Leaving the royal family was the right move, otherwise, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were ‘unlikely’ to comment on racism had they remained. According to new insight by royal experts, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex probably wouldn’t have been allowed to address the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement in recent weeks due to certain “political” restrictions for the royal family.
Let’s get one thing straight: There’s nothing “political” about believing that Black Lives Matter. The mission for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other Black people treated unjustly in America is simply a mission of human rights—not political parties. Yet many government officials (even some of those in the United States) believe otherwise. Among the royal family in particular, “the Black Lives Matter movement has become politically controversial,” Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator and former editor of The International Who’s Who, told Insider recently.
For that reason, Meghan’s speeches in light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests would not fly if she was still a working member of the royal family—and neither would Harry’s.
The Duke, 35, and Duchess, 38, have been speaking out about racism in a series of video calls recently. In June, Meghan’s commencement address to graduating students at her former high school, Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, took a clear stance: “George Floyd’s life mattered, and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered, and Philando Castile’s life mattered, and Tamir Rice’s life mattered,” she said, urging the graduates to always stand up for what’s right.
Harry has since addressed the “endemic” racism that the world currently faces, even going so far as to call out the Commonwealth’s treatment of the issue during a video call with the Queen’s Trust in early July. “When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past,” he said.
According to Joe Little, the managing editor at Majesty, it’s “unlikely” that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would have spoken out about racism so explicitly had they still been working within the royal family. “I think it’s unlikely that they would have commented on this topic if still based in the UK, but now that they are on the West Coast of the US, the dynamics have changed,” Little told Insider. In the meantime, they “still have roles with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust which they take seriously,” and they are clearly using those roles to shed as much light on these issues as possible.
Meanwhile, the rest of the royal family remains relatively silent on matters of police brutality, racism, and the Black Lives Matter movement—issues that are not exclusive to the United States, where Meghan and Harry moved to. “Because of the sensitivity of some issues, Buckingham Palace deems it best not to comment publicly, especially if there’s a possible overlap with UK or international politics or a perceived interference therein,” Little tells Insider.
That lack of public commentary is evident with Prince William, 38, and Kate Middleton, 38, who are instead using their social media to promote local missions, such as raising awareness of the current health crisis and thanking frontline workers.