In the time preceding her much-celebrated wedding to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan Markle charmed many. It’s a seemingly effortless charm that she possesses, one that comes off as genuine and not from her royal training. As a self-proclaimed superfan of the royal family and a bit of an anglophone myself, I can’t help but appreciate what she’s done by simply being herself. Knowing that one of the most popular and elite royal families in the world has some more melanin is remarkable. I must admit it was more than worth it to wake up at 4:00 a.m. to watch the wedding with a cup of English Breakfast tea in hand.
Now that Meghan is an established figure in the family, she’s participated in a number of tours in countries such as New Zealand and Morocco. She’s announced what charities she will a patron of, like the National Theatre and SmartWorks, an organization dedicated to women’s empowerment and job success.
However, despite all the records she’s broken, all the history she has made and the love she’s received from her fans, the British tabloids revile her. (Meghan’s style, the fact that she is biracial, and that she is a divorcee and feminist is considered a modern update and break from the old royal traditions). It’s not clear if what they report is entirely true, but they’ve become a mill for all manner of the most extreme of tabloid behavior.
Unfortunately, Meghan’s not the first royal to be stalked by tabloids, as well as be under their constant scrutiny. The same happened to Princess Diana, and as many theorize, they are now affecting Meghan. For example, she wrote a five-page letter to her father in August of last year, asking her dad to stop speaking to the tabloids, writing in part, “If you love me, as you tell the press you do, please stop. Please allow us to live our lives in peace. Please stop lying, please stop creating so much pain, please stop exploiting my relationship with my husband.”
The tabloids’ over-examining of Meghan’s private life, as well as their continual narrative that Meghan and Kate are at odds with each other, reflect a much larger problem. Most are aware of Meghan’s symbolism as a woman who represents Black people and Biracial people. Meghan’s also a feminist and a vocal supporter of women’s rights and the arts. She makes people feel seen, yet the tabloids seek to erase that by reinstating the notion that powerful women can’t exist in the same room without there being a power struggle. They embellish stereotypes, and continue to let the idea of Black women being argumentative and difficult permeate the newsstands — to a country that has all-white nobility prior to Meghan’s arrival, to a nation that needs to be exposed to Black women in a positive light, not a negative one.
For example, a Daily Telegraph story from March 12 alleges that a kiss given to Meghan by Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, was to “break the ice” between them. The byline of the story reads, “THEY may never be best friends but the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex managed to exchange kisses yesterday.” Other examples include stories from the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, among other publications, alleging that the two royals are in a feud, with exclusive articles featuring analysis from body language experts. Much like the tabloids with Princess Diana, she’s been portrayed as someone who is not genuine, or someone who isn’t deserving to be royal — from comparing her curtsies to the queen and examining their accuracy to criticizing where she’ll give birth. This is similar to rumours during Princess Diana’s time that claimed she and the queen were at odds with each other.
Nevertheless, Meghan Markle has held her head high, as a greater testament to the resilience of a woman confident in herself and her own beliefs. Her character did not suddenly appear from her royal training, from monarchical admonishment, but from within. Her reputation as a strong, kind and genuine person seems to go before her. This is what causes her friends to advocate for her in the tabloids, and for her fans to continue to praise her. It’s her actions and patronages that the tabloids should report on — not on embellishing skirmishes or private matters.