by Ava Alaeddini

By now you probably have heard of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have left their roles as senior members of the British Royal Family. Right now, it has been reported that the Sussexes are staying in a $13.7 million dollar seafront home on Vancouver Island in Canada. They have agreed with the Queen to abandon all roles representing the crown, which means Harry will be abandoning his military titles and positions within the next few months. The Duke and Duchess will also lose their titles of “His/Her Royal Highness,” something that also happened to Harry’s mother Princess Diana when she divorced from Prince Charles in 1996. However, both Harry and Meghan have promised to pay back the taxpayer money used to renovate Frogmore Cottage at Kensington Palace. What most royal experts are noticing is that Harry and Meghan’s departure echoes another Royal scandal that happened over eighty years ago in the 1930s. If you have seen season one of The Crown, you probably know what I am talking about…

The abdication of King Edward the VIII, also known as Queen Elizabeth’s uncle Prince Edward of Wales leaving the position of King in order to marry two time divorcée Wallis Simpson in 1936. Back then, it was forbidden for a member of the Royal family to marry someone who had a divorce, especially when that ex-spouse was still alive. Wallis Simpson had two ex-husbands who were alive and marrying Edward was out of the question. That is, unless Edward abdicated. No one in the family thought he would leave one of the most desired positions in the world, being King of England, but on December 11th, 1936, Edward announced through the radio that he would be giving up the role as King of England and passing it on to his younger brother Bertie, who later became known as King George VI and was Queen Elizabeth’s father. Edward would later go on to marry Wallis Simpson and they became known as The Duke and Duchess of Windsor in later years. Both the current Queen and her mother Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (yes they all have very similar names and it can get confusing) never forgave Edward for abandoning the Royal family for love and believed that him abdicating resulted in Bertie’s premature death in 1952 partially caused from the stress of being in such a prominent role.

Luckily, the Queen seems to be much more forgiving this time around about Harry and Meghan leaving. The Sussexes have stated that the constant media harassment and bullying that Meghan has received has damaged their family emotionally and mentally, and removing themselves from the toxic environment was needed before something drastic happened. It’s clear that Harry is being a supportive husband and putting Meghan first and fighting on her side when it comes down to the paparazzi, something that his family failed to do with his mother Princess Diana, who died in 1997 due to a paparazzi car chase that turned deadly. 

So in the end, Meghan and Harry are splitting their time between England and Canada to start a new chapter in their lives, and the public needs to support them, because what matters is Meghan, Harry and Archie’s happiness and not how many times the public sees them standing on a balcony or waving to a crowd.