Meghan Markle & Prince Harry jetted off to the South of France for a vacation

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement at the Kensington Palace

I won’t pretend that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry haven’t made some “missteps” in the past two months. They have. What could have been a lovefest of good press quickly turned into some nitpicking coverage of how much was spent on a Ralph and Russo dress, and whether Meghan comes from a happy family, and whether her half-siblings are a–holes. Many people gave the Duchess of Cambridge some time to figure things out and self-correct (or be corrected), and I’m hoping Meghan is given that same time. But you know what? Harry knows better. He knows this sh-t looks bad. Harry and Meghan have jetted off to the south of France for a New Year’s holiday.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have celebrated the New Year in Monaco after taking a helicopter to the millionaire’s playground. The loved-up royal couple’s private flight was a considerable upgrade from their economy trip to Nice – where they are said to have sat beside the toilets among other passengers. In an attempt to remain incognito, the pair boarded their 9.55am flight from Heathrow before any other passengers and headed straight to the back of the plane, next to the rear toilets. They also took up three rows of economy seats, either side of the aisle, even though there were only themselves and three ‘edgy and nervous’ bodyguards in their party.

Harry, 33, apparently slumped down next to the window dressed in jeans, a jacket and with a baseball cap pulled over his face. Bride-to-be Miss Markle, 36, was sitting next to him in a black beanie hat and minimal make-up. According to one fellow traveller, the aircraft actually took off several minutes early, much to the surprise of other passengers, and shaved 20 minutes off its two-hour flight time. And if anyone hadn’t spotted the group by that point, they couldn’t mistake the two heavily armed officers from the French border police waiting for the party as they disembarked, ready to whisk them out through the VIP area.

Other sources have told the Mail that several members of France’s elite Service de la Protection – the police unit responsible for the protection of foreign dignitaries – have flown down from Paris to guard the couple during their stay. Asked if Kensington Palace had requested them, they said: ‘No, it would have been offered and would have been non-negotiable. After what happened to his mother in this country and the issue of terrorism, it would be insisted on even for a private trip such as this.’

All officers within the force are armed with a Beretta M9, while at least one of them would also have a machine gun. It is understood that Harry and Miss Markle flew out to celebrate the New Year with friends and plan to stay several days at a private residence in the Riviera region. The weather is perfect for a short break – sunny and a pleasant 15C (59F).

The trip to the South of France may well be a welcome break for Harry and Miss Markle before wedding preparations begin in earnest. One decision that has already been made is the catering firm they will use for their May nuptials. While royal household staff will man and cater the main event – and will be paid for by the Queen and Prince Charles privately – the couple have also employed society favourite Table Talk, most probably for the evening reception. The firm has royal pedigree – it was used by Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge for their 2011 wedding and by Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton, when she married last year.

[From The Daily Mail]

So much for my hope that Meghan would easily put the Keens to shame right out of the gate. Why work when you can go on holiday in the South of France? Also: I’m confused as to where, exactly, they went. If they went to Monaco, they wouldn’t have French bodyguards. But if they went to Nice, they would be protected by French guards. Monaco is its own sovereignty, with their own police force/security force, right? Ugh. I mean… why invoke Diana’s death if they were just going to be hanging out in a billionaire’s mansion in Monte Carlo?

Oh, and now Meghan’s half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. is getting into the action (again) of yelling about Harry’s “the family she’s never had” comment – go here to read.

The British Royal family arrive at Sandringham to celebrate Christmas Day

Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid.

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283 Responses to “Meghan Markle & Prince Harry jetted off to the South of France for a vacation”

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  1. Astrid says:

    I had some high hopes, but no….

    • FLORC says:

      There’s no point in tossing away hopes at this point. It’s still courting. It’s still before the wedding.
      Enjoying the down time before the work begins. This feels like they’re cramming in will and Kate’s newlywed bs period now. IF it continues well into the 1st year of marriage yea. Give up. We aren’t anywhere close to that.

      • Seraphina says:

        I agree with you Florac. Too soon to tell right now. It’s a holiday most young and courting couples like to spend away. Let’s see what happens when they settle down.

        I also think MM is not tone deaf. More rooted to what is reality. And I hope to God I’m right.

      • Liberty says:

        I agree with you. They are still in early love, New Year’s Eve w friends is not unusual. I have friends in the South of France in Antibes, & Nice, and I could have spent the NYE celebrations with them, if we didn’t have other plans. And I don’t have a crown!

        That said, I am hoping they don’t start screwing it up Bill and Kitty style. :-/

      • Lorelai says:

        I don’t begrudge them a New Year’s weekend away with friends, but they’re engaged— I wouldn’t really consider that still “courting.”

      • Lorelai says:

        @Liberty I am unspeakably jealous that you had NYE plans that were BETTER than going to the French Riviera! I’ve been lucky enough to have been there once and hope I get to go back again before I die! Monaco is stunning.

    • Nikki says:

      I really wouldn’t condemn a newly engaged couple for going on a vacation WITH FRIENDS over the holidays!! You can be a hard working social activist without becoming a monk; I hardly think this discredits them in any way. Sheesh!

      • Veronica says:

        This is their 4th vacation that’s been publicized: twice to Africa; once to Jamaica; now Nice; and maybe Norway last winter? Bad idea, clueless on the optics. Especially after Harry’s comments about Christmas Day “work.”
        I truly think Harry is Dim or just so privileged he has no idea about how this looks. I also believe if this was Kate and Wills, people here would be irate.
        And Meghan isn’t going to work harder than wills, Kate and Harry. I can’t believe anyone thinks she will be allowed to do so, even if she wants and her burning ambition for work seems to be tamped down quite a bit.

      • magnoliarose says:

        It has been Kate and Wills a thousand times in the last 15 years. That was why Kaiser was disappointed. They are still sneaking off constantly it just rarely widely reported and on private planes.
        Jamaica was a wedding, not a vacation.
        I have been to weddings out of the country before, and for people in that social group or an actress, it isn’t remarkable.

      • Amy says:

        I don’t understand the whole strange cloak and dagger way they went about getting to nice though. They fly coach to save money and look more regular but they then buy up 3 rows worth of seats so they can sit secluded in the back. Is it really cheaper to buy that many seats these it is to take a private plane? Because they ended up taking a private helicopter from nice to Monaco anyways. Sitting all huddled up against the window with baseball cap over your eyes while your body guards watch over you and the 3 rows of buffer seats between you and the plebs just doesn’t seem very “normal guy” to me. Why did they have to do it like this?

      • Lahdidahbaby says:

        Amy, that’s exactly how it all struck me. Buying up all those seats to look like a regular couple? Uh, wha…? All the details — the guards, the cap over Harry’s face…some very silly posturing when some first-class tickets would have cost less and Meghan and Harry would have actually had more privacy that way. It looks more like they went a lot of trouble and expense to show themselves as ordinary folk — and if that was their plan, it sure backfired.

        I like them both, individually and as a couple, but they sure are making some missteps.

      • notasugarhere says:

        As pointed out elsewhere on here, there was no first class section on the plane. They and their security took the worst seats on an all-economy flight.

    • Louise177 says:

      Sorry but people sound stupid saying there’s no hope for Meghan or she’s a disappointment. Why the assumption she would be doing charity 24/7? She didn’t do that before so I don’t see why she would do it now. She’s on vacation for the holidays. Mind blown that’s a reason to criticize Meghan. They’re not married yet. She’ll probably do a few appearances but I don’t see her doing any real “work” until after the marriage.

    • still_sarah says:

      And this was why I couldn’t wait to get to Harry and Meghan’s engagement-wedding. Let the games begin! Royal watching had gotten boring since Will and Kate married. Oh sure, a few babies but I think they’re done now. I know I sound a bit sarcastic but honestly, this type of dirt-gossip entertainment was what I have been waiting for. After all, you can’t expect the Middletons to do all of the work (wanton displays, calling the paps, planting stories in the press).

  2. Toot says:

    They went for New Years. I don’t see what the issue is.

    • Honey says:

      Me either. I live in a major city but would have jetted off someplace other than here if I’d had the time and means. Their new year trip is no big deal. It’s what people do.

      • Rose says:

        I agree, it’s really no big deal and honestly from London you can sometimes pick up flights to Nice for £30 as a promotion. Also getting a helicopter to Monaco is pretty standard for rich (or not so rich but as a treat) people because i think the flight is about 15 mins. Let’s lay off them, off season you could have an amazing holiday there for not thaaat much

      • magnoliarose says:

        I don’t think it is anything either. I have visited friends or gone places for New Year’s Eve. A lot of people are with their families elsewhere or friends.

