Saturday 18 August 2018

A successful pilot run for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

It didn't please republican puritans, but Irish people know how to greet strangers warmly, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet the crowds (Brian Lawless/PA)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet the crowds (Brian Lawless/PA)
Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

'The fawning over #HarryandMeghan has been pretty nauseating," tweeted The Irish Times journalist Kitty Holland last Wednesday. "For clarity, Meghan is no feminist if we care about all women's rights. They're a vestige of feudalism and not the company progressive people should keep. A lot of people should have known better."

That got 936 likes, presumably from "progressive people" who feel distaste for anyone who doesn't tick all their boxes. I was reminded of Glenda Jackson's memorable rant five years ago after the death of Margaret Thatcher: "To pay tribute to the first Prime Minister denoted by female gender, OK; but a woman? Not on my terms." At least Ms Holland hasn't actually expelled Meghan from womanhood for outrageously accepting the compromises involved in marrying a famous man with a well-defined career, a man with whom she's obviously passionately in love.

Ms Holland is typical of ideologues who just cannot bear the existence of monarchy, even though it suits the vast majority of the British public. It must be very disheartening for devout republicans that every time the royals have a serious dip in popularity, they reinvent themselves.

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