Few things capture the American people’s imagination quite like British royalty. One might forget we once won a revolution to rid the country of the very same monarchy that media outlets – especially newsstand tabloids – and bored people worldwide are still obsessed with to this day.
Unless you have an unusually healthy approach to limiting your daily intake of mainstream “news” and social media, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle’s, primetime interview with America’s own monarch, Oprah Winfrey.
The two-hour interview (another two hours were cut from the broadcast – they talked for roughly the length of time it takes to watch the Zach Snyder cut of Justice League) has reportedly left the British royal family reeling. Markle shared a variety of explosive claims, including allegations of racism.
Days after the royal couple’s interview aired, the top-tier entertainment betting site posted a series of betting odds pertaining to the interview, as well as what Harry and Meghan will do next.
Because they chose to offer action on the five special wagers discussed on this page, I had to write about them – and because I had to write about them (and make picks and predictions), I was forced to spend hours of my life reading and learning about the royal family. In doing so, I comfortably exceeded the total amount of time I’ve ever dedicated to British aristocracy tenfold.
Hopefully, time will show that the hours spent reading articles, listening to podcasts, and watching documentaries and interviews about a family I neither have interest in nor affection for has paid off.
Let’s let these hoity-toity brats generate some money for our wallets for once!
Which British Royal Will Be Outed as the Palace Racist?
|The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles)||+300||The Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip)||+1500|
|The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William)||+400||The Earl of Wessex (Prince Edward)||+1500|
|The Princess Royal (Anne)||+600||Prince Michael of Kent||+1500|
|Princess Alexandra||+600||The Duke of Gloucester (Prince Henry)||+2000|
|Princess Michael of Kent)||+600||The Duke of Kent (Prince Edward)||+2000|
|The Duchess of Cambridge (Kate)||+1200||The Duchess of Kent (Katharine)||+2500|
|The Countess of Wessex (Sophie)||+1200||The Duchess of Gloucester (Birgitte)||+2500|
|The Duchess of Cornwall (Camila)||+1200||Sarah, Dutchess of York||+3000|
|The Duke of York (Prince Andrew)||+1200||Princess Beatrice||+4000|
|The Queen||+1500||Princess Eugenie||+4000|
Perhaps the most controversial allegation made by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was that before having their first child, one of the royal family members expressed concern over the color of who would eventually be their son Archie’s skin. Markle is biracial with an African American mother.
It’s unprecedented for a woman of color to marry into the royal family, especially with a senior member like the Prince. Beyond her ethnicity, Meghan Markle is American, a divorcee, and self-made – she comes from a working-class background.
All of these features of her identity make the Duchess of Sussex a norm-shattering addition to the dynasty and seem to have played a central role in her feelings of alienation.
Prince Harry refused to disclose which family member made the hurtful remarks, explaining that the revelation would be extremely harmful to their reputation. However, after the interview, he did come out to clarify that the offending party was neither the Queen nor her husband, Prince Philip.
Between Harry’s reluctance to identify the racist, acknowledging that it wasn’t either of his grandparents, and a few other comments made during the sit-down with Oprah, I believe I’ve narrowed the field to three probable culprits.
Prince Charles (+300)
The most obvious answer to the mystery is Harry’s father, Prince Charles – also the betting favorite.
Prince Harry said that Charles stopped taking his son’s calls after two conversations in January 2020, during which the former shared his and his wife’s intentions to leave the royal family. Prince Charles – next in line for the throne – also cut off his financial assistance and the family’s security detail at that time.
When asked by Oprah why Prince Charles stopped taking his calls, the 36-year-old Duke of Sussex said, “Because, I took matters into my hands. I need to do this for my family. It’s really sad it’s gotten to this point, but I’ve got to do something.”
So, his dad was evidently disapproving of the young new family’s plan to step away from their royal duties.
Royals are meant to have a stiff upper lip and never complain. No matter how unpleasant or suffocating life in House Windsor might be, Harry was expected to put his responsibilities to The Firm above personal happiness – especially above the personal happiness of a “low born” bi-racial American three years his senior.
When asked if the father and son are communicating now, Harry gave a reluctant, wounded “Yeah,” before explaining:
“There’s a lot to work through there. I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson…I will always love him but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened – and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.”
Still, that means Harry and Charles were on relatively good terms before last year. Archie is only almost two years old, and the racist statement was made while Markle was pregnant.
Does that decrease the probability of the more senior royal expressing concerns over his soon-to-be grandchild’s skin tone?
I think so.
My main reason for feeling this way is that Prince Charles was pretty welcoming to Meghan Markle in the beginning, by most accounts. He even walked her down the aisle in the absence of his new daughter-in-law’s biological father.
Maybe – these royals are the best at putting on a well-polished front for the people, despite behind-the-scenes turmoil. Still, I think there are better betting options.