    • Talie says:

      Yeah, I don’t know how anyone could complain about the royals not working during Christmas and New Years…no one else is bothering.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      Agreed. Much ado about nothing.

    • Princessk says:

      Exactly. I think envy is the real issue here.

      Also why should Meghan be responsible for changing the monarchy? She loves Harry and needs to concentrate on her relationship with him. Very soon we will get lectures about ‘tax payers money’ and ‘government money’ ….boring! I want my royals to be nice people but also stylish and intelligent as well and leading high class lifestyles . H&M are a glamorous couple and jetting off to the French Riviera is what they are supposed to do. Many people with less money have more holidays than them, and before anyone bangs on that ordinary people are not tax funded, many rich private citizens also have unfair advantages.

      We can’t all be equal, and what would we have to ‘bitch’ about if Harry and Megs were not jetting off for a mini winter break? They bring a ray of sunshine into most of our dull lives. I just hope that they get lots of privacy and no photos are taken.

      • minx says:

        Hoo boy, there is so much about your post…first, they can be criticized without accusations of envy or jealousy. Second, discussions of taxpayers’ money funding lavish lifestyles is “boring”, really? And people with less money take more vacations? And your comment that we can’t all be equal and they bring a ray of sunshine into our dull lives reminds me of Cecil Beaton in the Crown when he was taking Margaret’s picture. He said a scullery maid would find respite from her dreary, miserable, hopeless existence when she witnessed Margaret’s glamorous picture.

      • lausace says:

        This truly is the most tragic comment i’ve ever read… ‘They bring a ray of sunshine into most of our dull lives’

      • Lorelai says:

        @Minx thank you for handling this one because I nearly stroked out reading it.

        Envy? What on earth??!

    • CynicalAnn says:

      My kids are off school this week and loads of people I know are on vacation. Is she even supposed to have a “platform” prior to the wedding? Or is she just supposed to tag along on his events?

    • Island_girl says:

      Right? They went to ring in the new year together. What is the deal here?

    • notasugarhere says:

      Tempest, teapot. They didn’t borrow the Duke of W jet like W&K do, they sat in the cheap seats, back of the plane. Off for a few days for New Year, back doing an engagement together on January 9th.

      • Maria says:

        They sat next to the toilets no less.

      • Snappyfish says:

        W&K flew economy often so let’s dispense with the how wonderful H&M are for doing the same. Harry is an Prince of the Realm and thus is spoiled & somewhat tone deaf just like William.

        Back in the Days of Henry8 he forbid Anne Boleyn from marrying who she wished. She eventually capitulated as power was pretty exciting & becomng Queen of England was pretty nifty. The people hated her because she followed a beloved Katherine of Aragon who they loved. Anne was condemned to death when Henry had tired of her and wanted another. Jane Seymour was beloved by the people even though history showed she was the plotting conniver that Anne was accused but innocent of. Jane & her factions sought the King & hunter him like sport. I mention this because while I like the H&M story I believe she sought Henry & wants this life.

        As for M’s Brother & his upset over H’s family comment. We have no idea what story Harry has been told. Families are tough things. She may not feel she had a close family & maybe the brother thought they were.

        I wish them the best.

  3. Lala says:

    They took a two-hour trip, which is what I do when I go from Chicago to visit family in ATL…during normal vacation time…I don’t get what the issue is….seriously…

  4. Chef Grace says:

    Good for them.
    Let them enjoy this time. Because after the wedding, shit gets real.
    ;)

  5. babykitten says:

    I’m not blessed with the superior European train system. But if a train was good enough for HM and Phiip, was a helicopter ride necessary for Harry and Meghan? It’s a genuine question, and I really don’t need chapter and verse of every single time WK have used private planes or helicopters.

  6. Adele Dazeem says:

    This is all Harry, she knows better. She did a really good job managing her public profile and making the most of her C-list opportunities. He’s the one that doesn’t understand. The only surprising part to me is that she hasn’t told him they need to lay low after the past few missteps.

    • Tina says:

      She won’t be telling him anything until they are actually married (and sensibly so). If she doesn’t pick up her socks afterwards, I’ll be disappointed.

      • LAK says:

        If she keeps following his advice as far as optics, he’ll lead her into a ditch where she’ll be blamed for everything and he will be teflon due to his blood royal status.

        She’s the brains in this operation. She needs to take the wheel.

      • Tina says:

        LAK, absolutely. I hope she can do so subtly.

      • Princessk says:

        Why do you all want them to be so ordinary and lead lives like us? Why is everyone so hellbent on turning Meghan into a bl**dy workhorse. I would not be surprised if she gets pregnant in 2018 and I would like her to put her feet up and have a safe pregnancy if that is the case. Princesses and Duchesses are not meant to work all week 9-5 in the public eye, they have other matters to be concerned with. Running my house wears me out, and I have ‘help’ so I can imagine the nightmare of having a small army of servants and bodyguards to monitor.

      • Lolo says:

        She’s not going to turn down a luxury vacation because of bad optics and she never will, even once they are married. This seems pretty standard for how the young royals travel and the privileges they expect for the “work” that they do. W&K do this kind of thing all the time and when the braying gets too loud that maybe they are spending too much money, they throw the cute kids out there for a photo op and everyone quiets down. H&M will be the same. Maybe they will announce new details about the wedding this week for people to coo over. I will say she does seem genuinely interested in making a difference and doing good work, but she certainly didn’t sign up for this to be all work and no play. And if you are going to deal with all the crap, you might as well enjoy the perks.

      • Elaine says:

        Exactly @LAK, her new job is managing Harry and making sure he doesn’t f*ck their PR shizz up ;-)

        I hope this tiny run-up of bad press (“wobbly” curtsey that was just fine, alleged tongue-stick-out when she was only licking her lips) has made her aware of exactly where she (sadly) stands on the Royal food chain. Dead last.

        For them (the DM) to start so hard and go all in with the negative articles suggests that they are very threatened by her potential and the Queen’s instant approval. Being invited to Sandringham (!) and the staff Christmas party(!). Doing her first Royal engagement (!) the week of the announcement of their Royal engagement. And aceing it all (JMO).

        Yeah, this movie is called, ‘The Establishment strikes back’.

      • Serphina says:

        I too, agree with Lak. She is smart enough to know better. I think this is much ado about nothing right now (As others have said before me). It was New Year’s and they are still
        Courting. Let the sh!t keep hitting the fan and MM will realize she better take the wheel.

      • Milla says:

        Just how Kate gets all the blame.

        She worked until recently, he never really worked in his lifetime. And he should be serving the country, cos the UK is paying for that lifestyle.

        What’s their point, again?

      • Redgrl says:

        @LAK – well put -agree with your assessment.

      • Bella Dupont says:

        @LAK

        You are 1,000% correct, re her running the show (if she knows what’s good for her, at least)…..I suspect she knows this already.

        I do have a question though…..something that’s been worrying me as a full fledged pleb……

        Is she/are they allowed to be commercially active (aka make money) somehow? Are they allowed to trade, run businesses, run commercial ventures at the same time as be working royals? Because the thought of her struggling financially should this whole thing go tits up (a la Fergie), leaves me short of breathe with panic.

        Do you know?

      • LAK says:

        Bella: technically they could, but it would be difficult to separate out the public and the commercial. Sophie and Edward tried it for a few years and they came acropper. To be fair, Edward was a dud from the get go whilst Sophie was running her own business as well as performing royal duties. Still, it became too easy for the media to accuse them of using royal privilege to run their businesses and eventually after the inevitable scandal, both quit.

        Fergie was royally shafted in her divorce settlement. Handcuffed AND left up the creek without a paddle. With gigantic debts that they refused to cover. She had no other options except to monetise her status to recover. She’s still financially shaky, but not to the extreme she was at the divorce.

      • Princessk says:

        @Lak…why do you say Fergie was shafted in her divorce? I am sure there was enough money for her to buy a modest property and live quietly but she wanted to continue to be in the limelight and lead a jet set life, and that is how she went bankrupt and was forced to put her name to all manner of tacky ventures.

      • Bella Dupont says:

        I’ve never understood why this family is so pitiless towards Fergie. I don’t know her story indepth, but i’ve never heard anything bad enough to justify the PARIAH status she seems to have tattooed on her fore-head.

        With regards to Meghan, if I were her, I would sit down with the Financial advisers of the family and have several long conversations to determine what I can and cannot do wrt earning a living outside the family.

        She needs to invest whatever she has wisely and leverage it to ensure that she’s always financially secure. In fact, for me, not being able to be independently, commercially active would be a major deal breaker.

