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FOR WRITERS: Write Your Own Stories or Someone Else Will--Life Lessons from the Duke & Duchess

I love the way this narrative is playing out--every second of it.

For the last few days, I wasn't sure why I was so drawn to this story. It most assuredly was not the typical, whimsical enchantment of all things Windsor, which has consumed so much of our attention for a century or so.

No, there’s a story here. It’s one that resonates with me and reverberates against my bones.

It’s a story of agency.

It’s a story of courage.

It’s a story of hope.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have chosen a new path in this new decade. With extraordinary and unprecedented resolve, they have chosen to break with tradition and forge their own path in this world:

January, 2020

After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.

Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

And to this, I say, “HUZZAH!”

This story is embedded in an institution with a backdrop of legend and lore, kings and queens and a royal way of life that we mere commoners can only dream about. The tragic setting reaches back to a mum of two boys, the Peoples’ Princess she was called, who could not—would not conform to the constraints of the monarchy.

It did not end well for her.

The brothers drive the rising action, a story ripe with possibility. The elder marries and dutifully embraces his station, while the younger marries and makes his own way.

Boy, did he!

Her Majesty The Queen is apparently pooping a Twinkie right now. She has summoned all parties involved to have a round-table (as it were) discussion to see how this crisis can be resolved!

For three of the characters, Harry, Meghan and their son, it already is resolved and the crisis, for them, is steadily diminishing in the rear view as they drive on to new adventures. They have secured their agency and their future while everyone else scrambles.

The text is so fertile because of all the manure it contains—which writers must have to craft a compelling story, as we all know—and the stinkier, the better:

Why is anyone surprised that the Duke and Duchess have made the decision to leave? To say that the tide of public scrutiny has not been kind to Harry and Meghan is generously understated. (Racist much?)

Once again, as always, the energy spent to preserve the reputation of the institution is paramount at the expense of actual people. Mayhaps there should have been more effort to preserve the couple whose plans are already in motion. Their bags have long been packed.

Forgive me if I’m wrong (I’m not) but does the Queen not have bigger fish and chips to fry? After all, her son Prince Andrew continued a friendship with a known and convicted pedophile (at best) and allegedly engaged in similar reprehensible acts (at worst). I imagine there were round-table discussions about that crisis as well. Unfortunately, when preserving the reputation of the institution takes precedence over protecting actual human beings, we have so, so much to write about.

Then there’s Piers Morgan, who stinks like dysentery. His stench comes from his own reeking vitriol that spews out of his mouth every day. And for what? For sport. For shock value. To stir up the masses. What a poopie, poopie man, a true compostable villain.

This is the point in the story where the page in the book is dog-eared. (<<<Don’t do that. Like… ever!)

The heroes in this story are the Duke and Duchess, who are not embroiled in behavior unbecoming, but are showing the world that they are beholden to no one. No one owns them. And no one can own us. We have agency.

Furthermore, they are taking every right next step and working hard to improve the lives of everyone on this planet. Because here is what Harry and Meghan know:

If we fail to pick up that powerful pen to write our own narratives, others will undoubtedly commandeer our lives and write our stories for us. They are encouraging all of us to emerge, strong and brave and self-sufficient, and leading by example to stand at the helm of our own lives.

WE are the ones to decide what happens next.

Daisy’s first book, Juxtaposed: A Comedic, Spiritual Memoir, was the top-selling book in 2012 for Christopher Matthews Publishing. She went on to write two more books which she self-published, Hope Givers: Hope Is Here (2016) and Monsters Under the Bed: Practical Steps for Keeping Our Children Safe from Sexual Predators (2018).

Daisy is in the process of earning a Master of Fine Arts in writing for children and young adults at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is working on her debut novel, Every Good Day, a middle grade novel, and a number of picture books.

In the summers, you can find Daisy in her gardens with her husband. You might also catch her in her office writing underneath a real chandelier. As often as she can, though, she loves spending time with her grandbaby. (He was born on her birthday, you know. She’s been impossible to live with ever since.)

If you would like to invite Daisy to speak at a writing conference or Skype in with your writing group, please contact her through this website.


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