Oh please, spare us the surprise. The royal family is racist. Really? Is the pope Catholic too?
The Houses of Hanover and Windsor were the apex of an empire built upon the slave trade and brutal subjugation of “colonised” peoples. After abdicating in 1936, Edward VIII beat a path to Adolf Hitler. We’ll overlook Harry’s swastika armband, though Oprah might have invited him to talk us through that jolly jape.
“Fairytale wedding”, was it, between Harry and Meghan? The enduring image of that tawdry episode was the bride’s mother, Doria Ragland, left to sit alone and abandoned to await the nuptial rite. Did Ms Markle really have illusions about the “‘firm” she was joining?
But there is a wider shock in all this, albeit an unsurprising one: it is in the appalling reality that most British people and media buy into the antiquated drama of a neo-imperial monarchy in the 21st century, and the dysfunctional House of Windsor.
Cutting through the vortex of verbiage last week (I apologise for joining it), Nolan Hamilton in the New York Times estimably urged the British to “come together, join hands in a great circle around the institution of the monarchy and burn it to the ground”. But this can’t, and won’t happen. The primary loyalty of the British – at least, English – masses is to Queen and crown, the union flag and defunct empire they symbolise – now more than ever; this dull-witted deficiency is the riptide beneath Brexit.
Imagine when Elizabeth II…