Sunday 20th of June 2021

soapy drama fit for a queen...


The Queen has broken her silence over Prince Harry and Meghan's tell-all interview, saying allegations of racism were "concerning" and they would be handled by the royal family "privately".


Key points:
  • The Queen said the royal family was "saddened" to hear how "challenging" Harry and Meghan's time as working royals had been
  • She is the first member of the royal family to talk after the Sussexes' bombshell interview aired on Sunday
  • Prince Charles, Harry's father, refused to comment when questioned during a public appearance on Tuesday 


In the statement, released by Buckingham Palace on behalf of the Queen, it is said "recollections may vary" about issues raised in the bombshell interview but they would be "taken very seriously".

It is the first statement released by the palace in the two days since the Oprah interview aired, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex speaking openly about racism and mental health issues they experienced as working members of the royal family.

"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," the statement read.

"The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning.


"While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately."


"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members."

Pressure had been mounting on the palace to respond after Meghan said during the interview that an unnamed member of the royal family had asked Harry "how dark" the skin of their unborn child would be.

Winfrey later said that Harry had clarified to her that neither the Queen nor Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, had made the comments.

The Queen's statement made no specific reference to claims Meghan had sought help for her mental health problems, including having suicidal thoughts, only to be turned away by "one of the most senior" people in the royal institution.


In the wide-ranging interview Prince Harry said he had been cut off from his father, the Prince of Wales, both financially and emotionally during their protracted departure from their roles.

He said Prince Charles even stopped taking his calls at one point.

"I feel really let down because he's been through something similar," Harry told Winfrey.

During a visit to a vaccination centre earlier on Tuesday, Prince Charles remained silent when questioned about the interview before he was ushered quickly out of the building.

He told National Health Service staff at the centre he was "full of admiration" for their hard work and thanked them.

"I can only hope that eventually you'll have a chance to see your families again and try to remember who they are," he said.


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smellybutts... in the importance of the royal coitus...






Cartoon from Vince O'Farrell, The Illawarra Mercury, 2009....

the contract...

In an interview stuffed with quotable lines, it was among the most resonant: the “invisible contract”, as the Duke of Sussex called it, that has bound the royal family and reporters together for years.

In this telling, it is not that the royals enjoy their media duties, or view them as a responsibility, but that the only way to survive the press is to strike a deal with it.


“There’s a reason that these tabloids have holiday parties at the palace,” Meghan said. “They’re hosted by the palace, the tabloids are. You know, there is a construct that’s at play there.”

If the royal family’s dislike for the press was in any doubt, perhaps the most memorable confirmation came in Prince Charles’s remarks to his sons, caught by an unnoticed microphone, during a photoshoot in Klosters, Switzerland, on a skiing holiday in 2005. 

“I hate doing this. Bloody people,” he said through visibly gritted teeth, before focusing on the BBC’s Nicholas Witchell. “I can’t bear that man anyway. He’s so awful, he really is. I hate these people.” They sat for the photos all the same.


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Since Meghan and Harry’s interview last Sunday, questions have been raised about the royal family. More specifically, is the family racist? Many viewers were shocked when the Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey that their mixed-race child’s skin tone had been discussed by a family member, and that “concerns” were expressed by them.

On Thursday, Prince William gave an outright denial. “We’re very much not a racist family,” he told reporters. His response was not surprising and what one would expect.


In fact, though debates about the revelation seemed to be happening everywhere, did it shock me? Honestly, no. I knew as a mixed-race woman that these kind of family conversations would have happened. Why? Because they always do.


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completement charlie... brilliant!

Notorious French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has published a new cover making fun of Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle, and George Floyd at once. Amid the outrage, some liberals demanded blood.


"Why Meghan Markle left Buckingham Palace,” read the cover of this week’s Charlie Hebdo, followed by the punchline, uttered by Markle: “Because I couldn’t breathe.” The illustration depicts Markle pinned under the hairy knee of a smiling Queen Elizabeth II, with the pose and punchline a reference to George Floyd, a black man who died under the knee of police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis last summer. “I can’t breathe” were Floyd’s last words.


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Brilliant! Annoying everyone and sundries! The Muslims, the Cathos! Even the republicans! This is what cartoons should do, except tread on the already troddens and the poor... The cartoon below by Giles is as cutting:




Remember Diana?... Meanwhile Archie, the non-little Prince, may ask who gets to be a prince?


A decree issued by King George V — the Queen's grandfather — in 1917 limits the titles of prince and princess to the children of the monarch, children of the monarch's sons and "the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales".

Bob Morris from the Constitution Unit at University College London said the rule was introduced to trim the increasingly unwieldy number of royal titles.

"Queen Victoria had nine children who were all princes and princesses, and then they had children and so forth, and George V took the view … that something needed to be done to tidy up the situation," he said.

