Have Brits Turned Their Backs On Meghan? – Opinion

…Meghan’s conduct came under fire again, due to reports from a royal aide that Meghan was “outright rude” to a member of staff, apparently this left Kate furious…

In July 2016, American national, Meghan Markle left a London pub where she had been having drinks and a chat with none other than Piers Morgan, to attend a dinner uptown. Little did she know that Prince Harry would be sat at her table and that the two of them would hit it off instantly. They dated for a few months, leaving it till November to publicly acknowledge their relationship.

Meghan, a former actress is best known for her consistent role in ‘Suits’, which aired on the cable network ‘USA’, and later began streaming on ‘Netflix’. Although to many a much-loved show, ‘Suits’ was relatively unheard of in the UK when Meghan joined the premier cast back in 2011, in fact Meghan was relatively unknown too. She had garnered countless loyal fans through her blog, her television work and charitable public appearances but she wasn’t a mainstream star, and she wasn’t an individual that everyone had heard of and could recite the filmography of instantly.

However, once Meghan’s engagement to Prince Harry was confirmed by Kensington Palace on 27th November 2017, her face was soon plastered on every print publication, her name discussed in every primetime show and her personal history as commonly quoted as that of the Duchess of Cambridge. The British public and press were instantly fascinated by her, and her depicted fairytale romance with Prince Harry. The wedding took place on Saturday 19th May 2018. The worlds media descended upon Windsor which overflowed with celebrity guests, A-listers and famous faces who had nabbed a rare invite to the big day. The streets were crowded with well wishers who had travelled far and wide to catch a glimpse of the celebrity bride. In a short few hours Rachel Meghan Markle became Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and left her old life behind her to become a member of the royal family.

It would be a lie to say that initially Meghan was unanimously well received. The bride to be received tabloid harassment and abuse, as reporters began fervently collaborating with her former husband, estranged father and half siblings to leak stories about Meghan’s private life and personality. However, on the whole, Meghan’s emergence in to the royal family was well received by a large majority of the British public, who warmed to her intelligence, kindness and beauty. She was even branded the face of a new modernised monarchy, by being it’s first bi-racial member. Debates suggest that many people felt that Meghan’s entry in to the royal family wouldn’t do anything for black British women, but again, the majority championed Meghan as the future.

This safety net, this sizeable support for Meghan is what seems to have been lost in recent months, with news sources publishing allegations of “controlling” Meghan, being hostile to aide’s, assistants and palace staff members, from ex-staff who have anonymously tipped off the press. There have also been allegations of a feud between the two Duchesses who had supposedly locked heads over Meghan’s comments on Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaids dress in the run up to her wedding. There has even been speculation that Prince William is no longer fond of his brothers new wife. Now well into her first pregnancy, Meghan continues to be the subject of gossip, backlash and criticism, being regarded “difficult” and “demanding” by sources who have spoken out to the media. A close friend of the royal couple even claimed that Meghan and Harry had decided to move residences solely because a rift was developing between them and Kate and William, he stated that “Kate and Meghan are very different people”.

Perhaps the biggest revelation came when Meghan’s French personal assistant, Melissa Toubati, quit her job after a short six months and reportedly left in tears, claiming that she had received email instructions as early as 5AM from Meghan. Quickly sources ran to back up Toubati, labelling her very professional and esteemed at her particular job, which had become highly pressurised by the end. To the British public it seemed more plausible that Toubati was a hard-working individual who had put up with a lot, as opposed to being nonsensical tabloid garbage crafted to damage Meghan’s image.

Furthermore, an insider claimed that Meghan had “ripped up the rulebook” when it came to how royals communicate with staff. Her habit of “constantly” messaging her assistants was previously unheard of. “She has very high standards” and is used to working in a Hollywood environment, another anonymous source stated. In the run up to her wedding, she had reportedly complained about the “musty” smell of St George’s Chapel, and had requested air fresheners for the venue, a request that branded her “dictatorial”, by some members of staff. Meghan’s conduct came under fire again, due to reports from a royal aide that Meghan was “outright rude” to a member of staff, apparently this left Kate furious, and led to her telling Meghan that her actions were unacceptable. She has consistently been compared and contrasted to Kate who remains the golden girl of the Windsors.

News of Meghan’s ‘troubles’ in the palace have travelled far and wide, with former first lady, Michelle Obama advising Meghan to take time to settle in to her new life, in an interview for Good Housekeeping magazine

Meghan’s estranged father Thomas Markle, made a reappearance on the airwaves this week, calling out to his daughter for contact and a Christmas card live on Good Morning Britain, even calling upon the queen to intervene and encourage Meghan to reach out to him.

We will never know for sure what is or isn’t true, due to the palace’s staunch restrictions on media interference, but what’s certain is that as digital and print media has become over-saturated with Meghan, as it would with any new royal bride, public opinion and press speculation seems to have turned on her more than it used to. It seems like the initial excitement and fascination that many people had with Prince Harry’s mysterious new American girlfriend, has dried up and been twisted by tabloid campaigns against her, and the frightfully real allegations of ill-conduct that have been leaked by ex-staff.

This seems to have been confirmed by a November 2018 YouGov survey, that discovered that only 55% of Brits favoured Meghan, with her popularity score trailing behind that of Kate, William, and her husband Harry, who had managed to attain a 77% approval score.

It is impossible to ignore the fact that the media has behaved unkindly towards woman of colour in comparison to their white compatriots over the years, and many people believe that the unattractive press that Meghan has received in recent months is the exact result of a royal racial bias. Furthermore, women have often been unfairly pitted against each other in another primitive media habit, which could explain newfound emphasis on the relationship between Meghan and Kate, and the desire to taint it for the public eye. Perhaps, Meghan is simply exemplifying her autonomy in a traditional environment that struggles to comprehend ‘no’ or ‘not if I don’t want to’, which would consequently infuriate members of a long-established system.

Ultimately the media campaign against Meghan doesn’t seem to have caused too much damage, after all any accessory she does is still an instant sellout, any coat she drapes over her shoulders still makes the front page of any fashion magazine, and strangers still leap to her defence on social media. She is still portrayed as emotive and charitable, with media outlets spotlighting her cookbook that supports victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and her commentary on social media and its effect on mental health. However, there is no denying that any story concerning the glamorous younger Windsor’s sell, and Meghan seems to have become the shiny new tool utilised for this purpose.

Regardless of whether the allegations against Meghan are true or false, every now and then, the media needs a character to vilify, unfortunately, it seems to be Meghan’s turn now. As Meghan prepares to welcome motherhood, she is met with continued criticism. We are left to patiently wait and see how she handles her future royal duties.