In Defense of Meghan Markle’s Medieval Curtsy Joke

During the past five years, Meghan Markle has become a strangely divisive figure in the media, especially in the UK. But few things demonstrate exactly this extent of division like the reaction to first three episodes of the Harry & Meghan, Her Netflix documentary series with Prince Harry. In these early episodes, the couple completely avoided causing drama to the point of a common line of attack targeted Netflix for paying millions for something so boring.

However, controversy arose; Notably, one moment that has been scrutinized by the British press was when Meghan and Harry discussed her first meeting with the late queen. by ITV ship Chris tweeted scene along with a fairly neutral description of what happens in it. “Meghan describes meeting the late Queen Elizabeth for the first time and she doesn’t understand why she has to bow to Harry’s grandmother,” he wrote. “He looked a little annoyed about the whole thing.”

To me, an American in my 30s, Ship’s description of the scene, while not wrong, doesn’t sum up the nuances of the joke, what is clear is that Meghan is dramatically exaggerating. her own unfamiliarity with the reality of being around royalty. She’s the butt of the joke here, not the queen or even royal etiquette. This scene is presented for approximately 36 minutes in the second episode of the series, as an illustration of Meghan’s initial excitement and discomfort at mingling with Harry’s family.

The story begins with Harry’s recollection. He said: “My grandmother was the first senior member of the family that Meghan met. “She didn’t know what it consisted of. It was a shock to the system for her.

Meghan continued: “I mean, it’s surreal. There’s no big moment like, ‘Now you’re going to meet my grandmother.’ I didn’t know I was going to meet her until a minute ago. We were in the car and we were going to the Royal Lodge for lunch. And he was like, ‘Oh, my grandma’s here. She will be there after the church.’ I remember, we were in the car, driving, and he said, ‘You know how to bow, don’t you?’ And I just thought it was a joke.”

Harry explains that there is something sensitive about introducing someone to this part of his life. “How do you explain that to people, that you bow to your grandmother and that you will need to bow, especially to an American? That’s weird,” he said.

But Meghan finally accepted the challenge. “Now I’m starting to realize this is a big deal. I mean, Americans will understand this. We have the Medieval Dinner & Tournament,” Meghan said, emphasizing the restaurant’s name in a musical segment. “That’s how it is. Like, I bowed like I was like…” She stopped to bow abruptly, but she was sitting, so she nearly fell off her chair.

She turned and said, “Nice to meet you, Your Majesty,” with the shy smile of a pleaser, adding, “Like, is that okay?” At first, Harry looked quite confused – I think he might not understand the joke she was making – but he broke into a smile when she returned her grin.

I think it’s important to point out that she is Not states that the practice is “medieval”, i.e. outdated or cruel, as many reports have implied. She was referring to the Texas-based dinner restaurant chain with 11 locations across North America, where actors and circus performers dressed in medieval costumes perform for patrons while they ate a four-course meal of garlic bread and soup. , roast chicken and dessert. The Medieval Dinner & Tournament is completely historically inaccurate and I’ve never been there either, so I can’t testify to its quality. But it looms large in the American mind, perhaps because it is the perfect encapsulation of what American commerce can do with even the most exotic raw materials. (It’s also appeared in the headlines lately because of artist groups from Lyndhurst, New Austriaand california merged outpost.)

In this scene, Meghan is describing how she learned, in real time, that most of her knowledge of how things work with the royals is secondhand, and in her eagerness to do pleased Harry and the late queen, she was too modest for her real first time. She’s making a fool of herself to say she has a deep understanding of the importance of meeting the queen, but a shallow understanding of how to do the right thing demonstrates it. To me, that was amusing, and made even more amusing by the fact that, as Meghan expected with her “Americans will understand” preface, her British husband had no idea what she was doing. trying to say nothing, until he saw the grin on her face and got the gist.


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