In these days, few have wished to speak ill of the dead, preferring to focus on the prince’s emblematic place in the chronicles of those, like Meghan and Diana, whose marriages into the House of Windsor challenged them to come to terms with its secretive ways and define their often unscripted roles within, or outside, it.

In a sense, Philip outlasted all of them. Yet his departure may come to be seen as a grim and poignant dress rehearsal, for in those same years the queen has assumed a seemingly immutable position as the nation’s center of gravity. Her reign has overlapped the tenures of 14 British prime ministers and an equal number of American presidents.

In the reverence of the moment, the unspoken question is how she could ever be replaced as the guarantor of her line.

Back in those postwar days of the 1940s and 1950s, British schoolchildren learned by rote the names and lineages of her regal forebears, from Tudors, Plantagenets and Stuarts to Hanoverians, Saxe-Coburgs and Windsors.

In an era of far more divided loyalties and aspirations, the one lesson that may have endured may be found not so much in the names and titles of the past as in the fact that, save for a brief period in the 17th century, the monarchy itself has survived — though rarely without hard choices, stubborn resilience and often reluctant or enforced renewal.

Now is a time of mourning for Philip, who welcomed generations of young royals on their wedding days and who is credited with spurring an earlier period of self-assessment and renewal in the monarchy. That task will fall to others in coming years, in a world that may be less sympathetic than the one that welcomed the young royals on their wedding day.

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Shamed Over Sex, a Generation of Evangelicals Confronts the Past | Retro Report

