I feel like the rug has been pulled from under me, though I probably had no business standing on it in the first place.
The last few years have been a period of unlearning ‘facts’ that I was taught in school, a process that feels something like walking away from a religion you grew up with. And today, following Oprah’s bombshell interview with Meghan and Harry, I now find myself with some more unlearning to do. For here are some learned opinions that I took as gospel growing up:
- The British empire was a commendable venture, albeit the sentiment hasn’t aged well
- History is based on facts, not narratives
- The royals are harmless
Research and circumstance have successfully dismantled the first two for me. But 12 years after leaving school, I still find it difficult to accept blatant reality regarding the third. Even when faced with countless examples of royal misgivings, I struggle to give up my idea of the Queen. I now think her ‘goodness’ must have been one of my grounding beliefs. And if it didn’t directly oppose one of my other beliefs – that the UK suffers deeply from systemic and historic racism – I still might not have questioned it.
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