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From Mad George to Megxit: A Royal Scandal in Context

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, October 25, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0629
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Meghan and Harry, Christmas Day, 2017 (Photo: Mark Jones)

Over 17 million viewers tuned in for Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The revelations of racism, depression, sister-in-law rivalry, and the power of the tabloids over the Royals, riveted a public desperate for distraction from the ongoing pandemic. Julie Taddeo, research professor of history at the University of Maryland, College Park explores their withdrawal from the royal family—Megxit—and its fallout within a larger historical context, linking it to past scandals from the Georgian era through the late 20th century. She discusses what these family dramas can reveal about the relationship between the media and royalty, as well as how gender, class, and race have shaped these narratives.

Taddeo also looks at how the Royals craft their own counter-narrative of "ordinariness" and what the impending end of the second "Elizabethan age" may mean for Britain in a post-Brexit world.

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