Once upon a time, some perceived flaw of Meghan Markle’s would be every tabloid’s idea of front page news. Over the past few weeks, though, she has disappeared largely from view. Nobody’s heard from her, nor have any paparazzi photographers – invasive as they are – managed to snap her out and about.
Considering the world is in the vice-like grip of the coronavirus pandemic, this makes perfect sense to us: the Duchess of Sussex is staying indoors, as per the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and National Health Service (NHS).
And yet… well, if you thought a little thing like the Covid-19 crisis was going to stop the tabloids dragging their least-favourite royal, think again.
As of 10.30am this morning, there are 9,529 confirmed cases in the UK, with 1,452 new cases reported on 25 March alone. And, as everyone knows by this point, one of these newly confirmed cases is HRH Prince Charles himself. Aka Meghan’s father-in-law.
Naturally, the tabloids had a field day, somehow managing to twist this shocking Covid-19 update into yet further proof of Meghan’s apparent wickedness.
How? Well, they’ve claimed that, upon hearing of his dad’s coronavirus infection, Prince Harry desperately wanted to return to England “straight away.” Meghan, however, has “forbidden” him from doing so.
Indeed, as one of the Daily Mail’s ever-dubious “insiders” put it: “Under no circumstances is she OK with him travelling anywhere right now.”
Right. Let’s unpack this, shall we?
Setting aside the fact that this entire story feels fabricated (Harry and Meghan are literally in lockdown mode, so who was this “insider” – baby Archie?), let’s consider Meghan’s reported concerns: that she doesn’t want her husband to leave their home in Canada, board a plane, fly to the UK, and visit his infected father.
You know what? If by some miracle there is a tiny kernel of truth to these baseless reports, then fair enough. Because, if Meghan really did ask Harry to stay home, she’s not doing so to be spiteful: she’s simply following the guidelines put in place by WHO. She’s working to keep herself and her family safe, using the social distancing measures we have all been provided with.
Above all else, she’s helping prevent the continued spread of coronavirus. Which is a good thing, quite frankly, and something we should all be bloody applauding her for.
It’s worth noting that, earlier this week, the daughter of one of the UK’s 463 Covid-19 fatalities shared a message on Facebook, pleading with people to stay away from their families.
“I’ve seen people going around each other’s houses, carrying on as normal,” she wrote. “If you carry on ignoring advice and one of your loved ones becomes ill, you won’t get to visit them. You won’t get to tell them how much you love them. And it’ll be a nurse’s hand they’re holding instead of yours. You won’t even get to spend time grieving with family and loved ones: it’ll be at least 12 weeks before I can do that.”
The message, which has been shared thousands of times on the social media site, finishes: “Stay at home.”
I get it, obviously: certain members of the press have, in their near-constant stream of negative content, made it overwhelmingly clear that they dislike Meghan. But, in suggesting she’s evil for preventing a coronavirus-inspired royal family reunion, they’re sending a very dangerous message to the general public. One which goes against everything the NHS has told us, and appeals to people’s basest instinct: to rush to the sides of people they love.
For now, the best thing we can all do – Meghan and Harry included – is stay the fuck home. Please, everyone, do your best to remember that.
The UK’s coronavirus guidelines:
Here in the UK, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen Boris Johnson put us on a nationwide lockdown, in a bid to flatten the Covid-19 curve and ease pressure on our National Health Service (NHS).
As such, people can only leave their homes for the following reasons:
- One form of exercise a day, such as walking, running or cycling – alone or with household members.
- To provide care for a vulnerable person or to obtain medical care for themselves.
- Travelling to and from work, if it is strictly necessary.
- Shopping for necessities, as infrequently as possible.