Meghan Markle and the Media

It’s been a little under a year since the royal wedding between Prince Harry and former Suits star Meghan Markle and yet the new Duchess of Sussex is still facing a media storm. She has been labelled as bossy, outspoken and controlling, but is Meghan really as difficult as the press make her out to be?

Since the beginning of her relationship with Prince Harry, Meghan has faced intense scrutiny over her race, ethnicity and marital status as a divorcee. The former actress was married to American film director and producer, Trevor Engelson, for just under two years. Whilst the couple never gave an explanation for their separation, it was widely assumed that there were trust issues in their relationship leading to the report that Meghan mailed back her wedding and engagement rings.

The royal family famously disapprove of divorcees, the Queen having reportedly barred her sister from marrying divorcee Peter Townsend back in the 50s. Despite the progress the royal family has made towards modernising its rules, many still criticised Harry’s decision to marry Markle because of her past.

Unfortunately, this is not the only family related drama to have hit the headlines. Meghan’s estranged father, Thomas Markle, has played a role in the press scrutiny surrounding Meghan. In addition to missing his daughter’s wedding last May, an event watched by over 18 million people worldwide, he has also given media interviews and sold a heartfelt handwritten letter from Meghan to the press. In the 5-page letter, written last August, Meghan accused him of lying to the press and breaking her ‘heart into a million pieces’. He claimed the letter to be cold and insensitive.

Of course, it hasn’t been an easy road for Meghan, especially when she is constantly being compared to the seemingly-perfect, very British, Kate Middleton. Rumours about their apparent ‘rift’ have been circulating for months and many have understood the Sussexes decision to move from their home at Kensington Palace, which they share with the Cambridges, to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, a direct result of their bad blood.

Unlike Kate, who always conforms to royal expectations, Meghan’s reported outspoken personality and tendency to overlook royal rules has not always been considered a direct disregard for royal protocol. In fact, she has been compared to the late Princess Diana, who was both criticised and applauded for not always adhering to the strict royal procedures.

The most recent spectacle concerning Meghan is regarding her very public and elaborate baby shower in New York with her close A-List friends. Whilst lavish, this £152,000 event was reportedly privately funded, the main contributor being tennis superstar Serena Williams.

Meghan has certainly had her fair share of criticism since news of her relationship with Harry became public, but it does not seem to be holding her back. She is now heavily pregnant and still carrying out royal duties, most recently her trip to Morocco with her husband. So, while it seems that Meghan is still learning the royal ropes, it is clear that she has her own ideas on how to handle her new position and status.

Emma Prentice

Image: Hello Magazine