“We are the legacy of the purity movement, the people who grew up in it, who grapple with its impacts every day.” As a Christian teenager growing up in the Midwest in the 1990s, Linda Kay Klein got swept up in the emerging purity movement, which advocated strict sexual abstinence until marriage. “It had, in fact, started right around the time that I joined my youth group as a seventh grader. This movement saturated the lives of evangelicals, but that was really just the beginning. It entered into public schools, it entered into grassroots organizations.” “Sex is a great thing within marriage.” “Our country started to shift the way that we talked about sexuality. The purity movement introduced a purity industry, with purity rings and purity pledges and purity balls.” “A new ritual aimed at encouraging girls and young women to abstain from sex until marriage.” “I am living my life the way that I think it should be lived, and that’s, um, staying pure, so.” “They’re actually purity rings, and they’re promises to ourself and to God that we’ll stay pure until marriage.” But before purity made its way into pop culture, evangelical Christian teens like Joshua Harris often found themselves at odds with the world they were living in. “You had the culture pushing the envelope in different ways when it came to, to sex. Like, my generation growing up. Like, MTV for Christians was like, oh my gosh, you know, all these terrible things that are happening in these music videos and so on. So there’s a reaction in the, in the Christian culture to that.” “The campaign is called ‘True Love Waits’ and it’s sponsored by the Baptist Sunday School Board.” “Thousands of teenagers are vowing to be something that most teens are not: virgins until they are married.” “I make a commitment to God.” “To those I date.” At the time, fear over the spread of AIDS only bolstered the argument for abstinence above all else. “Stace and I don’t have to worry about STDs or contracting AIDS or having an unwanted pregnancy.” “You kind of have this sense of, I’m going to choose the more difficult path and do the right thing, and God is happier with me because of that. It’s kind of like the Christian form of veganism or whatever. You know? It’s like I’m, I’m special. I’m doing something different than everybody else.” By the time he was a teenager, Harris was becoming a leader among his peers. “I remember going out to Washington D.C. and there was a huge Christian concert/festival that was taking place. And they placed all of these promise cards on the mall.” “Teenagers signed cards pledging their virginity and planted 200,000 of the cards, creating a field of abstinence.” “[shouting] Woo! True love waits. Wait till you get married. Woo!” Rallies promoting purity were held across the U.S., and Klein, who became enthralled with evangelicalism growing up, still remembers the fervor of one she attended. “We were all, like, this is the biggest, best concert we’ve ever been to. And then there was a motivational speaker who spoke about purity and how important purity was. And in the midst of that, with tears rolling down people’s faces, they handed out these contracts: I promise that I will save my purity for my partner. I will not have sex before marriage. Uh, I’m making this commitment today, and I will hold to it, you know, for the rest of my life. As a young person, I was confused, and wanted so badly to be good and wanted so badly to please God and to be acceptable in my community. With my leaders looking over my shoulder and moreover, my peers sitting right next to me signing their contracts, I signed the pledge.” “[shouting] I want to know, how many virgins do we have out there?” “Woo!” “When I embraced my faith, I wanted to figure out, what did it mean to be a Christian and relate to the opposite sex, to think about sexuality.” Harris, who had come close to having sex at 17, doubled down on his resolve afterwards. “I ended up becoming, really, a spokesperson for these more radical ideas of saying, we should not only, you know, save sex for marriage, but we should do dating differently. We should reject dating because it’s leading us towards compromise.” “Do you see the problem with so many of our dating relationships today? Instead of guarding the sacredness of sexual intimacy, we are stealing from it.” “If you’re, uh, an alcoholic, don’t go into a bar. You know? It was like, if you don’t want to have sex, then don’t get into these, sort of, short-term romantic relationships where there’s an expectation to become intimate.” Harris’s book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” went on to sell over a million copies. And as he and others pushed for purity, another more insidious message took root. “Well ladies, I believe you also have a unique opportunity to protect the purity of your brothers in the Lord. What I think you probably are not aware of, is how difficult it is for a guy to look at a girl with purity in his heart when she is dressed immodestly. You have no idea how difficult it is. You have no idea.” “I remember feeling like I was a threat. And I remember feeling like I was a bad person. My sexuality was dangerous. It was something to be feared. The narrative that we’ve internalized is that pure girls and women protect us all. They ensure by their proper covering up, by their not taking up too much space, whatever it is, then none of us are going to have sexual thoughts and feelings.” Klein had left evangelicalism by the time she was 21, but she continued to struggle for years afterward. “When I would have any sexual experience with my boyfriend, I would find myself in tears and in a ball in the corner of a bed, crying. My eczema coming out, which it does when I’m stressed, and scratching myself until I bled, and having a deep shame reaction. I could actually be this close to doing something that, if they were right, if the purity movement was right, would make me worthless.” Klein began reaching out to friends from home, and then, over the next 15 years, to other people all around the country, collecting their stories about growing up in the purity movement. She published a book on the topic in 2018 and continues to hear new stories all the time from people she meets at her book events. “This all feels really new to me. Like, it wasn’t until a few months ago that my therapist brought up the concept of purity culture to me, and I didn’t even know what that was. But I realized I was raised in it, and that led me to finding your book. And when I read it, I kind of cried through the whole thing because it now makes so much sense why I have this trauma that I carry and why it’s not going away.” “They had word for word been taught the same things that we were taught and were experiencing it in their bodies in the same ways that we were experiencing it. Once that happened not three times, not four times, but 30 times, 40 times, I started to be like, O.K., this is obviously much bigger than me, this is obviously much bigger than my youth group, this is much bigger than my state. During Klein’s conversations, one name kept coming up: Joshua Harris. Harris had gone on to become a pastor, but in recent years, was starting to question his leadership role, and quit in 2015 to enroll in graduate school for theology. Soon, he was also beginning to re-examine the messages of his book. “It was something that had given me a sense of success and personal identity. Um, and so, to question that felt like I was kind of unraveling myself, honestly. I remember one key moment that, kind of, tipped this into the public sphere was that, uh, a woman on Twitter wrote, your book was used against me like a weapon. And I responded to her saying, I’m so sorry.” “Whoa. That changed everything, right? All of a sudden, people were, like, what did you say? Did you say you were sorry for something? So now, we had this huge slew of people who were tweeting, I was hurt by this, I was hurt by this, I was hurt by this, I was hurt by this. You had all these different conversations going on, and they are really about people coming together and healing in a collective experience.” Harris, meanwhile, decided to engage with his critics in person, and made a film about the process. “I’ve looked into the eyes of people who’ve said, this created fear in me. This created intense shame and guilt for me. And your book was, kind of, in my head and shaped, you know, the way that I, I viewed myself.” Harris, who pulled his book from publication, faced some criticism that the film didn’t go far enough. He’s since issued more apologies. Last summer, he announced his separation from his wife, and that he no longer considers himself a Christian. “The process of unpublishing my books is a pretty big statement of, of regret for me. It doesn’t make up for, or fix the, the past hurt but I, I want to try to take responsibility for that.” Klein has continued meeting with women in towns and cities all around the country. “I like held hands with a boy when I was 14 and cried, like, you know, like felt really impure.” “The unintended consequences is what we’re really dealing with today.” “I didn’t know why I was physically shaking, why I would burst into tears, why I would cower in the corner, why all these things were happening to me.” “Some things that we put out there don’t work, but they don’t do damage either. This is something that didn’t work and that has caused a tremendous amount of damage.” “It’s not about taking big steps. It’s about taking these little steps. Teach your brain to function differently by like, trying to do just enough where you’re not triggering a huge shame response that reiterates that old neural pathway. Is that helpful?” “I think that change is going to happen when we have people on the ground, coming into voice with one another, and telling their truths to one another. We’ll all continue to learn. And that’s the real work.”

