'Meghan & Harry' Detractors Appear to "Begrudge" the Sussexes Their Happiness, Journalist Comments

Change can of course be difficult for people.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's docuseries is now available on Netflix in full.

Predictably, Harry & Meghan has proven incredibly divisive, with commentators praising them for their courage and feeling for their difficult experiences, and others decrying their willingness to open up about those experiences—especially when this means criticizing other members of the Royal Family.

"I’ve never understood the great divide around Meghan, nor why she’s so hated by certain swathes of the British public," Lucy Thackray—a journalist at the Independent who recently wrote an op-ed defending Meghan—tells Marie Claire.

"But the division in comments since I wrote an article in support of her did make me think about the British, change and happiness. So many anti-Meghan comments were to the tune of, 'Everyone else in the Royal Family or in the public eye has put up with being unhappy. So should she.'"

Significantly, this point is one that the Sussexes also make in their docuseries, that part of the suffering Meghan endured as part of the Royal Family was explained away as a "rite of passage" of sorts.

"It made me think about how Meghan’s American-ness (and more specifically her "Californian-ness") may have influenced how people feel about Harry and Meghan stepping back," Thackray continues.

"Even after she has said she was depressed and blocked from seeking professional help by the Royal Family’s offices, even after Harry said (in the new documentary episodes) that it was his decision for them to leave the U.K., people still have this refrain of, 'Meghan changed things. Change is bad.'

"The real offence here seems to be breaking a cycle, a cycle that—going on that documentary—seems to be genuinely sinister, unhealthy and dangerous."

Here, the journalist echoes the message Beyoncé texted Meghan at one point in the docuseries. The duchess reads it aloud to Harry, saying, "She thinks I was selected to break generational curses that need to be healed."

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex talk to members of OneWave, an awareness group for mental health and wellbeing at South Bondi Beach on October 19, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on their official 16-day Autumn tour visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson / Getty)

In other Californian-like news, the Sussexes are seen participating in meditation sessions during the doc. Additionally, Harry—along with William and Kate—has long been a proponent of working with a therapist and prioritizing mental health. These things can sometimes feel jarring to certain people, especially in Britain, where the concept of a "stiff upper lip" lives on to this day.

"There seems to be a certain school of old-school or conservative British thinking that prohibits us from changing systems in order to make people happier or improve conditions, be that striking workers or a new member of the Royal Family not wanting to bring her newborn out in front of an army of press hours after giving birth," Thackray comments.

"Watching the new episodes of Harry & Meghan, I was mostly struck by how happy and healthy they both look now they’re removed from the situation, and by how nice their children’s life looks. Lots of time outdoors, lots of nature, announcing family news how and when they wish to.

"If anyone begrudges them that happiness, it does make me think those people need to reflect for a minute on whether it could be their own unhappiness and feelings of being stuck in a rut talking."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.