There’s No Place Like Hell for the Holidays

Cherilyn Christen Clough
5 min readDec 21, 2022

Harry and Meghan were lucky to escape

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Parents often want their children to come home for the holidays. In the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s recent Netflix docuseries, a source close to King Charles reported, “He loves both his sons, and hope springs eternal for a happier future all ‘round — if some can stop fixating on the past.”

Such a statement infers that the person who was abused is the problem — that everyone could be happy if they would just shut their mouth and stop talking about what happened.

Is Harry supposed to stop fixating on the fact that the press killed his mother, Princess Diana, and has continued to hound him his entire life? Is he to ignore the past when it affects the present? Should he ignore the warning signs as paparazzi write abusive things about his wife and threaten his family's safety? Is he supposed to smile, make nice, and ignore the fact that the palace cut off his family’s security?

King Charles was probably speaking about Harry and Meghan, but this fixation with the past could fit the King's wish to forget other situations. Like the cousin who wore a racist piece of jewelry when Meghan came to dinner with the royal family. Or maybe he wishes the entire commonwealth would stop fixating on how colonialism has affected their people for generations. It’s a lot to ignore, sir.

It’s no secret that the palace has failed to support Harry and Meghan for quite some time, but in the wake of their docuseries on Netflix, the British press has been pumping out constant information. The tabloids have been twisting everything in the series to make up a new story about the escaped royals.

As if there was any doubt about Prince Harry and Meghan’s concerns about the liaison between the British press and the royal family failing to protect them, Queen Consort Camilla gave more proof that Harry and Meghan did the right thing when she invited two of the most hate-filled celebrities to her Christmas Dinner.

The first was Piers Morgan, who called Harry a traitor and Meghan a liar. The second was Jeremy Clarkson, who two days after the luncheon, wrote that he “hates Meghan “on a cellular level” and dreamed of her being paraded naked through British towns “while the crowds chant ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.”

He went on to say: “Everyone who’s my age thinks the same way.”

He might be right about the age issue. Mark Greene, on Instagram, says these men are suffering from “White male age panic.” He describes it this way —

“White male age panic: Older white men who have leaned heavily on bullying/dominance to succeed, double down on ever more extreme sexism/racism to validate their masculinity as their bodies age, as their careers begin to falter, as the younger wolves start closing in.”

Whatever their reasons, these men have expressed blatant disrespect for a member of King Charles’s family. There’s no excuse to invite bigots and racists to the table. Healthy people have nothing in common with such guests, and no one should be given a pass just because they are family, rich, or famous.

When you dine with the wrong people, you lose a lot of things like dignity, confidence, peace of mind, and joy. And you might also lose part of your family.

If King Charles hopes for any type of reconciliation with his son and family, he should do better. He should make sure they are safe and not thrown to the paparazzi. He should have never left them without security. He should have thought about this before he failed to tell the truth about Harry and Meghan and lied to protect Prince William, as Harry has stated.

This is why Harry and Meghan can’t go home for this holiday or any holiday. They can’t expose themselves or their children to such a toxic environment. They’ve been asked to play a game they can never win.

Most survivors of narcissistic abuse realize the pitfalls of going home for the holidays, which include —

Not being able to be oneself.

Threats of removing privilege, money, or security, if they don’t comply.

Being lied about, shamed, or put down by toxic family members.

Being scapegoated and blamed for the family problems.

Being treated as if they have no right to exist.

Such treatment takes an emotional toll on the survivor. The lack of love and respect affects a person’s mental and physical health. Such toxic traditions have driven many to consider suicide.

It’s sad that Meghan was depressed and suicidal while living at the palace, but she wasn’t the first. Princess Diana admitted to similar feelings. It’s even sadder that she was not allowed to get help because the palace was more concerned about stigma than protecting her life. It was also devastating that Meghan miscarried a baby during all this stress. How can Harry and Meghan NOT acknowledge all of this death and devastation in the world?

Meghan and Harry are the type of leaders the world needs — they are inclusive and speak truth to power. They are both “rising above their raising,” and they stand tall in their dignity as they overcome the insults and smear campaigns against them — along with their fathers who want to use them.

Harry and Meghan’s character is evidenced by their new leadership series debuting on Netflix on December 31st. In contrast to Camilla’s guests, Harry and Meghan are highlighting worthy leaders who shine in their compassion and justice for all people.

Harry and Meghan have created a better life, and they are surrounding themselves with healthier people, so there’s no going back to the Palace — certainly not to an aging King who is the epitome of “White male age panic.”

Cherilyn Christen Clough broke the rules when she started writing about her family’s secrets. Some claim she sold her soul to the devil, but she prefers to think of it as gaining freedom. You can read about her strange childhood in Chasing Eden A Memoir.



Cherilyn Christen Clough

Exposing narcissism, smashing the patriarchy, and refuting religious abuse--one story at a time