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Syrian Refugees in Rebel Controlled Idlib Are Stuck in Limbo

IDLIB, Syria — Among the millions of Syrians who fled as the government bombed their towns, destroyed their homes and killed their loved ones are 150 families squatting in a soccer stadium in the northwestern city of Idlib, sheltering in rickety tents under the stands or in the rocky courtyard.

Work is scarce and terror grips them whenever jets buzz overhead: New airstrikes could come at any time. But the fear of government retribution keeps them from returning home. More than 1,300 similar camps dot Syria’s last bastions under rebel control, eating up farmland, stretching along irrigation canals and filling lots next to apartment buildings where refugee families squat in damaged units with no windows.

“People will stay in these places with all the catastrophes before they go live under the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” said Okba al-Rahoum, the manager of the camp in the soccer stadium.

On a rare visit to Idlib Province, examples abounded of shocked and impoverished people trapped in a murky and often violent limbo. Stuck between a wall to prevent them from fleeing across the nearby border with Turkey and a hostile government that could attack at any moment, they struggle to secure basic needs in a territory controlled by a militant group formerly linked to Al Qaeda.

bused them here after conquering their towns. They drove in with trucks piled high with blankets, mattresses and children. Some arrived on foot, with few possession besides the clothes they wore.

Last year, an offensive by the Syrian government, backed by its Russia and Iran, pushed nearly a million more people into the area.

About 2.7 million of the 4.2 million people in the northwest, one of the last of two strips of territory held by a rebel movement that once controlled much of Syria, have fled from other parts of the country. That influx has transformed a pastoral strip of farming villages into a dense conglomeration of makeshift settlements with strained infrastructure and displaced families crammed into every available space.

SHINE, an education organization, urged a group of women at an event in Idlib to refuse polygamous marriages, which are permitted under Islamic law.

The next day, gunmen closed SHINE’s office and threatened to jail its manager, Ms. Kisar said.

a cease-fire between Russia and Turkey has stopped outright combat in Idlib, but on one day last month there were three attacks. A shell hit a refugee camp; an airstrike ignited a fuel depot on the Turkish border; and three artillery shells struck a village hospital in Al Atarib, killing seven patients, including an orphan boy who had gone for a vaccination, according to the Syrian American Medical Society, which supports the facility.

While the area’s displaced struggle to survive, others try to provide simple pleasures.

In the city of Idlib, the Disneyland restaurant entices visitors to dine on salads and grilled meat, and to forget their woes with video games, bumper cars, air hockey and stuffed animal claw machines.

The basement storeroom doubles as a shelter when the government shells nearby, and the terrace is enclosed with plastic sheeting instead of glass so it doesn’t shatter on diners if something explodes nearby.

The manager, Ahmed Abu Kheir, lost his job at a tourist restaurant that shut down when the war began, he said, so he opened a smaller place that was later destroyed by government shelling.

He opened another restaurant, but left it behind when the government seized the area last year and he fled to Idlib.

Like all of Idlib’s displaced, he longed to take his family home, but was glad to work in a place that spread a little joy in the meantime.

“We are convinced that normal life has to continue,” he said. “We want to live.”

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In a Syrian Rebel Bastion, Millions Are Trapped in Murky, Violent Limbo

IDLIB, Syria — Among the millions of Syrians who fled as the government bombed their towns, destroyed their homes and killed their loved ones are 150 families squatting in a soccer stadium in the northwestern city of Idlib, sheltering in rickety tents under the stands or in the rocky courtyard.

Work is scarce and terror grips them whenever jets buzz overhead: New airstrikes could come at any time. But the fear of government retribution keeps them from returning home. More than 1,300 similar camps dot Syria’s last bastions under rebel control, eating up farmland, stretching along irrigation canals and filling lots next to apartment buildings where refugee families squat in damaged units with no windows.

