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Inkblots on Harry and Megan's landscape

It’s hard to not be aware of the recent crisis within the royal family. The media has been saturated with stories speculating about the apparent rift in the family.


We the public have vigorously responded, sharing a variety of views via social media and radio phone-ins. Some choose to blame newcomer Megan, even accusing her of cynically engineering the situation. Others question the relevance of the royal family at all, and express outrage at the cost to themselves as British taxpayers.


As a therapist I have been observing developments with some interest. The strength and variety of feeling suggests the crisis is rather like a collective Rorschach test. Also called the inkblot test, it’s a psychological tool where random ink blot designs are viewed and the participant states what they see.


Each one of us in some way has a response to the word family. The House of Windsor’s recent problems are a reminder of our own thoughts and feelings about the complexities, divisions, power dynamics, and challenges within our own families.


From my perspective, I hope Prince Harry is shown some compassion by his family and the public for his recent choices. I still see the child in him bravely following his mother’s coffin so publicly. I see a handsome young man, who at times has experienced fragile mental health and who now wants some autonomy and control over his life.


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© 2020 Ruth Benson