The Cultural Attaché
On 24th October 2018, Meghan Markle Sussex gave a speech at University of the South Pacific's Suva campus in Fiji, whereby she claimed to have paid for her own education at Northwestern University In Evanston, Illinois. Whilst we applaud ALL efforts made by individuals who show initiative in their lives, Markle somehow created a fantastical story that is not based in reality.
I know the challenges, first hand, of committing to higher education whilst striving to fund it on your own, as a scholarship and financial aid programmes graduate myself. A scholarship is an extraordinary benefit to have, but it does not pay ALL the tuition costs of a 4-year university education. That is where financial aid comes in. The challenge of financial aid, however is to PROVE you are worthy of its full benefit. Every university student can qualify to receive financial aid if they meet the basic eligibility criteria; but not every student receives the same dollar amount.
One of the key factors of receiving the full benefit of financial aid is to claim yourself as an "independent," meaning you are not being supported by your parents and your parents do not own any property, the equity of which could help fund your education. In addition, it is based on need and tax documents are also reviewed during the application process. You also have to prove you are living on your own, not just occupying a dorm space whilst attending school. This includes proof of having a job as a means to support yourself financially.
The issue I have with Markle's speech was the cost of tuition at Northwestern University at the time of her attendance in early 2000's. It was widely reported the tuition was around $30,000 a year. Markle's speech also mentions no DEBT she would have accumulated as a graduate since NEITHER scholarship or financial aid programme would FULLY fund a $30,000 a year university education. She also claimed to have done "work-study where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition." The minimum wage for that period was $5.15 an hour, so, even if Markle worked a full 40 hours a week for 52 weeks that would only yield $10,712 per annum, not calculating the taxes she would have paid on her earnings. Note she mentioned "on campus" in her speech, not modeling or acting or other gigs where she might have yielded a bigger pay.
Did Markle also pay for her dorm or on-campus or off-campus living quarters? Did she also pay for her own text books? Here is a screen shot from Northwestern University on the EXTRAS that students paid for 2017-2018 year, in addition to their tuition cost.
Markle's speech makes great effort to erase her father, Thomas Markle Sr. from her life. This is unfortunate because I do not believe that Markle also paid for her PRIVATE SCHOOL education at Immaculate Heart High School and Middle School, who listed their tuition for the 2018-2019 school year at $16,850 plus fees. Whilst inflation plays into the current costs and fees, one can do a calculation to assess what it would have been at the time of Markle's attendance.
Argument FOR and AGAINST Meghan Markle’s attire at Trooping the Colour ceremony.
I recently came across a tweet in which I did not agree with the argument. Thus, I had laid my own claim as a rebuttal. The response I received was more than “venomous” to say the least. The User characterised me as a “pathetic hater” and called our website “trashy.” She later denied having said this, when the EVIDENCE was clearly against THAT claim.
The world is a melting pot or salad bowl of opinions; AND people have a right to argue their respective positions. We don’t all agree and it is quite fine to “agree to disagree.” Unfortunately, passions do run high amongst those who can not see past their own opinions and in turn resort to “name-calling” when an argument is presented that goes against what they believe.
Social media is an interesting vehicle that allows varied opinions to be posted without filter. It is used by many to express one’s “position” and sometimes done behind the “safety” of one’s electronic device. In this world of “make believe,” you can also call yourself whatever you wish and don masks that are not true representations of yourself. For every “Duchess Kate” Twitter handle, there are probably an equal amount of “Duchess Meghan” Twitter handle and so forth.
Most people, it appears, expound upon things they know nothing about. That is perfectly fine, since they draw from their own experiences, how they “feel” about the subject, i.e. Meghan Markle and what they “bloomin’ hell” think about the situation.
But how should you RESPOND when you are so passionate about the subject and want everyone to see it YOUR WAY. You simply can’t. For EVERY argument, there will ALWAYS be a counter argument. That is the fact. That is LIFE. For every evidence you can find to support your argument, there are probably an equal amount of evidence to counter that argument. THAT is the basis of DEBATE.
When we argue in this manner, we remove ourselves from the subject-matter and LISTEN MORE. It is in the listening that we begin to LEARN and have a GREATER respect for differing opinions, arguments and debates.
