Photo source: Wikipedia
Top tips for Meghan Markle
I am in Chicago this week and every news channel is buzzing with their American beauty – Meghan Markle – the newest member of the British Royal Family.
All the talk is about her early interest in women’s rights, her childhood media profile when she wrote letters of protest, her rise to stardom, her university education and her extraordinary composure in front of the media. People hail her pride in being the daughter of an African American. It is all true. She is an impressive woman and, as her high school theology teacher announced yesterday, Harry is a lucky man. But I worry for Meghan Markle.
The royal family already has a well-earned reputation for drama. The cracks started to become public with the abdication of Edward VIII. Then, after a period of calm under George VI in which the war was taking all news coverage, they entered a world in which the public started to peep over the parapets. We have seen the public despair of Margaret, affairs, divorce, addiction, scandals, embarrassing photos of lesser royals in compromising situations (though the face was thankfully not in the photo), lurid telephone conversations, untimely and violent death, falling out of night-clubs – and the list goes on. Unsurprisingly, the Royals prefer their newbies to be calm, understated and devoid of ‘a past’. Hence the instant fit of Kate Middleton and her county-set parents.
This cannot be said of Meghan Markle. She is the product of a broken home, a divorcee, a screen actress (which the greater snobs of British Society will look down upon), has few ex-partners and a father who is not above selling his photos to the press.
So what will this bring?
Well, my prediction is that after the pomp and ceremony, flag waving and cheering of Saturday, the good old British press will pull out their spades put their boots on and start digging and kicking. The gossip hungry Daily Mail has already unearthed a porn star boyfriend and the debacle over her father not attending the wedding due to a conveniently arranged heart surgery will feed the hungry Fleet Street seagulls before they swoop and pap all over her. The Sassistas are expecting a tsunami of Markle revelations in the next few weeks and the fairytale will turn to media nightmare just as it did for her departed mother-in-law, Diana.
So my advice to Miss Markle, though I have no illusion that she will be reading this blog is:
- Hold strong. The British press creates a sign-wave in which the height of your rise predicts the depth of your fall. The only sure thing is that it will rise again. Just hold on.
- Rise above the spite. The British press is not a decent institution. It might be brilliant in uncovering wrongs but it is also highly effective in creating wrong out of nothing.
- Be proud. You are not the product of money or power. You have reached your heights through talent and hard work. Not many of your new family can match up in that.
- Look to those who love you. Your new husband has seen the very worst of it so use the wisdom in his head.
- Keep silent on yourself and vocal on issues. The causes you support and the energy you put into those will last a lot longer and take your reputation much further than newspaper pages and internet rubbish which is forgotten within weeks.
- Keep your hurt feelings away from the camera. Tears feed the seagulls!
- Hold your soul. You are a strong and good woman so keep telling yourself that. No-one can steal it.
- Smile in the face of spite. It really undermines the spiteful.
- Finally, focus on the important things – your future, your family, your friends, your hopes, your dreams, the love you have. And stuff the rest!
Wishing you great happiness.