“People will stay in these places with all the catastrophes before they go live under the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” said Okba al-Rahoum, the manager of the camp in the soccer stadium.

On a rare visit to Idlib Province, examples abounded of shocked and impoverished people trapped in a murky and often violent limbo. Stuck between a wall to prevent them from fleeing across the nearby border with Turkey and a hostile government that could attack at any moment, they struggle to secure basic needs in a territory controlled by a militant group formerly linked to Al Qaeda.

bused them here after conquering their towns. They drove in with trucks piled high with blankets, mattresses and children. Some arrived on foot, with few possession besides the clothes they wore.

Last year, an offensive by the Syrian government, backed by its Russia and Iran, pushed nearly a million more people into the area.

About 2.7 million of the 4.2 million people in the northwest, one of the last of two strips of territory held by a rebel movement that once controlled much of Syria, have fled from other parts of the country. That influx has transformed a pastoral strip of farming villages into a dense conglomeration of makeshift settlements with strained infrastructure and displaced families crammed into every available space.

SHINE, an education organization, urged a group of women at an event in Idlib to refuse polygamous marriages, which are permitted under Islamic law.

The next day, gunmen closed SHINE’s office and threatened to jail its manager, Ms. Kisar said.

a cease-fire between Russia and Turkey has stopped outright combat in Idlib, but on one day last month there were three attacks. A shell hit a refugee camp; an airstrike ignited a fuel depot on the Turkish border; and three artillery shells struck a village hospital in Al Atarib, killing seven patients, including an orphan boy who had gone for a vaccination, according to the Syrian American Medical Society, which supports the facility.

While the area’s displaced struggle to survive, others try to provide simple pleasures.

In the city of Idlib, the Disneyland restaurant entices visitors to dine on salads and grilled meat, and to forget their woes with video games, bumper cars, air hockey and stuffed animal claw machines.

The basement storeroom doubles as a shelter when the government shells nearby, and the terrace is enclosed with plastic sheeting instead of glass so it doesn’t shatter on diners if something explodes nearby.

The manager, Ahmed Abu Kheir, lost his job at a tourist restaurant that shut down when the war began, he said, so he opened a smaller place that was later destroyed by government shelling.

He opened another restaurant, but left it behind when the government seized the area last year and he fled to Idlib.

Like all of Idlib’s displaced, he longed to take his family home, but was glad to work in a place that spread a little joy in the meantime.

“We are convinced that normal life has to continue,” he said. “We want to live.”

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Kent Taylor, Texas Roadhouse Founder and C.E.O., Dies at 65

Kent Taylor, the founder and chief executive of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain, died by suicide on Thursday after suffering from post-Covid-19 symptoms, the company and his family said in a statement. He was 65.

“After a battle with post-Covid-related symptoms, including severe tinnitus, Kent Taylor took his own life this week,” the statement said.

Mr. Taylor fought the condition, but “the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable,” the statement said. It added that Mr. Taylor had recently committed to funding “a clinical study to help members of the military who also suffer with tinnitus,” which causes ringing and other noises in the ear.

His body was found in a field on his property near Louisville, Ky., the Kentucky State Police told The Louisville Courier Journal. The State Police and the Oldham County coroner did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Sunday.

1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of additional resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.

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Japan Court Backs Same-Sex Marriage. Laws Still Block It.

TOKYO — A Japanese court on Wednesday ruled that the country’s failure to recognize same-sex marriages was unconstitutional, a landmark decision that could be an important step toward legalizing the unions across the nation.

The ruling, handed down by a district court in the northern city of Sapporo, came in a civil suit against the Japanese government by three same-sex couples. The lack of recognition of their unions, they said, had unfairly cut them off from services and benefits accorded to married couples, and they sought damages of around $9,000 per person.

The couples argued that the government’s failure to recognize same-sex unions violated the constitutional guarantee of equality under the law and the prohibition against discrimination regardless of sex.

The court agreed, writing in its decision that laws or regulations that deprived gay couples of the legal benefits of marriage constituted “discriminatory treatment without a rational basis.”

almost 80 percent of respondents 60 and under said they supported the unions.

Even the country’s notoriously rigid business community has begun to embrace the notion of marriage equality, marketing products to gay couples and improving protections for employees.

