The duchess of sussex

Move over Meghan: classic books every child should read

There are so many better ways to spend thirteen quid on children’s books than on Meghan Markle’s The Bench; how about something that children might actually enjoy, which isn’t written to gratify the vanity of the author? Here are a few of the ones that I liked and that your children (or you) might like. The Pirate Twins by William Nicholson is just as good as the splendid Clever Bill, which also features a brave and kind little girl called Mary. But The Pirate Twins is more subversive. One day on the beach, Mary found the (very small) Pirate Twins, so she took them home and fed them (oysters and cake) and

A brief history of ‘lived experience’

All experiences are lived, of course, but it seems some experiences are more ‘lived’ than others. Truth has become a moveable feast. This may seem like a contradiction. But this is where we find ourselves. How you define the notion of truthfulness is yet another signifier of where you stand in the increasingly wearisome culture war. Whether you see the subjectivity of lived experience as a progressive force for good or just another postmodern mash-up will depend on your age and political persuasion. Those who view experience through the lens of victimhood – mostly the activist young – tend to see objectivity as a tool of oppression.  In an article

A handy guide to Marklism

Many of us have been watching in awe at the profound impact that Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview has had on the fight against endemic injustice. There has been an outpouring of empathy for the Duchess’s suffering at the hands of the British. Not only has she had to live through the public spectacle of a royal wedding, she has had to endure the indignity of public scrutiny every time she wishes to travel by private jet. This is not how a victim should be treated. The Duchess is riding on a wave of American support and has challenged one of the oldest institutions on earth. She shows us that the world can be turned

The perils of the royal interview

Imagine, if you will, that there existed a television interview with Henry VIII. Sprawled in one of his Royal palaces with the interviewer nervously perched amongst the discarded chicken bones and giant dogs, what would he say? Would he be repentant about the beheadings, the adultery, the abject violence? Would he make us believe that his quest for an heir lay rooted in a deep and fervent respect for his bloodline? Definitely not. For the Tudors were monarchy proper; mysterious and shadowy, sheathed in transcendence. Monarchy before the mystery was replaced by the dull sheen of celebrity and its Instagram accounts, television interviews, zoom appearances and podcasts. News that Harry and