“She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0.”
That quote from Meghan Markle’s childhood friend Ninaki Priddy jumped out at me in the Sunday Times’ extract from Andrew Morton’s forthcoming book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. Mr Morton, you’ll recall, was the Princess of Wales’s confidante and confidential tell-all.
That quote in Mr Morton’s new book suggests Ms Markle has always been wildly ambitious, incredibly calculating and indecently aspirational. It suggested that even aged 16, and in faraway Los Angeles, Prince Harry’s now soon-to-be wife was dreaming of taking Diana’s crown as “queen of people’s hearts, in people’s hearts”.
And then there were other slightly snarky titbits offered up by Mr Morton in his dissection of the newest prospective member of the British Royal Family.
“More sophisticated and put-together than most of her contemporaries (at college in Chicago),” writes Mr Morton.
And “Meghan was a party animal who enjoyed staying out late”.
And again, in reference to the “Megan chill” experienced by her first husband Trevor Engelson: “He was not the only one experiencing the Meghan chill. Her friends in Los Angeles noticed the change in her now that she was on her way up. She no longer had the time for mates she had known for years, cancelling lunches at short notice or expecting them to rework their own schedules to accommodate the busy life of a rising star. A networker to her fingertips, she seemed to be recalibrating her life, forging new friendships with those who could develop her career.”
Take Mr Morton’s account as gospel and Ms Markle sounds like a cold, heartless creature with an eye on the main chance.
Then again, look at her face, her eyes (they often ‘smize’, which is to say Ms Markle smiles with her eyes, thereby coming across as genuine, open and natural), hear the things she says, and the way she says them. Oh, it’s clear she has on-camera, onscreen, and broadcast experience. It’s obvious that she’s a pro at presenting herself. But she still doesn’t come across as mis-presenting herself. Few would say, based on the public’s slender acquaintance with her, that Ms Markle is a con artist.
Easy to speculate but hard to really understand the gentle knifing of Ms Markle, if in fact that’s what it was.
Hard to understand in 2018, that is, where notions of otherness have been mostly overtaken by events (and legislation).