Meghan Markle can’t have her cake and eat it…
I, like millions in the UK and around the world, tuned in, somewhat dewy-eyed, to watch the untameable Prince Harry marry his American beauty.
As a journalist, I was looking forward to the weeks and months to come, writing about her becoming a fresh and welcome addition to the Royal Family, another bright young thing to take the British monarchy into the modern world.
So I was dismayed when today, more negative comments about the industry I work in surfaced from the woman who is happy to court the press when it suits her – and bitch about us when it doesn’t.
Meghan Markle, a two-bit actress that no one here in the UK had ever heard of (unless they watched Suits – but even then, I’m told, wasn’t the strongest member of the cast), married a Prince, complained about lack of privacy and packed up her Duke and their baby son and shipped off to the States for a quiet life.
Today she spoke about the ‘toxicity’ of the media attention she has faced and bemoaned “salacious” clickbait articles about her, while all the while going on camera to say these things. On camera. Splashed all over social media. Did she not think that the British press would pick this up and run with it?
Coming from the woman who, when she starred in Suits, would allegedly tip off the local paps to where she would be shopping or having lunch, in a desperate bid to get her name and face in the papers and magazines, this is laughable.
Because this is a woman who needs to stay in the spotlight, whether it’s a juicy gossip page column or a cover shoot with a prestigious glossy magazine – seek and she will find.
From moaning about how hard done by she is while standing in an impoverished part of the world donned in a designer dress, to her preachy speech to the graduating students at her former high school, Meghan has opened herself up to criticism from the press and public alike.
Let’s face it, when they flew over the Atlantic to their new life, she never had any intention of becoming your average Josephine, doing the school run, being a soccer mom, cleaning her own home or living in a modest property in a middle-class neighbourhood. Heaven forbid! I mean, come on! They bought a £14.7m house in celebrity-riddled Los Angeles, a stone’s throw from her besties the Clooneys, Oprah and Serena.
Look, I agree that the media has been rather unpleasant towards her, and the accusations of racism aren’t without some merit. The contrast in the headlines between our future Queen Kate and Ms Markle have been quite awful and bitchy and uncalled for.
But whatever the faults of the press, let’s not forget that it takes two to tango. And we’re also not an industry to suffer fools gladly.
She wants all the trappings of celebrity and royalty, using ‘Duchess’ and her husband to open doors for her, but thinks nothing of turning her back on the people who gave her that privilege.
She was more than happy to ride the taxpayer gravy train to pay for her wedding and refurbish her UK home, which the couple lived in for five minutes – and albeit, are paying us back – before buggering off across the Pond.
She took private jets and travelled in gas-guzzling Land Rovers to Africa after preaching about saving the environment, she claimed she had no idea who Harry was when they met, and then, after they married, huffed and sulked when she realised she wasn’t the star of the show – or she hadn’t married the heir to the throne.
Can she not see that by doing all of this she is inviting all sorts of criticism?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that she wants to get involved in charity work and even pursue a political career. Good for her! But, dearest Meghan, that means press attention, headlines, and unfortunately they can sometimes be negative. I don’t think there’s a celebrity or Royal that hasn’t had their fair share of negative press. It’s the nature of the beast.
So, Ms Markle, if you so wish to avoid that, as is your right, then why not do so? Live the average and private life you claim you and your husband want.
Because until then, she will always be a headline, a topic of gossip, the target of the cameras. It’s part and parcel of being a royal, a celebrity. With her constant moaning, and lawsuits and woe-is-me attitude, she doesn’t come across as a very happy person.
So maybe she should just walk away from it all and ignore us. There certainly won’t be any sleep lost at this end, I can guarantee it.
Photo credit: The 19th* Represents 2020 Virtual Summit