Much as I love so much about the British culture and history, I've never been a follower of The Royal Family. It's not that I disdain them -- I don't, not even remotely, I enjoy a bit of pageantry now and then -- but I take them for their place in history and for what any of them might say at any particular given moment. I have some friends who seem to almost have apoplexy if there's News About the Royals. That's not me.
But I have to admit, I like Meghan Markle. Not to the point of Royal Fandom, mind you. I think that she's bright, good-hearted and even a solid actress. But that's hardly why. And long-time readers of these pages will understand the reason. It's because on top of all that, she's a graduate of the beloved Northwestern University. The Purple and White. Huzzah. Hey, what can I say? I have my standards, I know that. But I can at least note that my awareness of Ms. Markle for this came before I had a clue she was Dating a Royal. Indeed, I was a bit bewildered when standing in grocery store lines and she began popping up on magazine covers. ("What's up with that?" was a common thought.) But my appreciation has grown grew the higher her profile has gotten in the world of Kings and Queens. And then, too, I know that when she takes on official duties and is out in public wearing Royal Purple, while most of the world just presumes it's part of Grand Tradition, I instead smile -- aware that deep inside she's fully of Purple Pride and probably really chose the outfit to also honor her old college.
A couple months back, I came across an article about her political activism which included video of a speech she gave to the United Nations in 2015. The speech was long before she was engaged to a prince. Long before an important movement of women pushed itself to the forefront. Back then, she was UN Woman's Advocate for Political Participation and Leadership.
The British Royal Family is not know for its outspokenness, though in fairness, some have been involved in very good causes. But as Robert Lacey, a historian and biographer of the Queen, noted in the article with this video, “You have to go back to Prince Philip to think of a recruit to the family who is so evidently feisty and spiky. I can see that this is going to be a real problem in the months and years ahead for her, an existential problem.”
Who knows? I only know that I do like the lady. And this is a thoughtful, charming speech, beginning with a lovely story she tells about when she was 11 years old.
Oh, and of course, Go U, NU, Fight, Fight, Fight...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor