"The stars aligned," says a Prince in love.
“The stars aligned,” says a Prince in love.
This was how the BBC reported Prince Harry’s engagement to Megan Markle earlier in the week. My first reaction was a mixture of “Oh, how lovely” and “about time!” Then I thought a bit about the choice of headline. In some ways, a gift given to a BBC reporter; a direct quotation from Prince Harry summing up his experience. Not the reporter’s words, so therefore not his responsibility?
This made me think about the accountability of the media. Do we know the effect these headlines have on those that read them? Do we realise? Or care?
The headline, on initial viewing, says “be happy for us, there’s another royal wedding to look forward to.” Nobody can argue with that; a perfect opportunity to reflect on what is it to be British and watch today’s generation of the Royal family move on to the next stage of their lives. However, is there a more damaging underlying message? That of the fairy tale wedding, the happy prince and beautiful princess? Disney have been criticised for promoting the fairy tale message without balancing it with the core skills our children need to exist in today’s world – resilience, aspiration, strength, ambition.
A few months ago, I watched the YouTube video, a woman had posted about the extent of prince-rescuing-princesses fairy tales on her bookshelf. Only about 10% of them did not conform to this notion. Only about 10% had an independent female character as their protagonist. The mother was shocked because she had not realised.
This week’s theme of the week: Care about the Arts and Media. We care when we criticise the coverage, or repetitive nature of the news, or when they do not cover stories we want them too. But do we always think carefully about the underlying message? With regard to Prince Harry’s happy news, do we have a responsibility to balance this with a message to our daughters that it is about the opportunities you provide for yourself that count? That we should not rely on someone to whisk us off our feet? Perseverance is what counts. Or should we all just calm down?
Head of Year 11