The death of Queen Elizabeth II has led those who knew the monarch best and those who merely admired her from afar to come together and honor her remarkable life and achievements.
However, it’s also exposed many of the flaws in the centuries-old institution of the royal family, as Britons and the world wonder what’s next for the UK.
In his first speech as king, Charles III preached unity and sought to heal the divisions that have plagued the Windsor clan in recent years.
But coverage of the UK’s period of national mourning has offered countless reminders of the old hostilities that are certain to hinder progress in the years to come.
Chief among them, of course, is the baseless contempt for Meghan Markle that’s so sadly common among Brits.
Obviously, not all criticism of Meghan is rooted in racism and xenophobia.
But it’s difficult to imagine that these prejudices haven’t laid the foundation for the hatred that’s so bizarrely prevalent among UK citizens who have never met the Duchess of Sussex or interacted with her in any meaningful way.
And sadly, this disdain was on full display when Meghan met with mourners outside of Windsor Castle this week.
As far as we can tell, most of the crowd was honored to meet the Duchess and express their condolences, but the clip above went viral due to a demonstration of rudeness that few Brits would defend if it were directed at any other member of the Queen’s extended clan.
Now, we don’t mean to say that the woman who refused to shake Meghan’s hand is necessarily a racist.
Perhaps her worldview has simply been warped by her parasocial relationship with the royal family.
Or maybe years of being whipped into a furor by Piers Morgan and other for-profit bigots have melted her brain into a sort of frothy goo.
Whatever the case, Meghan kept it classy — she’s accustomed to this sort of treatment, after all — and she continued with her royal duties … as she’s managed in far more taxing circumstances in the past.
But in the days since the clip went viral, thousands of Black UK residents have taken to social media to share similar accounts of being politely snubbed by their fellow countrymen.
“Every single black & brown person in this country will recognise these mannerisms, the smirking, the unmerited self assuredness,” tweeted one person in reference to the video.
Many have pointed out that the woman in the video might have had non-racially-motivated reasons for disliking Meghan, which is of course possible.
But that still doesn’t excuse her actions.
If she felt that she would be unable to politely offer her condolences to every member of the royal family, then she should’ve honored the Queen’s memory by keeping her arse at home.
You can’t claim to love the royals and then reject their protocol, which contains strict rules about interactions between the public and titled members of the family.
And like it or not, Meghan has retained her title.
The woman in the video cares about the Queen and the royals enough to come out for such an event, and she probably thinks she’s honoring Elizabeth’s memory by being rude to her daughter-in-law.
But her actions require her to ignore the Queen’s commitment to family and tradition, as well the late monarch’s disdain for rudeness, unnecessary drama, and any deviation from the customs that are so central to royal life.
It’s tough to imagine how this person could justify such contradictions — unless, of course, she were fueled by some pretty powerful prejudices.