Prince William (+400)
My pick for this wager is Prince William, Harry’s older brother. Unlike the younger redhead, William will someday be King. Since birth, he’s been second in the line of succession behind Charles. As such, William has always been under more pressure to be the “good son.”
He’s lived up to those expectations and did everything expected of a future king – the ideal royal.
But successfully handling one’s responsibilities to the royal family is not the same as being a decent person – and certainly doesn’t exonerate a person from allegations of racism.
If anyone has had it deeply ingrained in their head since birth to worry about things like how the skin color of a senior royal’s child may affect the family, it’s William.
Every decision the 38-year-old has ever made, he was taught to approach with that framework in mind:
- public perception,
- being a “proper” royal.
The two brothers’ icy relationship would seem to support my theory.
In 2019, — when Markle would have been pregnant – Harry was quoted as saying that the two were “on different paths.” British author Katie Nicholl claims that since Meghan and Harry announced their engagement in 2017, William has grown increasingly worried about his younger brother, specifically the influence the American actress has over him.
The two grew further apart after the announcement that Prince Harry and his wife would be stepping away from the royal life. Based on the limited information we have, I suspect William thinks his brother is making a mistake and that Markle is driving a wedge between her husband and his family.
During the Oprah interview, Harry described his and his brother’s relationship as “space…at the moment.” Adding that, “time heals all things, hopefully.”
So, you have an older brother who views his sibling’s spouse as a bad influence and a threat to the family. We can assume he’s had conversations about those concerns and the possibility that Harry’s being manipulated – but they were getting nowhere.
- Might he have let his well-intentioned fears manifest themselves as racism in a regrettable act of frustration?
- Could William have some deep-seated problematic beliefs based on a lifetime of obsessive training for the day he becomes King?
Every minute of the Prince’s existence has been steeped in royal family traditions and expectations, then his younger brother breaks free of the those shackles and marries an American divorcee and woman of color – a marriage that would have never been allowed in the past. And worse yet, that American actress is substantially better looking than the historically acceptable upper-crust mate William dutifully wed!
Even if Meghan Markle’s intentions with Harry are pure, the chances are that Prince William wouldn’t be able to see it.
He must be jealous, on some level, that his little brother has the freedom to live his life – even if what’s considered freedom from a royal’s perspective is still very much a gilded cage to the rest of us. When Harry exercises that freedom, William’s resentment may shade everything in pessimism. All conjecture, but it’s fun.
When asked about the originator of the racist comments, Prince Harry refused to name their source.
He emphasized the negative impact divulging such information would have on their reputation.
Charles’ reputation is already shaky after the Lady Di stuff; most people want the crown to skip him entirely, going from Elizabeth II to William. The public wouldn’t be all that surprised if Harry’s father made the insensitive remarks.
Prince William is another story entirely. Being attached to such racist statements could taint his popularity for years.
The brothers may not be talking much these days, but Harry doesn’t want to sabotage their relationship forever. He’s choosing to protect William despite being hurt by the older sibling’s opinion of his spouse and the comments about his then-unborn nephew’s skin tone.
The Duchess of Cambridge – Kate (+1200)
If it weren’t Prince William who made the comments, I’d bet my left leg it was his wife. Like her husband, Kate Middleton is a picturesque royal.
Two of her father’s relatives were members of the British aristocracy. They were even present at successive coronations. According to The Telegraph, “one of them, Baroness Airedale, was photographed wearing a coronet and ceremonial robes on the day of George V’s coronation in 1911.”
Unlike Meghan Markle, the UK media treats the Duchess of Cambridge with respect and adoration.
Just look at the glaring difference between how they reported these similar stories:
Check out this nonsense about avocados:
I mean, how blatant can you get?!?
This is why Markle’s claims of racism hold such weight.
Racism in the UK may not be as overt as in some parts of the United States, but there are explicit biases in how discussions about the two women are framed.
Oprah asked the Duchess of Sussex about her relationship with Middleton after a report from two years ago accused the former of being a “bridezilla” and making the future Queen cry over a dispute about flower girls’ dresses.
According to Markle, the media got the story backward. Kate wasn’t driven to tears; Meghan was. One of the former actress’s main contentions was that nobody in the royal family ever made an effort to clear up such rumors. They never came to her defense.
“They were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband,” she told Oprah.
If William and Kate felt no obligation to step in and help their new in-law acclimate to a life with immense pressure and such unreasonable expectations, that tells you everything about how they feel about her.
Then again, Meghan Markle could be lying. Maybe Kate really is the one who cried.
Regardless, there’s a slim chance that both William and Kate sat down to share their concerns with Harry and that it was the wife who brought up the baby’s complexion.
I’m still leaning heavily towards William, but at +1200, the Duchess of Cambridge is worth a look.
Will Harry & Meghan Lose Their Royal Titles in 2021?
