The Duchess of Sussex lifts the lid on gilded life with Prince Harry
‘My marriage was likened to the release of Nelson Mandela’: From royal jibes to new N-word claims, the Duchess of Sussex lifts the lid on gilded life with Prince Harry
- Over 6,400 gushing words, journalist Allison P. Davis describes everything
- In New York magazine The Cut, she even quotes Meghan telling her what to write
- But it was her and Harry’s jibes at the Royal Family that caused jaws to drop
Meghan’s latest interview lifts the lid on her gilded life in the millionaires’ haven of Montecito in California.
Over 6,400 gushing words, American journalist Allison P. Davis describes everything from the Soho House-branded rosewater candles that she burns to the conjoined palm trees at the Sussexes’ home which the loved-up couple compare to themselves.
In New York magazine The Cut, she even quotes Meghan telling her what to write after the duchess answered a question with ‘moaning’ and ‘guttural sounds’. But it was her and Harry’s apparent jibes at the Royal Family that caused jaws to drop on this side of the Atlantic last night.
‘I LOST MY DAD’
The interviewer explains that Meghan discussed how ‘toxic tabloid culture has torn two families apart’, an apparent reference to Meghan’s falling out with her own father, Thomas Markle, and Harry’s fractured relationship with Prince Charles.
She is quoted as saying: ‘Harry said to me, “I lost my dad in this process.” It doesn’t have to be the same for them as it was for me, but that’s his decision.’
Her comment was widely interpreted as meaning that Harry felt he had ‘lost’ his father because of the fallout.
But hours after the piece was published, an ally of the couple came out to suggest that is not what she meant. Royal reporter Omid Scobie, known to be close to them, said: ‘I understand that Prince Harry is actually referring to Meghan’s loss of her own father, and Meghan is saying she doesn’t want Harry to lose his.’
US publication Page Six separately quoted a ‘highly placed royal insider’ as saying: ‘I’m not aware that Harry has broken up with his father. Charles gave Harry and Meghan millions when they left the UK. Right now, the family are all at Balmoral, and I’m sure they are aghast at this interview.’
Meghan’s latest interview lifts the lid on her gilded life in the millionaires’ haven of Montecito in California
Meghan’s comment was made after the interviewer asked her about a letter Thomas Markle provided to The Mail on Sunday, and the legal case that followed.
Harry’s relationship with his family became increasingly strained after he and Meghan gave an explosive interview to Oprah Winfrey last year in which he claimed Prince Charles had cut him off financially and stopped taking his calls.
WE UPSET THE HIERARCHY
‘It was bittersweet, you know? Knowing none of it had to be this way,’ Meghan said when talking about the couple’s decision to leave the UK and criticism of their £2.4million taxpayer-funded refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage.
Meghan said the couple wanted to earn their own money so tabloids could no longer attack them under the ‘guise of public interest’ because their lives were taxpayer-funded.
‘Then maybe all the noise would stop,’ she said, adding they were willing to move to any commonwealth country, including Canada, New Zealand or South Africa.
‘Anything to just… because just by existing, we were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy.’
The couple had proposed a hybrid arrangement, mixing official duties with private commercial work but were told it would not work. Meghan said: ‘That, for whatever reason, is not something that we were allowed to do, even though several other members of the family do that exact thing.’
WEDDING WAS ‘CELEBRATED LIKE MANDELA’S RELEASE’
Meghan recalled an encounter she had at the 2019 London premiere of a live-action version of The Lion King.
She said a cast member from South Africa pulled her aside. ‘He looked at me, and he’s just like light. He said, “I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison,” she said.
Over 6,400 gushing words, American journalist Allison P. Davis describes everything from the Soho House-branded rosewater candles that she burns to the conjoined palm trees at the Sussexes’ home which the loved-up couple compare to themselves
CHILDREN ‘CALLED THE N-WORD’
Among the most shocking claims by Meghan is that her children have been called the highly offensive and racist ‘N-word’. She made the comment while discussing how she was angered by the Royal Family’s arrangement for releasing pictures of her children, which she said needed to be distributed to the media’s accredited royal correspondents, known as the Royal Rota, before she could post them herself.
The interviewer said that this ‘didn’t sit right with Meghan, given her strained relationship with the British tabloids’.
Meghan is quoted as saying: ‘Why would I give the very people that are calling my children the N-word a photo of my child before I can share it with the people that love my child?’ she said. It was unclear who she was accusing of using the racist language. The couple are known to have faced abuse from online trolls.
HARRY: MANY IN MY FAMILY CAN’T WORK TOGETHER
Harry said the couple working together from their shared home office for their company Archewell feels ‘natural and normal’.
But in what will be seen as a swipe at his own family, he added: ‘Most people that I know and many of my family, they aren’t able to work and live together.’
The interviewer said he enunciated family with a ‘vocal eye roll’.
HOUNDED ON THE SCHOOL RUN
The interviewer, who apparently accompanies Meghan to pick son Archie, three, up from pre-school as part of the piece, says Meghan felt she would not be able to do the school run in Britain without being hounded by the paparazzi.
