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On Megxit – By another Brit who married an American

I’ve had a lot of Americans asking me what I think of Megxit.

Honestly, I keep changing my opinion.

Initially, I was like TRAITORS. But once I’d calmed down and read something aside from the Daily Mail, I realised at the end of the day, they are adults and can choose what they want to do with their lives. Maybe we Brits should spend more time preparing for the actual event of the year, Brexit, instead of stressing over where a young couple decides to live…

But the Brexit chat has been going on for 4 years now so you can’t blame us all for wanting to FINALLY talk about someone else making a seemingly catastrophic decision.

Brexit

As a Brit who loves the monarchy and also married an American, I feel like I understand Harry and Meghan’s situation, but I am also struggling to accept their decision…

"Why are people getting so stressy about Megxit?"

Diana.

I was too young to remember her, but I can still feel the impact she had on the world, most clearly in her two sons, William and Harry. And due to the tragic loss of their mother, the British public has felt both protective and intrusively interested in their lives, adopting them as our own.

They are a sign of hope and change within the British monarchy. Harry, in particular, holds that perfect mixture of thousands of years of heritage, alongside the warmth and spirit of his mother.

People also love a bachelor.

Everyone loves a bachelor
 
While William and Kate had their fair share of press during their 10 years of dating, there has always been an obsession with Prince Harry’s love life. As Wills was snapped up pretty quick, Harry was every girl’s best shot at getting a tiara.

So while we were all thrilled to see him happily married, the nation couldn’t escape a sense of loss at our youngest son finally growing up. And now to think that he’ll be flying the nest to build a life in Canada with his American wife is just too much to bear for this proud, yet fragile Nation.

We’ve had to deal with a lot of change recently, we’re not exactly in a stable frame of mind.

“What will they miss out on?”

Having moved to the US and married an American, I could very easily give up all the quirks and traditions I have collected throughout my life in the UK and adopt those of my husband. But that would be a huge loss.

In deciding to build their new lives away from the Royal Family, I do believe that Harry, Meghan, and Archie will miss out on some of the best parts of a transatlantic relationship and family.

I cannot wait to teach my kids to use “loo” instead of restroom, convince them that the (original) British Office is better than the US Office, call me mum, and enjoy gorging themselves on pancake day every year.

But I also can’t wait to share Thanksgiving with them, learn to make lemonade together and set off fireworks on the 4th of July. And maybe we’ll merge elements of a British and American Christmas to be sure we can celebrate our different heritages.

A Transatlantic family
Amy Sanders Photography

Like ours, Harry and Meghan’s family is half British and American so why not embrace and celebrate this interesting mix? In stepping back from their royal duties and giving up their HRH titles, the Sussexes will be losing a key aspect of their unique family through Megxit that only a hand-full of people in the world get to experience.

“Are the press really that bad?”

It’s pretty clear the British press is no fun when you’re a royal, so I don’t blame them for sneaking across the ocean to escape it. They nitpick your every action, one opportune photo can suggest a bored and disengaged monarchy, and a style of dress that was praised one week is slammed as dull and unflattering the next.

They can’t win.

The British media adore Kate now, but countless articles claimed her family were shameless social climbers while she was dating William. And everyone had an opinion on the state of her health and weight leading up to the wedding and during her first pregnancy.

The British press has simply moved on to a new victim, Meghan.

And let’s face it, the Megxit headline is genius and timely.

“She knew what she signed up for”

Yes, and no.

Yes, it’s pretty obvious that if you marry a British Prince, there are going to be some cool and frustrating elements to this relationship. Traveling the world, glamorous events, and calling a palace granny’s house… CAN I SAY YES NOW??
But, the endless royal engagements and protocol? MAKE IT STOP.

As an American, Meghan was at a disadvantage from the outset as Americans just can’t seem to get the protocol right – did anyone see Obama begin his speech DURING the British National Anthem while attending a State Dinner hosted by the Queen in Buckingham Palace?? Oh, the horror!

If he can’t get it right no-one can.

