Why I can’t get enough of the Harry & Meghan story

By now, unless you’re one of the exalted few to exist without a screen, you’ve heard something of the Harry & Meghan story. Depending on your political persuasions, the famous or infamous couple have become ubiquitous characters in a topsy-turvy, never-ending media narrative. Prince Harry’s bombshell memoir “Spare” is the latest in a series of tell-alls about the couple’s self-imposed exile from the British royal family. And before the book dropped, there was the six-part Netflix series, the Spotify podcast, the Oprah interview, an Anderson Cooper “60 Minutes” sit down, and more than a few late-night TV spots.

If, as Prince Harry says, “Silence is betrayal,” then Harry and Meghan must be nearing sainthood for the sheer volume of highly publicized content they’ve faithfully fed to the public.

And yet, despite a tidal wave of content, I still can’t get enough. Every new piece of gossip titillates. Every new headline intrigues me. And every new soundbite has me running to everyone I know to discuss—friends, family, co-workers— anyone who will listen. I’ve seen the entire Netflix series. I’ve watched the Oprah interview. And I’ve spent way too many hours poring over comments under news stories, eager to learn what other people think.

“Have you heard the latest about Harry and Meghan?” I’ve asked over drinks with friends. “It is craaaaazy!”

Through it all, I’ve become a royal watcher, able to form theories behind the drama. Want to know about the dysfunction inside Buckingham Palace? Or why Kate purportedly made Meghan cry? Or what Harry has to say about his brother’s receding hairline? Then I am your girl.

You might call me obsessed with the Harry & Meghan story. And in your assessment, you’d be right. A person who spends hours watching YouTube clips of commentators unpacking the Harry & Meghan narrative surely is not healthy. At the very least, it makes me the person with far too little to do.

Yet here is the thing: I find the Harry & Meghan story endlessly fascinating. In fact, it’s not one story but many. Like a kaleidoscope, you see something different each time you look at it. Depending on the angle, it’s a Shakespearean love story—a beautiful couple falls in love on the world stage—choosing each other over an institution. Look at it another way, and it’s a Biblical story about sibling rivalry. A story of two princes, an heir, and a spare, who grew up sharing the same character-defining tragedy and fishbowl life, yet who couldn’t be more different. And whose differences ultimately tore them apart. Look at it yet a third way, and it’s a story about an archaic institution seemingly rotting from the inside—aided in villainy by the British media. Look at it a fourth way, and it’s a story about a country’s colonialist past and lingering racism within the monarchy.

The confounding part is that no matter which way you look, the Harry & Meghan story raises more questions than answers. Are Harry & Meghan heroes or villains? Is Meghan a narcissist or an ingenue? Is Prince Harry the bravest man alive or the biggest loudmouth? Are they glamorous or gauche? Is the couple breaking barriers by sharing their truth or hypocritical for profiting from it?

Despite all the content I’ve consumed, I can’t make up my mind one way or the other, which makes me a rarity among the Harry & Meghan watchers. If Twitter is any barometer, most people either love or hate the couple, but not many seem to be in between in their assessment.

Clearly, I am in the in-between. At times I see them as well-intentioned and valiant. At other times I see them as self-absorbed and pretentious, especially when viewed through the lens of their Montecito mansion and their celebrity friends, and their private jets. At times I find their story unrelatable. And yet, at different times, I find their story relatable, especially in the familial dysfunction. Who hasn’t tussled with a sibling or had a fallout with a parent?

On the one hand, I see myself in Harry because I, too, lost a mother at a young age. I, too, have coped with that loss in self-destructive ways. I, too, have had to live with the long shadow of grief. Yet, unlike Harry, I’m not yet able to objectively write about that loss. And I can’t imagine writing about it while knowing my words could destroy the relationships I hold most dear.

So, for all these reasons and many more, I will continue to be hooked on the Harry & Meghan story. Not because it’s a fairytale. But because it’s the opposite– a story devoid of tidy truths. A story that is more grey than black and white. And a story that is so altogether tragic and comedic and thrilling, Shakespeare couldn’t have written it better himself.

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  1. marymtf

    You say that, unlike Harry, you’re not able to write objectively about your own loss. That assumes that Harry is capable of writing or speaking objectively about anything. cant blame him, after all, he’s forced now to make a living.
    And no matter how he excuses it, he made his grandparents last days a misery.


  2. Ally Bean

    I find the H & M story fascinating as well. You’re right, it’s part Shakespeare, part Bible– and I’d add part soap opera. I’ve not watched any of their interviews, but do read opinion articles about them. I have the book Spare here now and hope to read it over the weekend to see how Harry spins his narrative. I can’t help liking him and Megan, the outcasts from a family with dubious emotional depth and endless piles of money.


    1. Nikki Gamer

      Yes for sure it’s soap opera, too! Harry seems incredibly down to earth and it’s hard not to feel sad for him and what he’s been through with his mother. Meghan I’m not so sympathetic towards 🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️. Either way what a wild ride if a story! Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person