        Over my rotten corpse would I accept being the financially desperate, baby mama at the mercy of a pitiless establishment, designed to preserve the status and position of the royal-born against the “outsiders”.

      • babykitten says:

        @Elaine, I hope that HM adores Meghan, but it seems a little silly to believe that certain news media are “threatened” by it. I hope the BRF will pull Meghan into the fold and love her for herself. In the meantime, I don’t know that the rush is personal to Meghan (other than the obvious). Harry is a favorite, his grandfather is 96 years old, and maybe it’s important to him and HM that Philip be part of the festivities.

        Also, although fertility medicine has become very advanced, Meghan is in the horribly named “geriatric pregnancy” territory. Many women have children effortlessly at this age, but Harry has always seemed to want more than the 2-3 that has become average of his brother/cousins.

      • babykitten says:

        @Bella Dupont, I’m just repeating things that I’ve read in the media at the time, and then supplemented here, but Fergie did some thoroughly humiliating things. It wasn’t so much an affair, it was getting photographed topless with a man who wasn’t your husband sucking your toes, and your small children being nearby. Then she was passed on to yet another American who was photographed holding her daughters.

        I admired her greatly for her comeback tour at the time. She wrote what seemed to be a very honest book, where I learned of the existence of the “gray” men, she seemed to have Oprah rooting her on, she got a lucrative contract with Weight Watchers (?) and was working hard on paying down her debt. She had that very vulnerable moment in one of the her charities where they were very loving toward her and she cried. She seemed to focus very hard on her daughters, and maintained such a good relationship with Andrew that they continued to share a home. But she continued to spend outrageous amount of money, and I’m not so sure she cared whose money it was.

        For me, the unforgivable act was when she was caught on camera selling access to Andrew. She looked either haggard, or even drunk, and it was just devastating. Even so, the BRF hides her away from Philip and includes her around Christmas. Some say when Philip dies Fergie will slowly come back into the family. I guess that may depend on Charles.

        And a small part of me thinks the family resented how she came on fast and hard and became such a favorite, especially in the US. And people do so love to tear down those they’ve built up. Which is what concerns me with the OOT worship Meghan is receiving from some. It would be almost impossible to live up to that hype.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Fergie herself admitted that she didn’t ask for a settlement, that she only wanted to remain in HM’s good graces. Money that would have gone to Fergie was instead put in trust for Beatrice and Eugenie, along with investing in property in their names. A couple of years ago, a piece of that real estate sold after 20 years of steadily gaining in value. All of that money went to B&E, not to Fergie.

        Big mistake on HM’s part. She should have said, “That’s sweet dear but we’ll take care of you.” Put her in a small property at Windsor or Sandringham (Wood Farm or smaller), small allowance that covered a very low-key lifestyle, and made sure she wasn’t a problem. Instead, they ended up with Fergie living off Andrew at Royal Lodge for 20 years, plus her often embarrassing money-earning antics including Finding Fergie tv show, declaring bankruptcy but somehow buying half of a 20 million Swiss chalet (Paddy McN anyone), etc.

      • LAK says:

        PrincessK: no, there was not. Her daughters received 90% of her settlement in trust. She herself received peanuts. Not enough to buy a property for herself, nevermind 2 royal daughters who had to be kept in royal style because the Palace demanded it. Remaining at Sunninghill with Andrew was the most practical solution to that conundrum.

        Further, every year that she was a royal, she ran up debts. The privilege of being royal meant that they were covered regardless or the creditors wrote them off. The royals refused to cover the debt she ran up in her final year and it was revealed to be over £3M.

        She had no choice but to monetise her status to pay it off. And once that was done, she continued to monetise her status to pay for herself. She’s still financially shaky because she remains a spendthrift.

        The public assumes her divorce settlement was fabulous because she didn’t visibly change her lifestyle, but it was peanuts. By any standards. It was based on Andrew’s career as a naval officer. Didn’t touch his trusts nor was his status and that of her daughters considered. Ditto the lifestyle she had become accustmed to.

        In her autobiography, she says she was so embarrassed by the fall out of the toesucking pictures that she didn’t fight any of it, but walked away with the peanuts she was given.

        Her daughters were taken care of properly, but due to her spendthrift ways, their portion was put into trust and managed by others.

      • Lorelai says:

        @Elaine: ITA with everything you said. That article about her sticking her tongue out was absurd. Clearly she would *not* do that and the camera caught an unfortunate split-second.

        And her curtesy was better than Kate’s, FFS! At least she bowed her head down. She wasn’t “wobbly,” she just didn’t have any room between the back of her boot and the step.

        People really want to jump all over this woman for every little thing. It is so sad to watch play out.

        My only quibble: is she really “last” on the food chain if she is the one member of the family with the most international press interest, at least right now? I heard on some podcast that she has surpassed the Kardashians w/r/t requests to plastic surgeons from people who want her nose. I realize this is a completely asinine example, but isn’t the Queen’s biggest concern to keep the BRF relevant? And right now, MM is the one doing that.

      • Lorelai says:

        @Milla, doesn’t William also get a TON of the blame? Especially on here?

        @LAK: now I want to read Fergie’s autobiography!

    • Carrie1 says:

      It’s as if he’s having a tantrum. I would not have a partner like that for anything.

    • Egla says:

      As someone said up thread the security they have is responsible for the travel arrangement, so it’s not like HE decides how many rows to take on a plane. There are protocols in place, rules etc. Usually the travel planes are made in advance bare something extraordinary happening. Let’s face it, he may be 6 in line to the throne but right now he is the son of the future king of GB. Until his brother becomes king he will be treated as the son of the king as such he will have protection, money, housing and perks as the son of the king. And I bet even after William becomes king her will take good care of his brother. That said vacations are not a big deal at all. I am dirt poor and I can manage once per year to go somewhere for 3-4 days. If I could I would go once per month. I know about the discussion here about the funding but in the end that has been resolved by giving them the means to earn their living through The Duchy etc (not very clear on the details).
      As for her let her be. She is engaged to a man that has little to no control over his destiny and she has to tag along. They will do as much as they are allowed by the circumstances. He already is doing good things that have value and I am sure they will do good work together but sure they won’t change the world as we know it.
      Also, sorry long post, I have a theory as to why they are allowed to take it slow. The queen herself has said that she cherished her time in Malta as a young married family. They were allowed to live in peace, enjoying their life there doing little to nothing work wise till she had to step in. I think she has allowed WK and now Harry to enjoy some downtime. For now there are still a lot of working royals around. Just my opinion

      • notasugarhere says:

        She never lived in Malta full time, and she was doing work for her sick father the whole time. She visited Philip 4 times, totally about 4 months in two years.

        The Malta thing was spun by reporters as an excuse for W&K’s laziness. We were told she was going to “hit the ground running” in the engagement interview and right after the wedding it was “She won’t work, she’s going to be a full-time housewife in Wales” (complete with four household staff).

        Most of the working royals are post retirement age. Several of them have had serious health issues in recent years. Philip begged to retire in his 90th birthday interview; William turned tail and ran from royal work.

        There is plenty of work to be done in a nation where 1 in 4 people cannot pay their heating bills, 1 in 7 youth have been homeless at one time, 30 percent of children are classified as “poor”.

      • Egla says:

        @notasugarhere I see. So the Malta thing was not the long thing I imagined??? Don’t get me wrong here. I work 8-4 with 45 minutes commute each way 5 days a week and I can barely make it at the end of the month so sure I get the HUGE privilege they are living. I can see the laziness oozing from them but also I don’t expect anything more from them. William and Harry were sheltered at max, the Keen One was basically a “call girl” for William for ten years and did nothing prior so why expect her to do wonders?? This new one is a working girl and I am in no doubt that she has the willingness to do a lot but trust me that she choose this man and this life and she will behave accordingly. She will not outshine anybody and she will enjoy the perks of this life. Unless they are forced otherwise I think the people of the GB have to accept them as they are.
        I think I have said this before but IF I was the QUEEN I would give them time tables to fulfill if they wanted to maintain the lifestyle. As things are it’s pointless to pretend more from them. They will continue their life as they know best.
        Sorry to hear about those statistic and I truly hope they are not true for GB. Still better than mine

  7. GreenTurtle says:

    Ugh, we need new pictures. I’m so tired of looking at the poopy mushroom cap hat of doom.

  8. Lorelai says:

    You have to love her stepsister’s hustle. “Read my book with facts and photos!” 😂

  9. whatever says:

    Essentially they are taking a vacation….from their vacation. Not much different from the rest of the younger Royals.

