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My Fellow Americans(4 Posts)
I moved to the UK around the time Diana was making doe eyes at Martin Bashir. Having grown up with No More Kings (catchy, but not a great history lesson), I regarded royals as a curious anachronism, albeit one I still had to pledge fealty to when becoming a citizen. (I may have had my fingers crossed.) My groundskeeper* was given an honour a number of years ago from the Queen, which I’m going to go ahead and call two degrees of separation.
My sister in the States was bowled over by Meghan and bewildered by the recent contretemps. At one point in our conversation about this she prefaced a remark with “As an American”, which made me wonder if she’s almost stopped regarding me as one. I did my best to explain without insulting her choice of Instagram influencers.
It’s fair to say America’s newspaper of record is also Team Meghan.
My opinion is that she is an actress, full stop.
I know there are others from my mother country here on the Meghathreads.** Anybody not already weary of this subject have an opinion they’d like to share, either from an American perspective or as someone interested in views across the pond? Despite the title, replies from all nationalities welcome!
* Makes me sound posh, no? He’s not actually mine, he manages the estate. And it’s not my estate.
** Thanks to all those who have taken the time to write thoughtful posts; it’s a shame they disappear so quickly under the waves. A particular shoutout to @OutwiththeOutCrowd
I meant actor. Showing my age I guess.
Well I'm not American but I did spend twenty years living there (California) and have only recently returned to the UK. My two pennies on this are about the difference perspectives I've noted over the years between how Americans view the RF and how the Brits view them.
One of the main differences I've noted is that the Americans who've expressed opinions on this don't understand why the Brits get so bothered by how much money H&M spend and their use of private flights (while preaching about carbon footprints). I think this boils down to the difference between celebrity fame in the USA and the 'public servants' view of the RF in the UK.
People in the USA are used to celebrities preaching about whatever cause and then returning to their extravagant lifestyles whereas in the UK we feel more entitled to criticise the RF for doing that, partly because taxpayers fund them but also because the RF have presented themselves as "public servants" fulfilling their duty to the UK.
Also, and this is just a personal theory so I could be completely wrong... but having lived in the USA and during that time having a large number of friends and coworkers of all nationalities, racism is very much a live, talked about issue in the US and I think it influences Americans' perceptions to the extent that when they see the British press criticise H&M for hypocrisy about private jets or having a babyshower that cost over half a million dollars, they naturally assume it is racist coverage because they don't share the concerns that Brits have with ostentatious extravagance and hypocritical lecturing. I'm not saying there hasn't been racist media coverage but the natural assumption that all the negative press is racist comes from this difference in celebrity/public servant perceptions.
The trouble with this question is that if an American (such as myself) is on mumsnet, they get exposed to a lot more information on the ins and outs of this whole thing than the average Yank.
I agree that most Americans don't understand what the fuss is all about and that the general view is that H&M are fleeing tabloid racism and that the RF are big meanies. (Very disappointed that the NYT is taking this view.) There is no understanding of the roles, rules and expectations of a member of the Royal family and that many of the more restrictive policies are there for a very good reason. Also, the costs associated with their security are mentioned, though often not highlighted. Heck, I might have that point of view if I didn't have a real interest in royal history (and wasn't on mumsnet).
But if it was the other way around, and a British first lady married to an American president (not Trump, a mythical middle of the road president) fled because she couldn't stand the role of FL and Washington anymore, I suspect that Americans would be outraged and people in Britain would welcome her back. Not quite the same analogy, but as close as I could get. I think that they are in for a reality check, but we will see.
I expect them to make some mistakes in the next year or so, but things may settle down once they get a clearer (or more realistic) view of what their life can be.