- Matchup Odds
When Prince Harry initially announced his intention to step away from royal life, the status of the couple’s royal titles was uncertain.
The British taxpayers finance the family’s lifestyle, so a senior member like Harry choosing to forego his responsibilities is quite controversial. The public doesn’t want to fund his existence if they’re not getting anything in return.
Harry and his grandmother, the Queen, negotiated his exit. Ultimately, the matriarch decided that they’d keep their titles but would need to make their own money and hire their own security staff.
I don’t think The Firm would risk the bad optics.
They want the headlines about racism in the Windsor ranks and a Duchess driven to suicidal thoughts out of the public eye as soon as possible.
Regardless of the damage caused by Harry and Meghan’s interview, it would look ten times worse if the crown retaliated. Then they’d look extra racist.
The odds are so one-sided, this isn’t a very fun pick, but I must go with “No” at –2500.
Will Prince Harry Get His Royal Securities Back in 2021?
- Matchup Odds
For better or worse, I don’t see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s current status with the royal family changing much in 2021. They’ll maintain their distance and live in North America while remaining respectful about the monarchy in public.
The Oprah interview was their big “coming out party” as an entity independent from the Windsors, and now they’ll move on to their next ventures. I wouldn’t expect more scandalous interviews.
So, they’ll keep their titles but be on their own financially.
Fortunately for them, every major media entity is drooling over signing the couple to publishing deals, and social media experts estimate they could make over $1 million per Instagram post.
Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex will not be hurting for cash, even if he’s cut off from the royal trusts. They’ll continue to be expected to pay for their security and will comfortably afford to do so.
I have to take “No” at –1000 here.
Will Harry & Meghan Return to Live Permanently in the UK in 2021?
- Matchup Odds
These timelines are too short. We’re already three months into 2021, and the royal couple is just settling into their new lives in California. They’ll spend the rest of the year setting up publishing deals and producing media content.
Penguin Random House paid the former First Couple $60 million for joint publishing rights for their two books. They also signed a deal with Netflix to produce films and series for the streaming platform.
The American public can’t get enough of the royal family, even if it goes everything on which the nation was founded.
Harry and Meghan are even more compelling due to the racial angle and being American.
- A biracial woman defying the odds and marrying into royalty only to be driven away by institutional forces and societal racism is a story that hits all the marks – especially in the current media climate.
- Add to that the fact that her husband, and actual Prince, was willing to leave his family and royalty behind to be with her and make her happy, and you have the most highly watched Lifetime movie ever produced.
They will not be moving back to the United Kingdom anytime soon.
There’s far too much money to be made and influence to be gained in Los Angeles. If they go back to London, it won’t be until the kids are almost in their teens or later.
Once again, I’m forced to take the lopsided odds at –4000.
Will Harry And Meghan Be Invited to Christmas At Sandringham?
- Matchup Odds
Here’s what the royal family’s website says about Christmas at Sandringham (British names are just the worse! “Sandringham” “Gobblywobblyshire”):
“The Royal Family traditionally spends Christmas and New Year at Sandringham House. The Queen’s country estate in Norfolk. During the sixties, when Her Majesty’s children were small, many Christmases were celebrated at Windsor Castle, where The Royal Family spends Easter. But since 1988, when the castle was being rewired, Royal Christmases returned to Sandringham.”
“Queen Charlotte, consort of George III, is thought to have introduced the Christmas tree to the Royal Family. The later enthusiasm of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for the custom helped spread the popularity throughout the country. Today, The Queen and Members of her family, will usually put the final touches on their Christmas tree.”
So, this big family trip to Sandringham House is a tradition that stretches back decades – including related mini-traditions like decorating the tree, all of which is shared with the public.
Last year, the annual gathering was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, opted to remain in isolation in Windsor Castle instead.
I think they’ll do the same this year.
While the COVID pandemic has subsided somewhat, it’s still a threat – and lockdown measures are taken extraordinarily seriously by the British public. To make matters worse, Prince Philip has been in the hospital for a month following heart surgery.
There’s no way they’ll risk him getting infected – if he even makes it to Christmas.
There’s no way Harry and Meghan will be invited to Christmas and Sandringhamshiresville because there will be no Christmas at Sandringham!
“That’s a ‘No’ from me, Dog!” At +300. I’ll take it!
Will Harry And Meghan Attend Christmas At Sandringham?
- Matchup Odds
Suppose there’s no Royal Christmas at Sandringham, and thus, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle cannot be invited to Christmas at Sandringham. In that case, I’d say it’s pretty damn unlikely that the young family will be spending Christmas at Sandringham this year.
Although, that’d be a fantastic move after leaving the family and smashing them in a major interview on the way out. Enjoying the annual gathering spot for themselves while everyone else hunkers down at Windsor Castle would be hilarious.
Sadly, the royals refuse to make outrageous choices for my amusement. Someday.
That’s another big “No,” this time at –400.