High Life

Blue Blood Blunder

January 13, 2018

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Blue Blood Blunder

Had she claimed to be 100 percent African-American, or to be lesbian, transgender, or simply bisexual, the adoration would have been even more pronounced. If she had a criminal record, the perverse New York Times would have gone bananas in praising her to the skies. Not to mention the politically correct British media, such as the BBC, that would have groveled in ways that would shame Uriah Heep.

Alas, she is only 50 percent black, divorced only once, and three years older than the 33-year-old groom. The future Princess Harry of Wales, or Duchess of Sussex, as some royal tipsters are predicting, is still plain Miss Meghan Markle, an American gal who until recently was a small-time actress who appeared on something called Suits. Personally, I had never heard of her until I stopped in London late last year before Buckingham Palace had made the announcement that Harry, fifth in line to the throne, was to marry MM. A couple of upper-class friends with what the Brits call handles to their names—titles—said there was no way a woman of her background would be accepted as a royal. Then came the announcement, and newspapers and the BBC reverted to type. They bowed low, very low, to political correctness and announced that there is nothing better in the whole wide world than a divorced small-time actress of mixed blood.

“Snobs like Evelyn Waugh must be really turning over in their graves.”

Everyone, that is, except Britain’s oldest weekly, the one I’ve been writing for these past forty years, The Spectator. One of our stars, Melanie McDonagh, was a lone voice in pointing out that Ms. Markle, “a groomed and glossy Netflix celebrity,” may not be the best role model for young women. Melanie is a good woman and has the guts to write about Palestinian rights, a real no-no where PC is concerned, as Jewish groups immediately label one a ferocious anti-Semite. Never mind. The English being English, lazy and absentminded and laid-back, no sooner had Melanie written what she had than a vicar reading her article got things mixed up and announced to his flock that Prince Harry was getting hitched to Angela Merkel, thus Brexit would be canceled, to say the least.

Go figure, as they say in Oxford! Mind you, the blue-blood obsession that had Wallis Simpson force Edward VIII’s resignation because she was a divorced woman has gone the way of high button shoes. Blue bloods all over Europe married cousins since the time of Charlemagne; no longer. Now it’s money that counts, and the aristocracy as well as royalty look for just that, plus fame. Celebrity, rather. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and future queen, broke the ice. Having had a divorce and a racy past, she has been forgiven by the British public, which now resemble their American cousins in more ways than one. Rock stars are the new royals in Britain, as they are in the good old U.S.A., and Camilla’s nephew, a buddy of mine, is married to a rock star’s daughter. Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara, is married to a rugby player, and Freddy Windsor, the queen’s nephew, is married to a minor TV starlet, Sophie Winkleman, one I have chased tirelessly as well as unsuccessfully for a long time.