Meghan Markle is ‘not the daughter I knew’ says Thomas Markle
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they were stepping back from their role as senior members of the Royal Family last year, and moved to Meghan’s native southern California. They have since signed lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify to produce and develop their own programmes and podcasts. The Duke also announced last month that he will be publishing a memoir, set for release in late 2022.
The 2021 Channel 5 documentary ‘Meghan at 40’ saw assorted historians, royal watchers and journalists gather to give an assessment of the Duchess’ rise.
Celebrating Meghan’s 40th birthday on 4th August, the documentary covered the rise of the former Suits actress in great detail.
Julie Montagu offered a unique insight into Meghan’s role, both as an American entrepreneur and under her title of Viscountess Hinchingbrooke, arguing that Meghan experienced a culture clash between the American dream and doing as you are told in royal life.
Journalist Kay Dilday added: “As a black woman, you don’t think anyone is above your station.”
Writing in the Financial Times, Suzi Feay argued that the biggest divide in perceptions on Meghan is “down to age”.
She wrote: “Try telling anyone under 25 that the now near-beatified Diana, Princess of Wales, was once equally monstered by the tabloids.
“Diana was seen by the old guard as a self-indulgent minx hell-bent on bringing down the monarchy while for the younger generation she was a free spirit all but crushed by repressive forces.
“A similar narrative is playing out again.”
That said, the main point of reference for the commentators in the documentary is was not the Princess of Wales, but Wallis Simpson.
Mrs Simpson was another American divorcee who married a royal – King Edward VIII – and ultimately their romance led him to abdicate the throne in order to marry her.
Ms Feay described the Duchess of Windsor as “that other forceful American divorcee who bagged a royal”.
Ms Dilday however, insisted there can be no such comparison.
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She argued that Mrs Simpson “showed no drive beyond wanting to be rich and famous.”
Meghan’s concern, in contrast, is “for the less fortunate”, instilled in her by mother Doria Ragland.
Referencing how 11-year-old Meghan’s successful letter of protest over a sexist advertisement for washing up liquid landed her an interview on Nickelodeon, Ms Feay said the now infamous “what Meghan wants, Meghan gets” phrase can have positive as well as negative connotations.
The journalist said footage of Meghan and Harry’s wedding seemed to promise “a new day in the idea of equality”.
Harry and Meghan’s move to the United States has, according to journalist Ashley Pearson, rendered her as just another celebrity among many others.
Ms Dilday, meanwhile, approves of Meghan’s wish to use her position to strive for change.
However, this offers its own challenges.
Ms Feay concluded by asking “what position is that now, exactly?”
Harry and Meghan cited their own mental health struggles as reasons for stepping back from senior duties of Royal Family members, and relocating to the US.
The couple spoke in great detail about their decision in their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.
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