  10. Kate says:

    I’m not one of the superfans of the couple – they remind me too much of Fergie and Andrew for that – but I fail to see the issue here. This period is always relatively calm for the royals and it was New Year.
    What I’m interested about is who was with them. First, we heard about Meg’s mum but not her dad. Has Harry even met him? Will he be here at the wedding? Will he walk her daughter down the aisle? If not and Meghan and him are estranged, then fine. But if he plan to attend and is still part of his daughter’s life, it’s weird that he has not met Harry.
    Second point is about the group of friends that is reportedly with them in the South of France (I think it’s near Nice, lovely city, awful people by the way). Since he began dating Markle, there have been lots of report about him changing for the better, maturing, etc. but I will not believe that if he’s still hanging out with the same group of titled assholes.

    • babykitten says:

      Fergie and Andrew are why I grow so tired of posters here accusing of “you know what” *wink wink* for those not jumping in joy for this wedding. I live my life on the daily evaluating my thoughts and experiences to work on and expunging any causal racism I’v absorbed throughout my lie.

      None of my criticism has evolved around Meghan’s biracial history, in fact, I had never heard about her and didn’t realize she was biracial until posters here make such a thing of it. I happen to believe Meghan has an interest in hanging with the elites, and in the U.S., that’s not an evil thing. We are not as hung up on the class system, and many of us are disgusted by the fact that someone will profit for lifetime by who’s vagina they passed through. I’ve always thought the hatred for Carole Middleton was a bit over the top, and she seems more a modern day Boleyn. Luckily, they planned their child for more than mistress.

      And for people who are genuinely stressed by those not having orgasms of joy hover this wedding, may I mention that many of use remember Andrew and Fergie. Fergie was the breath of fresh air that Americans at least adore. She and Andrew seemed made for each other. The chemistry was crackling, and they glowed like fireflies when they were with each other. Their love was strong enough that they continued to share a home after their divorce, raised two girls who are ten times the people their parent ever were, and there’s long been rumors that when Prince Philip passes on, a possible remarriage may occur. So those who lived through that period, well some of us are a little cynical of the it girl. Although I wish her the best. I think Harry will bore her.

      • hmmm says:

        ” I think Harry will bore her. ”

        Only if he runs out of money.

      • Olenna says:

        Runs out of money, hmmm? So, you think she’s a gold-digger because there’s no other reason to marry Harry or in to this family unless it’s for material gain?

      • notasugarhere says:

        I don’t see the parallels.

        Fergie was a very young 26 who had no idea who she was, who has always looked to other people for affirmation. Andrew was HM’s hyper-indulged favorite, who to this day has every bad thing about him scrubbed and hidden away.

        Harry has been lambasted from day one, ridiculed as a bastard for 3 decades, attacked as the spare, struggled in school because of undiagnosed dyslexia, used by his father and brother for PR. He’s finally started getting his act together and working with purpose, and hopefully has found a self-aware, confident adult who will be a good life partner.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I don’t know anyone who adores Fergie. She was always begging for money or trying to get people involved in a money scheme. She latched onto wealthy Americans and is shady as all get out.
        There is a lot of racism pointed toward Meghan. One way to tell is if more is expected of a minority than the majority. I see it on these threads all the time.
        Some of the same posters excuse Kate but Meghan isn’t even married yet, but every single thing is censured. Already.
        There is no chance to learn or make some mistakes as anyone would but instead she is supposed to be perfect RIGHT NOW. That is impossible. Harry doesn’t know either at this point.
        They aren’t like Fergie and Andrew.
        3 or 4 sightings and that is the conclusion?

    • Princessk says:

      Of course he will hang out with what you call, ‘titled assholes’, they are the people who have stood by him and will never run to to the Daily Dirt to sell stories for cash.

  11. Nicole says:

    Shocker.
    Also her family came all the way out of the woodwork last week. So cringe

  12. Becks says:

    This is a good example of something that should not be – and really isn’t – a big deal. They went away for a NYE trip with friends, like many people do, and considering how Harry grew up, and Meghan’s career, it makes sense that their NYE trip is not going to be renting a house in a small dinky mountain resort or an off-season beach town (both popular NYE trips around me, lol.) Things like security guards are a necessary part of their lives.

    But….that said….it just “looks bad,” especially given the (stupid, in my opinion) controversy over her engagement dress. It furthers the image of a wealthy, out of touch royal family and its surprising that Harry either doesn’t understand that or just doesn’t care.

  13. Rainbow says:

    Don’t know why people think Harry and Meghan would be any different. Meghan would not bring about changes in Harry or the British royal family. She’d be like the rest of them, either by choice or to follow the rules of that family. If Harry doesn’t want to work, why would Meghan want to work? If she didn’t like the lifestyle and the perks of being royal, she wouldn’t have agreed to marry Harry. She gave up everything for him. Of course she wants his lifestyle and the privileges.

    Truth is, they very well may be marrying for love. But we should stop denying that Harry’s status and title have nothing to do with it. Most women want financial stability in a partner. That’s a fact. Why shouldn’t Meghan love Harry AND want the wealth and privileges that come with him at the same time? Why is it a bad thing to consider that other factors aside from love played a part in their relationship? Does it make it any less romantic to think that Meghan may be like many women? Does it shatter people’s expectations that Meghan would be different and would put Kate to shame? Does it disappoint people to think that, maybe, Meghan isn’t so special and extraordinary after all?

    • Lady D says:

      It seems so important to you that everyone knows she had a ulterior motive for falling for Harry. Why, and why can’t it just be love? I mean, I don’t care either way, but you seem bound and determined to make sure people know there was no way she just fell for Harry. It has to be his position and wealth too. I’m not trying to argue with you Rainbow, I just think it’s possible they simply fell in love.

      • Jen says:

        It’s possible that they fell in love, but from what we’ve heard of Meghan, I don’t see what Harry has to recommend himself other than his money/title. She’s beautiful, successful on her own, and driven. He’s a laze-about, average looking fellow who has accomplished practically nothing and works less than his 95 year old grandparents.

      • Jen
        People don’t fall in love because of one’s resumé. I don’t know their situation but maybe Meghan found Harry to be warm, attentive, funny and emotionally accessible. Maybe he makes her feel adored, admired and swept off her feet. Maybe Harry found her to be full of integrity, captivating, caring and a safe emotional harbor. Maybe they can be themselves around one another. Maybe they make one another feel complete. Maybe they both feel like they finally got it right. I don’t know but why is it impossible to believe it could be love?

      • Bella Dupont says:

        Its becoming increasingly clear too me that this couple are like a rorschach blot. it’s not really the individuals themselves that are interesting, it’s peoples perceptions of them that are.

        It seems to me that peoples readings of the couple is really a reflection of who they are, their personality types and their thought processes in general……..

        People’s views run the gamut from optimistic, cynical, hopeful, suspicious, admiration, contempt etc. and we see this reflected in the range of views about them as well.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I don’t see this as gold digging because there isn’t enough gold to be dug and you have to work while digging.
        Miranda Kerry dug and didn’t have to lift a finger to do anything and won’t especially after giving birth to anchor the relationship and shop.
        No one would go through this without feeling for the person very deeply, and in my view, this is what this is.
        Harry is dyslexic, so it is mean to call him dumb. It is a Windsor family problem, and Beatrice has it too. I wager many of them have had it or have it now. That might be why they have a reputation for not being very bright.

  14. Aerohead21 says:

    I don’t care how they rang in the new year. I was off work too :) granted I work nonstop 5 days a week but that’s beside the point. I’m not wealthy. I don’t have that luxury.

    Anyway, the family thing…they probably were closer in those years both her brother and sister mention – during her childhood. But if you look at when the last time either of them have spoken to her, it’s been several years. The two that are claiming family aren’t actually close to her. At least in the last decade-ish, and if you include her previous marriage, she probably didn’t have what she considered a close family where everyone gathers around and has a family meal at the holiday.

    Then again, I thought what Harry said was a bit insensitive too. I’m sure at least one person in that family tried to give Meghan the family experience. It may not have been something out of the 50s, but she wasn’t an abandoned child.

  15. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Why is this an issue. Seriously? I hope they enjoy their alone time celebrating the new year. They aren’t even married yet – she has plenty of time to jump in and get to work. But you know…we can already see that Meghan will be held to “higher” standards than Kate.

  16. Jenna says:

    I think Harry misspoke and people got too much time on their hands reading into it. It is a family she never had, imagine marrying into the royals, definitely unlike the family she has:)

  17. Kcat says:

    How dare they go away during a holiday. A newly engaged couple enjoying a romantic New Years together, how horrible.

