Mary Beard has said she thinks Harry and Meghan Markle’s recent interviews about the royal family displays behaviour that is “going too far”.
The author and classicist mentioned the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as part of a recent discussion about celebrities being “modern-day tragic heroes”, in place to make others think about how they should and shouldn’t behave.
“They’re going too far,” she told The Times in an interview published on Sunday (19 February).
“And because they go further than we can, because we can’t have our own Netflix series, it makes us think about how you want to be and how you want to behave. Is Medea a hero? She gives you a lens on to what it would be like to be the kind of person who killed.”
Also, reporting tittle-tattle about the state of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s marriage is important, because it will serve as a historical record of what people are talking about, declares television historian Dame Mary Beard.
‘I’ve been reading that they are going to get a divorce,’ the Cambridge classicist says.
‘Maybe they are, maybe they’re not, but that’s very much the same sort of gossip’ [as in Roman times].
Promoting her new book, Emperor Of Rome, she adds: ‘Before anyone thinks I’m trivialising it, gossip is very important… from a historical point of view.’ Hear, hear…
Since they relocated to California in 2020, Harry and Meghan have shared their experiences as senior members of the royal family in several TV interviews, a record-breaking Netflix docuseries, and the duke’s controversial memoir Spare.
In its first week of sales, Harry’s book set the record for the fastest-selling memoir in the UK.
As well as detailing his childhood, Harry wrote about the increasingly fraught relationship between him and his elder brother William, Prince of Wales.
In one memorable segment, Harry claims that William physically assaulted him in his home on the grounds of Buckingham Palace, breaking his necklace and pushing him down to the ground.
On Sunday (19 February), it was reported that the couple were “in a predicament” ahead of the coronation of Harry’s father, King Charles III, in May.
Though it hasn’t yet been confirmed, Harry and Meghan are expected to be invited to the ceremony.
However, a new report claims that that Harry is weighing up a “million different variables” to decide whether he and Meghan should fly to the United Kingdom.