– According to Newsweek, Duchess Meghan would never have made her lauded speech regarding Black Lives Matter if still under the watch of the royal family.
– “Had Meghan and Harry still been in the U.K. and working members of the royal family that speech couldn’t have happened,” revealed a former royal family aide.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, recently gave a moving virtual graduation speech regarding the Black Lives Matter movement taking place across America, but apparently, her heartfelt words were able to be shared only because of her landmark decision to leave royal life behind earlier this year.
According to Newsweek, the duchess would never have been able to make such a politically and socially inclined speech if she were still having to obey rigid royal protocol while serving as an active, working royal family member. Doing so would have been considered “politicizing the monarchy,” and according to Queen Elizabeth II’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter, Meghan’s speech “would have been pretty impossible” to do with royal approval.
“What’s happened in the states is an absolute tragedy and it should never have happened but unfortunately it did happen. Had Meghan and Harry still been in the U.K. and working members of the royal family that speech couldn’t have happened,” explained Arbiter. “It’s highly politicized because of the very nature of what it is. It is a social issue for the United States and it is not for a head of state to voice an opinion, whether the queen or the president of France or whoever.”
During her speech, Meghan admitted that she had wrestled with whether or not to speak on such matters due to her being afraid of having her words “picked apart,” but then declared that she realized “the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.” Also during her address, the duchess named and acknowledged George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, and Tamir Rice, who all lost their lives due to police brutality.
Per BAZAAR.com‘s royal editor, Omid Scobie, though remaining vocally nonpartisan is a vital trait expected of the royal family, now is not the time to stay quiet when it comes to conquering racism across the world, and especially within the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
“While I appreciate the importance of members of the British Royal Family remaining apolitical and not delving into the political issues of other countries, we need to see the issue of anti-Black racism for what it is—a global human rights crisis, which, like in the U.S., has been at the root of so many societal issues in the U.K. and across the Commonwealth,” Scobie tells BAZAAR.
“Members of the Royal Family have said little about the issue of racism over the years, but silence right now is not an option. Up and down the country, including right outside Windsor Castle, we have seen protesters demonstrating against police brutality and racism, and we have heard powerful messages from European royals and the Duchess of Sussex that have been heard by millions. It’s so important that anyone with a platform, particularly those who regularly use their voices to amplify humanitarian and charitable issues, gets on it and speaks up.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US..