The queen has the power to change the rules, and in 2012 she decreed that all the children of Prince William and his wife, Catherine, not just the eldest living son, would be princes and princesses.


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AND WE DON'T EFFING CARE ! There should not be any queens, kings, princes and princesses, except in fairy tales if you really wish to see some. The rest is just a theatre of the absurd for history-deficients. Time for an Aussie republic ! 

the end of the commonwealth?


You generally don’t expect a member of the royal family to be the loudest advocate in the world for union representation, but so it was this week.

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, told Oprah Winfrey in her interview about the problems she had getting any response from the royal family, and being stonewalled by its HR department. In exasperation, she said: “In my old job there was a union, and they would protect me.”



As a member of the Screen Actors Guild, she has experience being in a union that’s not afraid to go on strike or support fellow workers when seeking better pay and conditions.

It was a quite remarkable statement on how lacking union representation leaves you subject to the whims of your employers.

Meghan gets it.

So too does Anthony Albanese who this week was also doing his bit to support unions by showing solidarity with striking workers at McCormick Australia’s factory in Claytontweeting: “Now the workers have gone on strike. Good on them.”

It’s rare to see politicians, even Labor ones, cheering workers going on strike. And yet industrial action is vital for worker power – without it the ability to protect workers, or bargain for higher wages, is greatly diminished.

But alas, that has been the case for over a decade now.

This week the latest industrial dispute figures showed that 2020 had fewer days lost to industrial action than any year on record.



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That has simply to do with people working on flimsy contracts, part-time and/or barely a couple hours a week for peanuts... No unions for these guys and dolls...


Meanwhile at the royal coalface...:



One might assume the Sussexes’ wealth and status would insulate them from offensive comments, or that the royal family has offered emotional support and protection as Meghan weathered mounting racist attacks. But Oprah Winfrey’s explosive interview with Prince Harry and Meghan dispels that notion.

According to the couple, not only did the Firm fail to correct the damaging tabloid narrative around Meghan, during her first pregnancy unnamed members of the royal family voiced concerns to Prince Harry about how dark their unborn child’s skin might be. Following speculation that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, initiated these conversations due to his well-known history of offhanded racist remarks, Oprah issued a follow-up statement clarifying that the discussions about the baby’s skin color did not involve Prince Harry’s grandparents.

But prior to Archie’s birth, Queen Elizabeth II chose not to amend the 1917 Letters patent issued by King George V, stipulating that for great-grandchildren of a sovereign, only "the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales” (currently Prince George) would be considered a prince. In contrast to her treatment of Prince William’s children, all of whom are titled as a result of a 2012 royal directive, the queen has left Archie, the first child of color born into the British royal family during an era when the UN has categorized white supremacist hate groups as a growing "transnational threat,” to wait to receive a title and the enhanced royal security protection it affords until his grandfather, Prince Charles, becomes king.

The details revealed in Oprah’s interview with the Sussexes underscore the long and unacknowledged history of colonial slavery, white privilege, and racism in Britain, particularly within the royal family.

The current queen’s distant ancestors launched England into the trans-Atlantic slave trade and are responsible for the enslavement and death of millions of African captives. In 1672, Charles II chartered the Royal African Company with the intention of supplying enslaved Africans to England’s Caribbean and North American plantation colonies. His younger brother, James, Duke of York, was the Company’s honorary governor and its largest shareholder. The Royal African Company represented the culmination of over a century of small-scale slave trading initiatives endorsed by the English monarchy, beginning with Elizabeth I’s support of John Hawkins’ slaving expeditions in the 1560s to deliver African captives to Spanish America.

The Stuart and Hanoverian monarchs promoted and profited personally from the expansion of African slave trading and colonial slavery, and oversaw the development of a vast, exploitative empire that strengthened mainland Britain and the royal family at the expense of marginalized peoples across Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

While the legacies of slavery and imperialism run deep in Britain, the full extent of the afterlife of the British Empire and its continued negative impact on Black Britons remains little understood by white Britons. Nearly a third of British citizens think the British Empire is "something to be proud of” and that racism no longer exists in Britain. As the historian Maya Jasanoff notes, "Scratch almost any institution with roots in Britain’s era of global dominance and you’ll draw imperial blood.” And none more so than the British monarchy.


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pampered brats?...

Wayne Dupree was invited to the White House to talk to President Trump on messaging to the black community. He was named in Newsmax’s top 50 Influential African-American Republicans in 2017, and, in 2016, served as a board member of the National Diversity Coalition for Donald Trump. Before entering politics, he served for eight years in the US Air Force. His website is here: Follow him on Twitter @WayneDupreeShow


I hoped that the much-heralded union between the Prince and the actress would only be positive for them and world – but nothing, apparently, is ever quite good enough for our pampered, self-indulgent American princess.

