I WAS never a major fan of Meghan Markle but the media circus surrounding her over the past few years has radicalised me into one.
Ever since she and Prince Harry announced their engagement, I’ve seen her targeted for the crime of being an older woman, an American, an actress, a divorcee, a biracial black woman, a feminist or simply for the audacity of having an opinion.
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Outspoken women such as Meghan have long been earmarked for criticism.
While men are praised for being assertive with their views, women are too often labelled “bitchy” or “difficult” for delivering the same blunt sentiment.
I can imagine the tone-policing Meghan faced when she tried to introduce an autonomous way of working.
She and Prince Harry clearly wanted more power over their lives and, given the experience of Princess Diana in the Royal Family, who can blame them for not wanting to be ruled by the same antiquated royal protocol that suffocated his mother?
Even Harry admits Netflix’s The Crown got it right about the pressure of “putting duty and service above family and everything else”.
But at every turn, Meghan alone has been painted as the villain; the angry black Lady Macbeth pulling the strings behind their departure from his family.
Buckingham Palace has fanned its flames by briefing the Press against her.
This week aides have repackaged three-year-old “bullying” complaints to discredit Meghan before the Sussexes’ interview with Oprah airs.
Workplace bullying is a serious issue, but the timing of this leak seems like a calculated attempt to smear Meghan before she and Harry share their truth.
It practically confirms everything she has claimed about the underhand tactics employed by senior aides and further highlights the double standard between the Palace’s handling of the Sussexes and Prince Andrew.
Where is the investigation into the sexual abuse allegations stemming from Andrew’s long-time friendship with a convicted serial rapist and paedophile? The hypocrisy is rife.
This glorified tourist attraction had an opportunity to make itself relevant again with the arrival of Meghan. Through her work as a royal she has built stronger relations between marginalised communities and the monarchy, and become a symbol for inclusion and representation.
But, I guess, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and Meghan has the bite marks to prove it.
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