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Davis Journal

Welcoming the family to the balcony

Sep 01, 2022 02:40PM ● By Louise R. Shaw

Memo to the Royal Family: Even if one of the kids has left the family business, you don’t ban them from the balcony. 

Or the royal celebrations either, for that matter.

Not a good look.

Unless you want to look petty and vindictive. And cold.

It was bad enough when Harry and Meghan were part of the family business and you made them stand on the back row of the balcony on the dress-up days. But kicking them off the balcony all together? 

Petty and vindictive. And cold.

Anyone not following the highs and lows of Britain’s queen and princes and the lot, will not know what I’m talking about. Here’s an update in as few words as possible:

Harry, the second son of the son of the woman who’s reigned as queen for 70 years now, married Meghan, an American, and after a glorious wedding, things turned sour as they were hounded and criticized by the British press. 

In trying to protect his wife from what had happened to his mother (surely everyone knows that story), he stepped back from some duties and they eventually left England for America. 

In doing so, they lost several titles and even some responsibilities they wanted to keep, but it was a mental health thing that we all understand thanks to Oprah.

When they went back to England this year to honor Harry’s grandmother at her Platinum Jubilee, they were treated as second-class citizens.

I don’t know why I have an interest in the Royal Family of Britain. A big chunk of my ancestors were from England, but they all left in the 1600s, a good almost-400 years ago. My forebears were also part of the lot that fought for independence from that very country 100-plus years later and since they won, I should have little interest in the continuing family dynamics.

But who can resist the pomp and circumstance of those royal weddings complete with cathedrals and carriages, and who can not look at the latest darling photos of those cute kids of the latest generation, now in line to the throne?

Not me.

And apparently not the algorithm that tracks my news interests and sends me a steady stream of updates on the royal family and dirty laundry they are trying so hard to hide.

The balcony thing hit me hardest and that wasn’t even hidden.

Meghan, being an American, had to have raised her eyebrows when she and her new husband found themselves relegated to the back row of the balcony due to that birth-order thing that messes with so many children in so many families but does so at a whole new level when reigning is at stake.

In America, families don’t have to line up based on birth order to make sure that no one forgets they’re not first in line for the throne.

I can fix the problem the royal family is facing now. I can help them work through it in an easy and fast way that doesn’t take any money from the royal treasury or involve any decision of Parliament or vote of the people.

If Queen Elizabeth, or Charles or – even better because of how she’s worshipped – Kate, would walk up to Harry and Meghan, in public, in front of cameras and the press, and give them big smiles and big hugs, the British tabloid press would change their tune (we can hope) and the gossip mongers would be silenced and the mental health issue would be vastly improved all around. 

That, in fact, is a way to work through most every problem in most any family, regardless of what the family business is, or the religion or political persuasion or food preferences of the individuals who make it up.

Give them a big smile. And a big hug.

Give them the royal treatment and a prominent spot on the balcony.

It might not mean world peace, but it’s a peace that will make the world a better place.

Louise R. Shaw is an artist and a long-time columnist for community papers in Davis County. She and her husband live in St. George. λ