‘Three sides’

Dear Editor:

There’s an old adage that suggests, “there’s generally three sides to any story… my side, your side, and the truth somewhere in the middle.”

I couldn’t help thinking this while trying to decide who was right in the Meghan and Harry versus the monarchy interview with Oprah.

Who can argue with Harry’s desire to protect his family? After all, who can forget the confusion and anger on the face of the dispirited youngster forced to walk behind the coffin of his beloved mother?

On the other hand, just what were Meghan’s real intentions? Perhaps to lure Harry to her homeland for her own Hollywood-style purposes, knowingly taking full advantage of the memories of his mother?

Was Oprah’s knee-jerk reaction regarding the comment of the unborn child’s skin a little too contrite?

Is the royal family as pristine as one would believe?  Certainly their conspicuous ignorance at Diana’s funeral, the protection given to Andrew after the Jeffrey Epstein incident, the covert acceptance of Camilla in place of the controversial Diana; these all point to differential and preferential treatment depending on doctrine most beneficial to the royal family.

Geography and tradition too, have major roles to play in many people’s minds.  The most recent Ipsos poll states that 98% of women of colour in the United States side with Meghan.  In Britain, Harry’s popularity index (never before below 50%) has dropped below 30%. In Canada, given the Julie Payette scandal, the significance and popularity of the ties to Britain have taken a severe turn for the worse.

Looking forward, there will come a day when the embattled and (in many people’s minds) incompetent Charles will be our king.  Most Canadians by tradition have never known anyone but his mother, and have accepted the queen’s role as part of our history.

With the news media being what it is, it is increasingly difficult for the royal family to hide behind the veil of secrecy that is Buckingham Palace.  Many now see the royals as simply another form of celebrity, with solely a birthright to prove that’s where they belong.  Is being able to smile appropriately and wear (God knows) how many medals, uniforms and decorations the most significant qualifications for the role?

In my mind, human rights supercede birthrights.  Gender and race equality, freedom of choice, and mental health issues are all far more relevant today than the traditions of being born into the most famous and wealthy family in the world with all its inherent and publicly-funded  perks.

Alas, or for what it’s worth, the best thing about the interview personally was that escape for two hours without the word COVID-19 being spoken!

Ron Johnson,
Mount Forest