She feared it would have become a ‘royal photo call with a press pen of 40 people snapping pictures’, the interviewer states. Royal experts pointed out strict rules governing the press prevent taking photographs of children in education. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge regularly drop their children off at school most days without note. Any pictures published of their children are ones released to the press with their approval or taken at public events.
In New York magazine The Cut, she even quotes Meghan telling her what to write after the duchess answered a question with ‘moaning’ and ‘guttural sounds’
I’M SEEN AS ‘REAL-LIFE PRINCESS’
Meghan told the magazine she is still very aware that people see her as a princess. ‘It’s important to be thoughtful about it because – even with the Oprah interview, I was conscious of the fact that there are little girls that I meet and they’re just like, “Oh my God, it’s a real-life princess.”
But she said her ambitions for the little girls who look up to her are more than to marry well. ‘I just look at all of them and think, “You have the power within you to create a life greater than any fairy tale you’ve ever read”. I don’t mean that in terms of “You could marry a prince one day.” I mean you can find love. You can find happiness.’
‘A MODEL AND A MOM’
A gushing Prince Harry told his wife she could be both model and a ‘mom’. He made an appearance to tell the interviewer how he’d had to reassure his wife after a ‘ten hour’ cover shoot the day before.
Addressing his wife he said: ‘Tell her the first thing you said when you got back last night,’ before turning to the interviewer and saying: ‘She said, “I’m not a model”. I was like, “No, you are, of course you can be a model”. And she’s like, “I’m a mom!” And it’s like, “You can be both”,’ he said.
£11M MONTECITO MANSION
Meghan, who included privacy concerns among her reasons for quitting the UK, welcomed the interviewer into their Californian home, and she in turn described it in detail. ‘The Montecito house is the kind of big that startles you into remembering that unimaginable wealth is actually someone’s daily reality,’ the journalist wrote.
‘WE HAVE TO GET THIS HOUSE’
Meghan said they initially dismissed the property believing it to be too expensive because they ‘didn’t have jobs’. But they later went on to sign multi million-pound deals with Spotify and Netflix. Meghan said: ‘We were looking in this area and this house kept popping up online in searches.’ They did eventually view it and fell ‘almost immediately in love’.
‘One of the first things my husband saw when we walked around the house was those two palm trees,’ she said. ‘See how they’re connected at the bottom? He goes, “My love, it’s us”.’
Meghan said she told Harry ‘We have to get this house’ after only touring the grounds.
But it was her and Harry’s apparent jibes at the Royal Family that caused jaws to drop on this side of the Atlantic last night
Meghan dictated how the noises she was making should be interpreted by interviewer Miss Davis. The writer said: ‘At one point in our conversation, instead of answering a question, she will suggest how I might transcribe the noises she’s making: “She’s making these guttural sounds, and I can’t quite articulate what it is she’s feeling in that moment because she has no word for it; she’s just moaning”.’
NETFLIX LOVE STORY
Meghan hinted that the couple’s upcoming Netflix documentary would be about their ‘love story’. ‘The piece of my life I haven’t been able to share, that people haven’t been able to see, is our love story,’ she said.
The couple are reportedly filming a fly-on-the-wall style documentary and have been spotted accompanied by a camera crew.
TEACHING ARCHIE MANNERS
Harry and Meghan are trying to teach their son manners, she revealed. ‘We always tell him: ‘Manners make the man. Manners, manners, manners, manners, manners.’
She also recalled a saying she’d learned from a friend’s mum: Salt and pepper are always passed together. ‘She said, ‘You never move one without the other.’ That’s me and Harry. We’re like salt and pepper. We always move together.’
GRANOLA BARS FOR HOMELESS
Meghan has made up black back packs containing water, peanut-butter crackers and granola bars to give out to the homeless. In the car on the way back from the pre-school run, they stop to get one from the boot and a member of the security team gives it to an ‘unhoused man on the corner’. She said they were teaching Archie that ‘some people live in big houses, some in small, and that some are in between homes’.
HINTS SHE HAS MORE TO SAY
Meghan says: ‘I’ve never had to sign anything that restricts me from talking,’ she said: ‘I can talk about my whole experience and make a choice not to.’ Asked why she hadn’t, she replied: ‘Still healing’.
Asked if she thinks there is room for forgiveness between her and her royal in-laws and her own family she said: ‘It takes a lot more energy to not forgive,’ she said. ‘But it takes a lot of effort to forgive. I’ve really made an active effort, especially knowing that I can say anything.’
Bizarre, often unintentionally hilarious, but her warblings also have an unmistakable undertone of cool menace: It’s hard to know where to begin to unpick Meghan’s extraordinary statements, writes REBECCA ENGLISH
Her behaviour ranges from the unintentionally hilarious (likening herself and Harry to entwined palm trees and matching salt and pepper shakers), to the downright bizarre (handing a pre-prepared backpack – unprompted – to a homeless person she comes cross on the school run via her bodyguard).
But there is an undertone of cool menace in the Duchess of Sussex’s latest extraordinary interview with American lifestyle magazine The Cut.
‘It’s interesting, I’ve never had to sign anything that restricts me from talking,’ she notes at one point, adding: ‘I’ve really made an active effort [to forgive], especially knowing that I can say anything.’
