• Donald Jenkins, MPDC

Facing the Royal Challenge

Updated: Mar 10

The world is talking about Oprah Winfrey’s bombshell interview with Megan Markle and Prince Harry. It has left everyone in shock regarding Megan and Harry’s plight, the lack of support for diversity, and the couple's personal and mental health from the Royal Institution. Their story is a classic example of how polarizing the subject of racism can be without insight and unable to treat the nasty disease behind racial biases.


On the other hand, Megan and Harry’s story reveals a more significant challenge than just the Royal Family. The world is facing a royal challenge where racism undermines the possibility of having a global community where everyone is valued. However, we must put in the work to disrupt current schools of thought for improving race relations to see this global community come to pass.

The Surprise


Oprah’s facial expressions revealed how the world felt when Megan alluded to conversations regarding her baby’s skin color and the possibility of not having the same privileges as other Royal Family members.

To make matters worse, Megan also revealed her battle against suicidal thoughts. On the outside, Megan and Harry appeared to be adjusting to their royal duties. However, their story told a darker battle with the Royal Institution that left them feeling vulnerable to a world they did not create.


After living a life of privilege and power, Harry had to face the reality of the world that has left so many powerless. He had to choose between the family he has known all his life or face the royal challenge to preserve his wife's existence and protect his family. During the interview, both Megan and Harry appeared to be happy with their decision, but one can see that the pain of having to cut ties with the Royal Family is fresh and real.


The Royal Challenge


The phrase “Respect Resistance or Expect Resistance” has appeared in protests worldwide for years, and the Friday after George Floyd was killed was no different. After protestors surrounded the CNN building, the same phrase appeared on the sidewalk in downtown Atlanta. And this statement rings true in this situation as well. Unless we become better listeners and develop skills for activating solutions, resistance in the global community will continue to increase.


With all the attention on race relations, we cannot afford to miss this opportunity to learn a powerful lesson on improving how we build value for the existence of others.

It is incredible how one news outlet reported that Megan Markle’s suicidal thoughts were driven by the disrespect for her existence. While on the contrary, other news outlets report that Megan and Harry’s departure from the Royal Family is strictly a wealth-building stunt. But are we still missing the point?


Megan and Harry made it clear that they wanted to make sure the truth was being told behind their fairytale story. Despite all the rift in the media, now the world knows about the challenges they have had to face and overcome as members of the Royal Family.


So what are our takeaways? Disparities in race relations can be found on all levels. To improve, we must learn that facing the royal challenge of diversity is more significant than the obstacles that Megan and Harry face.


Facing the royal challenge means building respect for others' existence, which the world has struggled to achieve through intercultural competence. When racial occurrences arise, people generally rush to the table to create empathy but leave the table without insight into building meaningful connections beyond emotions. As a result, the risk remains high for propagating liabilities that leave everyone without understanding how to treat each other like royals.

Redefining Royalty


Royal is defined as kingly ancestry, a status of a king or queen. Unfortunately, if we continue with the current schools of thought for improving race relations, crowing others with royalty status will be out of reach like Megan and Harry.


It appears that the Royal Institution has struggled to incorporate meaningful value beyond skin color, which in essence, reflects the struggle of the world in building a global community. We must learn that it is almost impossible to build a new value network by sharing race-specific plights. Instead, we should be engaged in meaningful dialogue, allowing us to move toward new solutions.


The royal challenge forces us to disrupt the way we add value to the existence of others. This process will help us build a new value network so we can treat all people as royals.


We must put in the work to build a new value network by:

  • Creating a new identity to help integrate our stories into one narrative

  • Creating new models of understanding how to make meaningful connections

  • Identifying and treating the disease behind unconscious biases

As a nation, we cannot afford to allow our insecurities and lack of knowledge to be our legacy for generations to come. If we continue with the same practices for building healthy relationships while expecting different results, we will remain prisoners to the institutions that fail to create value for others' existence. Instead of complying with our insane practices, future generations will increase their resistance against institutions like the church, businesses, government, education, media, etc.


As we contemplate facing the royal challenge, we must realize that the path to equality is hidden in mastering skills for building respect for the existence of others. Not only will we realize that all men are created equal, but we will create value for practicing equality to add value to all people.


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