On the individual level, however, many gay people are still hesitant to come out because of fears of discrimination from a society that is infamous for its often intense pressure to conform.

For the plaintiffs, Wednesday morning was an emotional roller coaster. The first headlines about the decision highlighted the court’s rejection of the compensation claims, provoking a moment of deep anxiety, one of the plaintiffs, Ryosuke Kunimi, told a news conference later in the day.

But when he saw the rest of the decision, he said, “I couldn’t stop my tears.”

Same-sex couples have long felt that “discrimination was natural, that there was nothing we could do about it,” he said, adding that the court decision clearly showed “that’s not true.”

The couples filed their suit in February 2019 as part of a broader national campaign to pressure the Japanese government into recognizing same-sex marriage. An additional 10 couples filed similar suits on the same day in three other courts across the country, and another couple later filed a similar suit in the city of Fukuoka. Rulings in those cases are expected later this year.

Wednesday’s ruling is likely to have a positive impact on the outcomes of those cases, Takeharu Kato, one of the lawyers representing the couples, told reporters.

The other suits were argued using nearly identical language to the one heard in Sapporo, he said, adding that “naturally, we will submit the ruling to other courts as evidence.”

In the meantime, the plaintiffs’ legal team plans to appeal the court’s decision to deny compensation, Mr. Kato said, adding that “we want to keep up pressure on the government.”

While the couples said they were pleased by Wednesday’s decision, they voiced caution about the road ahead. The ruling may face legal challenges. Ultimately, they will need Parliament to drop its longstanding opposition.

Campaigners will continue pursuing the case “until the Supreme Court,” said Makiko Terahara, a director of Marriage for All Japan, a nonprofit organization that has taken the lead on the marriage equality cases.

At the same time, she said, the campaign will step up pressure on Parliament “to amend the law to allow same-sex marriage as soon as possible.”

Lawmakers “are obligated to respect the Constitution,” Ms. Terahara added. They “cannot allow the current situation, which is clearly in violation of the Constitution, to continue.”

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Meghan’s Oprah Interview Rekindles Princess Diana Memories

Anyone who remembers the funeral of Diana, the Princess of Wales, in 1997 can’t help being haunted by the wrenching sight of her two young sons, Princes William and Harry, walking slowly behind her coffin as it made its way to Westminster Abbey. Their hands were clasped in front; their heads were bowed. Harry looked so small in his suit.

That image has reverberated down the years, a ghostly reminder of the princes’ traumatic childhood, and it hovered again in the background as Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, spoke to Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night.

While the British tabloids like to cast Meghan in the villainous role of the Duchess of Windsor — the American divorcée who lured away their king in 1936 and lived with him in bitter exile, causing an irreparable family rift — Harry and Meghan seem determined to position her instead as a latter-day Diana, a woman mistreated by her in-laws, more sinned against than sinning.

died in a car wreck in a Parisian underpass, the paparazzi in hot pursuit. He raised the subject again on Sunday, drawing parallels between the experiences of his mother and his wife and saying, of Diana, that he has “felt her presence through this whole process.”

she and Charles married; Meghan was 36 and worldly, having made her own living for years, when she married Harry. She was also divorced, with a high-profile job as an actress.

And Meghan is American, with an American sensibility.

Diana came from a culture of reticence in which tradition is venerated; Meghan comes from one where it is normal to ask for help, to discuss your feelings and to suggest that there might be better, newer ways of doing things.

now be found on the finger of Prince William’s wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.)

Diana’s 1995 interview with the BBC. That was the one in which, in somber tones, she revealed that her marriage had always been doomed because there were “three of us” in it: her, Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles, his longtime lover and later his wife.

But it was Harry who most pointedly invoked his mother on Sunday. He said he believed Diana would have been angry and sad at the couple’s treatment. And he said she would have supported their decision to leave Britain and seek a new life away from the constraints of the royal family.

Given her experience, he said, his own plight had an air of inevitability to it.

“Touching back on what you asked me — what my mum would think of this — I think she saw it coming,” he told Oprah. “But ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy.”

For Harry, there is the added element of knowing that his father caused his mother pain, and that Charles knew how unhappy she was as a royal wife. Now, he told Oprah, he and Charles have had a falling-out over Meghan, with his father at one point refusing to take his calls.

