Princess jail time, the real cost of wealth

Other people’s money is a noose around your neck. With every mistake you make the noose is pulled tighter. Nowhere is this more obvious than the sight of a beautiful young woman marrying into royalty.

Meghan Markle is beautiful, stylish, flawlessly polished. Every camera angle of her is photographic perfection, sparkling white teeth, delicate features, gorgeous mocha-coloured skin, slim waist, sleek gleaming black hair.

She’s everyone’s idea of a modern-day princess, like Grace Kelly, a former Hollywood actress, now marrying into the ‘prison’ that is a royal family of eye-watering wealth.

Wealth and power have long fascinated me; the control that wealthy people use to dominate and control others. Ms. Markle will not be allowed to put a foot wrong. She will have no private life, she will be controlled in a way that most people would find unimaginably difficult to endure. Her entire existence, the little girl inside her, her family, her soul, now belongs to the British Royal Family and there is no going back.

The heavy arm of this royal family’s eye-watering wealth now lies heavy on her and will kill her. It’s inevitable, because massive wealth – the wealth of others – always does that and in order not to anger the holder of that wealth, the person can do nothing except become a passive zero, always at their disposal.

I love money for the good it can do, for the opportunities it can give people, but not money owned by others because I have seen with my own eyes the way money is used to control.

This one theme was my guiding light in writing my award-winning novel The Hidden, which I have now republished under my own imprint 8dpress, as The Parchment Notebook.

In 1919, Hezba al-Shezira was the daughter of the Sultan of Egypt. She lived in an ornate palace on the banks of the Nile, but because she was female, she was considered a nothing. All her money was allocated to her on the whim of her father. And then she was married off to the nasty Khalil al-Shezira who also used his massive wealth to control her every move.

She was an Egyptian Princess, an old-world Meghan Markle. She was beautiful, mocha-coloured skin, pearly white teeth, fiery black eyes, richly dressed and groomed, but she was different to Ms. Markle too.

In 1919 Egypt, in a country ravished by nationalist rioting, where working men, academics and radicals were plotting to overthrow the controlling British who coveted Egypt as though it was a passive, servile maid, they wanted to take back control and make Egypt theirs again.

Hezba wanted to join them. She was revolutionary in nature, hated the controlling arm of great wealth and the human greed it induced. She was determined to live by her own moral standards, even if it meant death.

Meghan Markle is a product of this glitzy age of wealth identity politics. She is a glittering pawn in a high-stakes game. She will be allowed to support human rights causes with her husband Harry as a PR exercise to make the British Royal Family look ‘nice’, but behind the scenes, her life will be one of insupportable pressure to conform.

I feel desperately sorry for her. She is no Hezba. I hope she and Harry find happiness, but a royal lifestyle is not one to be envied or admired in any way. And for those who love the entertainment factor of this type of pomp, perhaps it might be a good idea to step back and ask the question, who is funding this right royal show of bullshit, of slavery, of in-your-face over-the-topness?

It’s the British tax-payer, that’s who. Think on that when you examin your next pay slip and gawk at the tax taken and the fact that you’ll struggle to pay your rent and bills this month. Thank Meghan and Harry for that.


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