More than two years after Prince Harry and his American wife, Meghan Markle, stepped back from working as senior members of the royal family—in part because of the treatment of Meghan by the media—the couple (Meghan in particular) has faced a new round of negative, and sometimes bizarre, treatment since Queen Elizabeth’s death.
Footage of Markle greeting members of the public outside of Windsor Castle in England Saturday went viral online over the weekend after three women
appeared to snub the duchess as she offered to shake their hands.
Social media users also accused Markle of
wearing a microphone as she greeted mourners lined up in Windsor, pointing to thin, square creases on her black dress that they suspected could be a mic pack, fueling wild—and evidence-free—speculation that the couple were gathering content for their Netflix docuseries.
Markle’s popularity in the U.K. has plummeted since 2020, when she and Harry
stepped back from life as full-time working royals to relocate to North America, and took another hit last year when the Sussexes gave an explosive interview to Oprah Winfrey about the palace’s treatment of Markle and alleging racist remarks by members of the royal family, with the latest YouGov poll from May showing only 25% of the British public approve of the duchess.
Some of the skepticism toward the couple is due to their business ventures since leaving the U.K. and concerns they may be profiting off their titles and status (the Sussexes have signed exclusive deals with
Spotify and Netflix believed to be worth millions).
Others say Markle is treated unfairly by the public and the media because she is half-Black, and during the 2021 bombshell interview with Winfrey, Prince Harry said
the racism Meghan faced in the U.K. was “a large part of” the reason they decided to leave the country.
The Sussexes, who were in Europe for several events when the queen’s health
took a turn last week, are expected to remain in the U.K. until the queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday (during the official mourning period Markle has paused releasing new episodes of her Spotify podcast, ). Archetypes
British broadcaster Piers Morgan wrote a
scathing opinion column about Harry and Meghan published by the New York Post calling on Harry to “rein in” his wife’s comments about the royal family. Morgan also said Harry’s upcoming memoir would be “ devastating” to the royal family after the queen’s death. “If Harry genuinely wants us to believe he has a desire to ‘honor’ his father, as he said today, he should tear up his lucrative contract with Penguin Random House and cancel the book,” Morgan wrote.
Markle has had an uneasy relationship with the British media since the early days of her courtship by the prince. When the couple first began dating in 2016, Harry released an uncharacteristically strong statement accusing the tabloids of “abuse and harassment” of Markle that he said had “racial undertones.” The couple has
since sued British publications for libel and invasion of privacy. During their Winfrey interview, they described how members of the royal family expressed concerns about the tone of their unborn baby’s skin when she was pregnant with her first child, Archie. Markle struggled with suicidal thoughts during her time as a senior working royal, she told Winfrey, and said she did not receive enough support from the palace.
Prince Andrew—the only member of the royal family
more unpopular than Markle, according to polls—was heckled Monday by onlookers as he walked behind his mother’s casket during a procession in Edinburgh, Scotland. A 22-year-old man shouted, “ Andrew, you’re a sick old man!” and was later arrested. The prince stepped back from life as a working member of the royal family in 2019 over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced late financier, and accusations of sexual assault made against him by one of Epstein’s most vocal accusers, Virginia Giuffre. Giuffre sued him in U.S. civil court earlier this year, and the two later settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
Forbes U.S. Staff