Meghan Markle’s podcast is about the word ‘crazy.’ And it’s barking mad

‘Calling someone crazy or hysterical completely dismisses their experience,’ says Meghan Markle in her strangely throaty professional podcast voice. ‘It minimises what they’re feeling. And you know it doesn’t stop there. It keeps going to the point where anyone who has been labelled it enough times can be gaslit into thinking that they’re actually unwell. Or sometimes worse to the point where real issues of all kinds get ignored. Well that’s not happening today.’ Cue the intro music – ‘I am woman, I am fearless, I am sexy’ etc. – to the latest episode of Archetypes, the Duchess of Sussex’s Spotify series. ‘I feel pretty strongly about this word crazy,’

Prince Harry should stop lecturing Americans

Washington, DC Prince Harry is once again mouthing off about American politics despite a rudimentary understanding – at best – of our founding principles. The pampered Brit delivered a speech at the United Nations on Monday insisting that we are witnessing a ‘rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States’. Prince Harry, who only lives here because his wife dreams of doing animated voiceovers for Netflix, routinely opines on our constitution with all of the British pomposity that led to the Revolutionary War. Newsflash: Americans do not like it when foreigners tell us what to do or how we should feel, and yet Prince Harry (do I even have to

Harry and Meghan, the term ‘Megxit’ isn’t sexist

Just when you thought Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s collective victim complex couldn’t get any more vast and cavernous, up they pop again to make clear, in pained tones, just how persecuted this multimillionaire formerly royal couple believe themselves to be. We already knew that their allies think ‘Megxit’ was all about racism. That their departure from the monarchy, freeing them up to cut lucrative deals in the United States, was forced by their supposedly racist treatment by the tabloids. Now we learn it was also all about misogyny, and that the term ‘Megxit’ is itself shot through with hatred for the Duchess of Sussex. Speaking this week on an online

Is Harry and Meghan’s Time profile a parody?

Of course the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are named in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2021. And of course their listing, which makes the publication’s front cover, is accompanied by a lavish citation and photos of the pair put together by Hollywood A-list stylists. Did we really expect anything less? Time truly has it all. First there are the photos. The couple are groomed beyond the imagining of mere mortals, their clothes carefully co-ordinated. They are artistically positioned in order to comprise both a beautiful image and a political statement. Yes, indeed! These are no ordinary celebrity snaps. They are Harry and Meghan’s meaningful portraits. The cover shot

Spare us Prince Harry’s ‘literary memoir’

However you look at it, ‘freedom day’ turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. So thank goodness for Prince Harry who managed to squeeze in some good news to cheer us all up. His formerly-royal highness is to publish his memoirs. It’ll be an ‘intimate and heartfelt’ account no less, written, he tells us, ‘not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become.’ I can’t be the only one barely able to contain my excitement. One tantalising question is what more Harry still has to reveal. Having spent a tempestuous couple of years desperately seeking privacy in between pouring his heart out

The infuriating truth about Harry and Meghan’s activism

‘Why do you lot hate Harry and Meghan so much?’ It’s a question the formerly royal couple’s supporters often ask whenever the pair trend on Twitter, as a clip of the Sussexes’ latest pronouncement, or news of their latest corporate deal, goes viral. They think they already know the answer of course: it is sexism, racism or probably both. Meghan is a woman of colour who dares to speak out about equality and this infuriates gammons and ‘anti-woke’ commentators alike. But the answer is actually very simple, and has nothing to do with Meghan’s skin colour or sex. Harry and Meghan are profoundly annoying. They are virtue-signalling made flesh. They

Britain’s Covid baby bust is bleak news

These are lean times for hospitality and retail. But at least pubs and shops have their champions, popping up on our television channels and radio stations. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, or in this case, taxpayer-funded grants. Where, though, are the voices raised for another activity – also struggling before lockdown – and now facing its own unprecedented crash. Who cares about babies? Truly, births need a push. Predictions of a boom in coronababies were way, way off. Britain, in common with many other developed nations, is experiencing a sharp new slump in fertility, the full extent of which remains unclear. If our neighbours are anything to go by,

The Queen has a secret weapon in the War of the Waleses

It was a big call, sending the royals out and about straight after the Oprah interview. We have to be seen to be believed, as Her Majesty is said to have once observed. It’s a philosophy more complicated than it appears and one which should have the Sussexes worried. As a strategy, it’s not risk-free. Within 24 hours of ITV’s broadcast of the Meghan and Harry interview, Charles went to a vaccination centre in North London. A couple of days later, William was at an East End school. It’s amazing how rarely these things go wrong. True: appearances aren’t widely trailed in advance, armed officers are at hand, and to

Meghan, Harry and the rise of a new religion

The Meghan and Harry show is a window into our spiritual predicament — in Britain, America and beyond. Through breaking free from royal life, amid much unhappiness, they have acquired a powerful story of self-realisation. This is our culture’s new idea of the spiritual life. What exactly is this new idea? How does it relate to what came before? Is it replacing the old or is its appeal limited to certain sectors of society? The rise of the new spirituality has been gradual. We can neatly chart its rise with reference to Harry’s mother, Princess Diana. First we might pause to ask: why is the British royal family such an

American Vogue declares war on ‘niggling’

In the wake of Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview, much American comment has been focused on the beastly British tabloid press. Reader’s Digest was typical in claiming that the UK press is ‘notoriously aggressive, some may say to the point of violating laws or the most primitive of standards’. Others focused on the headlines about Meghan Markle shown in the Oprah interview – despite a third of these actually coming from foreign or American gossip magazines. Now though American Vogue appears to have topped the lot. In an article published on Wednesday titled ‘A Brit in America Makes Sense of the Meghan Markle Oprah interview’, the journalist Hamish Bowles detailed

Is Megxit the UK’s ‘George Floyd moment’?

