Carolyn Hax’s advice for Prince Harry and the royal family


Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hicks hasn’t followed the drama of the British royal family. She dropped bombshell quotes from an Oprah interview, a Netflix documentary series and Prince Harry’s new book. Her excuse: “It’s the Kardashians, to me, with the crowns.”

But Caroline’s lack of knowledge about Windsor’s problems also sets her up perfect Man to weigh.

This allows her to see the story for what it is: the kind of family angst she hears from her readers every day. When you remove the titles and fame and great wealth, the hatred of all this drama is very ordinary. Violence between in-laws. Longitudinal lateral force dynamics. The unbearable weight of family expectations. Who can’t communicate?

Our daily podcast Post Reports brought in Caroline, and host Martin Powers posed some questions (written by producers Jordan-Marie Smith and Sabi Robinson) that were based on some painfully true situations, something royal viewers will surely recognize And for each, Caroline advised that everyone – not just Harry, Meghan, Charles and William – could be useful.

Here are the best parts of the conversation, edited for length and clarity:

Listen to the full Post Reports podcast episode: ‘Help! My family is royally messed up!’

Martin’s Power: Carolyn, here’s the first question: “My brother recently published a memoir where he talks extensively about our personal family issues. And in addition, he and his wife are making a Netflix documentary about our lives and family. released the movie. I feel like there is already a very toxic relationship between us. What should I do? Should I talk publicly, or should I try to talk to him to see if we Can this vicious cycle of public shaming finally be stopped?”

Caroline Hicks: The first thing that comes to mind is that you should go to that person. Because if the relationship isn’t broken, nothing will come of it. And I think the way to mend something like that is to own up to the brokenness. Why did it break? What have you personally done to help with this problem?

Powers: It sounds like you’re saying that you have to call this person and say, “Look, I did this wrong. I’m going to admit to you that some of these things were hurtful or that I shouldn’t have done that.”

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Powers: This is a difficult conversation.

Hicks: of course. What I see a lot with these relationships that hurt to this degree and for this long and this badly is usually some tough conversation that didn’t happen when it should have happened., Because people avoided it or defended themselves. And instead of just saying, “Well, you’re right, I’m angry with you. You’ve done a lot of wrong in yourself, but I’m not going to get anywhere with her until I’m done with her.” “Don’t own up to the bad things I’ve done,” people don’t want to do that.

It gets even harder when someone responds to your mistake with an even bigger mistake. And I think a lot of people are tempted to say, “It’s gone now. What you did was so bad that I got rid of everything I did. And that’s not true. You are still responsible for that part, even if it is very small.

The relationship may be beyond rescue. It is still better for you to recognize, admit and apologize for what you did wrong, even just for yourself, just because it is the right thing to do.

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Powers: It sounds like you’re saying that in return, as the injured person, you go out and post a note with all your guts about this person who you know has hurt you, which is also a It’s a mistake. Posting a memoir might not be something that everyone does, but I think there are a lot of people who, when they feel like it, post something on Facebook about how wronged they felt by a family member.

Hicks: If you have an objection to something that someone is doing, you handle it with that person. If you’re just talking about regular people who have something going on in their family, I think it’s pointless to blast it to the world. why? Why did you have to tell everyone about it? There must be a reason for bringing something public.

If an error is claimed, [such as accusations of racism], that affects other people or compromises an organization, I think it’s important to talk. I don’t think other people should say: if you feel you have been harmed by racist behavior, you have Obligation Talking about it. I think the wrong side is the one who calculates it. But I think if someone chooses it, it’s totally defensible. This is important.

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Powers: We have another question: “My husband and I have two young children, and we really want them to have a close relationship with their cousins. But in recent years, my husband and his brother have come out a lot, and so Because our families never see each other. It doesn’t help that they live in different countries. How am I supposed to explain to my kids why they haven’t seen their cousins, and what should I do? Make sure they can have some kind of relationship with them in the future?”

Hicks: I’ve gotten a lot of versions of this question, and I’ve found it to be one of the most difficult to answer, and here’s why. If you’re cutting a relative, you have to look down the road and realize that your child might cut you off when you do something wrong if you don’t give them some kind of brief understanding when it’s important to work on things. And when self-care is important, cut the tee.

Trying to explain it to a child like a child, it’s almost too much to ask. So I think you end up with: “It’s an unfortunate situation and we can’t see them right now. And I know we love your cousins, and I know they love you. ,” and you are just treating it as an unfortunate casualty of the situation. If you don’t burden them with your prejudices, they can ask for each other when they are in the world.

Powers: The thing that many people struggle with is: Should I tell my child why I think his aunt did some really bad things that I don’t agree with and that’s why we don’t talk? Should they keep it very secret and then let it be a secret for the child’s entire childhood?

Hicks: I don’t think secrets equip your kids to handle things, because the minute you deny people information, they’re looking for it. And they will go, anyway. There is a point of inevitability in all of this. But I think if you stick to the truth and then what you do with the truth, then in general, I think you’re right. So the truth is that the brothers are not together, the two families are not together, and it is really unfortunate, and I wish it were otherwise, but we will not see them the way we used to. And this is the basic truth. It doesn’t put anyone under any bus.

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Powers: OK, so now we have the final question: “So, more than two decades later, I became a widow. When I wanted to remarry the new love of my life—or maybe the love of my life—my sons asked me to. I didn’t. I did it anyway. But I recently learned how unhappy one of my sons was about my decision to get married. I love my wife. She has been a rock by my side. And it hurts me that my son doesn’t see how important he is to me and our family. What do I do now?”

Hicks: Live with it. You can’t lobby people to change their minds about how they feel, and the more you do, the more engaged they will be. In this case the father has to admit that he read it wrong and it costs their relationship. And it goes back to the original answer that we were talking about, where you only have your part in it for yourself, for your own conscience. Say, “You know what? I read that one wrong, and I’m really sorry.

You can go on for days about how “this was my life. I got to make my own choices. I don’t decide who’s going to be my life partner based on my hurt child. You can say all those things, and All of this may be true, but there is also an emotional truth, and the emotional truth is that this is a sore spot in this child.

Powers: Have you heard of people going through such situations?

Hicks: I can’t think of one that is directly the same, but, in fact, the general idea of ​​one that creates conditions that are very heavy and complicated. And here’s the thing: If the guys write to me that they want to make this bet, I’ll tell them no, don’t do it. Don’t set yourself up for such disappointment. Don’t base your emotional health on your father’s choices. Your emotional health is up to you, and the minute you put it in someone else’s hands, you’re asking for life’s complexity.


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