Narcissism Unbound

At a time when Covid is destroying lives through job loss, financial hardship, and in the worst case through the deaths of loved ones, we in the U.S. have had the spectacle this week of Meghan Markle now the Duchess of Sussex being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey — a multimillionaire talking to a billionaire who is a neighbor in this exclusive neighborhood of the super rich.  And so, comfortably ensconced in a palatial estate in Montecito, she sprays the royal family with scattershot.  Discussions around it have monopolized public discourse.

The Duchess complains that their security detail (paid for by the public purse) was taken away when she is aware that it is provided only to royals who have not removed themselves from royal duties.  An example of those who have are the children of Princess Anne who do not get, or expect, security … and there are others.  

She complains that she experienced racism at the palace.  How was that?  According to her account, one of the senior royals discussed the color of the baby she was expecting.  One wonders how many people have speculated innocently about eye color or hair or size and weight — the bigger and heavier they are the more difficult it is for the mother to deliver them.  In her case, yes, skin color also could invite curiosity.  

Mortally troubled and depressed, Meghan begins to think life is not worth living.  So she tells Oprah and the world.  Prince Harry sitting beside her says nothing.  She goes on to say she called the human resources department who said they only served the staff.  So, she informs Oprah, she was on her own.  Not even a phone to call a doctor? 

What human resources is to Buckingham Palace, a butler is to a smaller household with, say, a half-dozen staff.  Who in need of psychiatric help would go to their butler?  Many sources assess the net worth of Harry and Meghan in the tens of millions.  With that amount of money, surely, calling a psychiatrist was not beyond the wit of our two prisoners of the palace.  It was apparently.  For according to her tale the two held each other close for solace.  Any regular husband would have picked up a phone and asked the palace doctor for a referral. 

If the stories beggar belief, their lack of detail and general vagueness precludes checking.  So they hang there smearing Harry’s family — something to which the new Harry has no objection.  

Meghan herself is estranged from her father, her father’s family, and according to him also from her mother’s family though not her mother.  Now she is proceeding in the same direction with Harry’s family.  One instance of alienation might not be the individual’s fault; two might be carelessness; but three and now a possible fourth warrants the observation that the common denominator is the individual.  

She informs us that her son Archie was not made a Prince but omits to mention the King George V Letter of Patent (edict) going back over a hundred years to 1917 that restricts the title to the direct line of succession for the children of the monarch’s grandchildren.  No doubt she was told so when she first complained about it.  Then she adds she doesn’t care much for titles but she wanted security to be provided for Archie.  Yet the pair are worth about $40 million as Harry inherited both from his mother and his great grandmother (the Queen’s mother) and Meghan had her own fortune as an established actress — a vocation that has undoubtedly helped — plus a deal with Netflix now worth $100 million.  That much money and they are unwilling to buy security protection for their child!    

All this personal angst at a time when Harry’s 94-year-old Granny, who still has to deal with government papers, is also coping with a seriously ill consort who at the age of 99 has had a heart procedure placing two stents in arteries to improve blood flow to the heart.  But this self-absorbed couple had not a word to say on the subject, or even how Harry’s father Charles might appreciate a few words of comfort.  Some might say empathy and self-absorption are not correlates. 

Harry is a guy who has been on the public payroll most of his life until very recently, when he and his wife declined royal duties and left the country.  If duty is expected of the royals, it might explain the poll ratings.  Fully 58 percent of the British people have an unfavorable opinion of Meghan — the figure is 48 percent for Harry.  Astounding figures, these, for royals.  By contrast Prince William and Kate Middleton are around 75 percent.

The British public does not like hypocrisy such as jetting around the world in private jets (why not a commercial flight?) as in flying to New York from London for a baby shower or to the Balearic Islands for a holiday weekend while preaching about climate change.  And then there is The Times story that Meghan bullies her staff many of whom are still traumatized a year after leaving their jobs according to the reporter, Valentine Low.  

So it goes on.  

Dr. Arshad M. Khan
Dr. Arshad M. Khan
Dr. Arshad M. Khan is a former Professor based in the US. Educated at King's College London, OSU and The University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. Thus he headed the analysis of an innovation survey of Norway, and his work on SMEs published in major journals has been widely cited. He has for several decades also written for the press: These articles and occasional comments have appeared in print media such as The Dallas Morning News, Dawn (Pakistan), The Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Monitor, The Wall Street Journal and others. On the internet, he has written for, Asia Times, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, Countercurrents, Dissident Voice, Eurasia Review and Modern Diplomacy among many. His work has been quoted in the U.S. Congress and published in its Congressional Record.