By Lori Perkins
I am not an Anglophile (am a Francophile), so I’ve never really cared that much about the English (except for The Beatles and some rock in the ‘60s and ‘70s), and especially their monarchy. I always thought Prince Charles was bizarrely unattractive and when he confessed that he wanted to be Camilla’s “tampon,” I completely wrote him off. I always felt bad for Diana and was really saddened by her death. The only reason I watched The Crown was because when I went to visit my mother in her ‘80s at her nursing home, they were all watching it and commenting on Queen Elizabeth like she was an old friend, and I thought it might be interesting to see her through their eyes.
But I loved watching the romance of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle unfold. I even watched the pretty cheesy Hallmark movies that were made based on their story. And when they were interviewed, I was always charmed by what I felt was real love between the two of them. I never saw that between Elizabeth and Philip, or Kate and William, and certainly not between Diana and Charles.
I am a sucker for real people falling in love. I don’t get to see it very often, but it’s actually one of the reasons you can find me watching The Bachelor. I’ll never forget those early episodes with Trista and Ryan on the first season of The Bachelorette (they are still together 19 years later and two children!).
Every time I see real footage of Harry and Meghan, I see how much they love each other. Now, she is an actor, but he is not, and if this is a performance, they are beyond brilliant.
I have also become even more acutely aware of the inherent racism and sexism (and ageism and abelism) in western society since Trump was elected and Theresa May was ousted. It is both blatant and subtle but everywhere. I spend a great deal of my life trying to be a better version of myself, and knowing that I fail because I am unable step back from my upbringing. But at least I know it’s there.
I watched the six episodes because I actually like the personas that Harry and Meghan have presented to me (and I want to believe that she saved him-I just love the story of the biracial commoner who saved the prince), but I stayed because I was charmed by how well they worked together and still seemed to love each other through this ordeal.
I never cared about the “gossip.” I knew I wouldn’t be surprised by the royal nastiness, and I expected the charges of racism to be true.
The Netflix documentary succeeded in charming me. I like them even more now. I am glad they are in America and glad that we are getting their creativity and social justice efforts on our continent. I wasn’t expecting that.