Entertainment The Narrative Of Harry As The Bewitched Puppy To Meghan's Master Manipulator Needs To End
Meghan Markle's intense SAS anti-kidnap training revealed
Meghan Markle was given a special two-day SAS anti-kidnap training course before she married Prince Harry in May 2018
This week Donald Trump spoke out on Prince Harry and Meghan, who had just released a video with TIME asking for their American fans and friends to go out there and vote in the forthcoming US election. Trump, who should have far greater things to worry about, said 'I wish Harry luck,' adding that 'he's going to need it' and that he is 'not a fan' of Meghan. Meghan will, most likely, be thrilled at the lack of endorsement at a man who stands accused of sexual assault against several women, who has completely mismanaged the coronavirus pandemic, who has called the Black Lives Matter movement 'discriminatory'. He is no fan of Meghan, but has said that he wishes Ghislaine Maxwell well. He's guilty of far more important things than disliking Meghan while liking Harry, spinning him as the dumb puppy led astray by the deceitful stranger. But he's not the only one: this country is full of people who seem firmly wedded to the idea that our beloved prince has been stolen from us against his will.
Meghan Markle spotted on low-key shopping trip
Meghan Markle spotted on low-key shopping trip as she stocked up on groceries at Whole Foods in Victoria, British Columbia
Much of the venom levelled at the couple,we set out for them in their departure from their senior royal roles, is firmly pointed toward Meghan. Yes, there is criticism of the couple's spending, of the cost of their travel, of every single thing they do. But even within this coverage, Meghan seems to be framed as the culprit. Take, for example, a story about the famous tiara argument. Reports state that the gorgeous tiara she wore to her 2018 wedding was not her first choice, but that of her future grandmother-in-law. Harry, it is alleged, stepped in, and firm words were had between him and the Queen's dresser. But the resulting headlines focused on Meghan, not Harry. It was billed in the stories as 'Meghan's tiara row', with Harry's primary involvement left for the headlines. When the pair were criticised for spending too much on their UK home - Frogmore Cottage - much was made of the expensive bathroom fixtures and a yoga studio that didn't even exist. The implication? These costs were Meghan's, not Harry's.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan back to the UK?
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are considering visiting the UK before Christmas.The Duke and Duchess of Sussex - who are currently residing in Santa Barbara, California with their 16-month-old son Archie, after stepping down as senior royals earlier this year - are keen to head back to the Prince's home country before the year ends.
Meghan: A Hollywood Princess by Andrew Morton
The man who interviewed Diana so famously takes on Meghan, interviewing those closest to her to uncover the story of her childhood: growing up in The Valley in LA, studying at an all-girls Catholic school and her breakout into acting. The book also delves into her previous marriage and divorce in 2013, her struggles in Hollywood.
The Final Curtsey A Royal Memoir by the Queen's Cousin by Margaret Rhodes
The intimate and revealing autobiography of Margaret Rhodes, the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. This is as close to the royal family as you get. The publishers say: ' In the Second World War years she 'lodged' at Buckingham Palace while she worked for MI6. She was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her cousin, Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip. Three years later the King and Queen attended her own wedding; Princess Margaret was a bridesmaid. In 1990 she was appointed as a Lady-in-Waiting to the Queen Mother, acting also as her companion, which she describes in touching detail. In the early months of 2002, she spent as much time as possible with her ailing aunt, and was at her bedside when she died at Easter that year. The next morning she went to Queen Elizabeth's bedroom to pray, and in farewell dropped her a final curtsey'
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Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand
Published in August 2020, this book is expected to be a 'bombshell' that it's been claimed will 'settle scores'. In its description, the publishers claim: 'Finding Freedom goes beyond the headlines to reveal unknown details of Harry and Meghan's life together, dispelling the many rumours and misconceptions that plague the couple on both sides of the pond. As members of the select group of reporters that cover the British Royal Family and their engagements, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand have witnessed the young couple's lives as few outsiders can.
With unique access and written with the participation of those closest to the couple, Finding Freedom is an honest, up-close, and disarming portrait of a confident, influential, and forward-thinking couple who are unafraid to break with tradition, determined to create a new path away from the spotlight, and dedicated to building a humanitarian legacy that will make a profound difference in the world.'
The pre-wedding routine that banished Meghan Markle’s nerves
How Meghan Markle de-stressed the day before her royal nuptials
Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown
Definitely one for fans of The Crown and its various Princess Margarets… She made John Lennon blush and Marlon Brando clam up. She cold-shouldered Princess Diana and humiliated Elizabeth Taylor. Jack Nicholson offered her cocaine and Pablo Picasso lusted over her. To her friends Princess Margaret was witty and regal, to her enemies, she was rude and demanding. Ma'am Darling looks at her from many angles, creating a kaleidoscopic biography, and a witty meditation on fame and art, snobbery and deference, bohemia and high society.
Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by Sally Bedell Smith
This vivid, eye-opening biography--the product of four years of research and hundreds of interviews with palace officials, former girlfriends, spiritual gurus, and more – claims to be the first authoritative treatment of Charles's life that sheds light on the death of Diana, his marriage to Camilla, and his preparations to take the throne one day.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle deny agreeing to be filmed for 'tasteful reality show' after Netflix deal
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have denied agreeing to take part in a "tasteful reality show" after signing a deal with Netflix.A source had claimed the couple agreed to be the subject of a "tasteful" reality TV series as Meghan wants the world to see the "real her".
The Mountbattens: Their Lives & Loves by Andrew Lownie
A well-researched deep-dive into the lives of Dickie and Edwina Mountbatten, a couple who witnessed much of the 20th Century's history – including Royal landmarks – at first hand.
Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner
The remarkable life of Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret who was also a Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation. Anne Glenconner reveals the real events behind The Crown as well as her own life of drama, tragedy and courage, with the wonderful wit and extraordinary resilience which define her.
Our Rainbow Queen by Sali Hughes
A photographic journey through Queen Elizabeth II's ten decades of colour-blocked style. From the dusky pinks the Queen wore in girlhood all the way through to #NeonAt90, by way of that hat she wore on the announcement of Brexit, and not forgetting her trusty Launer handbag ever at her side, this must-have collection celebrates the iconic fashion statements of our longest reigning and most vibrant monarch.
The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown
The original people's princess, Diana is the subject of many great books – this, by Tina Brown, is by someone who knew her personally and the world she inhabited.
British Royals: How Meghan Markle tackled THAT Sandringham summit
Harry and Meghan, now ensconced on Vancouver Island with Archie, came to realise that they simply could not just go back to the old way of things in Britain. It was a tough decision to make, but they would have to step back from their roles as senior royals. They could become some sort of semi-royals, they thought, and cut themselves off from access to royal money. They proposed to spend more time abroad, while still visiting Britain sufficiently to carry out their basic royal duties.
The book explores, 'Diana's sexually charged mother, her subtly scheming grandmother, the stepmother she hated but eventually came to understand, and a terrifying trio of in-laws and relations: Fergie, the force of nature whose life was full of its own unacknowledged pathos; Princess Margaret, the fading glamour girl; the implacable Queen Mother and more formidable than all of them, her mother-in-law, the Queen, whose admiration Diana sought till the day she died. Add Camilla Parker-Bowles, the ultimate "other woman" into this combustible mix, and it's no wonder that Diana felt the need to break out of her royal cage into celebrity culture, where she found her own power and used it to devastating effect.'
So yes, quite a lot there.
Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words by Andrew Morton
Formerly 'Her True Story' before it was revealed much of the book was based on taped interviews with Diana herself and the book was reissued, this is the often-quoted pretty much definitive story of Princess Diana.
The Royals by Kitty Kelley
Originally not available in the UK for fear of legal repercussions, this book makes for a page-turner for Royal gossip fans. The description promises: 'Kitty Kelley has gone behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace to raise the curtain on the men and women who make up the British royal family. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Princess Diana...here are the scandals of the last decades: the doomed marriages and the husbands, wives, lovers and children caught in their wake and damaged beyond repair. No one is spared.'
The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe by Angela Kelly
Angela Kelly has worked with The Queen and walked the corridors of the Royal Household for twenty-five years, initially as Her Majesty's Senior Dresser and then latterly as Her Majesty's Personal Advisor, Curator, Wardrobe and In-house Designer. As the first person in history to hold this title, she shares a uniquely close working relationship with The Queen, with the monarch's position.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry pose in official new picture - and it's adorable
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will make a new appearance with TIME magazine on Tuesday 20 October
Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss and Love by Katie Nicholl
It's another book about Harry and Meghan, but coming from Katie Nicholl - one of the best authorities on the royal family - you know that it's good. This book details their romance right up until the royal wedding.
Reports said that she had stopped him from taking part in blood sports, spinning her as controlling rather than the truth: that she cares about animals and doesn't support going into the woods and shooting them for fun. Much has been made of the fact that Harry no longer speaks to some of his old friends. That he has gone vegan. The overriding impression that is given, again and again, is that Meghan has cast a spell on him, that she is manipulative and cruel. But if you begrudge Harry's choices in recent years, then you must at least accept that they are decisions made by him, without force or manipulation.
Leaving the royal family may have come as a shock - it was all but unprecedented - but the signs were there. Harry lost his mother in 1997 and has watched the world grieve ever since. He has said that he has suffered great trauma dating back from that time, and the flashes of cameras and the constant media hounding has had a negative impact on his life. It is telling that, before meeting Meghan, he has never been happier than he was when serving in the military, where he could proceed much like anybody else. Unlike William, who has long enjoyed and accepted his position, Harry has never truly been on board with what has been asked of him. Meghan did not force him to leave the royal family. She may simply have been the first person in his life to say 'you know what, I agree with you.'
Meghan did not need Harry to enjoy a life of fame and fortune. She was a successful actress making good money. Her work had given her a profile high enough to become an ambassador for various philanthropic work. She was doing perfectly fine on her own. Of course the match increased her profile a hundredfold. But it came at a huge cost. She has lost every inch of privacy she once possessed. She has been subjected to racism, classism and misogyny. Her young child will be pursued around the world, whatever he chooses to do with is life. Those who see entering the royal family as an enormous prize that Meghan desired beyond all else, beyond all cost, are grossly underestimating the negatives it brings.
Spinning Meghan as the master manipulator and Harry as the puppet on her strong is a lazy, anti-woman trope that this country has been guilty of ever since Edward VIII first set eyes on Wallis Simpson. He was the victim, a deer in the headlights, unable to resist her spell to the extent that he gave up his throne. When in fact, he simply chose love over duty. He wasn't stupid. He wasn't bewitched. And neither is Harry. He is a perfectly intelligent man capable of making his own decisions. Perhaps Meghan has got her way at points, perhaps he has had to give up things he would rather have kept. But she would also have had to acquiesced with his ideas, and returned the favour. Marriage is about compromise.
This narrative - of Meghan, leading Harry astray, of the siren on the rocks calling the helpless sailor to his doom - is cruel, harmful and, most importantly, inaccurate. Trump, and so many others in the world, need to start respecting them as a unit, or address their own prejudices against women.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry pose in official new picture - and it's adorable .
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will make a new appearance with TIME magazine on Tuesday 20 October