“There’s a lot to work through here,” Harry said. “I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. At the same time, of course, I will always love him. But there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened.”

Toward the end of the interview, Harry spoke of his son, Archie, and his new life in California. He sounded both loving — and wistful. For a moment, he seemed to be recalling how it felt to be without a mother at the age of 12.

“The highlight for me is sticking him on the back of his bicycle in his little baby seat and taking him on these bike rides,” he said. “Which is something I was never able to do when I was young.”

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Meghan Markle’s Interview Rekindles Princess Diana Memories

Anyone who remembers the funeral of Diana, the Princess of Wales, in 1997 can’t help being haunted by the wrenching sight of her two young sons, Princes William and Harry, walking slowly behind her coffin as it made its way to Westminster Abbey. Their hands were clasped in front; their heads were bowed. Harry looked so small in his suit.

That image has reverberated down the years, a ghostly reminder of the princes’ traumatic childhood, and it hovered again in the background as Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, spoke to Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night.

While the British tabloids like to cast Meghan in the villainous role of the Duchess of Windsor — the American divorcée who lured away their king in 1936 and lived with him in bitter exile, causing an irreparable family rift — Harry and Meghan seem determined to position her instead as a latter-day Diana, a woman mistreated by her in-laws, more sinned against than sinning.

died in a car wreck in a Parisian underpass, the paparazzi in hot pursuit. He raised the subject again on Sunday, drawing parallels between the experiences of his mother and his wife and saying, of Diana, that he has “felt her presence through this whole process.”

she and Charles married; Meghan was 36 and worldly, having made her own living for years, when she married Harry. She was also divorced, with a high-profile job as an actress.

And Meghan is American, with an American sensibility.

Diana came from a culture of reticence in which tradition is venerated; Meghan comes from one where it is normal to ask for help, to discuss your feelings and to suggest that there might be better, newer ways of doing things.

now be found on the finger of Prince William’s wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.)

Diana’s 1995 interview with the BBC. That was the one in which, in somber tones, she revealed that her marriage had always been doomed because there were “three of us” in it: her, Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles, his longtime lover and later his wife.

But it was Harry who most pointedly invoked his mother on Sunday. He said he believed Diana would have been angry and sad at the couple’s treatment. And he said she would have supported their decision to leave Britain and seek a new life away from the constraints of the royal family.

Given her experience, he said, his own plight had an air of inevitability to it.

“Touching back on what you asked me — what my mum would think of this — I think she saw it coming,” he told Oprah. “But ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy.”

For Harry, there is the added element of knowing that his father caused his mother pain, and that Charles knew how unhappy she was as a royal wife. Now, he told Oprah, he and Charles have had a falling-out over Meghan, with his father at one point refusing to take his calls.

“There’s a lot to work through here,” Harry said. “I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. At the same time, of course, I will always love him. But there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened.”

Toward the end of the interview, Harry spoke of his son, Archie, and his new life in California. He sounded both loving — and wistful. For a moment, he seemed to be recalling how it felt to be without a mother at the age of 12.

“The highlight for me is sticking him on the back of his bicycle in his little baby seat and taking him on these bike rides,” he said. “Which is something I was never able to do when I was young.”

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Underage Marriage Set to Rise as Covid-19 Crushes Dreams

RAPTI SONARI, Nepal — Sapana dreamed of becoming a government official. Each night, in her hut along a bumpy dirt road, the 17-year-old lit a single solar-powered bulb dangling from the ceiling and hit the books, plotting out a future much different than her mother’s.

But as the coronavirus crept across Nepal, closing the schools, Sapana lost focus. Stuck in her village with little to do, she struck up a friendship with an out-of-work laborer.

They fell in love. Soon they married. Now, Sapana has given up her professional dreams, with no plans to return to school.

“Things might have been different if I hadn’t discontinued my studies,” Sapana said recently, as she sat breastfeeding her 2-month-old son on the floor of her simple home. Her family name was withheld to protect her privacy.

Child marriage is increasing at alarming levels in many places, the United Nations says, and the coronavirus pandemic is reversing years of hard-earned progress toward keeping young women in school.

In a report released on Monday, the United Nations Children’s Fund predicted that an additional 10 million girls this decade will be at risk of child marriage, defined as a union before the age of 18. Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director, said that “Covid-19 has made an already difficult situation for millions of girls even worse.”

forced by parents or other authority figures into marriage with older men. But child advocates also worry about the young women who, because of the pandemic’s impact, are drifting away from school and see early marriage as their only option, abandoning ambitions for an education and a better life.

