Just to clarify: Prince Andrew definitely, absolutely, 100 percent hung out in a manner not “becoming of a member of the royal family” with sexual abuser Jeffrey Epstein. But for reasons that are impossible to discern (wild theories: sexism, racism), the British press is just appalled that I, the Duchess of Sussex, and my husband, a redhead who will never be king, have announced our decision to do as so many of our fellow millennials do: attempt to move out of his parents’ house, gain financial independence and make our own way in the world.
I can see that this — me, what I’m doing, not the Andrew sex-trafficking-adjacent thing — has led to considerable upset. The Queen is not thrilled. Buckingham Palace aides are “shocked,” “devastated” and “downright furious.” And, according to the Daily Mail’s sources, Harry and I “spent weeks ‘secretly plotting’ [our] decision … in what one insider branded a ‘staggering level of deceit.’”
They were wrong. It has not been weeks. It has been decades.
Ever since I was a little girl, I fantasized about marrying Prince Harry — for the express purpose of destroying the monarchy, torching centuries of tradition, and throwing the royal family and all its attendant staff and parasitical press into complete, all-consuming chaos — or whatever it is the tabloids say I am now doing.
Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen, according to a detailed, precise timeline I mapped out in kindergarten. When I met Beyoncé, and she called me “my princess”? EXACTLY how I imagined it would be. Two weeks ahead of schedule, actually.
Other girls in my class dreamed of someday marrying a prince and becoming a princess. Amateurs. I dreamed of someday becoming a retired senior royal. “Duchess of Sussex (Ret.) Who Splits Her Time Between the Commonwealth and Her Responsibilities in the U.K. but Has Become Financially Independent” was what I doodled in all my notebooks. I was already dreaming of one day taking on a so-called more progressive role in the royal family — a brilliant maneuver that would, in fact, be the most devastating blow to befall the British monarchy since Richard II.
After graduating from Northwestern, where I risked outing myself with my extremely on-the-nose double-major (international studies and theater, HELLO), I devoted myself to the study of Bayesian probability with a stint on “Deal or No Deal.”
As I held the briefcase aloft, I smiled the smile of someone who knew that in 13 years and eight months exactly, she would tear asunder the bonds that tied her future husband to his brother, his father, his grandmother, her phalanx of corgi ghosts and all he had ever known (living in his grandmother’s house), and whisk him away to North America for half the year.
When I strolled onto the “Suits” set in Toronto — Canada, of course, being one of the 53 sovereign nations in the British Commonwealth, whose head is Queen Elizabeth II — I thought of how five years later, I would meet Harry and subsequently steal him away from his entire extended family. Not because we were setting healthy boundaries, something the British Empire would be forgiven for not really knowing about, but because of this aforementioned diabolical plan, which, you’re right, is unfolding exactly as I envisioned.
I really thought everyone would crack it when I left one of my dogs behind. Remember that news cycle? “How could that heartless monster Meghan abandon her dog on the other side of the Atlantic?” Well. Bogart knew what was up. As I dropped him off with the close friends who would tend to him in my (brief, finite) absence, I scratched his belly and whispered into one of his floppy ears: “The plan is in its final phase.”
I’m just glad we all finally get it. The unbelievable thing in this picture is not the institution of the monarchy, a costly terrarium of Queen Victoria’s descendants that Britain maintains at public expense; not the nightmarish hounding by the British tabloids; nor the fact that the royal family still hasn’t distanced itself from Prince Andrew anywhere I can see. It’s Harry’s and my decision to try to carve out something that resembles a normal life. That’s the scandal here, and I am the villain.
Right now, I’m just looking forward to getting a job, getting some distance from my in-laws, and, one day, playing myself on “The Crown” — which, incidentally, is the one scenario in which I would ever wear semi-sheer pantyhose in public again.
I knew I’d eventually ascend from the USA Network to Netflix. It was all in the plan.
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