It was such a fairytale. A beautiful black American actress falling in love with a dashing white British prince, their high-profile romance and wedding blowing away the cobwebs of a staid, stuffy royal family and heralding a new inclusive, multi-racial dawn.

I had high hopes Meghan and Harry would be role models for the monarchy and use their wealth and connections/social circles to make a positive difference to the world.

Less than three years on, and that dream lies shattered.

I cringe when I think about where they’ve ended up and I’m sad at the impact they’ll never have. Such an opportunity lost. I actually couldn’t watch their full interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night, because, well, ultra-wealthy, spoilt people complaining about the beds they’ve made for themselves just makes me angry.

Say what you will about the long-suffering British Queen, Elizabeth II, but I believe she has been effective in her role, largely due to her ability to separate her own feelings from how she comports herself daily. The Queen is not prone to talking about herself, or whingeing about her lot – sadly her grandson and his wife are just the opposite. Silence is a virtue in all walks of life, not just in aristocratic circles.

Meghan has said she didn’t know what she was getting into when she married into the royal family, or what would be expected of her. My question to that is, why? As a professional actress for many years, who had to prepare for her scenes, and as a blogger who wrote many articles, she was familiar with research and preparation. Why didn’t she do more background checks to understand what she was getting into by marrying Harry? Like looking at what happened to his mother, Diana, for example? It just seems extremely odd.

First, you have a lavish wedding costing millions of pounds, paid for by other people, then you go live in a nice home, redecorated at someone else’s vast expense to your specifications, with a large staff to help you through the day.  

Then, claiming to be a victim, you go to Canada, where you stay in a lovely home (again, at someone else’s expense), then decide that’s not good enough, so fly on a private plane to Southern California to live in someone else’s lavish home, and they thoughtfully provide security in addition to lodging.  

Then you buy a $14.5 million home (how?) in one of the most exclusive coastal communities in America. But still, you appear on prime-time TV to bemoan your lot, say woe is me, and blame your in-laws for messing up your life. Really?

Meanwhile, back in the real world, businesses are going bankrupt, children are starving and not being educated, Uighur people are being forced to endure re-education, families are being besieged and blown up in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, and a whole host of other evils are happening.

I won’t be feeling sorry for these two who have gamed the system for millions while the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have left far better people homeless and struggling – it’s a nauseating display of selfishness and narcissism.

I have read many books about the royal family over the years, and I have to say that Prince Charles, Harry’s father, has been dealt a tragic set of cards – he is never in the right place at the right time, but always in the wrong one.


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See the bridge where the poor royals have ended under, living on a barge (by Giles):





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time to switch...


With the royals at war, let’s get down to planning our republic


by Peter FitzSimons

“If you like laws and sausages,” the Iron Chancellor of Germany, Otto von Bismarck, once said, “you should never watch either one being made.”

Might I say the same message about lifting the veil applies broadly to those Australian monarchists who insist there is something truly special about the British royal family, that they are so far ahead of all other families, it really is their place to reign over us by “divine right” for generation after generation?

This week has been tough for those monarchists, as Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, pressed the nuclear button while being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, accusing the family’s courtiers of turning their backs on her while she was suicidal because of the family’s strictures, the family of being racist and making her cry. And this was just before Prince Harry chimed in to say his father, Australia’s nominal future king, doesn’t return his calls, and that both his father and brother, Prince William, are trapped by the whole royal schtick and can’t escape like he has. And all of this proved to be no more than their opening remarks.

At the Australian Republic Movement, which I chair, we take no joy – and I mean that – in the royal family being at war. And we feel for Her Majesty having to deal with it at the age of 94, while her husband is in hospital. But it does rather underline the ludicrousness of the whole notion that this English family is uniquely qualified to give us Australians a head of state that represents national values.

Still, the surge in interest in our movement is nothing if not timely. Even before the Oprah interview our national committee had decided this was the year we would determine, and unveil, our proposed model for the new Australian republic that we’d like the government to take to the polls. And we made that plan public this week – as well as our intention to consult widely on what the model should be.

One issue that has come up in the enormous response has been what the Australian head of state should be called. I would prefer something other than “president” and would be happy to stay with “governor-general” as that would connote a continuity of the role, even though the position would be resting on Australian democracy, not English “divine right”.

Another suggestion though, from historian Benjamin T. Jones, in his book This Time is that the term be “elder”, which ARM member Ken Waugh suggests be “national elder”, which I like. It could only be done after consultation and agreement from the people of the First Nations, but it has a very Australian feel to it, yes? And would be a nod towards reconciliation. And as Jones points out, the word “elder” also has resonance among religious congregations, so with their blessing too, it would be particularly inclusive.

Your thoughts, welcome!




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