Many child marriages are never registered. UNICEF estimates that 650 million girls and women alive today were married in childhood. Child advocates say they are seeing an upsurge in places where it has long been a problem, such as India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia and Malawi, where teen pregnancies in some areas have tripled.

In Nepal, where the legal age for marriage is 20, the situation seems especially acute. Interlocking problems particular to the country and this moment make it difficult for many young women to avoid early marriage.

One of Asia’s poorest nations, Nepal relies on remittances and tourism. The pandemic has devastated both. Usually, at this time of year, foreign tourists head for the mountains to begin expensive treks into the Annapurna Range and up the slopes of Mount Everest. This year, the money that flows from them into so many layers of Nepal’s economy has all but dried up.

In 2019, Nepal earned $8.25 billion from foreign remittances. But with most of the world’s economies hurting, that remittance stream has also dwindled. Legions of young Nepali men, many of them single, have recently returned home.

Many others have lost their jobs in Nepal’s cities. A great number of young men now roam around their mountainside villages, bored and broke. That was how Sapana met her husband, Hardas.

Hardas, who said he was around 20, used to work as a traveling mason, often in cities such as Kathmandu and Nepalgunj. But after he was laid off in April, at the beginning of the pandemic, he came back to his native Rapti Sonari, a small town of about 10,000 people, 300 miles west of Kathmandu.

The houses are spread out in a maze of dirt roads beneath the hills. Most are made from mud and stone. Sapana’s father, Ram Dayal, bought an auto rickshaw right before the lockdown hit. Now he has monthly payments of 30,000 rupees, around $250, and almost no customers.

Mr. Dayal was not happy that his daughter married so young, but he conceded that her leaving the house helped ease his financial burden. He has five other mouths to feed.

“She would have had a better life if she completed 10th grade,” Mr. Dayal said.

Ghumni, his wife and Sapana’s mother, agreed. She, too, was a child bride and ended up with four children and zero education.

Activists who fight child marriage say they are working in the most difficult conditions they have ever faced, even as the problem worsens. Nepal has imposed harsh restrictions on vehicular movement. When infections surged, activists were confined indoors like everybody else. Several said that the number of child marriages in their areas had doubled or nearly doubled during the pandemic.

“We are at back to square one,” said Hira Khatri, an anti-child-marriage activist in the district that includes Rapti Sonari.

Two years ago, Ms. Khatri said, she intervened and stopped seven child marriages in her village. It did not make her popular. Many families in Nepal are eager to marry off their young daughters. Some villagers threatened to kill her, Ms. Khatri said, and they threw used condoms outside her house to humiliate her.

The police have not been much help. The officers based in villages have been much more focused on enforcing quarantine rules and keeping an eye on virus cases. Some police officials expressed a reluctance to get involved.

“These are serious criminal charges,” said Om Bahadur Rana, a police official in Nepalgunj. “If we file a case because of a child marriage, it could hurt the young people’s chance of ever getting a government job.”

Across central Nepal, many families shared stories of watching their daughters disappear into early marriages.

Mayawati, 17, who also lives in Rapti Sonari, dreamed of studying agriculture. But her family’s struggles during the pandemic made her feel guilty about being a burden to her parents. She dropped out of school, then married a man who worked as a menial laborer. Her dreams, too, have quietly slipped away.

“We have no money,” said Mayawati, whose last name was also withheld. “How was I supposed to continue my studies?”

Mayawati said that most of her friends who had married during the lockdown were now pregnant.

Some people in Nepal feel strongly about what they see as the benefits of child marriage. Several elders in the Madhesi community, based on the southern plains near the border of India, said they had falsified their daughters’ birth certificates to avoid getting in trouble.

“Marrying daughters in their young age has made me happier. It’s our practice,” said Mina Kondu, who said she recently doctored her 16-year-old daughter’s birth certificate, making her appear to be 19, which was still below the legal age but close enough, the family believed.

“The police cannot stop us,” she said.

Ms. Kondu, who lives in a village about three hours’ drive from Sapana’s, said that if the families didn’t arrange for their daughters to marry young, the daughters would do it anyway, without permission, and dishonor the family.

