DM: Duchess Meghan used to be an actress & she set up pap strolls, omg

2013 NYFF Tribute to Cate Blanchett

Did you know that before the Duchess of Sussex married Prince Harry, she was a working actress who did press and posed for photos regularly? OMG, that’s brand new information! So it is with this sliver of information from Finding Freedom, which was part of the last excerpt in the Times. FF built up the backstory of Meghan and Harry’s romance, and there was a timeline of when the British media learned of Meghan. Harry called Meghan to let her know that the story was about to break, and this is how Finding Freedom discusses that moment:

The following day Meghan felt somewhat bittersweet about the situation. On the one hand, she was disappointed that their secret was out. It was no longer just the two of them. While Meghan, before she met Harry, had occasionally set up a paparazzi photo here and there or let info slip out to the press, she did everything in her power to protect the privacy of her relationship with the prince. She knew that keeping things quiet meant that they could get to know each other without pressure or further worries that came from reporters covering and commenting on their burgeoning romance.

[From The Times]

That sentence fragment – “While Meghan, before she met Harry, had occasionally set up a paparazzi photo here and there or let info slip out to the press…” was enough for the British papers to then run with the narrative of “famewhore Meghan” who was regularly setting up pap strolls. She was not. But go off.

Meghan Markle and her agent ‘arranged’ for paparazzi shots of her to be taken as she walked into a London restaurant, around one year before she met Prince Harry, sources said. A photographer snapped pictures of the then lesser-known Suits actress heading into Toto’s restaurant in Kensington in March 2015 – in a shoot allegedly organised via her agent at the time.

She was seen outside the Italian restaurant wearing a stylish black ensemble with a white sleeveless trench coat. Inside, the actress – who played paralegal Rachel Zane on Suits – was interviewed by The Mail On Sunday’s You Magazine as part of a weekly feature showcasing up-and-coming talent. Meghan met Prince Harry on a blind date at Dean Street Townhouse in Soho, London, in July the following year.

A source told The Sun: ‘Meghan knew the photographer was going to be at the Kensington restaurant to take her photos of her arrival. It was all pre-arranged.’ They added: ‘For someone who wasn’t very well known in the UK at that point, she certainly didn’t question why a photographer would randomly turn up to take her picture.’

[From The Daily Mail]

I laughed, because the Mail and the Sun really think this is some kind of gotcha, right? OMG, Meghan was in London and she was headed to an interview and someone arranged a paparazzo to take her photo outside of the place where she was about to be interviewed! How did the press ever find out about any of this?!!? LMAO.

Thank God their keen white desperado duchess would never, ever do a paparazzo setup, especially not in London of this year as a way to take attention away from the Sussexes’ farewell tour. LMAO.

Meghan Markle at Westbury

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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78 Responses to “DM: Duchess Meghan used to be an actress & she set up pap strolls, omg”

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  1. Aurora says:

    I don’t feel like authors of this book are helping the Sussexes. From the excerpts I’ve read it still doesn’t feeling their voice or POV is being well represented. There’s way too much of the opposing side’s perspective.

    • Edna says:

      I guess it depends on perspective on whether one feels the book helps or hurts the Sussexes. I think the book attempts to show a balanced viewpoint and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. Thus far, IMO, the book appears to help the Sussexes. The book certainly has the BM, courtiers unhinged.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I must say that I somewhat agree with you but I want to read the complete book before I pass judgement.

      I believe Omid Scobie said something along the lines that Finding Freedom was a fair and balanced double sourced account of the Sussexes.

      • LaraW" says:

        I haven’t been following the release of the excerpts very closely, but from what I’ve seen, the excerpts feel very disjointed. Someone mentioned that the book is ~400 pages – I think the context of these blurbs within the themes and narrative arc of the book will make a difference.

