It is actually fitting that Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave the UK is being referred to as Megxit. Because this royal temper tantrum, this flouncing out of the UK by the most painfully PC couple in monarchical history, has much in common with Brexit.
Like Brexit, it has exposed the vast moral divide that now separates the new elite, of which H&M are key figureheads, from ordinary people.
Like Brexit, it has confirmed that this nation is now split, in David Goodhart’s words, between ‘Anywhere’ people and ‘Somewhere’ people. ‘Anywheres’ are post-national, geographically mobile and often sniffy about those old, apparently outdated values of community life and familial loyalty. And ‘Somewheres’ view nation, place, family and belonging as incredibly important.
And now we know where Harry and Meghan stand. If she gets her way, Meghan will still be known as the Duchess of Sussex, sure. But really she will be the Duchess of Anywhere. She’ll be a globe-trotting Queen of Wokeness, a truly post-national, post-constitutional royal personage.
The dramatically different responses to Harry and Meghan’s abandonment of their royal duties shows what a massive clash of values we are living through.
The PC elites and Meghan-loving Twitteratti are lapping it up. ‘Slay, Queen!’, they cry, cheering Meghan for sticking it to Harry’s family and the entire creaking edifice of British monarchy.
Many ordinary people, on the other hand, are shocked. They’re shocked at what they view as Harry and Meghan’s betrayal of their family, their nation and their duties.
The non-media people I know are all saying the same thing about their right-on highnesses: how could they do this to their family?
My mum, like many others, is shocked at how they have treated Harry’s gran. Reports that the Queen is alarmed and pained by the couple’s decision to bugger off to Canada has irritated huge numbers of people.
And not because it looks like an affront to the God-ordained ruler of the nation that is Queen Elizabeth II. It isn’t as political as that. Rather, people are shocked that these two woke royals have hurt a grandmother.
You don’t treat family like this, right? You don’t make huge plans that will shake your family to its core without a proper chat beforehand.
Harry and Meghan reportedly sent their Instagram announcement about their unprecedented move to Charles and William just 10 minutes before making it go live. I’ve given family members longer than that to OK the Instagramming of a photo of us on a night out. Harry and Meghan seem to many people to be scarily cavalier about family responsibility.
What’s more, they’re reneging on what were once considered to be lifelong constitutional duties: the responsibility of members of the royal family to serve and protect the Crown.
It seems that Harry and Meghan want to keep the perks of royal life — including their titles and the HRH thing — without having to submit to any of the graft of royal life.
Across the web, people are joking about what would happen if they tried something similar in their workplaces. ‘Can I keep my job title but stop doing my job?’ These swipes show that people just don’t understand how H&M can walk away from their public role, their social duty, their work.
And haven’t they betrayed the nation, too? They’re British royals. They’re part of British history. They are tied to the past and the soil of this nation. And now they’re going to live in a mansion in Canada or a fancy pad in LA? It feels so wrong.
Harry and Meghan seem determined to free themselves of all constraints. The constraint of family, the constraint of duty, the constraint of nation. All so that they might become free agents who can earn lots of money and do loads of woke agitation on a more global scale.
They want to be global actors, not ‘mere’ national figures or family members. No wonder they are being cheered by those sections of liberal elite that loathe the nation, think the nuclear family is ‘problematic’, and see all forms of tradition as stupid and archaic.
The people who hate Brexit love Megxit. Why? Because Megxit involves two super-virtuous, eco-aware, post-traditional aspiring globalists breaking free of the pesky nation in order to become international dispensers of PC blather — like the EU, the UN, and all the other global bodies the new elites love.
To the rest of us, though, it’s just wrong. It’s a retreat from responsibility and a snub to the nation.
Right now, despite being a republican, I feel like I have more in common with old-style monarchists than I do with the woke, business-like, global royalism of Harry and Meghan.
Sure, republicans and monarchists disagree profoundly over how the nation should be governed. But we both believe in the nation.
To Harry, Meghan and their hip, privileged cheerleaders in media and celebrity circles, on the other hand, even the nation is little more than an ugly barrier to the greatest goal in the woke era: the celebration and promotion of the self.
This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.