Speed Reads


Irish column on Harry and Meghan savagely compares Britain's embattled monarchy to killer clowns, Ewoks

The U.S. has its own contentious history with Britain's monarchy, but Ireland's fraught ties are about 250 years more recent and 4,000 miles closer. In an Irish Times column on Sunday night's bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview, Patrick Freyne makes clear he has no great sympathy for her royal guests, Prince Harry and his American celebrity wife, Meghan Markle — or even Oprah, described as "wearing roundy Harry Potter glasses." But he begins with a blithely savage republican broadside against the institution of the British Crown:

Having a monarchy next door is a little like having a neighbor who's really into clowns and has daubed their house with clown murals, displays clown dolls in each window, and has an insatiable desire to hear about and discuss clown-related news stories. More specifically, for the Irish, it's like having a neighbor who's really into clowns and, also, your grandfather was murdered by a clown.

Beyond this, it's the stuff of children's stories. Having a queen as head of state is like having a pirate or a mermaid or Ewok as head of state. What's the logic? Bees have queens, but the queen bee lays all of the eggs in the hive. The queen of the Britons has laid just four British eggs, and one of those is the sweatless creep Prince Andrew, so it's hardly deserving of applause. [Patrick Freyne, The Irish Times]

Freyne explains that "this isn't a mere royal nonstory" because it trips all sorts of socioeconomic mines, adding that the "charming" and "clever" Harry and Meghan "make the monarchy look like an archaic and endemically racist institution that has no place in the modern world. Well duh."

And while various "sycophants to hereditary tax-suckling grifters" hilariously snipe at the couple's "nascent media empire and lucrative Spotify and Netflix contracts," Freyne predicts, "Harry and Meghan are ultimately going to win." Because the story of Harry and Meghan, he proposes, is ultimately "about the potential union of two great houses, the Windsors and Californian Celebrity. Only one of those things has a future, and it's the one with the Netflix deal." Read Freyne's entire column at The Irish Times.