    • MellyMel says:

      LOL exactly!! Off with their heads *eyeroll*

    • seesittellsit says:

      Because they aren’t any newly engaged couple and they owe some bona fides to the British public? She’s wearing a $200,000 engagement ring (for the record, Diana’s ring that Kate now wears was under $100,000, around $80,000), her dress for the engagement photos cost $65,000, and it’s a safe bet she isn’t paying any rent to help defray the costs on that cozy cottage at Kensington Palace.

      In the game Meghan’s entering, perception is everything. That’s the whole point: they aren’t any newly engaged couple, and there are people out there in still-austerity Britain whose exhaustion is due to quite a bit more than picking out expensive clothes, waving to photogs on three days out of the last 45, and minding your Ps and Qs at two family meals.

      It’s the way it looks.

  18. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Good Morning America just reported on it – they flew British Airways – ECONOMY CLASS. So everyone can put their pitchforks away now.

  19. Petty Riperton says:

    Y’all thought the soon to be wife of Prince Henry I barely do more than my brother of Wales would out work her new homegirl Katie Keen? LMAO The only thing I ever saw her doing is out dressing Kate which she has so she has lived up to my expectations already.
    Any wife of Harry was going to have a hard time regardless. Considering Harry was the royal go to punching bag granted he brought some of it on himself but Willy was mr untouchable.
    Harry’s wife would literally have to be perfect for the press to like her.
    Which Meghan isn’t, so they should say f*** it and do their own thing let the chips fall.

    Rich royal people doing rich royal people things.

  20. Mary says:

    Why flying in economic if your are going to buy 3 rows to be more private ? why no first class and be done with the whole” i’m just like you guys”? This seems like an unnecessary waste of money and not to mention all those people who where left without a ticket in New Year’s eve for this whim. They should hire a new PR team , this one is not doing them any favor in gain sympathy

  21. Linda says:

    I dont understand why people thought they would be different and they just keep doing things to make my thoughts on their do little and spend lots and vacations ahoy seen right.

  22. Monsy says:

    I just read Harry’s comments :
    “Harry added that the Royals were ‘the family she’s never had’” Damn, that was cold.
    They both could have handled this a lot better, all of this, but that comment, imo, was innecesary and hurtful.

    • Lorelai says:

      As an only child, I don’t think he meant any harm — he just meant it will be different for her to have such large family gatherings. Plus now she’s an aunt of two, soon to be three.

      Harry puts his foot in his mouth a LOT and I’m always happy to call him out on it but I really think this was just an honest thought in his part, no slight to her family intended. He clearly adores her mother and it doesn’t seem like he would knowingly say anything that could be hurtful to her.

  23. Suze says:

    They are typical royals who are enjoying the perks of their positions. As Harry always has. This is just st the beginning of a lifetime of some work followed by lots of vacations. Buckle up folks.

    Since that’s how it is and always will be, it’s really all about how they manage their PR. Which hasn’t been done very skillfully so far. I lay the blame on Harry for that.

  24. Maria says:

    Well you got to admit, Monaco sounds a heck of a lot better than staying in damp Sandringham shooting birds for fun. Maybe they will even get to meet some of the Monaco Serenes.

  25. klc says:

    Why do we call spending an hour at a ribbon cutting work? What Royals do for ‘work” is pretty ridiculous.

    • Tina says:

      We don’t have that many new things in this country. Most of it is not ribbon-cutting. Most of it is attending really dull meetings of organisations that would go bust without royal patronage.

      • klc says:

        Ok so that is actually working? Sitting in a meeting for a couple hours a week? Do people have such low expectations of the monarchy that people actually believe this is work?

        I am not saying they have to jackhammer streets for it to be considered working but they are essentially being paid millions of dollars a year to sit in a meeting?

      • LAK says:

        Klc: it depends on the royal. Some are more involved than others. They extend themselves beyond the meetings and photo ops.

        Sadly, the most high profile amongst them eg WK are also the ones that won’t extend themselves beyond the photo op, even where they claim to hold meetings.

      • The Original G says:

        Well, I get paid to sit in meetings and I actually consider it work.

      • Erinn says:

        The Original G-

        But I’m going to assume that like me – those meetings directly affect your work life. For a lot of the Royals they get to breeze in and out, put on a nice show, then move on with their life. They also likely have support staff doing the heavy lifting for them at these meetings.

        Meetings that I attend are generally based on my day-to-day work life / operations. I don’t get to just sit back and watch and not think much more about it. I have to pay attention, be engaged, and pose any possible concerns beforehand to make sure that I don’t get screwed. I then have to go back to my job and carry on working.

    • thaliasghost says:

      Once made a very, very innocent comment at a meeting to my boss. I was being made to use my private social media accounts to leave positive comments on our products to which I didn’t say anything but nod agreeingly. He then made a joke about he would make his friends to the same and now they would all get amazon notifications about things they would never buy. I laughed and basically just agreed with him ‘yeah, that always happens when you research weird stuff.’

      Got severely yelled at for 30 minutes. Very personal, very hurtful, the sword of being fired hanging over me any second. I just sat there and had to smile, swallowing everything. We’ve all had moments like this. This is WORK.

      I hardly believe any of the Princesses and Princes have ever, ever been treated like tis or lived in fear of their bosses reaction walking on eggshells. Such hard workers they are.

  26. Cher says:

    I don’t have any issues with this, Meghan worked on her show before the announcement of the engagement, she deserves some down time before the count down to the wedding.

  27. MellyMel says:

    Am I missing something? Cause I don’t see what the big deal is. I was off for 8 days from my job! It’s the holidays and New Year’s….if people are able to, they take time off to spend with the friends and families. Why would they be working during this time of year? I feel some are grasping at straws to dislike this couple…

  28. chlo says:

    omg. people take vacations around the holidays like this. i’ve certainly traveled somewhere for new years eve. and who cares about the helicopter. i’d use the damn helicopter.

  29. Sharon Lea says:

    If they went to Monaco, can’t help but wonder if Albert and Charlene invited them? Albert has been asked about Meghan being an actress, with of course his mother becoming a princess. And he made a supportive comment at the time.

    The DM had an interesting article about Michael Fawcett, Charles ex-valet 1/1/18 and his ‘annual salary’ and it states ‘Michael is probably the most influential person in the Prince’s life — and that includes the Duchess of Cornwall.’…I am curious if he will have anything to do with planning Harry’s wedding…like if they have to use him, hope not.

  30. Ollie says:

    I wonder who is with her sick dog? I mean tge one that has 2 broken legs (not the one she left in the US).
    Maybe still in animal hospital? Or hopefully with people he knows? Poor doggie so much stress and pain in so little time.

  31. The Original G says:

    And this, is why the BRF must end. No one will ever be satisfied with them. If they don’t live the life of government civil servants (or even if they do) they will always be a target for the ambient anger of the general public. A mid-level royal and a mid-level TV actress are not news.

  32. Madpoe says:

    Vacation?! From What??
    Every time I turn around famous folks are on a vacation break.

  33. Iknowwhatboyslike says:

    Megahn and Harry aren’t married yet. Does she really have to work pre-marriage? Did Diana, Sarah Ferguson, Kate, Camilla? Just wondering why anyone would expect Meghan to be a work horse in the months leading up to her wedding? She’s not, technically, a royal.

  34. Jen says:

    I don’t think the vacation is a big deal. Their lives are pretty much one big vacation. I don’t understand the comments about needing a break before the wedding, though. They’ll have the best (and most expensive) party planners at their disposal. They won’t be assembling favors and making seating charts! Many, many people plan their weddings without help while working full time.

  35. HK9 says:

    I really don’t think this is a big deal. They went on a short vacay, most people are still on Christmas break. This ‘Meghan should be saving the world right now’ is a bit premature. I expect that they will have similar numbers to W & K and I don’t have high hopes for some amazing “platform”. This will evolve over time like everything else….

  36. Royal Suitor says:

    Ummm…They took a quick trip over new year’s getting away after an intense visit with family during the holidays. The shock! The horror! This feels like what most people do or wish they could do. Slow down before we break out the pitchforks. They also just announced their next joint engagement for next week. Again back to work post-holidays like most folks. I know expectations are high (perhaps unreasonably so) but let’s keep some perspective.

    • Veronica says:

      One engagement, in 7 days from now, is “getting back to work”? Talk about perspective!!
      Where do I apply??

      • Royal Suitor says:

        Pretty sure kensingtonpalace.com accepts applications online. Might be 25 years before the next round of royals are spouse hunting but it can’t hurt to get those applications in early.

        But seriously, they’re not even married yet and you want her working a full schedule. Can we wait until it’s official?

    • notasugarhere says:

      Wasn’t the total for Kate Middleton four engagements from time of engagement announcement until wedding? Meghan Markle will have done two as of January 9th, plus the Christmas Day family gig. That gives her four months to do two more official engagements and equal what was done by KM during the same period in her life.

