Omid Scobie’s weekly Yahoo UK column is one of the things I look forward to reading every week now. This week’s column is about the Duchess of Sussex’s Archetypes podcast, the first episode of which debuted on Tuesday. Scobie was banging out this column last-minute, although I have a feeling he might have gotten a heads up about the premiere, and I also get the feeling that he’s possibly heard a few episodes already. Anyway, Scobie’s thesis is that Meghan is free. She is uncensored and unbothered. She is not beholden to the Windsors or the British press. And the Windsors and the British press are fully crying about it. Some highlights:
‘Archetypes’ pulls no punches: The topics raised are issues that the duchess knows all too well— overcoming stereotypes as a woman of colour, inequality in the workplace, climbing the career ladder without privilege and, sexist labels. And from what I’ve heard so far, it pulls no punches.
Meghan’s ambition: For Meghan, she says, her own ambition was weaponised against the moment she entered the royal bubble. She’s not wrong. Just last month a tawdry book on the duchess by a male journalist featured close to three dozen uses of the word, almost exclusively negatively. “Ambitious and ruthless”, “socially ambitious”, “ambitious networker”, “ambitious and hungry”, “a very ambitious… brazen hussy”. The list was long.
Undoing her dehumanization: While each episode of the show is designed to illuminate the lived experiences of other women, Meghan has also found a way to undo some of her public dehumanisation in the process.
Scobie’s got receipts too: Better yet, the outraged reaction from the British press and world of royal commentators will also quietly prove many of the points raised in the show. Because, predictably, many pounced the second the show went live. “Vapid and preposterous,” sniffed the Times’s one-star review which, like a grumpy old man at a bus stop, went on to complain about Prince Harry’s use of the word “vibes” and the repeated use of “Californian platitudes”. The Daily Mail dedicated a lengthy report on how “pathetic” and “yawn”-worthy contents of the show are, while also assigning a team of reporters to pump out 16 (and counting) articles about its first episode.
Not calm, nor carrying on: Of course, it wouldn’t be a conversation about the Sussexes without mentioning the palace’s “fears”. I’m told Buckingham Palace aides were most definitely not keeping calm, nor carrying on after the show’s premiere on Tuesday, worried about what else might be shared over the next 12 weeks.
The pushback on the nursery-fire story: Two aides have already pushed back on Meghan’s ‘precise recollection’ of events in South Africa – one told a tabloid that it was a smoking heater, not a fire (does it matter?) and another claimed it is ‘unfair’ to share such stories when the Royal Household cannot comment.
Uncensored & unbothered: But then this is the reality that the royal institution helped create. Uncensored and unbothered, Meghan, like Harry, has managed to create a healthier and happier existence since being shown the door after the couple’s half in, half out proposal was rejected. The two are now free to show their battle scars as and when they see fit.
My favorite part: “Uncensored and unbothered, Meghan, like Harry, has managed to create a healthier and happier existence since being shown the door after the couple’s half in, half out proposal was rejected.” Keep saying it! Keep reminding people! Keep throwing that back in their faces! Meghan and Harry offered to stay “half in,” offered to allow the palace courtiers to still dictate part of their lives. The Sussexes’ offer was rejected. It was rejected because the Windsors believed Harry and Meghan would fail miserably and Harry alone would come crawling back to the UK, broken and divorced. That’s literally what the Windsors were rooting for, if they weren’t grotesquely suggesting that Meghan would need to die for the good of the monarchy. These people still think that even after they left Harry and Meghan so unprotected (in every way) that the Sussexes would somehow never speak again? LOL.
As for the palace already in complain-and-explain mode… let’s be clear, the palace is very concerned about Harry’s memoir, but they are flat-out terrified that Meghan will one day start naming names or tell specific stories about what happened to her in Salt Island.
Photos courtesy of Instar, Spotify.