Sapana’s family has accepted her recent marriage. In the span of a couple months, Sapana has shifted from studying for school to taking care of her baby and her new husband.

She collects grass to feed the family’s four buffaloes.

She washes clothes.

She cooks rice and flat bread.

“I couldn’t complete my studies, that’s true,” she said. “My son will do that.”

And then she added, after a moment, “Hopefully, he will marry when he’s fully grown.”

Bhadra Sharma reported from Rapti Sonari, Nepal, and Jeffrey Gettleman from New Delhi.

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Meghan Says Life With the U.K. Royals Almost Drove Her to Suicide

A year after Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in a fairy-tale wedding, she said in an interview broadcast on Sunday night, her life as a member of the British royal family had become so emotionally unbearable that she contemplated suicide.

At another point, members of the family told Meghan, a biracial former American actress, and Harry that they did not want the couple’s unborn child to be a prince or princess and expressed concerns about how dark the color of the baby’s skin would be.

The disclosures, made in an eagerly anticipated interview on CBS with Oprah Winfrey, were the most incendiary by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, 39, who married into the House of Windsor and discovered less of a fairy tale than what she described as the cruel loss of her freedom and identity.

“I was ashamed to have to admit it to Harry,” Meghan said of her suicidal thoughts. “I knew that if I didn’t say it, I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”

the wounds from that rupture have yet to heal.

On both sides of the Atlantic, it was the most eagerly anticipated royal interview since Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, told the BBC in 1995 that “there were three of us in this marriage,” referring to her husband, Prince Charles, and his extramarital relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he later married.

Martin Bashir, she said the palace viewed her as a “threat of some kind.”

A vivid bookend to her turbulent years in the royal family, Diana’s interview was a pop-cultural moment that drew one of the largest British television audiences in history, lived on in parodies on “Saturday Night Live,” and deepened the media’s fathomless hunger for all things Diana. Two years later, she was dead in Paris, the victim of a car crash after a high-speed chase with photographers.

a ravenous tabloid press fed a diet of falsehoods by jealous palace courtiers.

Even Meghan’s choice of wardrobe seemed calculated to telegraph the message of a new start. Her elegant black dress, designed by Giorgio Armani, featured a striking lotus flower design that her staff said symbolized revival and a will to live. She also wore a diamond tennis bracelet that once belonged to Diana.

But the couple’s effort to relaunch their public image did not go unchallenged back home. In the days leading up to the broadcast, new allegations surfaced that Meghan had bullied members of her staff, reducing junior aides to tears and driving two personal assistants out of the palace. Meghan dismissed the claims as character assassination, while Buckingham Palace said it would look into them.

“What is going on is a significant struggle for the control of the narrative,” said Peter Hunt, a former BBC royal correspondent. “What is our settled judgment for why Harry and Meghan left the royal family? Do we accept two hours of Oprah or do we believe those charges of bullying?”

Meghan has no shortage of defenders. Patrick J. Adams, an actor who worked with her on the television series, “Suits,” described her on Twitter last week as having “a deep sense of morality and a fierce work ethic.” The royal family, Mr. Adams said, was “obscene” to promote accusations of bullying against her.

Critics have long detected a whiff of racism in how some people react to Meghan, a biracial professional woman who had been divorced before she met Harry. While initially rapturous in their coverage of the couple, Britain’s tabloids turned against them, publishing unflattering articles about how they flew on carbon-spewing private jets and restricted access to their newborn son, Archie.

Some also point out the hypocrisy of Buckingham Palace investigating claims of bullying against Meghan when Prince Andrew, the queen’s second son and Harry’s uncle, has declined to speak to American authorities about allegations of sex trafficking by his late friend, the convicted sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein.

Though British papers have covered every conceivable angle of the interview, some made clear there were limits to the interest it was generating. The Sunday Times of London reported that the queen herself had no plans to watch the program, which is quite predictable, since it will air after midnight London time. It will be shown on Monday evening on Britain’s ITV network.

Others in Britain tried to play down its significance, pointing out that there are other more important things going on in the country: Schools are to reopen on Monday, and the coronavirus vaccine rollout continues at full speed. At least one prominent British leader said he had no plans to stay up for it.

“Of course, I’m interested in all sorts of stuff around the news around the world,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday, when asked about Harry and Meghan. “I think it’s quite late our time, so I’ll probably miss it.”

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