    • Marivic says:

      Maybe this is just as well because the British media is positioning this book as a piece that is authorized by the Sussexes to paint them positively. That is even if they officially said that they have nothing to do with it. The British media went further by saying that the lawyers of the Mail on Sunday should use the book as evidence that Meghan has a habit of using friends to speak on her behalf just as they say she did in this book.

      • Silver Charm says:

        The publisher said they had the cooperation of those closest to the Sussexs. This isn’t a made up narrative by the British media.

      • Yvette says:

        @Silver Charm … This wouldn’t be a made up narrative by the British media if the authors only sourced Meghan and Harry’s friends … but they didn’t; which is why the coverage isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

        The authors have said that to get a balanced view of hte coupte they interviewed over 100 people and that they ‘double’ sourced their material (I guess meaning that they checked each thing revealed in an interview?). I assume they interviewed present and former friends of the couple (and possibly friends of William?), former and present Court Courtiers, former and present Palace Staff members (Buckingham and Kensington), senior and junior Royal family members, and Senior House (Cambridge, Clarence and Windsor) Staff/Advisors.

        Obviously, some of these people would reveal some things about the Sussexes that is favorable and some that isn’t. But I think it will become obvious that Harry and Meghan didn’t ghost write this book. I think we’ll realize that fact once the book is released and we get to read it for ourselves.

    • Ella says:

      The book dares to challenge their carefully constructed narrative. The unhinged reaction exposes the collusion and shows the abuse H & M suffered was sanctioned. H & M are now free and at peace an ocean away. The desperate bottom-feeders can howl as much as they like. The world will see them for what they are. As Eric Roberts said (and none of the BM reported) about Meghan, ‘To carry it with dignity and with consistency and with kindness are going to make her a legend.’ It already has.

      • Luz says:

        Who is Eric Roberts?

      • HeatherC says:

        @Luz Eric Roberts is an actor who worked with Meghan on Suits. Also the brother of the better known Julia Roberts, father of Emma Roberts. He has an extensive filmography himself.

      • Lady D says:

        …and he is abusive to women. Pretty sure that’s where his daughter Emma Roberts learned to like hitting.

      • bettyrose says:

        Not to thread jack, but is Eric Roberts known for being abusive? That sucks. I’m not a huge fan but I think he’s delightfully creepy, which is no good if he’s actually a bad person.

    • ABritGuest says:

      Whilst it was promoted as telling the Sussexes side, I always said whilst the authors are on the royal beat that this wouldn’t be some great tell all. Carolyn has been quite passive aggressive towards Meghan too so I couldn’t see her gunning for her colleagues in the press and the royal establishment who have obviously been in cahoots doing the most.

      From what I’ve seen so far this doesn’t seem that different from any biography of a royal written by a royal reporter where friends& employees have apparently given quotes. You will note that they may throw some shade at royals but the Queen always comes out spotless& it’s usually the nameless staff or commoners who bear the brunt.

      Apparently this has gone through the palaces & they are like this could have been worse so that tells you a lot. We know some sinister stuff has happened but the excerpts so far seem to dance around it. eg I do not believe for a second that William would say “blindsided by lust”- seems so archaic& like what an older courtier would say whereas I imagine any word of caution from William would be more modern and blunter. But they probably can’t go into it all because of the lawsuits. I also side eye some very dramatic language as just seems like it’s geared to be translated into a screenplay for a tv drama etc. I think that’s why it has the ridiculous title too.

      Whilst it’s meh to hear more of the Firm’s side, my guess is the book aims to provide another POV. Also should be clearer this isn’t the Sussexes book- if they wanted to tell their side comprehensively they could do a book deal.

