BBC News Brazil
Millions of people watched Oprah Winfrey’s explosive interview with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, and some were left with doubts after that.
What were they talking about when they spoke of “institution” or “company”? Why did Meghan hand over her passport after her wedding? Is there really an HR department for royalty?
The BBC clarifies some of these issues below.
WHAT IS THE KINGDOM SECURITY SYSTEM?
The couple said they were not offered a security detachment for their newborn son Archie and therefore had to make deals to earn enough money to protect him. “(The deals with) Netflix and Spotify were never part of the plan,” Harry said, adding that his father, Prince Charles, cut the money that guaranteed his livelihood last year.
The exact details of the protection of royalty, which is paid for by the British public, are not widely known for security reasons, says Robert Finch, president of the Canadian Monarchist League, an organization that defends the royalists. So there is a lot of speculation about the truth, he says.
“The degree of security depends on the seniority and visibility of a royal member. Some only receive protection when performing official duties, not 24/7 – although some live within a cordon of protection, such as Kensington Palace. “
At Scotland Yard there is a Royal Protection Unit made up of uniformed and plainclothes officers. Many people suspect that there is a specialized command unit which oversees the palaces occupied by the queen “and possibly the houses of the following two heirs. [Príncipe Charles e William, o Duque de Cambridge] as the threat level increases or decreases, “says Finch.” But this is never discussed. “
SHOULD MEGHAN GIVE UP HIS PASSPORT AND DRIVER’S WALLET?
“When I joined this family, it was the last time, until we got here, that I saw my passport, my driver’s license, my keys. It was all handed over,” Meghan said in the interview. Buckingham Palace has yet to comment on the reasons why such items are being kept.
Historian and author Robert Lacey, who advises Netflix’s “The Crown” series, says it was for the Duchess’s own protection. “If she got out behind the wheel alone, she wouldn’t be protected,” Lacey says.
Author Marlene Koenig, who runs the Royal Musings website, says royals get special treatment when they travel. They don’t go through normal passport controls or wait for their baggage to be checked in.
She says she has no idea why Meghan’s passport would be kept, but that it “would certainly have been requested on official trips.” Finch says this is the first time he’s heard of it, “but it is presumed that the royalty’s valuable personal documents are kept in a safe or vault, under the supervision of the general security of the palace.”
He says this can be done so that documents are not lost and available quickly if a member of the Royal Family goes on tour. “It seems to fit Meghan’s tale of being trapped and isolated, but it was really a routine, and probably everything would be accessible to her if she wanted to,” he says.
IS THERE REALLY A HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT?
“I went to Human Resources and said, ‘I really need help,'” Meghan said in the interview, adding that her request was denied because she was not ” a paid employee of the institution “. “There is no HR department for royalty in business, because it is a family affair,” said BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond.
But there is a human resources manager for the lower level Royal team and the palaces, as listed on the Buckingham Palace website. But not for family or senior executives. Buckingham Palace said the human resources department recently opened an investigation into Meghan into allegations, which she denies, that the Duchess intimidated several members of the team into stepping down.
The palace did not respond to the allegation that the same department refused to help it.
WHAT DO THEY MEAN BY “THE INSTITUTION”?
Meghan and Harry referred to the ‘firm’ and ‘the institution’ when discussing the royal family. Meghan said: “It’s a family business, right? So there is the family. And there are the people who run the institution.” There are competing theories about the origins of the “firm”, but it is largely attributed to Prince Philip.
Author Marlene Koenig says the prince would have made this reference when he married Princess Elizabeth in 1947. “It compared to marrying a family business,” she said.
But in “The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor”, Penny Junor writes that King George 6th, who reigned from 1936 to 1952, “he first called the House of Windsor” The Firm “and the name stuck. “
Lacey says “the business” was the nickname applied by the royal family to itself. Meghan appears to have extended this to employees, as well as the word ‘the institution’.
The nickname now refers to everyone from administrative employees to employees of Casa Real, who have “some sort of influence over the life and work of the family,” says Finch. He says it is unclear who Meghan was referring to, but that it could include “friends of royalty or people who she realizes have influence over them”, as government officials.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WORK FOR THE ROYAL FAMILY?
For some who attended the interview, references to family, support services and employees provided a first glimpse of how it worked behind the scenes.
There are thousands of people who work to support the monarchy, including people who maintain art galleries and castles owned by the Royal Fund. Each year, the Queen presents each of her 1,500 or so employees with a traditional Christmas pudding.