And Meghan has definitely had a few run-ins with the establishment during her first few years with Harry. For example, she decided not to wear tights, rebelliously closed her own car door, and we all remember the infamous wearing-jeans-to-Wimbledon-gate to name a few. How could she? (PLEASE READ THAT WITH SARCASM. ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE RIDICULOUS).

Megxit and British Traditions

Despite warnings and getting a glimpse of it all while dating Harry, I do not think she was fully prepared for the reality of marrying into the royal family – as royal courting goes, Harry and Meghan’s was relatively quick – William and Kate dated on and off for 10 years, earning her the name “Waity Katie”.

However, even with more time, it’s one thing to prepare for something and an entirely different one to actually live it.

As a military spouse and someone who moved across an ocean, I hear “you know what you signed up for” as a way to put down anyone that is struggling with what is a well documented, yet undoubtedly hard lifestyle.

Saying “you know what you signed up for ” is not a fair thing to say to anyone. Reading or hearing about an experience is NOT the same as living it. It’s often a lot harder than you ever anticipated. And you’ve gotta work out a way to deal with it.

Megxit is Harry and Meghan’s way of saying, aspects of this lifestyle are not for us, we want to do it a different way. Luckily for them, they have the luxury of being able to make the changes they want and need. It might seem like an empowering decision to put themselves first. Or it may seem spoiled and entitled.

“What does the Queen think of Megxit?”

Despite being British, I don’t actually know the Royal Family.

So my guess is as good as anyone’s. But, I’m gonna go ahead and guess like everyone else.

Probably a bit upset. I mean, her grandson is moving away. I know my grandparents couldn’t help but keep back the tears when left for America – even my Grandad who is usually a very serious, doom and doom kinda guy spilled a few tears. Although maybe he was thinking he actually would never see me again…

Even with the Royal Family’s endless fortune, it won’t be easy to keep up regular contact because lives get busy. You can’t exactly jump on Skype to say “Hi” while you’ve got the Prime Minister giving you an update on the state of the nation.

Megxit and the Queen

Megxit has also scuppered the Queen’s retirement plans. The young royals were supposed to be splitting royal duties between them as the Queen begins winding down. But now that burden will fall on Prince Charles, Camilla, William and Kate, and the Queen.

Harry and Meghan have escaped their royal duties with little issue, leaving the rest of their family to deal with the strain. It seems selfish. Why should they be allowed to run away from their problems while everyone else suffers?

Well unless some horrific tragedy hits the Royal Family, Harry’s not gonna be king. Meghan will not be queen. Their duty to the crown is entirely different from that of William and Kate or Charles and Camilla who will rule one day.

Whoever hears about what Princes Anne does or what Princess Margaret did? (If you haven’t seen The Crown on Netflix, I bet you won’t even know who they are). The siblings of the heir to the throne often fade into the distance. So why not allow Meghan and Harry to do the same?

I know the feeling....

Being in a transatlantic relationship myself, I know the struggle of trying to strike a balance between America and the UK.

By moving to the US to be with my American husband, I’m gaining more choices on Netflix and Chick-fil-A, but I’m losing good tea and the option to walk places. And of course, the ability to see friends and family more than once or twice a year. And everything else I’ve ever known.

In a relationship like this, there comes a point where you have to compromise and accept there is no practical way you can create a 50/50 balance. Continually striving to create one will only make you both unhappy.

Even with Meghan and Harry’s endless resources and fame, there is no way they will actually spend half the year in the UK and half in North America.

So Megxit is their compromise. By stepping back from royal duties and leaving the UK, they have freed up their time to focus on other priorities.

Seeing the UK freaking out at Megxit feels a lot like when I told my friends I would not be living in the UK long term ever again. Despite often talking about moving and marrying David, only when I actually stated “Guys, I won’t be living in the UK again or at least for a very long time” did they realise.

There was lots of shock and outrage. But then there was lots of support. And of course, some moments of sadness when I actually did go. Now they know I will still make every effort to visit and remain a meaningful part of their lives, just in a different way.

At the moment the UK is still in the outrage stage. They’ll be in the support part soon, and be thrilled every time Meghan and Harry do return.

One Comment

  1. It’s difficult to find experienced people for this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

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