Why Meghan Markle isn’t so popular with everyone after all
On 27th November 2017, Prince Henry of Wales (known to the British public as Prince Harry) announced his engagement to former Suits actress Meghan Markle – with the palace stating soon after that the couple would marry in the Spring of 2018 at Windsor Castle.
There was much excitement amongst the media and the public at first; an American biracial lady was marrying into British Royalty – something virtually unheard of – and that the “Party Prince” of Britain was eventually settling down some seven years behind his older brother, Prince William, whom we all know married Catherine Middleton in April 2011.
Meghan, by most accounts, was portrayed as a feminist humanitarian who wanted to “change the world”, as she waltzed about Whole Foods in Kensington with her “end poverty” bag in her early courtship days with Harry. We really didn’t know much about her at this time; despite many commenting that her “background in Hollywood” would put her in good stead to deal with life as a member of the royal family, let’s be real here – Suits was something of a lowly cable show and 95% of us who did not watch it had never heard the name “Meghan Markle” being uttered until Harry released a scathing statement to the public, apparently defending her against alleged racist comments that had been made. She was not an A-lister prior to her engagement. And she was certainly not followed around by the paparazzi before she started dating him either. She was hardly “Hollywood”, and there’s no doubt her relationship with Harry propelled her into another realm of stardom, one she had never got to taste back when she lived in LA as an actress.
So what exactly has gone wrong? Since Harry and Meghan, now known officially as The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced that they were expecting their first child back in October last year, there has been a shift in the press and general goodwill towards them.
The news of the pregnancy broke the day after they arrived in Australia – their first overseas tour as a married couple, a trip that was clearly made out to be more of a success by the media than it actually was.
For a lot of us seasoned royal watchers back home in the UK, it was nothing short of a disaster: Meghan, clearly relishing the limelight following her grand pregnancy announcement, spent the entirety of the two-week tour with her hand stapled to her barely-there stomach, the other hand either grabbing for Harry’s or superglued to his forearm, as though she may disintegrate if she was not touching either her husband or “bump” the entire time.
And there were other debacles; her choice of clothing being the main one, with her donning one dress that had a thigh split so high, we could practically see her underwear — and another dress so transparent that we could ACTUALLY see her underwear — not very becoming for a royal Duchess.
Then there was her failure to execute a proper curtsey to the Queen of Tonga; it was almost as though she forgot other royals exist and that even as a British royal family member, she does still need to curtesy to Kings and Queens around the world. Her “I-can’t-really-be-arsed” (barely a) bend of the knee, was rather shambolic and hailed as massively disrespectful, indicating she still has a lot to learn.
Back on UK soil and now three months on from the “Markle Debacle Down Under”, the bump-grabbing and Harry-hand-holding continues, but has now been cranked up another ten notches. Meghan, who I’m starting to suspect cannot walk unaided, still clings to Harry’s hand the way a nervous child would on their first day of school. Those noticing and commenting on this will no doubt be hailed as “jealous” by Meghan-lovers, but I’d ask them to put this in perspective; if you went to a work meeting, brought your husband or wife in and sat there holding his/her hand the whole way through, would it or would it not be seen as inappropriate? For the Duke and Duchess, this is technically their job, and the constant hanging off one another is becoming as unprofessional as it is highly irritating – you are not two sixteen-year-olds on your first date; you are two grown adults representing the monarchy, do please start acting like it.
Then there are the reports of a feud between Meghan and her sister-in-law Kate, which I must admit, I do personally think there is an element of truth to. While I don’t think it’s a ‘handbags-at-dawn’, ‘smashing-the-china-over-each-others-heads-after-a-glass-of-wine’ type of relationship, there does appear to be some frostiness there. The cringeworthy (and rather painful to observe) walk the Cambridges and Sussexes were forced to make to church with each other on Christmas Day at Sandringham last year was clearly the palace’s desperate attempt to show the public that all was great between the wives — you know, to show us that they shop together and braid each other’s hair in their spare time – though it’s clear that couldn’t be further from the truth, judging by their awkward smiles and uncomfortable body language.
We all saw it coming anyway; after Kate married in nearly eight years ago, we all knew that whoever Harry married would be pitted against her and the comparisons would ensue. To be (somewhat) fair to Meghan, it must be unbelievably difficult to hold court next to the saintly and regal Duchess of Cambridge, who really hasn’t ever put a foot wrong – (well, apart from stripping off on a balcony, complete with cigarette in mouth, in the South of France some six years ago, but you live and you learn.)
The problem with Meghan is that she does not appear to even be trying; the constant breaking of royal protocol with her inappropriate clothing and behaviour towards staff is being leaked almost daily now, and once the press get their claws in, there’s no chance they’ll let you go.
So what can she do? Well, she can try and fall into line and start adhering to protocol for one. The Royal Family stand for centuries of tradition and they’re not about to be “modernised” by a divorcee actress from LA who was fast-tracked into the family by Harry after a very short, trans-Atlantic relationship.
Another tip for her would be to stop spending the taxpayers’ money like it’s going out fashion; I swear since her engagement, this woman has not reworn a SINGLE item of clothing, yet she rolls up to visit the impoverished wearing £4,000 Armani coats every single time. And most of the time, her clothing is scruffy, with her jackets hanging open and her hair all over the place. Humanitarian? I’m not so sure. I’m sniggering remembering that “alleviating poverty” bag right now.
And lastly – let go of Harry and the bump! I doubt old Hazza is going to fade away if you let go of him for two seconds and unless the rumours of the stomach being a prosthetic to cover up a surrogacy are true, the baby bump isn’t going anywhere either — (apart from that time it slipped to her knees as she left an engagement with Harry, but what’s a royal pregnancy without your stomach deflating at some point during the day, eh?)
On a final note… do we think the marriage will last? It’s hard to say, but I’m not getting “Edward-and-Bella-forever” vibes from them. The fast-forward button has been hit on this relationship – meeting, an engagement, a wedding and a pregnancy in just over 2 years? Yikes. And to top that, Harry has looked increasingly miserable over the last year, although that could be down to the bland vegan diet she apparently has him on — but either way, it’s not a look you’d expect for a newly-married, expectant father.
The media strain may also be too much for them to handle soon enough; there are negative stories coming out almost daily about the Duchess now and pair that with the amount of Kensington Palace staff that are dropping from their roles like flies, the future of their union isn’t looking too promising.
There’s every chance Meghan joined the Royal Family hoping to be the star at the top of the tree, but is now throwing her diamonds around the palace in a rage as she realises her and Harry will always walk two steps behind the Cambridges and overshadowing them is absolutely not an option. Not now, not ever.
If I were her, I’d cut my losses after the child arrives, divorce Harry and move back to the USA. She’ll still get to keep her Duchess of Sussex title (without the HRH) and will be bankrolled by the Windsors for the rest of her life due to the child, but won’t have to live within a gilded cage, under intense scrutiny and forced to play charades at Christmas with Prince Andrew.
Like I said, it all remains to be seen – but when it all kicks off in the not-too-distant future, you can bet quite a few of us will have seats reserved in the front row, popcorn at the ready.