Harry and Meghan are famously protective of their privacy and as a result hostile to those media outlets they don’t personally seek out. But of all the British broadcasters, ITV are regarded as having the best links with the estranged royal couple. News at Ten anchor Tom Bradby is known to be a friend of the Duke of Sussex and was responsible for bagging the 2019 interview in which Meghan Markle lamented that no one had asked if ‘she was ok.’ So it was with interest that Mr S read a blog published today by the channel’s highly regarded Royal Editor Chris Ship. In the article Ship focuses on possible upsides of

ITV was right to let Piers Morgan go

As a young, millennial female, it’s probably unusual for me to like Piers Morgan. But as a journalist, who began her career in the tabloid press, I have always admired and respected him. While I haven’t always shared his views, I’ve thought him, for the most part, fair and on point. When it comes to holding power to account he is tenacious and single-minded. He is like a dog with a bone until a politician answers his questions. Lesser broadcasters let cabinet ministers obfuscate with endless hot-air; Piers is relentless in his drive to pin them down. His TV interviews are also undeniably entertaining. This not only makes him a brilliant broadcaster

The troubling treatment of Piers Morgan

It is the duty of journalists and broadcasters to be sceptical, particularly to claims made by the rich and powerful. Before yesterday that wasn’t a controversial point. But the pushing out of Piers Morgan from Good Morning Britain, purely because he says he doesn’t believe a word that comes out of Meghan Markle’s mouth, suggests we are in a brave new world. When certain claims are made, even by the most privileged, it is apparently now our duty to swallow them or to shut up. In the wake of that explosive Oprah interview, in which the Sussexes said they were hounded out of the royal family by racism and Markle

Melanie McDonagh

Can Harry and Meghan back up their incendiary allegations?

Well! On the bright side, Oprah Winfrey got her money’s worth. Also on the bright side, Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne so bear in mind folks last night’s interview by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex does not, really, matter in the great scheme of things. On the final bright note, Meghan makes Wallis Simpson, the last American divorcee to marry into the Royal Family, look relatively good. And that’s about the limit of the positive aspects of last night’s self-revelations, of which I should say I’ve heard only extracts. They tell us a great deal about Meghan’s perspective but not an awful lot in the

The Royal response to Harry and Meghan is too little, too late

They are 61 words that have taken more than 36 hours to hone. An ancient institution delaying action while a global audience of millions devoured Harry and Meghan’s two hours of television exposure, with Oprah as their host: ‘The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved family members.’ Present, in Buckingham Palace’s response, is a reference to race – the most

Harry and Meghan have played a blinder

If bouquets and Bollinger were winging their way to Montecito last night they were well deserved. When Harry and Meghan met Oprah, the trio turned in the performance of their lives. From dramatic pauses, wiping away tears, hand-holding, Diana-reminiscent eye make-up, the English country garden-style backdrop interspersed with scenes from the chicken coop and shots of little Archie running along a Californian beach, to accusations and big reveals – everything was performed with absolute perfection. The build-up was justified. This did not disappoint. For Harry and Meghan, no doubt poring over press coverage, the success of their interview will be measured not in advertising revenue, or in viewing figures, but

Why Harry and Meghan’s revelations are so damaging

In one sense, Harry and Meghan’s exit from ‘The Firm’ doesn’t matter much. The pair are low enough down the pecking order that they are – or were, at least – relatively minor Royals. But nonetheless, their comments about the Royal Family may have fatally undermined this institution in the eyes of many young people. What could have been an easily dismissible, trivial soap opera – a family arguing, like most do ­– has made the rift between the Royals far worse. Within the space of a two-hour long Oprah interview we have seen the debate about Megxit entirely change. It is no longer a war of words over Royal roles that is the main

Meghan’s critics and defenders are both wrong

When it comes to Harry and Meghan, is it time for everyone to take a collective deep breath? With the build-up to the ‘tell-all’ Oprah interview and the recent disclosure of bullying allegations, it feels like hysteria around the couple is at fever pitch. In the war of the Waleses, is there room for a middle ground? The more vicious Meghan Markle’s critics are, the more her supporters portray her as an almost Christ-like figure. Her detractors then become irritated by the virtue-signalling, her defenders cite racism and sexism, and the vicious circle continues. Every action just seems to entrench each side’s position until there is no room for manoeuvre.

Meghan, Harry and the trouble with Oprah’s ‘truth’

Obviously, I can’t wait for the Meghan and Harry audience with Oprah Winfrey. Alas, it’s going to be broadcast at about one o’clock in the morning our time (I’m still thinking popcorn at the office around a flat screen). But meanwhile there are tasters from the programme to keep us happy. What got me going from the most recent excerpt wasn’t Meghan’s observations about ‘The Firm’, interesting as that was, but the question put to her by Oprah:  ‘How do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today?’ Eh? ‘Your truth’? I think what she means is ‘putting forward your point of view’ or ‘offering your take

Megxit and the War of the Waleses

A 99-year-old prince is in hospital. His 94-year-old wife is displaying an almost childish delight as she continues to dip her toe in our Covid imposed virtual world and unveils a statue from the comfort of her drawing room. The pandemic is just the latest extraordinary experience shared by a monarch and her consort. Some have been particularly painful and lingering. They’re a couple who bear the scars inflicted when relationships disintegrate. However, the lessons of Charles and Diana haven’t yet been learnt by their family. The War of the Waleses 2.0 is following a familiar, unpleasant path. The War of the Waleses 2.0 is following a familiar, unpleasant path