Jessica Mulroney won’t spill the Duchess Meg tea, but still profits from the connection


For the better part of a year, I’ve side-eyed Jessica Mulroney, wife of Canadian celebrity Ben Mulroney and BFF-stylist to the Duchess of Sussex. I didn’t know much about Jessica Mulroney, having first heard her name through the articles about then-Meghan Markle. I thought Jessica was likely some bored, well-connected, socialite trophy wife who dabbled in styling. I was wrong! I know that now. Jessica is a pretty big deal in Canada, and while she might sort of be a well-connected socialite/stylist, she’s not the vapid creature I had in mind. Jessica did make a name for herself internationally because of her friendship with Meghan, and Jessica parlayed that into a gig as a correspondent on Good Morning America. I doesn’t seem like Meghan minds. Now Jessica is sitting down for a lengthy profile with Harper’s Bazaar – you can read the full piece here. I came away from this… understanding Jessica’s whole deal a bit more. Some highlights:

Whether she considers herself a stylist: Though the public sees Mulroney as Markle’s “unofficial stylist,” Mulroney doesn’t consider herself a stylist at all—nor does she want to be one. “Styling is such a small part of what I do. I have, like, 10 jobs. People don’t know that I work so much on the back end of things. They think I’m just dressing people. My business is with brands.”

Her biggest job is promoting Canadian labels: For a demonstration of her approach to travel (lots of layers and an oversize Gucci bag), Mulroney shrugged into an animal-print coat from Nonie, revealing that Markle’s July 2018 appearance in a trench dress from the Calgary-based brand saved the house from shutting down. “It’s tough to be a designer. It is really tough to be a Canadian designer,” she says later, citing the challenges of entering the U.S. market, finding retailers, and sustaining a business. “Sometimes all you need is that onetime break and it’ll change your life. If you get your item on a celebrity, that’s almost like the top of the top—a new way of creating business.” In Mulroney’s world, every bare arm and empty earlobe are opportunities. “I have a lot of friends in the entertainment business and I myself have a significant Instagram account, so I can throw them a bone and wear the earrings if I like them. Or if I know somebody’s doing a red carpet, I’ll be like, ‘Hey, you should try these.’ It’s kind of organic, but if I can do it, it usually does help.”

On the royal wedding: Thanks to Mulroney’s background in weddings and her fashion expertise, the world assumes she worked with Markle to plan her May 2018 wedding to Prince Harry. The three Mulroney children—eight-year-old twins John and Brian and five-year-old Ivy—served as page boys and bridesmaid. “This is my first interview that I’ve done since the wedding or anything,” Mulroney admits, but that’s about all she’ll say about her best friend. “Listen, every person has to have a bit of privacy in their life. There are certain things I hold very dear and secret,” she states evenly. “There are things I’ll never talk about for sure. My life is an open book, but there’s always a few secret pages in the back that nobody will be able to read.”

She isn’t required to spill the tea on Meghan on GMA: Paparazzi photos show Mulroney arriving to the Mark Hotel, where Markle’s shower took place, and a few days later, the U.K. Daily Mail published an item blasting her talent, falsely reporting that her position with GMA was in jeopardy because she declines to talk about her association with the duchess on-air. “It’s not journalism. There’s no truth to it. [If] they decide they want to ruin somebody, they just will,” Mulroney asserts quietly. “It comes with the territory. There are so many benefits to certain things, but then also a lot of negativity that you have to deal with at the same time,” she says of invasive tabloid culture. “You have to stay positive.” Two days later, Mulroney announced the continuation of her relationship with ABC on Instagram. A GMA executive tells BAZAAR.com, “Jess is incredibly talented and brings a smart eye to accessible style. She is intimately involved with each of her segments from the initial pitch to the model fittings to each of the tips and takeaways for our viewers. We love working with her.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

As I said, I get it now. I feel like I have a better handle on Jessica’s relationship with Meghan. Meghan is likely happy for her friend, and happy that Jessica has an even bigger platform now. Jessica knows there are boundaries and she’s not going to sell out Meghan in the larger sense, but of course she’s profiting from the association, with Meghan’s blessing. All that being said, I still feel like Meghan needs a full-time, UK-based stylist/dresser just as a matter of convenience. Maybe that will happen months from now, after Meghan has the Polo Baby. Because it’s a tortured process to expect Meghan to contact Jessica in Canada every time Meg needs some new looks. They should still remain friends, but separate the “styling” thing from friendship.

Photos courtesy of Instagram.

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61 Responses to “Jessica Mulroney won’t spill the Duchess Meg tea, but still profits from the connection”

  1. Jen says:

    She benefits from it, but she doesn’t seem to try to push it. I’m glad Meghan has what seems to be a loyal friend.