Even the interviewer notes that her voice is ‘full of meaning’. Meghan goes on: ‘I have a lot to say until I don’t. Do you like that? Sometimes, as they say, the silent part is still part of the song.’
The language may be strangulated but her message is crystal clear: the Royal Family – her in-laws – had better watch their backs. She makes the not-so-subtle impression that her treatment by the British establishment – which she feels was different to any other member of the Royal Family in history – was because of race.
This observation is followed by a deliberately knowing but ever so slightly wistful look into the distance as if to emphasise her ‘regret‘ at all that has been lost – not that any of it was her fault.
Her behaviour ranges from the unintentionally hilarious (likening herself and Harry to entwined palm trees and matching salt and pepper shakers), to the downright bizarre (handing a pre-prepared backpack – unprompted – to a homeless person she comes cross on the school run via her bodyguard)
It’s hard to know where to begin to unpick Meghan’s extraordinary warblings in the first leg of what promises to be an extensive publicity junket to mark her new commercial endeavours, from her Spotify podcast to a Netflix documentary.
How you read them probably depends on your existing view of the famously divisive Duchess of Sussex. Deluded, narcissistic, manipulative… all words I heard yesterday to describe her musings. Others saw it as a ‘brave, powerful and incisive’.
While Meghan is given plenty of scope to express her opinions on everything from life in The Firm to her plan to get back on Instagram, the interviewer, Allison P Davis, isn’t slavishly flattering.
The point where she describes Meghan’s ‘suggestion’ that she might transcribe the ‘guttural’ moaning noises she is making is laugh-out-loud comedy.
Davis is also astonished at Meghan and Harry’s decision to accept a free stay in a Hollywood mansion from actor and film-maker Tyler Perry, a man they had never met, before deciding to buy a £10million Montecito mansion they hadn’t even seen inside.
She also acknowledges the duchess’s shrewd efforts to turn her apparent ‘hardship’ as a working royal ‘into content’. Ouch. But she fails to pull her up on some of her more, shall we say, surprising claims.
But there is an undertone of cool menace in the Duchess of Sussex’s latest extraordinary interview with American lifestyle magazine The Cut
Meghan is perfectly entitled to hold whatever view she wishes about the UK media but perhaps it would be better to base that view on facts.
She suggests that she could never have done the school run in the UK because the British media would have ‘40’ photographers stationed in a media pen at the gate daily. Strict regulation in the UK about reporting around children – any children, even royal ones – that the media willingly subscribe to makes that simply impossible in this day and age.
And the proof is in the pudding. Both William and Kate have dropped off and collected their children from school since Prince George, now nine, started nursery when he was two – and not a single photograph has ever appeared in the British press.
The irony of her saying that, while inviting a hand-picked journalist to invade her son’s privacy and join her on the school run is just, well… I have no words. One close friend once told me that, historically at least, William shares many of his brother’s sentiments about the media when it comes to the historical treatment of his mother and the worst excesses of the paparazzi.
The language may be strangulated but her message is crystal clear: the Royal Family – her in-laws – had better watch their backs
The striking difference between the two men, however, is that William has come to accept that 25 years has passed, the media landscape has changed, and there is huge public goodwill for, and interest in, his young family.
And as long as the children’s day-to-day lives are ‘ring-fenced’ (which they absolutely are), he and his wife are happy to share their own images with the public.
‘But that’s the difference between working for two adults as opposed to a couple of stroppy teenagers,’ one who has had experience of working with both couples tells me.
At one point in the interview Meghan refers to people ‘calling my children the N-word’. It’s not 100 per cent clear who she was referring to but if it was the media it was abhorrent and untrue.
The constant references to the couple’s children – and their interaction with the journalist interviewing Meghan – is remarkable given the Sussexes’ repeated demands for privacy. That said, it’s up to the Sussexes how much they share publically of their family.
She makes the not-so-subtle impression that her treatment by the British establishment – which she feels was different to any other member of the Royal Family in history – was because of race
When those demands are clearly and repeatedly watered down in pursuit of the almighty dollar, it’s unbelievably hypocritical. What’s so clear about this interview – and the stylish photoshoot that accompanies it – is that it’s exactly what Meghan thought she would be able to do when she joined the royal family.
It’s what she grew up with, aspired to and had started to get a tiny taste of when she met Harry. There’s nothing wrong about that whatsoever.
But this glossy, access-all-areas, thrusting a basket of home-grown fruit and vegetables (and a jar of ‘Lili’ jam) into the arms of your interviewer-style of publicity is not what our tweeds in the country and Tupperware boxes in the pantry royal family is about. Instead of accepting that, she – with Harry as a more than willing co-conspirator – decided to take the nuclear option.
For the time being Buckingham Palace have decided to take the line of least resistance – a dignified silence – even in the face of Harry’s repeated digs at his family (including a sarky reference to his family not being able to live or work together, as well as a slightly garbled reference by Meghan to what may or may not be his ‘lost’ relationship with his father).
But Meghan – and Harry – might do well to remember, as they fire their latest salvo, that their perpetually maligned relatives across the pond may be prepared to take only so much.
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