  37. Kimsan says:

    I’m confused, what’s the issue. This time last year they went on vacation and it was romantic now it’s a misstep, why?

    • Lobbit says:

      I’m completely confused by the outrage too.

    • Veronica says:

      I think it is the culmination of their missteps the past few weeks. The engagement interview, in which Harry let out that they have been to AFrica twice, not the once that was publicly known. Jamaica wedding. Flying back and forth to Canada with bodyguards, paid for by the British taxpayers. Another trip now. Did they go to Norway last winter? I don’t think it was ever determined. Then the 75K dress, Harry saying that he “worked” on Christmas by shaking about 1/2 dozen hands.
      Meghan is going to bear the brunt of any missteps they make. She is the outsider, not even British. The people are going to resent spending extra $$ on her, and you can’t really blame them when Britain is under austerity measures and they seem to be clueless about the optics and how extravagant a helicopter ride for 7 minutes sounds to the general public.
      Plus, Kate is the future Queen so can get away with a lot more. Meghan is marrying a mid-level royal, so spending the taxpayers’ money like it is going out of style?? Fastest way to be excoriated by the press and the public.

      • Lorelai says:

        Omg! The “Jamaica wedding” was the wedding of one of Harry’s good friends. Why on earth would anyone think he shouldn’t be able to attend that and bring a date? I don’t think most people consider going to someone else’s wedding a “vacation,” even a destination wedding.

        And how can you say with such certainty that Meghan is spending taxpayers’ money like it is going out of style? We have no idea who has paid how much or for what.

      • notasugarhere says:

        None of which equals up to the 10 vacations W&K took each year they were dating.

  38. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    Non story – this if very much the Fail setting them up to make the DoLittles look better. Lets not forget that the DoLittles have an in with the Fail through the Mids – the vile Editor in Chief Paul Dacre is supposed to be a Middleton family friend (remember that rag is the only one that will print nice stories about the Marshmallow King and PippaTips).

    If they were cancelling engagements to go on vacation, then yeah they should be called out for it. *cough*Twit and Twat cancelled several 2012 paralympic visits/events to go sunbathing nude on a balcony in the south of France to ‘prep’ for an overseas trip*cough* and *cough*Twit cancelled a hospice visit while pregnant citing HG but evidence of her at an airport in Scotland jetting off to ski was tweeted to the world*cough*.

    • notok says:

      Really…. dm didn’t write negative articles about kate for fifteen years with sniping headlines? LOL And those other things you wrote OLD news, very very very old news and not all true. Not to say they didn’t make mistakes ofcourse they did they are human after all. And those nicknames it is so childish and i have to laugh not because it is funny but because you think is …. LOL

  39. spidee! says:

    Given the length of the motorcade that Obama travelled in whilst in London, three rows of seats in economy class seems fairly modest to me! :)

  40. Beluga says:

    “Many people gave the Duchess of Cambridge some time to figure things out and self-correct (or be corrected), and I’m hoping Meghan is given that same time.”

    Quite right. Some people are still saying Kate is easing into the job, nearly 7 years later!

    For my part, it was 3 years before I got sick the excuse (I’m very generous, apparently!), so Harry and Megan have until May 2021.

  41. Starlight says:

    They mentioned going somewhere warm in the engagement interview so I suppose Nice is moderate sunshine at this time but hey Megs wants to speak French again so she hinted. Of course I expect they didn’t want to out stay their welcome at Amner Hall besides it’s the hunting season full on fox hunting a veritable fest of shooting pheasant and lovely game. Sadly Harry has his hands tied behind his back on that one tradition. Him slumping in the back of that BA jet to south of France with his hat over his face next to the toilets and her in her beanie hat smothering him great start to the new year.

  42. Patty says:

    Yeah. I’m totally confused, how is this a mishap? They took a quick vacation for NYE. Also Megan has been a working actress for the better part of the last decade; that being said, she’s always had the luxury of being able to take vacations and get significant time off. Acting is not a Monday-Friday 9-5 job. You may work 16 hours six days a week for six months and then have 3 months off or longer.

    They aren’t married yet! I would imagine that they will do some engagements but will keep the schedule light anyways until they actually tie the knot and that makes sense. God forbid they start doing all of these couple engagements and then don’t actually make it down the aisle. That would be a disaster.

  43. WyoGirl says:

    How do you “party like a tycoon?”

  44. Bbelle says:

    Taking up 3 rows on a plane & the helicopter? What about global warming?

  45. themumy says:

    Why would she be working for the RF at this point? They JUST got engaged. She’s not part of the family yet. She’s planning her wedding. Also, I imagine after the stress of being introduced to the RF, the world as Harry’s fiance, and all of that protocol, a little vacation is reasonable and probably a good idea. I see no problem with this.

    • Veronica says:

      Meghan deserves a vacation a lot more than Harry does. But if she starts playing the game the way he does and his brother and sister-in-law do, she will pay a bigger price because she is the spare’s wife, newer, American, divorced, and ex-actress. Mostly that she is American. She needs to tread very carefully here in this situation.

    • notasugarhere says:

      As I wrote above. iirc KM did four engagements between the engagement announcement and wedding. Meghan Markle will have done two by January 9th plus the family Christmas event. That gives her four months to do two more engagements to equal what was done by KM in the same period.

  46. Honest B says:

    15 degrees Celsius, pleasant vacay weather? WTF?

  47. BegoneOrangeCheeto says:

    The vacation doesn’t bother me. Lots of people go away for the holidays. Now if this continues to happen like it did with Kate and Will, then I might be slightly put out. But for now, let them enjoy their engagement and the fun that goes along with it. But, as much as I’m a big fan of Meg’s, be careful putting her on a pedestal (which I’ve seen people do on other sites) – there’s only so much change she can do in that family and they’ll surely not let there be another Diana.

  48. seesittellsit says:

    In the “representative monarchy” game, perception is everything, logic means nothing. They serve, in the most basic sense, at the pleasure of the public. A few too many PR missteps looking like the very rich people they are can, in the long term, further rend the already flimsy fabric they rest on. They aren’t any newly engaged couple – it’s the subliminal message being sent, even if unwittingly, that will count in the end.

  49. Peanut Gallery says:

    How long are all of the Meghan stans going to pretend she doesn’t love luxury? Of course she does. These two did nothing out of the ordinary for people in that echelon of society. There’s nothing really wrong with what they did but let’s not pretend Meghan is some thrifty “common things” loving type of girl. She’s not. And there’s NOTHING wrong with that.

  50. HoustonGrl says:

    Just another misstep from this oblivious couple. It’s one thing to go on vacation. It’s another thing to go to Monaco, a bastion of exclusive luxury. Even the queen plays it safe, spending most holidays in Scotland and going by train.

  51. Snap Happy says:

    I might get slammed for this, but here goes. I think this a non-story. I also thought the engagement dress was a non-story. These are very wealthy people. The people they associate are multi-million/billionaires. Of course the difference being that the royal’s funds are from the taxpayers, but, and please correct me if I am wrong, is there a budget given to these people? Like the funds Charles receives from Cornwall, are there designated places where this money should go? If they are given all this money with no rules, can’t they spend it however they want?

    • Tina says:

      There are no formal rules, we have an unwritten constitution. But there are expectations. As an example, the percentage of the income from the Crown Estates given to the Queen was increased from 15% to 25% in 2017. This is to pay for the badly needed repairs to Buckingham Palace. There is no official requirement that she use the money for this, but that is the expectation. Similarly, the royals have always given back in the form of engagements. Even Princess Margaret, that bastion of racism and privilege, knew what was expected and did it. She was often hung over and always grumpy, but she did it.

    • Lorelai says:

      @Snap Happy, you won’t get slammed by me! I agree with you that both this trip and the dress are non-stories.

      Going forward, especially after the wedding, their behavior will hopefully change. But we should give them some time before jumping all over them, IMO.

  52. 42istheanswer says:

    I can only concur with the many posters who pointed out that, while going on a nice little vacation is in and of itself no big deal for an engaged couple, Meghan and Harry are not just any engaged couple. Public perception matters to the nth degree when it comes to members of the royal family because, to put it bluntly, their lifestyle is entirely subsidised by British citizens.
    After the misstep concerning the cost of Meghan’s dress and all the bad press it generated, they should have kept their heads down and stayed in the UK for the New Year. Plenty of time to go to Monaco after the dust had settled. They did not and that was a mistake.