  2. Hrefna says:

    Also, and most importantly in my view, Meghan should be promoting British brands as she is a British royal and is funding by the British taxpayers to represent Britain.

  3. Stef says:

    She’s interesting but hardly a big deal in Canada. I’m Canadian, long time Celebitchy reader, and hadn’t heard of her until the Markle association. I’ve seen her husband on TV. She has a famous last name with our former PM being Brian Mulroney, so there’s that.

    That first pic with the fake eyelashes is just too much for me. I’m looking forward to seeing the fake eyelash trend die.

    • Jadedone says:

      Let’s also not forget that her father in law stole $2 million dollars from the Canadian people and never suffered any consequences. Her husband directly benefitted from the theft so I have no time for either of them.

      • Becks1 says:

        I always forget about that until someone here brings it up. Was it just straight embezzlement? When he was PM?

      • Stef says:

        Oh yes, had forgotten about that. I do remember the “Tax this, Brian” bumper stickers with a pic of a middle finger.

    • Snazzy says:

      Me too actually! Whenever I see the name I just think of Brian Mulroney and NAFTA. I guess Ben is on TV or something right? Who knows. Anyway, good for her for protecting her friendship but also bringing in the $$

      • BCity says:

        He’s one of Lainey’s colleagues! I love her but sometimes side-eye some of her Sussex/Cambridge coverage because it’s, errrrrrrr, not the most objective at times.

    • sunny says:

      I think it depends on where you live in Canada. Are you in Toronto? I am based there and I have heard her name and seen her places for years.

      She probably has good name recognition here, Ottawa(?) and mtl, given her family and the family she married into.

      • Dee says:

        I’m in downtown Toronto and never heard of her until Meghan.
        And she can keep the stupid eyelash trend, but please god can people stop with the hideous lip fillers? It’s so grotesque!

      • Snazzy says:

        I’m from Calgary but don’t live there anymore. It’s just the Mulroney name that provides the name recognition 🤷🏽‍♀️

      • Stef says:

        I’m in Vancouver. That may explain it.

      • OriginalLala says:

        I’m in Ottawa, she is not a big deal here. people know her because she is married to Ben Mulroney but as a “stylist” or “brand expert” or whatever she calls herself, no. People only know about her in this way because of Meghan.

      • Dilettante says:

        Her family owns a high end shoe store chain, Brown’s.

      • Lady D says:

        B.C., and never heard of her until MM. Familiar with the father-in-law of course, nothing but a thief. I was glad to see the back of Brian Mulroney.

      • Carrie says:

        @ Diletantte – thank you! I’ve never understood how Jessica became what she is apart from her relationship with Meghan. *Now* I get it.

    • Pandy says:

      Her husband’s family is literally the ONLY reason she has “name recognition” – at least in Canada. And we only know “her”, the in-law, because of the Markle connection. And those fake lips and eyelashes are SO distracting! If that’s her brand, yikes!!!

    • Sammiches says:

      Yeah, prairies here and I was coming to say she is definitely NOT a big deal in Canada.

      • Redgrl says:

        Ottawa here – no one cares about her or knew of her except through her husband – and him for being the son of a former Prime Minister (also don’t watch his tv shows as I find his nepotism career irritating)

      • Tigerlily says:

        Sammiches. Another prairie girl here and same. Until the Meghan connection i’d Never heard of her. Definitely not a big deal or any kind of deal in the west. And don’t get me started on her father in law the crook/embezzler who tools literally bags of cash from lobbyists. Grrr

  4. MissyS. says:

    I must say that Harry and Meghan’s friends are way more supportive and protective of them than some of their family members. It’s been three years, and no one in their inner circle has revealed any major stories. We still don’t know where Harry and Meghan went on their honeymoon.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I agree – she is profiting from her connection to Meghan without selling Meghan out at all. The connection to Meghan and the royal wedding probably gave her a nice boost and she knows that and Meghan knows that and is okay with it.

    Now here is where I’ll admit that I thoroughly enjoy Jessica’s IG (I don’t follow her anywhere else.) She is very good at marketing herself on that social media platform. Its the kind of thing where – I have no idea what she is like IRL or what her life is “actually” like, but she’s selling a certain image for sure and she is good at it. I find her husband to be less good at it. He gets a bit snippier and his posts lack a bit of authenticity hers have – or seem to have at any rate. I cant describe it. Its like, she uses IG to create this fantasy world and we can just pretend we are in there with her. I know that sounds weird. She almost reminds me of the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, which I know is a crazy comparison, but Ree has also done a bang up job of marketing herself, her lifestyle and her image. It doesn’t matter if its real or not. People just want to pretend.

