Author and mental health campaigner Matt Haig has taken to Twitter to share his thoughts on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to step down from their senior royal roles, and, as always, they were seriously refreshing.
For a quick recap, last night the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would be stepping down from their roles as “senior royals” and splitting their time between the UK and Canada with their son Archie, working to become “financially independent”. The move comes after the couple previously revealed they were struggling with the criticism and public scrutiny repeatedly thrown their way, with Meghan admitting that she was “not OK” during their trip to South Africa last year.
As we’re sure you can imagine, the move has attracted a lot of attention, with many people taking to Twitter to share their opinions on Meghan and Harry’s decision. While some of the responses chose to criticise the couple for their decision, others, such as Haig, defended the couple for deciding to move away from the scrutiny that has followed their every move.
“I think Meghan Markle is an inspiration to anyone who has ever been bullied,” he wrote. “You don’t have to put up with bullshit because it is ‘expected’ or because it is ‘part of the job’ or it ‘comes with the territory’. Live your life in accord with your own terms, not the terms of haters.”
He continued: “We know Meghan has found the disproportionate scrutiny and attacks hard for her mental health. So basically, people telling her to accept that are telling everyone that their mental health isn’t as important as keeping up appearances.
“Coverage of Meghan Markle is always interesting from a mental health perspective. The way she is belittled and mocked for talking about mental health or wanting to look after herself is something many, many people with mental health strains will relate to.”
Haig’s words have again highlighted the massive problem with how we respond to the suffering of “privileged” individuals – as if, in the case of Meghan Markle, money, fame or success can eradicate the pressures of disproportionate and aggressive scrutiny, bullying and racially charged criticism.
It’s simply ridiculous to expect two people – who are young parents nonetheless – to withstand the excessive and relentless bullying they have received over the last few years without doing something about it.
As Haig points out, no one should have to put up with any toxic situation just because it is “expected” or “part of the job” – and Meghan and Harry are leading by example.