Harry and Meghan’s Commonwealth remarks blasted as ‘racist’

The third episode was seen as the biggest criticism from the couple towards the late Queen Elizabeth II whose legacy is intertwined with her work in the Commonwealth. Writer and broadcaster Afua Hirsch was a contributor to the documentary and called the Commonwealth “Empire 2.0”.

Meanwhile, author and academic Professor Kehinde Andrews said: “It’s not changed a thing, they’ve just got better PR. If you look at the black people in the Commonwealth, well their conditions are almost just as bad as they were 50 or 100 years ago.”

The controversial comments transitioned into footage of the Queen giving a broadcast to the Empire in 1947 and a speech at the Commonwealth summit in London in 2018.

A former royal insider called the footage and comments “unexpected adding that “this was a full-scale attack on not just the Commonwealth, but the Queen’s association with the Commonwealth. It is an attack on her life’s work.”

Political commentator Lin Mei featured on GB News to note the voluntary nature of the Commonwealth and to critique the comments in the documentary.

Ms Mei said: “Here we have the Commonwealth where people can voluntarily either leave or join and to compare it to the Empire of old makes absolutely no sense and it actually makes Meghan and Harry look ignorant.”

Gabon was the subject of discussion following criticism of why the nation would want to join the Commonwealth.

In June 2022, Toga and Gabon joined the organisation despite neither having any colonial ties to the UK.

Ms Mei noted: “The spokesman for Gabon was absolutely appalled at the suggestion that they have no idea as to why they want to join.”

GB News host Mark Dolan added: “I think it’s patronising… I think it could even be considered mildly xenophobic or even racist to patronize those 54 nations who voluntarily are part of a special post-empire club.”

A big incentive to join the Commonwealth is the trade benefits which were proposed by Boris Johnson’s ‘New Partnership’ which saw two African Investment Summits in London.

The former Prime Minister said: “It is my ambition for the UK to be Africa’s investment partner of choice.”

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Mr Johnson said he would mobilise £4billion of public aid and £6.6billion of private investment.

Another incentive to join is the influence of the Commonwealth with key donors and diplomatic players like the UK, India, and Canada.

The Commonwealth also holds its nations to account which was noted by Ms Mei who said that Pakistan was suspended for its lack of democracy when it came to elections.

Leader of UKIP Neil Hamilton also featured on the news programme and said: “There is nothing to be ashamed of in saying the Commonwealth is part of Britain’s imperial legacy because there were a lot of good things about the British Empire.

“The thing that unites the Commonwealth even though there are now new members who were not part of the British Empire is the British connection.

“That is not to say this is the Empire reborn, but the ties which were forged through decades, in some cases centuries, of imperial attachment are now recreated in the modern world as a collection of nations that are equal to one another.”

He added: “It is a massive force for good in the world. We hope that as a result of Brexit that we will be able to re-build our connection of an economic and trading kind with these countries so that we can make the Commonwealth a much more unified collection of independent nations but with common ideals and common goals.”

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