    Now, it so happens that Harry and Meghan cannot afford that many mistakes. I understand that it may seem unfair (especially to Americans who, from afar, might put all the royals in the same basket) but that is the reality of their specific position.
    A royal family’s legitimacy depends on just two things : a) granting an air of perennity (eternity even) to the State as an institution and b) looking like they are actually serving the people. That is why the main two duties of royals are : a) reproduce (continuing the legacy of the Crown) and b) go to openings, ceremonies, meetings and what-nots to appear like they are humble and truly useful in the real world.

    William and his wife, as future king and queen, have already fulfilled the biggest of their obligation by giving the Crown a future with soon three kids. That explains why so many people in the UK give them a free pass on the second type of duties (“work”) normally expected from royals.
    Harry and Meghan’s situation is the exact opposite. There are few expectations in regards to the first type of obligation (reproduction) for them because Harry is now a footnote in the line of succession. So they have to capitalise on the second one (looking active and “down to earth”). And right now, it does not appear that they do. That is a big PR no-no which, given that royals live and die by public perception, is bad news.

    I can only assume that such tone-deafness comes from Harry and not Meghan. However, she is tied up to him now and she is, out of the two of them, the much easier target for the British press; she is cannon fodder, he is not. The degree of media scrutiny surrounding them is going to be excruciating for the next two-ish years and, if they do no rectify their strategy quickly, there will not be much of Meghan left after that period of time.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Kate Middleton and William went on 10 vacations a year while they were dating. The annual vacation to Mustique still happened the Jan/Feb before their wedding as well, which would have entailed doubled security staff on that trip. Add in the $500,000 worth of security for their honeymoon during which they took a dozen friends, etc. H&M are no where near what W&K have done. Yet.

      They are not required to procreate. Thrones pass sideways easily, as recently evidenced in Belgium. Brother to brother to son. If W&K wanted children, that was their personal choice, but it is NOT part of the job description of modern royals.

      • 42istheanswer says:

        Meghan and Harry do not have to do “as bad” as William and Catherine to be punished twice as hard because their position is entirely different and the expectations that go with it are too.

        Future king and queen William and Catherine are expected to have kids and look pretty; once that is done, they can pretty much sit back and relax. Whenever they go too over-the-top with the doing nothing, they get a slap on the wrist, obviously, but nothing too harsh given that they have already fulfilled the most crucial of their obligations, namely having children.
        Harry and Meghan have to “earn their crust”, so to speak, for the future of the Crown does not rely on them in any way, shape or form. If they choose to have kids, wonderful for them, but if they do not, no one will care for it changes nothing for the perennity of the Crown. Therefore they have to stay as far away from the “sponger” tag as humanly possible. Which they have failed to do twice in a relatively short amount of time now.

        As for lateral successions, they are of course possible but I struggle to think of any contemporary example of a monarch chosing not to have children and passing the crown to a sibling as a result… I am no specialist of the Belgian monarchy but, to the best of my understanding and knowledge, the current monarch is King Philippe, son of former King Albert, and the heir apparent is Philippe’s oldest child, Princess Elisabeth. So, no lateral succession there as far as I can see.
        Having kids is part of the job description of modern royals, especially for heirs.

      • notasugarhere says:

        The current king of the Belgians is the result of a sideways succession (as is QEII in a way). King Baudouin and his wife had no children. The throne passed from Baudouin to his brother Albert. From Albert it passed to Albert’s son Philippe.

        W&K are required to do far more than look pretty, and no they are not required to reproduce.

        Until H&M go on 10 vacations a year for 10 years straight, I’m not going to worry about a 2-day New Year trip with friends.

      • 42istheanswer says:

        King Baudoin and Queen Fabiola did no have children because they could not have any. The Queen’s successive miscarriages were, tragically enough, known to the public but she and her husband tried to have children many times over. Certainly because they wanted to, as a couple, but also because they had to, as ruling monarchs.
        That is part of what monarchs and heirs must do and only the most extreme of circumstances can justifiably prevent them from it.

        As for royals having to do more than looking pretty, I am afraid I cannot concur. Queen Elizabeth has been the UK’s ruling monarch for over 60 years now but, from a purely objective standpoint, her life is one of very few achievements. She has not done anything significant for the State aside from ensuring the continuity of the monarchy by having four children; not because she is not a capable woman (I am certain she must be) but because it is not her role.
        Royals have to show up at events, be they high or low profile, shake a few hands, smile, not embarass themselves and patronise causes with the Crown’s money. That is about it. That is all they can be allowed to do in democratic / technocratic countries. For all intents and purposes, the most operative part of their “job”, namely the granting of money, could be done without them entirely.

        More than being useful, royals have to look useful to justify their privileged lifestyle and special social status. And the further down the line of succession they are, the more useful they must appear to be or the backlash is violent.
        Harry will never be king. The Crown will go on no matter what happens to him. So he and his wife-to-be have to be particularly mindful to look super useful (good value for money). So far, they have been a bit hit-and-miss in this department. It is not yet disastrous for it is just the beginning but things move fast.
        For now, the main public narrative is “they love each other very much, she bought a super expensive dress for a couple of pictures, they went on holiday to Monaco to have parties with super rich people”… Within two to three years, their public image will be pretty much cristallised and I sincerely hope for them it does not remain as it is right now.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Again, no they did not have to have children as evidence by the peaceful transfer of crown from brother to brother to son. They wanted children, were not able to have them, but were not required to have them by any stretch of the imagination.

        HM’s job for decades has been as apolitical advisor and voice of reason. That is one of the main purposes for keeping these royal poodles in their roles. She has been far more engaged politically in The Commonwealth, which isn’t often discussed.

        Royals are required to dress to the Firm’s dress code, but are not required to be pretty, fashionable, or expensively dressed. See Princess Anne. Letizia managed for 10 years to be elegantly dressed in inexpensive Spanish fashion brands.

        The bread-and-butter of showing up, paying attention to people, and acting like you care is important. Very important. But it is not all they do. See Charles with turning around The Duchy, Dumfries House, The Prince’s Trust, etc., Harry with Invictus Games, Sentebale, WWTW.

        It is when they get caught up in thinking themselves required to be fashionable – as Diana and Sarah did – that royals lose the plot.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Not sure where my answer went. It was a personal sadness to them that they did not have children, but they were not legally required to have them. The throne passed peacefully from brother to brother to son. No revolution, no loss of independence, no chaos in the country.

        There are cases where the inability to produce a direct-line heir makes a difference these days, but those are rare. In most of these taxpayer-funded, figurehead monarchies, it just isn’t a requirement.

        In Japan it remains a problem and a way to keep the Imperial Family under the control of the conservative government.

        Until laws were changed, unless Albert II of Monaco had a legally legitimate heir, the Principality risked losing independence and being subsumed under French law. Again, laws were changed so that is no longer the case.

        It continues in some of the random ex-royals of Germany, where they still have requirements of marrying within the Gotha or whatever. Gustav and Carina Axelsson come to mind, but title, money, and land will pass to either his oldest uncle or his cousin if he never marries under house rules and doesn’t have a son. Even Albert TNT doesn’t have this though. If he doesn’t have a son, if one of his sisters has a son that boy automatically becomes the next Furst.

  53. Valtoo says:

    Sheesh it’s the holidays! Why aren’t they allowed to go on vacation? I’m no where near as wealthy as they are but I take a few holidays a year. It’s how I keep my sanity from living in crazy NYC. As a matter of fact, I’m currently on my week long holiday in Miami! Work hard, play harder!

  54. Penguin says:

    I don’t think people care that they went on holiday. It’s the games they play that annoy – so they put it out there that they flew ECONOMY CLASS- OMG THEYRE JUST LIKE YOU OR ME! And then it comes out that they booked out 3x3x2=18 seats for 5 people. They should have just flown club as people expect and it wouldn’t have been such a stunt.

    The dress was a mistake- she could have worn it for their private photos and no one would have know and just worn a nice £500 for the public and everyone would have loved her. Optics are everything. They have misplayed the game. Fetishising ‘normal’ annoys people when they clearly don’t have normal worries like paying the mortgage or how to manage a job and childcare.

    I worked Christmas too Harry – a 12.5 hr shift looking after sick people. Not 20 mins shaking a few hands. He needs to grow up- what he said negated good stuff from the today programme and she needs to maybe take charge on how they play optics.

  55. Toot says:

    Exactly, none are working right now. It’s was a short holiday trip.

  56. whatever says:

    There are rumours that she will go traveling for a bit before the wedding. If true, its easy to see how one holiday after another could look bad. This is essentially what people blast William, Kate, Harry, Eugenie and Beatrice for.

  57. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Thank you. This is just dumb. I type this sitting in bed in my pjs on my New Year vacation. They took a short vacation after a holiday packed with his family and royal traditions. They deserve a few days alone.

