Meghan Markle 'jumped ship' instead of fighting racism in UK, says lecturer

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex was accused of jumping ship. (Getty Images)

The Duchess of Sussex has been accused of ‘jumping ship’ by a womanist philosopher who says she should have stayed and fought racism in Britain.

Dr Gabriella Beckles-Raymond was speaking at an event around Megxit and racism in Britain when she said Meghan and Harry had not shown leadership.

“Is giving two fingers to the British establishment on the way out really an act of leadership?” she asked, adding: “Megxit does not look like leadership to me, it looks like jumping ship.”

She said Meghan had found herself at the epicentre of a power structure and that the duchess ought to have stayed to fight.

Read more: Date Prince Harry and Meghan will end royal duties confirmed

Dr Beckles-Raymond said: “If Meghan and Harry used their position to bring about change that would look like leadership.”

She also said the royal couple were finding it relatively easy to make the move to Canada in part because it is still part of the Commonwealth.

She added: “The Royal Family owns most of the land in this country, and racism is about land and who controls it. We need to look at what British power looks like when it exerts its power over other people.”

Dr Beckles-Raymond shared a stage at the event with Rachel C Boyle, the lecturer who clashed with Laurence Fox over the treatment of Meghan Duchess of Sussex on BBC Question Time, as well as Professor Anthony Reddie, the Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture and Dr William Ackah, a lecturer in Community and Voluntary Sector Studies at the University of London.

Meghan and Harry will live mostly in Canada from spring. (Getty Images)

Speaking about Meghan and Prince Harry’s decision to step back from their royal duties Dr Ackah said: “What we have seen with the whole Meghan Markle incident is that mainstream media does not get it. 

“They want to debate her as if the lived experience of black people is something to be debated - like if Arsenal is better than Chelsea. 

“We should not take this lying down. If institutions do not serve us they should be shut down or fined. 

“Black people should be paying less tax, or less TV license, [because] this society is not giving us our rights. We have been paying in for 400 years. 

“It is not that we need to change, it is society and institutions that need to change.”

The panel included Dr Gabriella Beckles-Raymond, Rachel C Boyle, Dr Anthony Reddie and Dr William Ackah

Read more: Meghan Markle's Vogue cover inspires Forces for Change event

Prof Reddie said it began at the wedding in Windsor, citing the reaction of Twittersphere he saw to Michael Curry’s passionate sermon.

He said: “I had an Anglican friend who said it was too enthusiastic. What he meant was it was too black. 

“What Meghan is facing is just a posher version of what we face because the system was not built for us.”

Prince Harry and Meghan announced they would be stepping back from their roles as senior members of the royal family in January, sparking something of a royal crisis and meetings between the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William in what was dubbed the Sandringham summit.

Their decision sparked the Sandringham Summit. (Getty Images)

Read more: Will losing Sussex Royal impact Harry and Meghan's brand power?

The couple have been allowed to keep their duchy in Sussex but will not be able to use the HRH titles and are unlikely to use the word royal in their branding.

The pair are planning to launch a new charitable foundation later this year.

They will formally step back from duties from 1 April, losing their office in Buckingham Palace, and are likely to spend most of their time in North America.