OPINION: The sexist views of the public on the Royal Family

Emmy Berger, Staff Writer

If one thing is for certain about the royal family, it’s that their lives are marked with drama. Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Sept. 8 catapulted the world into a new era and left all of Great Britain wondering what would come next. Charles, the former Prince of Wales is now King Charles III, and his wife Camilla Shand is now the Queen Consort. Her reasoning for taking the title of Queen Consort rather than Queen is due to the rule that those who marry into the royal family cannot become monarchs. As first said by Time Magazine, the British public remains loyal to King Charles’ late ex-wife Diana Spencer and holds the belief that Shand shouldn’t have accepted the title out of respect to her.

It’s hard not to see similarities between the new generation of royals and the drama between the King, Spencer and Shand. The recent controversy that resulted of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry Mountbatten-Windsor and Meghan Markle, leaving their roles as senior members of the royal family had a similar reaction from the public as the royal love triangle of the 1980s. In both instances, most of the backlash fell on the women involved, rather than the man. This phenomenon is certainly not new, with Princess Royal Anne being portrayed as rude and cold for years due to her hatred of her role in the public eye and her avoidance of photo-ops. Her value of personal privacy negatively impacted her image, and yet her brother Prince Andrew faced little legal backlash for his charges of pedophilia and his involvement in a sex trafficking ring run by Jeffrey Epstein which were later dropped. He has since returned to the public eye as if everything were normal. The difference in public outrage regarding the extremeness of each case certainly shows which royals are granted leeway.

In a now-famous interview with Oprah Winfrey, Markle recounted the constant racism directed at her from the British press and her struggle with suicidal thoughts. Upon hearing of their departure from their royal positions, the public and the press loudly expressed outrage over what was in all truthfulness a collective decision made by Mountbatten-Windsor and Markle that worked best for their young family. Being relentlessly attacked by citizens of a country that she had become a member of without any shielding from the royal family had taken a massive toll on her mental health, to the point that Markle didn’t want to be alive anymore, as she had recounted in her interview with Winfrey. Markle and have since moved to Santa Barbara’s south coast and live with their two children, Archie and Lilibet.

When it comes to the royal family, the public has a long history of holding the wrong people accountable, primarily women. The only way this will be solved is by learning to change the narrative that men can break rules while women cannot. In the meantime, we will just have to see what royal scandals the future has in store.