Among its many unprecedented innovations, the Internet has provided human intimacy at an international level. Here, I refer to a recent incident on television wherein Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Marple were ‘alone in public.’ The camera was rolling; it was trained on two people for the edification of millions; its impact seemingly extemporaneous…but obviously not so.
In an unsolicited dumb show, Meghan suddenly displayed an extensive curtsy, fully intended to mock that traditional court gesture for a thousand years. Prince Harry was visibly shaken by Meghan’s ‘extemporaneous’ performance.
At first, the couple’s body positions were such that Meghan did not see Harry’s nonplussed reaction to Meghan’s show until Meghan moved in a manner that made her face visible to Harry, at which point Harry managed a stifled smile. But Harry was ‘not amused’—as those words are mostly erroneously attributed to Queen Victoria and others —the ‘we’ being a monarch’s embodiment of the nation itself.
Meghan’s performance within a performance was not a good one. The televised interview with the semi-royal celebrities, although palpably embarrassing, was unimportant on its surface. But notwithstanding, the serious ramifications of societal ‘class,’ past and present, Meghan’s fundamentally offensive statement expressed in the guise of humor was at the very least abysmally inappropriate.
Fortunately, Queen Elizabeth ll died before she was subjected to another Annus Horribilis moment.