  58. Hh says:

    RIGHT?! No one is blasting Will and Kate because they don’t work ALL the time. They got criticism because they did (and still do) minimal…MINIMAL work. That’s the their vacations always raise eyebrows. Normal people vacation to get away from the stress of daily work life. But if you’re not actually working, then you’re just gallivanting on the public dime.

    I don’t expect Meghan and Harry to work now or after their wedding. Everyone is allowed a honeymoon. I will also give Meghan a ramp up period. However, enjoy some time together and settle in. They’re making babies far sooner than Will and Kate did.

  59. Kelsey says:

    Agree with this. If it wasn’t a holiday I would be side-eyeing it but nearly everyone I know (including myself) was off a lot these past two weeks. It’s prime holiday vacation time. One of my co-workers is in Florida on vacation for the next two weeks.

  60. Nic919 says:

    They announced a joint appearance on Jan 9th. Silence from the Cambridges who haven’t done anything since early December.
    This is New Years and if we can confirm that all other royals were working during this time then it is fair criticism. Otherwise this is a stretch.

  61. LAK says:

    Let’s swap H&M’s names for B & E and watch everyone call them good for nothings on permanent vacation……..

  62. Imqrious2 says:

    I think the logistics for protection for her, just to “go traveling” on her own, would be nightmarish. I seriously doubt that rumor is true.

    ***And welcome back everyone! I really missed this place over the last 4 days! Lol

  63. Imqrious2
    Same lol. Waiting for the first post of the day was like waiting in line for concert tickets lol.

  64. magnoliarose says:

    Until she is on the luxury dole, I don’t think it is fair to expect the same from her at this point as if they are married. They are engaged, and she is being attacked like a spoiled wife. It is much too soon for that.

  65. Imqrious2 says:

    Not so much Eugenie, who has held down a long-term job, but let’s face it, Beatrice DOES go on vacation after vacation. Wasn’t it last year she racked up SEVENTEEN TRIPS?? Yeah, that’s a permanent vacation. Girl hasn’t held down a single job past a year at MOST all of her life.

  66. LAK says:

    Imqrious2: it was the year before, and that was over an 18mth period reported as one year. Except for 2 fortnight-long holidays that she took with her boyfriend every year for the decade they dated, the rest were 2 day trips just like this one. She went to weddings, weekends away with various friends or her parents or visit with her sister…..all were reported as if she had gone for fortnight at a time. And all framed as though she were lolling about doing nothing.

  67. Imqrious2 says:

    And what full time job did she hold drying this period, LAK?

  68. MrsBump says:

    @lak – agreed. I like Meghan too, but people here are treating her like the second coming of Jesus. Every mistake is brushed away and dismissed, but if anyone else did they same, they’d be pilloried.
    She’s messed up with the dress, that’s undeniable. She was also, shockingly, completely outshined by Kate at the church thing, and had a terrified deer in the headlights look the whole time..but that’s not her fault, she’s new to this, but it did made me realise that Kate makes it all seem effortless. I looked back on the first time Kate attended the xmas service as the then fiancee, and she looked confident and polished. I have to admit i have newfound respect for her, if an actress can’t pull it off, it must not be easy.
    I dont care that they go on holiday but the whole economy class thing seems silly. We know they are millionaires, why pretend to be part of the hoi polloi? It seems designed to mitigate criticism after that dress, but ( like the dress :) ) its so transparent that everyone can see through it.

  69. notasugarhere says:

    Imqrious2 during that time she was doing a year long internship with Sony, and was hired on for a year after that. Then she did a business and investment training program, which is what I understand she’s working in now.

    She’s a private citizen with famous relatives, hated ones which is why these two sisters have been kicked in the teeth from day one for no reason.

  70. Olenna says:

    @MrsBump, so would it satisfy you if everyone criticized MM, no matter how petty the slight? The bodice of the dress you disapproved of was lined. Did you see anything improper? I didn’t. You say KM out-shined MM like it’s a truth, not a subjective observation. From a fashion standpoint, I didn’t care for MM’s ensemble, but she looked attractive and presentable. What she didn’t look like, IMO, is immature and smug in an adult-size version of a Shirley Temple coat and gauche fur hat. You say MM looked nervous the entire time. In my eyes, that’s an exaggeration. I saw a minute or less of nervousness while she was being coached by 2 or 3 people. Bottom line, everyone one of us sees something in celebrities or royals that we do or do not like; we may even feel envious of them at times. But, I haven’t seen enough wrong with MM to want to find fault in everything she does, especially for taking a holiday trip that she likely had no input in arranging.

  71. magnoliarose says:

    I like the Yorks. They have problem parents but by all accounts are pleasant and friendly. They are in a strange position because of Fergie and Andrew. Not their fault at all but if Fergie had been great and dynamic, their lives would have been much better. Oh, an if creeper Andy wasn’t their father. He is disgusting.
    It will only get worse when HM goes because Charles loathes Andy and I don’t think Fergie is high on his list either.

  72. MrsBump says:

    @olenna – Of course i dont believe people should criticise MM for every slight. I think its unfair that Kate seems to be fair game for everyone though.
    However a 57,000 pounds dress is not a small mistake, and my comment about it being sheer was a joke (see smiley face). She did however hand the Daily Mail hoard a stick to beat her with, with that choice of gown.
    As for MM looking terrified, yes that was my opinion, and being an opinion it is of course subjective. I shouldn’t have to add a disclaimer next to it. You are entitled to disagree with it obviously.
    Lastly i never criticised her vacation, simply their ill judged attempt at garnering positive feedback for flying economy, when nobody expects them to.
    I understand that a lot of people identify with MM much more than they would ever do with Kate, but sanctifying one and crucifying the other leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I was genuinely impressed with how easy she makes the whole family parade look, and it took poor Meghan’s nervosity to make me realise that it’s not as easy as it looks.

  73. LAK says:

    Imqrious2: the DM took a timeframe of 2014 to 2015. She was employed at Sony throughout 2014, and Employed from the Spring of 2015 at Sandbridge Capital. They included an official trip she took with Andrew to the UAE, Christmas at Sandrigham, those 2 fortnight-long holidays she took with her boyfriend, 2 visits to NYC to see her sister, a Sandbridge Capital work conference, 3 destination weddings, weekends at her family’s new swiss chalet, and weekend networking trips with her boyfriend for his work, and weekend trips with her friends.

    Apart from the 2 fortnight-long holidays and Sandrigham, the rest were weekends away.

    Further, her friends are the kind that own yachts and mansions worldwide and private jets to get to them, so it all looks excessive when it’s her equivalent of going away to a friend’s weekend place if said weekend place was a mansion in the South of France or a yacht and you were using private jets to get there. Much like Harry and MM for this holiday.

  74. Olenna says:

    @MrsBump, thanks for the dress explanation but I understood your comments the first time. For the record, I really can’t be bothered with the opinions of DM readers. Collectively, they’re kinda like our MAGA deplorables: no reasoning with them, always feeling resentful, angry or shat upon, and forever the bigot or racist because they’ve got to feel someone is lower than they are on the class scale.

  75. Lorelai says:

    @Olenna: 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    I can’t believe people are still referencing DM comments as if they’re a valid source.

    Plus, people who state their opinion about something as subjective as fashion as fact are ridiculous. I think Meghan looked far better than Kate but realize that is JMO and am still LOLing at your spot-on Shirley Temple comparison :)

  76. Nic919 says:

    Oh KP just announced something for Kate and for Will Jan 10th… I guess the work shy articles are starting to have an effect.

  77. Princessk says:

    Yes, for people so desperate to see poor Meghan’s nose put to the grindstone KP have announced that:
    ‘Prince Harry and Ms. Markle will visit @ReprezentRadio in Brixton on 9th January, to see their work supporting young people through creative training in radio and broadcasting, and to learn more about their model of using music, radio and media for social impact’.
    I wonder what inevitable criticism this will draw.

  78. Lorelai says:

    @PrincessK, are you kidding? “Poor Meghan” and nose to the grindstone? Come on.

  79. Princessk says:

    @Abs…..Looool! LMAO 😂

  80. Veronica says:

    It is remarkable how people are so happy to support people who have no real accomplishments except being born from the right uterus. They deserve a vacation after holidaying with their family? That is the vacation to 99.9% of those who celebrate Christmas.
    Hey, it’s not my tax dollars but I’m still shaking my head.

  81. kaiko says:

    @veronica–you aren’t the only one. most ppl feel the same. but a majority of cb’ers love MM, they’re gonna defend her every move as the right one even if she is in cahoots up to her eyeballs. time alone will tell.