Meghan Markle abandons Bogart to become Princess Diana 2.0 | Cultural faux-pas @KensingtonRoyal
Update: 9 June 2018
It was widely reported in the press that Meghan, 'Duchess of Sussex, nee Markle left behind one of her precious furry children in Canada to live in the United Kingdom with her new husband, Prince Henry, The Duke of Sussex. Whilst her other rescue, Guy lives in royal comfort, Bogart was “mysteriously” adopted by friends of the former actress. True to form, the Duchess is keeping quiet about the whole debacle, that unleashed a firestorm on social media, asking the question, 'What happened to Bogart?'
The only comment about her dogs was a brief statement made during her engagement interview:
“I have two dogs that I’ve had for quite a long time, both my rescue pups. And one is now staying with very close friends and my other little guy is, yes, he’s in the UK, he’s been here for a while.”
In an attempt to make light of the whole situation and provide some semblance of a logical reason for leaving Bogart behind, a palace spokesperson added, “It takes a toll on an animal to travel so far across Atlantic combined with the hard, long process of getting approval. It’s in the best interest of the animal’s well-being to stay.”
As a champion of rescue animals and one who has consistently traveled with my furry babies in tow, I find the whole situation a bit murky and disingenuous. The actions of the Duchess of Sussex exacerbates the argument that perhaps she was indeed a "social climber," "calculating" and will apathetically discard that which does not promote her further welfare, including people and her furry child. Her timid response to the question of her dogs was quite revealing. Was it age, a medical condition or just fitting into a Royal lifestyle? All these are speculative, of course.
In addition to the story of Bogart is how her other rescue, Guy, broke two of his legs. All press reports indicate that this did occur, shortly after the engagement announcement, but nothing was revealed on how this occurred, only that he was being “treated.”
In 2012, the United Kingdom had relaxed their rules regarding traveling with and re-locating domestic animals into the country. In the past, long quarantine of up to six months was possible, but since the policy change a quarantine of four months would not be necessary IF travelers followed their simple rules and produced the proper documentations. It really is THAT simple, thus the remarks by the palace does not pass the truth test.
Britons love dogs and the United Kingdom is one of the dog-friendliest countries! Bogart is a mixed-breed Shepard. Meghan Markle confirmed he was 9 months old at the time of the 16 July 2013 interview with BuzzFeed. That would put Bogart just under five years old today, which is not too old to travel. There were also no reports of any health ailments. Did Bogart the mix-breed just not fit in to the Royal mold? Interestingly, the Beagle is a breed developed in Great Britain, so perhaps that is how Guy the Beagle made the cut.
Update: 26 May 2018: We have included a link to another article that exposed the "fake news" and "PR stunt" of Guy the dog, supposedly riding to the wedding with Queen Elizabeth II. Was this an attempt to deflect the attention to Bogart's demise by Markle's people? This report comes from conservative, "Mad World News." Whilst our policies vastly differ, the question of Meghan Markle's dog, Bogart lingers. Their headline reads: Meghan’s PR Stunt With Dog ‘Guy’ Backfires As Sad Ending For Dog ‘Bogart’ Exposed.
1 June 2018: Since our original post, we received a contingent of "offers" to adopt Bogart, some from very well-known Britons. In any event, Bogart is welcome at our 50-acre country spread. He can hunt, lounge, chase pheasants and rabbits, travel. NO doggie left behind.
Photo source: Meghan Markle Instagram
Updated: 4 June 2018
The marriage of Prince Henry of Wales to Ms. Rachel Meghan Markle was a turning point for the British Monarchy. This was due to the fact that Ms. Markle is a bi-racial American divorcee. Her lifestyle broke the mold of a “Royal bride.” Unlike The Duchess of Cambridge, nee Catherine Middleton, the former Ms. Markle did not move in the same social circles. She is also an independent feminist and former Hollywood actor. Her sense and sensibilities are uniquely American, but she is NOT the first American woman to be styled and titled, in the traditions of the British Aristocracy.
It should be dully noted that reports have surfaced that Ms. Markle is a “calculating” social climber who wanted to be a Princess. This was chiefly asserted by Andrew Morton in his new book and also confirmed by former friends and half-sister, Samantha Markle. A childhood video portrayed Ms. Meghan Markle as a tiara-wearing Queen belittling her subjects. In addition, Ms. Markle was allegedly fascinated with the Princess Diaries movies and obsessed with Princess Diana, even owning a book about the Royal. All this gave credence to the plot of a wannabe Princess. Perhaps, Ms. Markle's comment of not knowing anything about the Royal family, during her engagement interview, was perhaps a bit disingenuous. But what little girl doesn’t want to be a Princess? While many grow up and move on with their lives, some stay the course.