  6. Whatabout says:

    I feel like you didn’t add in the part where Nonie points out there business wasn’t struggling.

    I also didn’t like her “throw them a bone” line. Jessica’s famous client is Meghan Markle. Shes not Rachel Zoe with a long list of celebrity clients.

    I personally put Pippa and James Middleton on blast for profiting off of their sisters title and I feel I need to do the same towards Jessica Mulroney.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Would Nonie publicly admit it if they were struggling??
      And Rachel Zoe had a long list of clients but her pull was mostly red carpet. It gave high end designers publicity. That’s not the same as Meghan wearing a trench and it selling out in an hour.

      • Whatabout says:

        They are decently well known. And have been seen as really growing as a label. So no they were not struggling till Jessica put Meghan in that hideous trench coat.

    • Dee says:

      Yeah, “throw them a bone” is so condescending!!

      • Lilla says:

        I had to stop reading the article right there, or I would’ve scrolled back up to spit on her photo and mess up my iPad. Mulroney has quite the big opinion of hereself.

  7. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I like Jessica. At least what I’ve heard her say. She seems like a loyal friend. Which is something Meghan needs. Most of Meghan’s friends seem to be pretty loyal and protective and that says a lot about Meghan. Not only her as a person but also how smart she is about who she allows in her inner circle. And I like the idea of supporting smaller brands and giving them a platform. I mean anything Meghan wears no matter how small sells out.

  8. Citresse says:

    Jessica Mulroney is not a big deal in Canada. If you stop people in downtown Toronto to ask them about her, most would answer “who????…..never heard of her.”
    However, if you stop a group of lawyers in downtown Toronto, the answer would just be laughter.

    • leskat says:

      Yep, Canadian here and even though I know who she is, she is most decidedly NOT a big deal in Canada. Maybe in a teensy, elite group in Toronto she might be known but she’s not some sort of celebrity and literally no one cares about her. She’s a social climber and an opportunist from what I can see. And she’s married to one of the most obnoxious, head up his a**, self absorbed men in Canada.

      • Citresse says:

        Yes, and I detest it when Ben Mulroney gets all chummy with viewers on his morning show. And I don’t know how his co-workers can stand him…. I bet some of them on-air, tempted to say “over to you BM.”

    • Wisca says:

      Who are the top & well-known, brand experts in Canada everybody knows about?

      • A says:

        That’s the thing–most Canadians aren’t fully aware of the Canadian media landscape. At all. A lot of us tend to be really immersed in American media and American politics, and many many of us don’t actually look at our own backyard a great deal. So the fact that Jessica Mulroney isn’t that well known in Canada isn’t because there are necessarily other, more famous brand experts in the country. It’s because we’re simply not paying attention.

        At any rate, the idea that she’s a total nobody in Canada is false. I know at least a handful of people who know who she is, even before Meghan got with Harry. I’m not saying her star didn’t get a boost from being friends with Meghan, or being married to Ben Mulroney, but she does come from a rich family of her own, so it’s not like she didn’t have any of those connections already.

  9. Jadedone says:

    Why would she sell out Meghan? She has already benefitted from that relationship, by selling her out she would alienate fans. It was in her best interest not to sell out Meghan and maintain that connection

  10. Well-Wisher says:

    Jessica’s parents own Browns; worth 500 million dollars. She is a graduate of McGill and part of the elite crowd in Montreal. Her visibility became apparent when she married Benedict Mulroney. That friendship gave Meghan access to the right crowd “a smaller ‘fixed’ elite”.
    It started way before Harry. When the paps came to Toronto the first time after news of the relationship became public. The Sussexes stayed with the Mulroneys.

    • Snazzy says:

      Ohhh I didn’t know they owned Browns! That explains the inherent smugness, doesn’t it?

    • Maxie says:

      No, the business was founded by her great-grand father who passed it down to her great-uncle. It’s now run by her great-uncle’s son (basically a first cousin of her father).

  11. JadedBrit says:

    “Throw them a bone”? Save struggling Canadian designer despite said designer denying her claim? While she may be a good – and loyal – friend who knows how to stay schtum, her phrasing re: certain events doesn’t portray her in the best possible light.

  12. mc135 says:

    The tittle put it perfectly. ” I”m friend with the duchess, i won’t tell you anything but come interview me and let me on your morning shows to promote myself maybe i will throw you a bone” Misha is doing it too, she was on GMA talking about her clothing line and did the same thing. I’m just looking forward to see how long they can go with the self promoting without giving anything regarding their friends. She is very good at marketing herself on that social media, so was Meghan when she was on it. Also i think now we can can conclude that GMA, Harper’s Bazaar, and People Mag are the go to for sussex and friend for PR?

