Meghan Markle has changed Prince Harry. That is the conclusion that most tabloids have come to ever since last year’s Royal Wedding, and it’s one they are no longer afraid to verbalise. Headlines talk about she has ‘convinced’ him to change his diet, care about animal rights, and now, apparently, her ‘political correctness’ means that Harry is ‘heading for a fall.’ Lady Colin Campbell, author of three biographies of Princess Diana, has even said: “Everything I hear is that Harry is completely beguiled by Meghan and completely enthralled to her.” She also claimed that Prince Harry had “changed considerably” since marrying Meghan.
The latest in this sexist narrative of Meghan bewitching her husband is Harry’s speech last night. The prince spoke to 12,000 children at Wembley Stadium, telling that they are “the most engaged generation in history” with the “incredible opportunity to help reshape mindsets,” regardless of what “older generations” think. He then dared to commit the unforgivable crime of giving politically correct positive life advice:
“Be braver. Be stronger. Be kind to each other. Be kind to yourselves. Have less screen time and more face-to-face time. Exceed expectations. Eliminate plastics. Conserve water. Protect wildlife and their unique habitat. Keep empathy alive. Ask your friends how they are doing and listen to the answer. Be honest. Take risks. Change your thoughts and change the world. Dare to be the greatest generation of all time.”
To many, this was one of the most inspiring speeches they’d ever heard. But to a number of haters - many who belong to the “older generation”, the Prince actually referenced in his speech as not always seeming “to care” - this is irrevocable proof that Meghan has changed Harry. Because, of course, a 36-year-old man is incapable of embracing environmental rights and saying something genuine about the importance of sharing feelings, unless a woman is behind it.
People are convinced Meghan Markle is having twins after she said this
My biggest problem with this idea of Meghan changing Harry isn’t just the obvious point of it completely taking away the Prince’s agency and reducing him to a love-struck teenager ready to change all his principles for love; it’s the fact that it happens every time a man dates a strong, feminist woman. It’s even happened to me.
When I started seeing my long-term ex-partner, all his friends were very aware of the feminist articles and novels I’d written. So every time my ex happened to say something about gender equality or not laugh at a sexist joke, out came their comments about how he’d changed ever since he met me. ‘You’re becoming a feminist too,’ they’d say, shaking their heads.
None of them actually disagreed with feminism or gender equality as concepts. They just took issue with the fact that their rugby-loving pint-drinking mate was voicing his opinions on feminism, and could call out a rape joke. They immediately assumed that he had changed because of me - even though the truth was that he’d always felt this way, but the older he got, the more comfortable he felt verbalising his views. Spending more time with me and my equally feminist friends didn't make those thoughts magically appear in his mind - it just normalised those conversations for him.
A similar thing is probably happening with Harry and Meghan. He has always been the Prince who isn’t afraid to speak his mind and do what he wants. It hasn’t always paid off (cough, Vegas) but it often has - like when he decided to open up about mental health struggles and how it felt to lose his mother at such a young age. He has now fallen in love and married someone who has always talked openly about the importance of kindness, self-care and community, and it seems that their relationship has empowered him to talk as openly about his own beliefs. Is that really such an issue?
I completely agree with Meghan Markle - blood is not always thicker than water
We all change in relationships, but it isn’t fair to blame one person’s change on their partner. Change happens with time, and in the best relationships, couples grow together on similar paths. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s normally a positive move that results in self-development. But this is something wrong with the idea that any man who dates a strong, feminist woman is going to turn into a politically correct puppet. That’s a plain sexist notion that is just an offensive to the man as it is to the woman.