Tatler tells – One Year of Meghanomania

An old bf (a brief brief time it was too) published a piece about Meghan Markle in Tatler this week. Tatler is the top society mag in the world and one of the oldest magazines still in existence. David’s piece (read it here: https://www.tatler.com/article/meghan-markle-mania) pretty much has to be seen as definitive for now. “One Year of Meghanomania” is a masterful thrash round the nodes of royal gossip, which manages to demonstrate in all its awful grandeur just how the toffs are handling the incursion of Hollywood into their extremely special, special safe place.

Answer? Not Well. Not well at all. I do not think that, in the English-speaking world, there is any bunch of people more sharp-tongued and cruel than the British aristocracy. Their sense of entitlement is so hard-wired, they aren’t even aware it exists. Basically if they are after you, you are the fox and they are thundering across the field on two thousand pound highly trained animals. And they have guns.

I do not think that, in the English-speaking world, there is any bunch of people more sharp-tongued and cruel than the British aristocracy. Their sense of entitlement is so hard-wired, they aren’t even aware it exists. Basically, if they are after you, you are the fox and they are thundering across the field on two thousand pound highly trained animals. And they have guns.

Here’s the critical set up: “Was the tiara at the centre of that tantrum already promised to Princess Eugenie for her wedding, as some believe? (Harry and Meghan, don’t forget, queue-barged their way into the first Windsor wedding of 2018.) And did the Queen veto Meghan’s plans for a sleeveless wedding dress? The rumours may be false, but not as false as the speculation Meghan was pregnant on her wedding day – ‘that’s why the dress was so baggy,’ one young woman assured me – and certainly not as false as the rumour that theirs is an IVF baby.

Here’s what is happening to her because of the jealousy: “But it’s rumours like that, and the drip, drip, drip of stories about aides leaving Meghan’s employ and servants being upset by her manner, that are making their lives such a misery. The Prince of Wales’ enthusiasm for his daughter-in-law is being ignored, as is Meghan’s role as the catalyst for a new warmth between Harry and his father. People who’ve lunched with her have loved her; she’s beautiful; she’s clever; she’s made Harry happy. What’s not to like?”

Have the toffs brought her down yet? Not yet, but they’re having an effect.

But are they happy as a couple? Harry’s circle has narrowed, and Meghan has shown how stung she’s been by letting her friends defend her in People magazine. George Clooney has stood up for her, invoking what happened to Diana, Princess of Wales as a warning. And it’s tough when her make-up chum, Daniel Martin, posts a picture of the tea she had laid out for him – avocado on toast, chocolates – and the line, ‘Thank you Meghan for being the consummate hostess this weekend and still being the #avocadotoastwhisperer’, and posh noses sniff; it’s just not on, they say – what sort of person is she having around? Meghan wants a doula; cue mockery. Even though Britain has ten times more interracial relationships than the rest of Europe, according to a study quoted by Afua Hirsch, author of Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, some of the antipathy must be racist, as it was of the biracial President Obama. Which is hard to stomach. Some of it is anti-American, in the mocking Gwyneth Paltrow dynamic-5am-email sense. Some of it is captured in the Daily Express headline ‘Loving… but dominating’. Some of it reflects sadness at the passing of the Jack the Lad Harry, the roguish Harry, the roistering Harry, in favour of a more sober, duller version.”

My advice? Avoid toffs at all costs.

In which I forgive Prince Charles because of his Highgrove garden

 

Charles, the future sovereign of the English-speaking peoples, turned 70 yesterday.  He sails into this stature trailing an almost unimaginable privilege and wealth, well-deserved mockery from every segment of the polite and impolite worlds, and a spectacularly dead wife, for which most hold him responsible.

Over the past weeks, we have been blessed with a tsunami of PR, a masterfully conceived and executed campaign to burnish his image including a trip to colorful Ghana and two flattering biographies, these biographies, moreover excerpted in newspapers with massive world-wide circulation.  Google has uploaded a detailed google-eye view of his gardens at Highgrove and official residence, Clarence House.  There have been television profiles and documentaries, multiple photo sessions with and without grandchildren, wife and fetching daughters-in-law and a host of print extolments from every still-reputable publication. If you are a Royalist these days, you are rolling in clover.

I tend towards the republican view of the Royal Family and particularly of Charles who seemed to me to be a thorough-going putz.  This view is influenced by a ridiculous encounter, where I was forced by my employer to attend a private lunch and polo match to be capped by a formal introduction to the great man. I dutifully climbed into a designer suit and went off to a Palladian mansion with an attached polo field, ate, and flattered my way through the assembled aristocrats.

Charles did not want to meet me, as it turned out.  He wanted to insult me.  After the match he roared up to our viewing tent, my guide pushed me into the scrim and through a preposterous fifteen minutes, I was shoved towards him, and he abruptly turned his back to me. Like, over and over and over again.  Shove, angle, the Royal back.  Shove, angle, the Royal back.  If I hadn’t been in shock, I would have been in stitches.

Sometime after I realized he was deliberately insulting me because our sister publication, People, sold another million copies every time they put Diana on the cover.  So they did so.  A lot.  And he was truly incandescent with envy.  Charles had called me down to the Palace a few months prior and offered me, through his licentious PR Dickie Arbiter, an exclusive, if he could have the cover of TimeTime was unimpressed by this offer.  He was a snore to the brainiacs at Rockefeller Center. Never mind that I could have an exclusive with Diana for Life Magazine, the holy grail of 90’s journalism if they gave him a profile in Time.  Nope. Nope. Nope.

So he decided to insult me the only way he could.  After which he roared off in his Aston Martin, top down, feeling fine.

Understandably he earned me as an enemy.  Further, an enemy who thought he was ridiculous.  The silly elitism of his stance on Global Warming cemented my view.  I pitied his agonies over his dead wife, his unpopularity, his commitment to “the Rottweiler”, nevertheless, I thought he was an arrogant, ridiculously privileged putz without an ounce of intellectual rigor.

Until I saw the gardens at Highgrove and was instantly seduced. There is nothing man-made more beautiful on earth than the Highgrove gardens. It is a visual representation of the English soul. I don’t care if he had endless money to build them, it was his vision, and he has created an astonishing tour of the most developed aesthetic I have seen and I include all known cultures, the hanging gardens of Babylon being unchronicled.  The English have persisted as a dominant race because they methodically integrate every beautiful and useful creation of other cultures.  Illustrated, most recently, by the Windsors’ adoption of a half-black Hollywood starlet and possible yacht girl and elevating her to Duchess.

Other elites exclude.  The English ravish.

The Highgrove garden may be the final argument for the monarchy and more for Charles’s future Kingship. As curator more than ruler, Charles is an example of a leader who has gone through the fires of hell, repented his sins, and recreated the garden.

The Windsors represent.  Long live.