Harry and Meghan: Knives out in Jamaica

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Red carpets, Hollywood glitz and staged photo ops are not evocative of a humble Rastafarian lifestyle. Nor was Meghan Markle, gaudily wearing an oversized black ball dress during a surprise appearance at the movie premiere of “Bob Marley: One Love” in Kingston, Jamaica.

Prince Harry didn’t sport Marley’s iconic dreadlocks, but certainly the appearance of King Charles III’s youngest son is causing dread in Whitehall and Buckingham Palace.

Always looking for an opportunity, Harry and Meghan sent an unmistakable message by their very presence. Infamous already for endorsing the branding of 56-member Commonwealth of Nations as “Empire 2.0” in their eponymous Netflix series, Harry and Meghan’s eye-catching walk down the carpet was likely intended to upstage King Charles and his putative successor, Prince William.

Knives Out,” the 2019 dark comedy about an antagonistic family taking aim at its patriarch, would have been a more apt movie premiere choice. Harry and Meghan, ever the self-unaware narcissists, are clearly out for petty familial revenge in this latest installment of their South Park-branded “Worldwide privacy tour.” 

The timing of the scheming duo’s PR stunt in the Caribbean was likely calculated. Catherine, the Princess of Wales, who remains in hospital after abdominal surgery, will be laid up for months. William is sidelined from royal duties as well caring for their children. The King also will be out of pocket for some time as he begins treatment for an enlarged prostate. 

This would all be amusing, were it not for the serious damage Harry and Meghan continue to inflict upon the national security of the United Kingdom and its Commonwealth partners, and by extension to the U.S., with their effective promotion of Russian and Chinese propaganda.

Harry and Meghan’s attention-seeking behavior was bad enough in the waning years of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip’s lives. They were well into their 90s, and increasingly in ill health. But now it is far worse, given how rapidly an ideological global war is overtaking the globe.

Harry and Meghan are incapable of reading the room at a geostrategic level. Devoid of much-needed Whitehall guidance, they are foolishly playing into the propaganda hands of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping. Moscow and Beijing are out to destroy the Commonwealth headed by King Charles, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue to help them at every turn.

Simply put, it is time for Harry and Meghan to be formally stripped of their royal titles by an act of the British Parliament.

Their decision at the “One Love” premiere to gladhand Marlene Malahoo Forte, the Jamaican minister for legal and constitutional affairs, was unforgivable from a king-and-country point of view. Forte is spearheading the movement for Jamaica to cease being a realm of King Charles and to become a republic. Nor was it constitutionally wise for Harry to be pictured with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness who is continuing with his plans to hold a referendum on it later this year.

While formal independence and republicanism are certainly choices Jamaicans have a right to make for themselves as a country and as a people, Harry in his capacity as the king’s son should not be seen as endorsing it.

Based on “Spare,” the autobiography penned by Harry with the aid of a ghostwriter, we likely know why the Duke of Sussex sought the meet and greet with Holness. Famously, in 2022, William and Kate, representing Queen Elizabeth, had an awkward meeting with Holness in which the Jamaican prime minister informed the couple that his country had “moved on” and would proceed to “fulfill our true ambition and destiny as an independent country.”

At the time, William and Catherine’s trip to Jamaica and Benin was widely thought a disaster, but unfairly so. Russian and Chinese disinformation campaigns to subvert the Commonwealth and the UK’s remaining realms had long been underway. The two simply ran into a buzzsaw not of their making. 

Harry, in this light, had his knives out. Allegorically-speaking, he also knifed his brother in the back by intentionally inviting contrasts of William and Catherine’s difficult official visit to Kingston with his own Ulmer Scale D-list celebrity cameo. 

What next? Will they meet with Argentine President Javier Milei, to discuss Argentina’s sovereignty over the Falkland Islands?  

“One Love” may have been the theme of the night in Kingston, but it was hardly on display by Harry and Meghan. Nor, as Marley intoned in his classic hit “Three Little Birds” is “every little thing gonna be all right.”

Harry is always going to be a problem. His brash declaration on the red carpet that he “had to be here” in Jamaica is sufficiently indicative of that. Did he really, when his father is facing a medical procedure? When his sister-in-law is recuperating from serious surgery? 

Neither of which, notably and rather crassly, has he commented on publicly. Short of a directive from Buckingham Palace to represent the monarchy at the event, the “premiere crashers” have once again lowered the bar.

Yes, Harry and Meghan had to be there. It was too tempting an opportunity to seize the stage from Charles and William. Essentially, however, they were ambulance-chasing, and appeared to be vainly attempting to profit from their family’s medical challenges. 

In that regard, Harry and Meghan succeeded. But now it is time for the UK to laugh them off that stage, and formally through an act of Parliament remove their titles, as well as Harry’s spot in the order of succession. Harry and Megan started this knife-fight. It is time King Charles and Parliament put a decisive end to it.

Mark Toth writes on national security and foreign policy. Col. (Ret.) Jonathan Sweet served 30 years as a military intelligence officer.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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