The primary grievances that people have with Meghan Markle have always been extremely problematic. The fact that she’s biracial angered people, the fact that she’s divorced, the fact that she’s older than Harry. These are the first things that many jumped on as a reason she wasn’t an acceptable princess. Of course, they are all both terribly racist and sexist. Now, a new biography is set to be released detailing the life of Meghan, and once again it’s raising concerns about her, concerns that stem from prejudice.
Excerpts from Andrew Morton’s new book, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, paint her not only as a manipulative, status seeker but also a royal fanatic whose sole aim was to marry into the royal family and become the next Princess Diana. (Morton also wrote the 1992 biography of Princess Diana).
Morton claims that Meghan’s first husband, Trevor Engelson, landed her a role in Remember Me which starred Robert Pattison before she went on to star in Suits. He also states that her lead role in the TV show led to the demise of their marriage, because they were forced to be long-distance. Not only did she supposedly end her marriage in pursuit of a successful career, he alleges that she sent her wedding ring back by post.
Of course, this not only paints over all her achievements as an actor by implying she received her breakout roles through nepotism and so is less deserving of them, it places all the blame for her divorce on her and suggests she’s cold-hearted and cruel. While his statements may be true, Morton has been called out for inaccuracies and using sources such as her ‘former friends’, and the salacious way people are using them as reasons to dislike Meghan is entirely sexist.
Relationships rarely ever end purely due to the fault of one person, and to place all blame on her as if she is somehow wrong for choosing to follow a successful career than stay in a relationship that cannot withstand long-distance is ludicrous. Also, sending your wedding ring back by post is surely the most economical and appropriate way to return it if you live in different states, both live busy, separate lives and haven’t ended on positive terms.
The next problematic narrative in the book is the way in which Morton infers that Meghan has built her entire life around marriage, no less marriage into the Royal family. He directly refers to her as a ‘networker to her finger-tips’ and a ‘social climber’, according to a former friend, also stating that upon moving to LA she began ‘forging new friendships with those who could develop her career’.
For one, making friends with people who can help your career grow does not mean you’re a social climber. Networking is a vital part of any successful person’s career and is something that if a man does is seen purely as savvy business acumen. Regardless, using a former friend as a source surely raises suspicion about the accuracy of any descriptions of her personality.
Morton begins to imply that Meghan's sole purpose in life is to marry into the royal family is tied into the narrative of her being obsessed with Princess Diana. Supposedly, Meghan was so heartbroken by Diana’s death that she ‘watched the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, tears coursing down [her] cheeks at the poignant moment when the cameras zoomed in on the royal coffin’.
This was all revealed by a ‘friend’, Ninaki Priddy, who according to The Sun ended her friendship with Meghan following a discussion with Engelson after their divorce. She has previously shared all the details of her 30-year friendship with Meghan including intimate home videos of her talking about her and her father not being on good terms.
She went on to tell Morton that Meghan ‘was always fascinated by the royal family. She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0.’ Not only does this suggest that Meghan is calculated and has manipulated her way into the Royal family, it reduces her entire life’s work, filled with both acting and humanitarian successes, to a superficial quest to find an eligible husband.
The book then goes on to dub Diana Meghan’s ‘role model’ and inspiration for her humanitarian work. However, in numerous blog posts from her personal lifestyle website, The Tig, Meghan sites her parents, most notably her mother, as her primary reason for inspiring her humanitarian work. She said:
‘Both my parents came from little, so they made a choice to give a lot, buying turkeys for homeless shelters at Thanksgiving, delivering meals to patients in hospice care, donating any spare change in their pocket to those asking for it, and performing quiet acts of grace—be it a hug, a smile, or a pat on the back to show ones in need that they would be alright.’
Clearly inspired from a young age, she led a campaign against a sexist soap advert at the age of ten. She continued to urge the importance of her parents on raising her with this attitude:
‘This is what I grew up seeing, so that is what I grew up being, a young adult with a social consciousness to do what I could, and to, at the very least, speak up when I knew something was wrong.’
In response to Morton’s claims that Diana was Meghan’s role model for advocacy, many social media users have called him out for rewriting history, excluding the importance of her mother and so contributing to the continuation of women of colour being ignored in history.
Uplifting Meghan as a strong activist for equality and fighting sexism while seemingly reducing her life to the pursuit of an eligible bachelor and excluding how her mother influenced her is an almost laughable tale of irony. Whether or not the rest of the book continues along this theme remains to be seen, as it isn’t set to be released until the 12th April. Although, we’re more eager to see how Meghan responds to the book herself, we’d much rather see her life story told from her own perspective since well, surely her own voice is much more important to listen to in regards to her own life than anyone else’s.
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