      • Edna says:

        Perhaps when William ascends the throne, the Sussexes will release their autobiography.😂

      • Noodle says:

        I wonder if the book is so balanced that media/RR/readers familiar with tabloids and overblown fiction don’t know what to do with a story that isn’t sensationalized. Like, when everything is at 100 for emotion and drama, a book that calmly presents information and sources well is a shock to the system. Compare supporters reactions to Obama’s and Trump’s press conferences. Someone used to Trump’s exaggerations and lies and performative outrage wouldn’t know what to do with Obama’s calm, fact-based demeanor. I, too, worry about how “normal” people receive this book, and whether many will be able to see the truth as conveyed in objective reporting. Or, will they have to go to tabloid sites for the sensationalistic interpretations? I hope it’s the former.

      • bettyrose says:

        Can we look forward to any fun details about how they met, their courtship, etc? It’s just such an unlikely meeting/pairing, I’m interested to know more about what drew them together, but I guess I want to know through H & M’s own words, not speculation or “authorized friends.” Maybe I won’t read this beyond the CB threads.

    • mk says:

      You’re reading with the spin ordered by Rupert Murdoch for his Meghan-hating royal rota machine. How can any of us judge this book before reading it ourselves?

  2. AA says:

    Deleted, sorry

  3. Flamingo says:

    Most actors/ actresses are a fame hungry. This isn’t new information. She and every other actress trying to make it big set up pap strolls.

    • Ohok says:

      I feel conflicted about the fame hungry statements. It seems like a business That is about exposure so when you are lower on the totem you do what you can to be seem so that you can get deals and eat. After you move up and collect steady coins you only come out to promote or damage control ( then you humbly ask that your privacy is respected 😂).

    • Ash says:

      Honestly, I think anyone marrying into this family has to have some element of fame hunger. That’s not even a criticism: it’s simply the nature of what these women are coming into.

      I mean, as much as they may love their prince husbands (either at the M+H or K+W end of that particular spectrum), it’s never going to be an entirely normal marriage and it’s only logical they come into the situation knowing this. In fact, I’d argue that anyone who wasn’t fame hungry on some level would simply not be able to manage it.

      • A says:

        Yes – anyone looking at marrying into this family has to like the idea of fame. Anyone pursuing acting in Hollywood, or with a lifestyle blog, is interested in fame. Not to say that M and K don’t love their husbands, but part of the appeal of the relationship would have been the public aspect of it all.

    • Lizzie says:

      Meghan is comfortable with media attention. The pap pic’s are needed for any little known actress to be seen. Not necessarily fame hungry.

      But I agree Waity sticking around for 10 years is the definition of fame hungry.

    • KW says:

      Agreed. She can be an actress with hustle and want fame and still be a decent person. I don’t think many actors go in to film or tv without that hunger for fame. It must have been so great at the beginning with the engagement photos etc (and a bit terrifying) but when the racist and cruel bs came out, She must have been so scared. Let’s not forget that waity Keen katey did pap strolls when Wills dumped her. She was thirsty.

  4. TheOriginalMia says:

    They are grasping. A year before she met Harry, she set up or the Mail set up a pap shoot for the accompanying article. Lawd, my pearls have been clutched. But she didn’t so much as reveal a peep of her relationship with Harry until they were discovered and revealed. Hmm…what am I supposed to be outraged about again? How many f&cks am I supposed to have about this non-issue?

  5. Audrey says:

    Although she looks cute, that bottom photo is driving me crazy. If it’s cold enough for a sweater, coat and scarf, aren’t her ankles freezing?

  6. Becks1 says:

    Isnt this part of the game? I feel like all the celebs arrange pap shots like this at times. Werent we saying several months ago (like pre-pandemic) that Katie Holmes did this? I feel like its part of building your brand.

    Of course the problem becomes when the paps are too intrusive, but I feel like a staged pap shot on your way to an interview isn’t really that scandalous.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Reese Witherspoon does it all the time to promote her projects and brands.

    • C-Shell says:

      Yes, and wasn’t that literally her job?

      Cannot, OTOH, never had a job other than the on-off GF/booty call for Willnot and staged pap strolls and pics (and still does) to remind people who she belongs to.

