lip and protocol, to caring more for those who are at the public face of it.
If officials and advisors have the power to effectively confine someone to their home to lie low, it is time the tail stopped wagging the dog.
Our much-loved monarchy must learn from all of this if it is to come out better and stronger.