Scandal afoot

All is not well in the Royal House of Windsor.



1/7/20231 min read

'You aren't reading that tabloid rubbish are you?' B. enquired a couple of days ago. Like every newspaper in the Western world many column inches had been devoted to the pending publication of Harry Windsor's book 'Spare' and the leaked revelations therein. The Guardian newspaper was no different. But was the story they printed no better than tabloid rubbish? As a staunch republican I needed to know some facts. Glancing at the Guardian statistics which showed that the article I was reading was the most viewed article that morning , so did many other fellow readers.

My first encounter with the tabloid press occurred when I was staying with my French pen pal . My father , an autodidact, had taken the 'Manchester Guardian' for as long as I can remember, and while my deaf blind grandmother used to devour 'The Daily Mirror' every day, holding her magnifying glass right up against the newsprint, it was an honest , unsensational newspaper for the working classes at that time. So it came as a shock for this gauche teenager to read of scandals amongst British Royalty , plastered all over the French news stands. Of course I knew straight away that they were grossly exaggerated, if not entirely untrue. Until then I had never seen the like in the British press, though sadly stories like those are now all too common in all forms of media.

This Gallic fascination with British Royalty continues. Scrolling through today's Microsoft French news pages on my computer I have counted forty stories involving the British Royal family as opposed to one story about Carla Brunni, and five about Emmanuel Macron and/or his wife. Although most of the stories are loosely based on fact, some constitute ridiculous speculation that is too ludicrous to repeat.

That brings me back to B. And my answer to his question would be a firm 'No!' I do not consider that I was reading tabloid rubbish. I feel fully justified in reading factual commentary about the British Royal family, and I am anxious to see reform. It is shameful that the unparalleled opportunities to combat racism that were made possible by the marriage between Meghan Markle and Harry have turned to ashes.

However, with three days still remaining before the official publication of Harry's memoir, I do not wish to read another thing.