Who made who cry?

One of the stories circulating around the Harry and Meghan controversy is about whether or not Meghan made Kate cry during preparations for the Royal Wedding.  The story has circulated for some time that something happened during rehearsals that reduced Kate to tears. In the Oprah interview, Meghan sought to set the record straight.  She claimed that it was in fact her that had been made to cry by Kate.

Well, big life events like weddings can be stressful events at the best of times and with the added pressure that comes with royalty, celebrity and the TV cameras, I’m not sure that bride or sister in law is reduced to tears is that big a story.  In normal life, no one would think any more of it. However, this has become wrapped up as part of the bigger story of Harry and Meghan’s split from the royal family with accusations and counter accusations of bullying. 

It is likely that we will never know who is telling the truth. The whole thing is rather unpleasant and no one really comes out a winner from this. You see no-one comes out a winner when families, no matter how wealthy, well-known and powerful take private conflicts out into public.  I suspect (with that being the operative word) that there is truth on all sides. Am I impressed with the interview? No? Do I lean to the view that if you want to step back from the responsibilities of a public service role that you step back from the privilege too? Yes. Do I think it is a bit duplicitous to attack media intrusion on the one hand whilst seeking media limelight on the other? Yes I do, but there again we all have an inbuilt tendency to inconsistency.

Furthermore, I think there have been hints along the way over many years that aspects of “The Firm” make life difficult for those who join and the suggestion that whilst individual members of the Royal family might be welcoming and loving whilst the officials who work around them could be the opposite shouldn’t surprise us.

I would also gently suggest that whatever you make of the story, whichever side you take and whether or not you think that an interview like this was the right place to spill the beans, I would caution strongly against the immediate rection we have seen where people have quickly accused Meghan of lying about struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. It is important that when people open up about such struggles that they are listened to and not immediately rubbished and disbelieved.  And just to be clear, a person’s vulnerability to mental illness is not dependent on their wealth, privilege and certainly not on whether you or I like them.

However, the thing that stood out for me is the problem with the accusation and counter accusation and how this reflects how so many disputes are played out in life.  Someone is not telling the truth about the crying incident. Again, we will never know who and I suspect it will be our pre-existing bias, not any convincing evidence that will lead us to our verdict.  But, it is possible that one of five things happened here.

  1. Meghan did something that caused Kate to cry
  2. Kate did something to cause Meghan to cry.
  3. Kate cried in a situation where Meghan was not at all to blame
  4. Meghan cried and it was nothing to do with Kate
  5. Both women cried in a stressful situation

By the way who sent who flowers and a note afterwards does not necessarily prove things either way.

The thing is that as a result of this we have a situation where people have been happy to mlet the world think that someone who is possible innocent did something wrong.  They’ve allowed a false accusation.  To tell the world that you were the one reduced to tears when in fact it was the other way round is a form of gaslighting.  To allow the world to think that you were reduced to tears when that wasn’t the case is dishonest.

Dishonesty is as much about what we don’t say as what we do. When we choose to allow a story to be told and we don’t correct it, then we are lying, even if we don’t actually utter the falsehood ourselves. There are few things more cruel than allowing someone to fall under suspicion through false accusation either by spreading the lie or staying silent.

God’s Word has strong warnings for those who bear false witness.  If we are serious about being doers of the word and not hearers only then we will take them seriously. We may never find our stories splashed on the front pages of the tabloids or the subject of a 2 hour interview. However, our words and actions do have an affect now and they are not missed. We will have to give an account for what we do and say or what we don’t do and say before the Lord.

Let’s be careful to act lovingly towards each other and speak truthfully to each other too.