America has an ongoing and altogether more massive love affair with British royals than even ardent royalists in the UK. Princess Di's dress on tour drew Elton John c.1970's sized crowds or something don't you know... So for Americans, a translation, and explain-ation... What's all this Meghan Malarky and Harry Palaver... What's it all about, Alarcon says...? wouldn't you like to know...
Ancient Champion: Did I? I don’t remember that already!
Alarcon: On the day Harry announced that he submitted his resignation papers and walked away from the House of Windsor, Morrissey paid his respects to Edd "Kookie" Byrnes who had died earlier that day. Considering his consistent outspokenness about the Royal Family, I’m surprised Morrissey hasn’t mentioned the current state of affairs of the Royal Family once.
An American marrying her way into British tradition seems ripe for one of Morrissey’s targeted missives. Is he censoring himself? I never thought I’d see the day.
Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that he just announced two dates in Leeds and London in venues that seat 13,000 and 12,500, respectively. Anything he’d say on the subject would only further distance his already-weakening UK draw. Are there 25,500 people in England interested in watching Morrissey sing?
Ancient Champion: Everything’s so fractured in these times. Morrissey will put together a patchwork quilt of fans, like always. Like most bands, they’d rather have any fans without asking too many questions of them, than none at all. All great bands begin by annoying people and end up pandering to whoever is still sticking around once last orders has been called.
Alarcon: This isn’t about Morrissey, although he seems to get brought up at least once in every conversation in the 27 years we’ve known each other. This is about Megxit. Here’s what I think I know about it:
I understand why this makes news, but as clever as the word Megxit is, I get the sense that the term is a slight. You’re a man of the people -- what do the English think about Harry leaving it all behind? Local press calls it a crisis. Megxit… what’s it all about, Ancient Champion?
Ancient Champion: Look, I don't even know whether I have anything to say about this, whether I am the right person to help you as I basically don't give a shit about Meghan and Harry. It is an enduring disappointment in my life though, that as it nears its close, the royals, the establishment are still in charge. Not changed by time at all. Look, you’re out on the West Coast, right? In NAMM or somewhere like that this week. Swigging from a signed bottle of Jay-Z’s Ace of Spades, contemplating American royalty, which out there, is Beyonce and him.
The media celebrates them, and all they achieve, they are celebrities even to regular everyday celebrities. They are revered, they are respected... I like remembering the day Beyoncé stood on the then Mrs. Champion’s foot. I was that close to a foot that had been brushed (crushed?) by fame. Now here I am, on England’s 114th consecutive rainy day, it’s how I woke, the inescapable rain seeping into my consciousness once more, being asked to contemplate Harry, formerly known as Prince. And still to be formally known as Prince. Oddly it is true, excommunicated or no.
Last evening, I had broken out of games night, Escape from Colditz -- Wembley, Frustration, Codenames, Sequence -- and was driving over to help a rich, older friend administer her post-operative eye drops. The sports channel the broken car radio is locked onto broke out of its regular programming with the latest royal news -- that Harry and Meghan, as Heidi would say, “One day you're in, and the next day you're out.” Absolutely and utterly out.
What do the British think? Well, the British will think what they are being told to think.
Immediately, when it was discovered that Harry and Meghan has assembled their Escape Kit (1), and that their tunnel under the Atlantic was nearly complete, all broadcasters were supplied with establishmentarians, right posh nonces in many cases -- many of whom you’d never heard of before -- to routinely give the well-balanced shiv to the same princess for whom just a few years earlier they’d bit their stiff upper lips really hard, and hailed as the saviour of the Royal Family.
And so, the crucifixion of Meghan Markle was complete. It had taken a couple of years, but now it was done. Pilot washed the blood from his hands. The establishment closed ranks.
You know, I saw a newspaper column blaming Meghan for ruining that teenage-idiot Harry, the one who went to parties in Nazi uniforms. Maybe he just grew out of it?
I don’t follow that media, but the hatchet job on her has been spectacular.
Why was it done?
I’ve never understood the need for modern royalty, but I can understand that for the £82,000,000 they are given each year, they need to be popular with the public. They cost the public way more to keep than that, but that’s the number we get given. So, usher onto centre stage Kate, Harry, and Meghan. Glam young royals to get us out of our glumness. It’s Britain’s great answer to the Shit Life Syndrome that we endure.
But what if this Hollywood star, and her stardust, coupled with Harry’s, was just too amazing, too personable too powerful, and if oh holy Jesus, they were too relatable. And made his brother and wife look like wallpaper you’d like to see changed. And on top of that Harry was seen to be doing actual significant things while all his brother did, the one who will be king sometime after his elderly dad whom he already resembles, just went bald. Which is wholly unnecessary after all, is wilful and speaks to being spoilt.
Britain is riven with envy, it’s our abiding passion.
Alarcon: Just like Morrissey’s “We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful.”