WHY THE DUCHESS OF SUSSEX WILL NOT BE 'PRINCESS MEGHAN' and HOW SHE ALMOST BECAME A LESSER TITLED COUNTESS
When Ms. Markle married Prince Henry of Wales on 19 May 2018, she received the title, The Duchess of Sussex. To many, it was odd that marrying a Prince would not garner her the title of Princess. That is due to the fact the British Monarchy is reaped in tradition and in the past, Dukedoms were awarded to the sons of the Monarch. In recent incarnation of this role, the Queen bestows rightful titles upon marriage and not all of them were Dukedoms. Prince Edward received an Earldom as The Earl of Wessex (reference the film, "Shakespeare in Love") and his wife became Sophie, the Countess of Wessex; however, like all royal styles, they will mostly like be styled The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh when Prince Phillip dies.
In Britain, your birthright as a Princess is largely determined by the bloodline and by the Letters of Patent that dictates hereditary styles, titles and honours. HRH Princess Beatrice of York and HRH Princess Eugenie of York are 'blood royals.' Their father is The Duke of York. Whilst HRH Prince George of Cambridge follows similar patterns of the 1917 Letters of Patent by King George V, his sister almost became Lady Charlotte, if not for the intervention of the Queen who issued new Letters of Patent on 31 December 2012, styling all children of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in similar fashion.
In the case of Prince Edward, upon his marriage, it was decreed that any issues of The Earl and Countess of Wessex would not be styled HRH with title of Princess or Prince, but "Lady" and "Lord." Thus, their children, respectively are Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and James, Viscount Severn or Lord Severn. If that was not complicated enough, new Letters of Patent could be issued when Charles, Prince of Wales becomes King. It is unlikely he would rock tradition and may even shrink the pool of styles, titles and honours.
The title of Princess can also be achieved through marriage, as the mother of the next monarch in succession. In the case of The Duchess of Cambridge, she will be styled as HRH Catherine, Princess of Wales when her father-in-law Charles, Prince of Wales becomes king and her husband, The Duke of Cambridge becomes the Prince of Wales, next in line to the British throne. Diana was able to maintain her title of Princess of Wales, as the mother of Prince William, but unfortunately, lost the style HRH upon her divorce. When Charles, Prince of Wales married his second wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, she was styled HRH Camilla, Princess of Wales, but decided to use her other title, The Duchess of Cornwall.
One important information should be noted here. The Duchess of Sussex has the choice and use of another title, that of Princess Henry of Wales. In the bygone era of proper honorifics, when a woman married, she took her husband’s name. Thus, The former Ms. Jones when married to Mr. John Smith, would become Mrs. John Smith, as did Princess Michael of Kent, who is the only royal to use such a title. If the Duchess of Sussex wants to be a 'Princess,' then she has a footpath.
WHY THE DAUGHTER OF THE DUCHESS OF SUSSEX MAY NOT BE A PRINCESS EITHER
When King George V issued Letters of Patent in 1917, he made it clear that only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales "shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms." Prior to the birth of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, the Queen issued new Letters of Patent on 31 December 2012, which included all children of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The issues of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not have this right and thus will be styled "Lady" or "Lord." The Queen could do the same for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but it is highly doubtful. Regardless, peerage still remains that only a male heir could inherit the title and land.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE DUCHESS OF SUSSEX?
What’s in store for The Duchess of Sussex after her royal nuptials will be the 'Royal Finishing School.' If she is to successfully navigate the dynamics of this complex family, she will do well to learn from past mistakes of her predecessors and carefully follow royal protocol. Whilst the British Monarchy has made great strides to connect to a modern world, they still hold dear the traditions that have sustained them. These are the traditions that make the British Monarchy unique, mysterious and garner public interest and fascination.
A member of the Royal family should be poised, conservative, fair and balanced. In addition, she must know her place in the pecking order. Whilst the word, “Obey” has been stricken from marriage vows, The Duchess of Sussex should uphold the duties and traditions that her position dictates. It takes at least five years to acclimate and change culture and it will take this time before The Duchess of Sussex becomes a British citizen. Some have speculated she may bolt. Romance and Love aside, the reality comes AFTER you say, "I will."
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