How the people of Windsor reacted to the news that Harry and Megan were headed for a new life in Canada.
Their wedding in 2018 was one of the biggest days in Windsor’s history. We had more than 100,000 visitors filling the town’s streets and the happy couple’s carriage ride down the long walk was a spectacular event that will never be forgotten by anyone lucky enough to have been there. The town had been painted, cleaned and polished and the main roads resurfaced. As the 19th May dawned, Windsor looked perhaps as fine as she had ever had. We even renamed the Three Tuns Pub after the groom.
Then the news came that the newlyweds were to make their home at Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle, a lt of business owners were smiling. That news could only help to cement Windsor’s premier status as a royal town.
Then came the backlash, and boy was it spiteful. The British Press and Social Media Trolls did what they always do. They hunted for stories and when there were none to tell, they made them up.
At first it was a slow drip drip of little tales designed to make Meghan look bad. When they saw how many extra clicks that gave them, they really let their teeth sink in.
During her pregnancy there were, according to Harry, stories that vilified his wife on an almost daily basis.
“They have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave” he stated.
When Harry and Megan decided not to parade the newborn baby Archie in front of the media there were indignant howls of outrage. In some of the papers this act of protective parental love was recast as an assault on decency, and an example of a wicked foreign woman leading our dear Harry from the path of righteousness. Quite frankly the media went totally off their rockers.
Windsor was where Edward VIII abdicated the throne back in 1936, so the people of our town are used to royal upheavals. But despite that, there has, for at least a century, been a warm affection for our near neighbours up at the castle.
We watched as paper after paper revelled in salacious headlines. They presumed to know “The Queen was angry”, Meghan and Kate were “at war” or that “Harry hates his brother”.
Anyone with any sense would know that these had to be made up stories. The simple fact is that the royals rarely brief the press so the press concocted whatever they felt would sell.
On ITV Breakfast television Piers Morgan (a nasty man of decidedly dubious views) who once failed to impress Meghan was allowed to spit bile about her on national TV every day. She, having signed up to the Royal code was in no position to defend herself.
Anyone could see that the situation was intolerable, but the British public shamefully kept buying the vile papers and watching the shabby shows.
So when news broke that due to the pressures they were facing, Harry and Meghan wanted to get as far away as possible from everything by heading off to Canada, most of the people of Windsor collectively shrugged. We would have done the same in their shoes.
I was in town when press turned up to “ask the locals their opinions.” I saw one tv crew ask eight people what they thought and seven of them expressed support for the sussex’s decision. The film of the one dissenting voice (a local man aged well in his 90s) was the only one who was given airtime that evening. What a surprise. He was parroting what he had read that morning that Harry has upset her majesty and it is all Meghan’s fault.
The truth is that none of us have the slightest idea about what Her Majesty thinks about anything. She always keeps her opinions to herself. The truth is that none of us has the slightest idea of who ultimately made what choice inside Harry and Meghan’s marriage.
Why do the gutter press really hate the Sussexes.? It is a combination of things. Perhaps xenophobia is part of it. Perhaps racism is part of it. Perhaps sexism is part of it. I suspect most of it is because Harry and Meghan don’t give them briefings. The profitability of these rags is to a large degree bound up with their ability to feed a constant stream of salacious gossip about the royals to their unthinking readership. Anyone who has any sense of right and wrong should simply stop reading the rags.
As for the newly ex-royals; we wish them well and have no doubt that when — or if — the day comes, Windsor, at least, will be ready to welcome Harry and Meghan back with open arms.