Ancient Champion: Oh and add a healthy serving of Bengali in Platforms to that... The racism, which we’re practiced at. Micro-aggressions quickly give way major aggressions that are in the mainstream -- maybe we should talk about the horrific and shameful Windrush scandal where we created many Megan Markles out of people who’d given a lot, their whole lives to Britain.
Alarcon: From what little I read, I had a feeling this had something to do with the Markle’s unroyal pedigree. When I first saw her, I thought she was Mediterranean, and I didn’t even blink an eye about that.
What I read about was her middling acting career. She was on one of those soft-core erotic thriller shows on basic cable, and she was a suitcase holder on Deal or No Deal. I was shocked that Harry would marry a real commoner. I thought, “How would ever Harry and Markle ever cross paths?”
Then I thought, “Well, if you’re going to buy into the fairy tale, this is as close to how every Disney Princess movie goes: The rugged, virle Prince plucks his princess from the slums of the village, and the pair live happily ever after. I guess now we know what happens after the credits of that movie roll.
It wasn’t until a year into their marriage that I read that Markle was Black. I also read about her fucked-up family whom she was probably so relieved she was escaping. Her father seems like a piece of work.
But you seem to be saying that the press did what the press does -- build ‘em up, then tear ‘em down. When do you think the narrative changed?
Ancient Champion: Meghan was heralded as a moderniser. But once the establishment decided this modernizing had gone far enough when she didn’t always choose American Tan tights, the establishment shackles meant, she was destined for the Tower. Whoever fills the UK young Joe Pesci roles... "How does it feel to be on the rack duchess?"
Alarcon: It came down to tights?
Ancient Champion: And an off the shoulder dress (vulgar) compared to Kate’s (delectable) one. Or how she crossed her legs rather than letting her knees sag sideways at one event. Relentless. Someone said and I could be wrong I so often am, 400 negative pieces of press per week.
Alarcon: Sounds like when the Republicans melted down when Obama wore that slim tan suit on official Presidential business. That incident was absolutely fueled by racism that day.
Ancient Champion: Yes. Racism, Racism, Racism in the UK. Depressingly rife. Sorry state that a nation with promise could be so regressive.
The risks were quickly obvious, Harry and Meghan are way more popular and interesting than William and Kate and that won’t do. What if the younger son accomplishes half decent things like the Invictus Games, while the older son, the chosen one, just slowly loses his hair, becomes invisible, and becomes the King of England after Charles?
Alarcon: And I think that’s the great fear amongst the Royal Family. It’s also why the British press’s Megxit campaign has been so hard pressed.
Harry and Markles leaving symbolizes just how little cache English royalty carries these days. That’s just a brand for business.
“God save the Queen, ‘cause tourists are money.” John Lydon’s words have never rung with more accuracy.
And if Harry and Markles were willing to walk away from the perks of what being in the Royal Family brings, it just shows you how little these kids value the pomp and circumstance of Royal life.
I’m sure this isn’t an original theory, but I’ll put it out there anyway. Kate must be fuming. Harry and Meghan are essentially poo-pooing Middleton’s future. Kate’s put in her time -- almost 20 years. She might have to put in another 20 before William takes the throne, but she’s determined. Kate assumes “Megxit” sullies the luster of the bloodline she married into.
So let’s close with a couple predictions…
Alarcon: What’s next for Harry and Meghan?
Ancient Champion: Well. They are, I suppose, destined to be like a British, small potatoes Obamas. If they are clever and get the same managers as Lewis Hamilton, Beckhams, that lot. Then they just might. I loved them shilling for work in Leicester square at that premiere. I used to do that when I was way younger, on Shaftsbury Ave though. Best forgotten about, if only I could. What do you think?
Alarcon: Overpaid, oversexed, and over here? What’s the Royal Family’s next move, if they even have one?
Ancient Champion: The Family will always think that they are keeping the Sussex’s in check. But once Harry and Meghan become global media stars on their own terms, the Windsor’s enablers will come crawling, lumbering out of the cracks, like unwell komodo dragons, barely concealing their drooling bile.
Alarcon: What excuse will Morrissey use when Leeds and London don’t sell out?
Ancient Champion: Well, 25,000 tickets… He’ll be doctoring the photos like a Trump inauguration crowd on the national mall. But that was the thing that overwhelmed me about his autobiography, wasn’t like the last half of it like a travelogue of ticket sales? City, State, Ticket Sales. Less artistry, more commerce. Kind of, really, like Trump. That’s what I remember most. And then I watched him perform someplace and I swear to god it was like watching that part of the Irishman where De Niro stomps on someone, and his face is young, but his physical slow motion movements tell a different story. Morrissey doesn’t age in my head, my head refuses to accept it, so whenever I see him lumbering around on stage I am shocked. I need to check my own dancing I guess. You know, despite everything, let's a face it, who else from the early 80s is still around, who still has a pulse?
Alarcon co-founded outsideleft with lamontpaul in 2004. His work for o/l has attracted the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers, oh and probably the fbi too.