  13. crogirl says:

    Her husband works with Lainey and that blind item about Kate not offering Meghan a ride most likely came from her, or maybe Meghan tipped of Lainey herself.

  14. jules says:

    Yikes on the make-up. She could pass as a Kardashian in the first photo.

    • Becks says:

      Her makeup is terrible as well as those ridiculous lip fillers.

    • TyrantDestroyed says:

      She’s one filler away from being a Kardashian’s twin. That’s unfortunate since she used to have a beautiful natural face before being a celebrity

  15. Canadian says:

    She’s not a big deal in Canada. The Mulroney men get eyerolls from a lot of us. I’m glad she is loyal to Duchess Megan.

  16. SV says:

    The difference is that Jessica Mulrony is still doing the same type of work that she was going prior to Meghan dating Harry. The GMa segments aren’t really any different to what she alreadybdoes on Canadian TV. This isn’t Pippa Middleton suddenly becoming a Today show correspondent in America and releasing books. As far as Jessica helping Meghan choose clothes. Given how busy they are I think it’s actually important to their friendship to have something work based to collaborate on. That’s how they became friends in the first place. Meghan is ultimately going to wear what the wants. Meghan came into the Royal family knowing how the fashion industry works. If you don’t like what Meghan wears, criticize Meghan don’t hide behind criticizing a stylist.

    • mc135 says:

      AH AH Your double standard is showing. Jessica and also Misha are profiting off their connection to Meghan. it’s doesn’t matter how they do it they all are. all the stylist they have in america you think they working with her because they could only find someone in Canada who doesn’t even live that close to NY? The Middleton did it, now Meghan’s friends are doing it. no difference.

      • A says:

        Except there is a difference. Pippa and the Middletons had no discernible media presence, at least not the sort of presence Pippa tried to build (and failed at) in the immediate aftermath of Kate’s wedding. She went from being a wealthy Wisteria sister to being an advice columnist who got an exclusive book deal on something that she wasn’t even an expert on and wasn’t actually QUALIFIED to do. She had no prior experience with any of the things she was tasked with discussing in her column and her book.

        Jessica and Misha are definitely expanding their presence, yes, but both of them were already doing what they were doing on a smaller scale before Meghan got married to Harry. It’s not zero-to-sixty like with the Middletons. They wouldn’t have the sort of reach they enjoy today without Meghan, yes, but they’re doing work that they’re entirely qualified to do, which is more than what can be said about Pippa.

      • perplexed says:

        I don’t think Jessica Mulroney is truly qualified to do what she does either. She has terrible taste like everyone else does. She just seems lucky to me — born into a wealthy family who is extremely well-connected and married an equally well-connected guy who has the same socialite interests as her. They’re rich people interested in getting richer and have everyone look at them — but they don’t really use what they have for anything else.

        She was doing the same thing before Markle came along, but that was based off her other connections she has, not some prodigious ability to choose clothes elegantly and gracefully. The connections that could help her simply changed, but the method doesn’t strike me as any different.

    • perplexed says:

      She’s not talented though. She’s just well-connected. I don’t see a difference between her and Pippa.

      I guess one could claim she’s good at marketing, but I think she has terrible style and I have no idea why anyone would listen to her advice on fashion. If she’s a bit good at selling something, maybe that’s because everyone has terrible Kardashian taste nowadays. Judging by her style, she follows trends — she doesn’t make them.

      She doesn’t even look good in clothes. She’s not Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, who was not a stylist, but seemed to make a paper bag look good.

  17. manta says:

    ” For a demonstration of her approach to travel (lots of layers and an oversize Gucci bag)”

    OMG Gucci. She’ll surely be crucified for promoting the racist brand. In. Every. Comment.

    A little browsing through them, Ok, I guess not. Only some people will be called out.
    I’m gonna keep my guessing game every time the brand pops up in a post, and keep on losing apparently (except for the obvious loathed celebs, too easy)

  18. YankLynn says:

    At the risk of sounding like I didn’t read the article — I did ! – and only looked at the pictures — that Instagram shot in the red jacket. Is it just me or does her head look enormous and like its photoshopped onto tiny shoulders.

    • Some chick says:

      Skinny chicks often kinda look like bobbleheads. Might be the angle tho.

      What bugs me about that pic is how she is stretching out the elbows of that beautiful glove leather jacket! Gah.

  19. LL says:

    I’m thinking Meghan probably benefitted from Jessica first. Lol.

  20. Flying fish says:

    I like her loyalty to Meghan and in turn, Harry, but that’s it.

    Jessica is attempting to drive the narrative about herself by claiming she works with brands!!!!

    Whatever.

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