I Read Tom Bower’s take-down of Meghan Markle so You Don’t Have To

Never Go Against The Palace. No one Wins. Not once. Ever.

ust how badly has Meghan Markle blotted her copy book? Welp, her approval rating in the country of which she is a Duchess, is 9%.  That is the worst I’ve seen, and I spent years as a royal reporter, so in spite of myself, I keep track.

How much do her in-laws like her?  Well, their birthday wishes this week accompanied the photo of her frozen smile while being booed by the crowd as she left St Paul’s during the Platinum celebration. After which she and Harry refused to go to the next engagement, leaving a roomful of grandees bereft, and sulked their way back to Windsor to their cottage under Heathrow’s flight path. After which they were disinvited to everything. No one visited them except hairdressers and stylists. They left early. Harry was photographed looking grumpy. Way to fit in, guys

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This is not a happy man.

Bowers book is filled with similar incidents during which the Duchess feels she is not being given the right level of adoration, throws a wobbly and goes Joan Crawford on whoever is within reach. There were a lot of people willing to talk to Bower about the feelings she elicited from her inferiors, and we are all, it turns out, her inferiors. Apparently on tour, every night, she and Harry sat in bed and went through their negative comments and plotted revenge.

Shades of Hillary Clinton.

I read all their damned biographies, because I had to, and Bower’s is no different in that each of these hapless individuals, born or married into extreme privilege,  at some juncture, turn into egomaniacal monsters laying waste to everything around them, have a revelation or 12 and figure out how to manage unearned glory and build a happy life. Most come through – Diana didn’t – she lived and died by the press, who killed her. She should have moved to the country and put on 20 pounds like the estimable Viscountess Wessex, who is an absolute Pillar of Virtue, the Queen’s Right Hand. And who is, while attractive, no pinup, no “star” like Meghan.  Andrew may not, his sexuality inflamed by women on the hunt, his massive ego and little brain, turned him into a pedo. He didn’t have an epiphany, he’s so tone deaf he still thinks he’s viable.

Charles finally figured out that working 16 hour days would save his ridiculous self and he has built a charitable empire of serious note. It is impressive what he has been able to do, given his massive sense of entitlement. Tight-lipped William married the most well-balanced woman in Christendom, and has picked up the reins of the Firm, modelling himself on his grandfather. William will reign with a fist of steel. And he will bring the institution through. His son George looks like a man of reason already.

But Meghan. She thought she deserved it. How is that even possible? I can tell you that if I was engaged to Prince Harry, I’d be the best behaved fiancee in history, and I am not a well-behaved individual. I’d be so intimidated, I would anxiously conform. I would display frugality and modesty. Out of sheer terror. I would not be demanding tiaras. I would not be shooting off emails at 5 am. And I was used to the Royal Family, I went to parties where they were in attendance, private ones, my grandmother had been presented at court in the 1920’s, my handsome urbane father was chosen repeatedly to have tea with Queen Mary, representing the Canadian Army. They still intimidate the crap out of me.

Her behaviour gobsmacked me. Then, on top of that, the preaching! The admonishing, the exhorting, the assumption that she knows more than the English about their own culture. That before she came along, the British did nothing about racism, despite inviting every single race to come and live in their country, despite pouring money into the Commonwealth, despite founding basic health and educational institutions throughout one-third of the world. Where slavery was abolished two hundred years prior. A place where broken people of color from all over the world, clamour to live. She seemed oblivious to the constant insults she delivered to a nation which frankly, has been a flickering beacon of freedom – no caveats here, look at the others – in a sea of darkness that has lasted from time immemorial. And when the English protested, she and Harry shrieked racism.

Then add the extraordinary consumption of couture, millions of pounds spent at Givenchy, jet setting while preaching about climate change, millions of pounds spent on the new house, the contravention of every single convention, demonstrating zero respect, every horrifying detail piled on top of each other, any criticism coupled with shrieks of racism. Then the counter accusations of bullying and crying duchesses, movie stars attending the wedding who had never met Meghan or Harry, her exclusion of her father, her attacking of her father, the wheelchair bound sister.

It was sociopathic.

And then, there was the baby shower held at the poshest hotel in New York, in a penthouse costing $100,000 a night. The attendees were not Meghan’s friends, they were acting colleagues, stylists and promoters. Each and every one of the attendees made out like bandits as a result of their association that day with the Royal Family. The three day “shower” cost $500,000, most of it funded by Serena Williams.

Journalists and photographers, briefed by the organisers, were crammed behind specially erected crash-barriers outside the hotel. Celine Khavarani, a publicist, would use the event to promote her clients’ fashions; Jess Mulroney hoped to capitalise on her friendship to get an enhanced TV contract; and Serena Williams, who funded the party, would re-advertise her brand citing Meghan’s name.

Darcy Miller, the party planner, had prepared a vast excess of food, including four macaroon towers from Ladurée, a Parisian bakery offering the ‘elegance that Marie Antoinette would approve of’, designer biscuits, cakes, mini-meringue pies on gold-rimmed plates, and an enormous display of flowers. LESS THAN TWO HOURS LATER, the guests departed. Each guest had been promised the home delivery of an ‘Away’ suitcase. Certain she would be photographed again, Amal Clooney stepped into her car in front of the hotel. Meghan left the hotel wearing a baseball hat and clothes promoted by Celine Khavarani. The following day, Misha Nonoo appeared on NBC’s Today programme to discuss her friend Meghan’s passion for her fashion designs.

Meghan’s make-up artist Daniel Martin posted pictures of the food, rattles and bibs – and his salon’s address. Abigail Spencer promoted her new show called Rectify. Janina Gavankar blessed the publicity generated by the baby shower to be cast in a new acting role. Gayle King, after appearing on CBS to plug her intimacy with Meghan during the shower party, successfully lobbied for a new lucrative contract.

Then the dramatic flight into not one but three multi-roomed palaces on the West Coast. The big contracts with media companies, based their mental illness caused by the Royal Family. Then the Oprah interview, the threat of suicide. The big one: racism.

They have screwed up so badly all their money is being sucked out by big time PR firms and crisis managers. Their legal fees must be in the millions annually.

I don’t think there is a way back from this. I think she’s done. I don’t think the British will take them back, and they have nothing to sell but her beauty which will fade and his family. Who, cordially, loathe them. Who won’t meet with them or talk to them in case they’re being recorded.

Here’s the lesson I learned from seven years around the Royals, for some time with a social secretary hired to get me into their circles. Their lives are ones of paralyzing boredom. They spend their days in dreary grey towns meeting doughty charity men and women who do the nuts and bolts work in their towns which are often in extreme distress. They listen to ten thousand sob stories. They are asked for money every minute of every day.  The best of them perform five hundred engagements a year, six hundred. Mandatory balls and receptions, hundreds a year, two or three a day. Looking forward, Meghan had forty years of engagements with decidedly unglamorous people praising her. Most of them would be white. All of them would gush. None of them would know Steven Spielberg.

Meghan is the kind of charity woman who travels with her own team of stylists and photographers. Who smiles and hugs then disappears for a photo shoot with little black children, ideally ones who look starved. Ain’t no fame to be made in a mining town in south Yorkshire, on a sheep farm in Cheshire, or endless dinners with foreigners who have no idea who you are and just want a trade deal and a hospital.

The world is moving toward the common man and woman. The good. The virtuous. The ordinary. The unglamorous. The anti-Vanity Fair. Meghan is yesterday’s expertly-styled, expensively-dressed preaching and admonishing empowered woman. And we are all, thoroughly sick of each and every one of them.

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