    • Mumbles says:

      There’s nothing wrong with it. As you point out it’s part of building a brand. And as this post pointed out Kate has clearly done it. That said for the past few months we have been goofing on the practice with Affleck and Ana. It’s goofy when any of these people do it. Meghan was thirsty just like the rest of them. Doesn’t mean she waived her right to privacy forever. But yeah the DM is making something of nothing.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        I hate when people call performers thirsty for simply attempting to promote themselves in an attempt to promote their work. Performers need to be seen in order for them to be successful. Part of my job working at a college is to promote the college in an attempt to increase enrollment. Guess what, I wear the college brand off campus, I mention it where I can and this is expected of me and my coworkers. Performers MUST be seen, it’s how they advertise their products, which is themselves same way I post about/talk about my institution. I’m not thirsty, my audience might find me annoying, but they will know the hows and cost of getting into my institution of employ. Neither are the performers who strive to promote themselves thirsty if they do it discretely. I don’t know, it’s something I never accuse people in entertainment of since I just think it falls under the heading of working. Also, it’s a bit hypocritical of people like us if we are calling folks thirsty since we are the beneficiaries of their so called thirst by being here discussing them based on the pics taken, what does that make us gossipmongers, gossip thirst?

      • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

        This is a great comment, BnLurkN.

    • Edna says:

      The unhinged sanctimonious attitude of how dare she. See she really is a famewhore. When this is standard protocol in the news and entertainment business. Anything to use as a weapon against Meg.

    • Abby says:

      Lots of celebrities are treated as desperate for doing pap strolls.

      • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

        It depends on context. Doing a pap-stroll as part of your job promoting your award-nominated TV show isn’t necessarily thirsty. Doing pap stroll for your reality show where you are the product, or for no apparent reason at all, would be thirsty.

  7. Atti says:

    No way omg

  8. lana86 says:

    I’m more interested- have they really met on a “blind date”?? Is that even a thing?

  9. janey says:

    they seem to be using this as an excuse to reprint the photo from Deal or No Deal, it’s on the website about three times today “REMEMBER WHEN SHE DID THIS!!!! The HORROR”

    • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

      Good Lord, it was a game show, not a cabaret. Your sarcasm gave me a much needed laugh, so thank you.

  10. Heather says:

    OMG – all of this is just getting so stupid, now. Like, all of it.

    • LaurenMichelle says:

      Agreed. All this hatred towards M & H is to deflect away from the Prince Andrew mess. No wonder they fled England.

  11. Lena says:

    They are aware kate set up multiple pap shots AFTER getting married, right?

  12. Edna says:

    I wonder if Sean Smith ‘s book, “Meghan Misunderstood” will be attacked the way Omid’s FF is. It seems part of the unhinged vitriol is also aimed at Omid because how dare he.

  13. February-Pisces says:

    Even Leonardo Dicaprio does pap strolls. Even princess Diana did pap strolls. But of course perfect Karen would never do a pap stroll, she just gets her assistant to take a camera phone pic everytime she’s in a supermarket.

  14. Marjorie says:

    “Keen white desperado duchess”? You slay me, Kaiser!

    KWDD went out on that book-buying escapade to 1. Get papped wearing turquoise because that American Bitch Actress doesn’t own turquoise dammit and 2. I need books for my fake photoshoot I’m doing next week where I’m going to pretend I take notes on a fake phone call in my drawing room with the painting of the enslaved child and that guy I married once.

  15. taylor says:

    People still somehow underestimate the UK media’s ability to negatively spin everything Meghan does. They don’t care about facts, about double standards, about evidence — they care about narrative. And their ultimate narrative is that Meghan is bad person undeserving a basic decency.

    Anyway, AS IF, the candid polo shots we get of Kate and the kids every year aren’t strategic photo opportunities. AS IF, the continued existence of royals isn’t hinged on them being strategically photographed attempting to be useful. They’re bigger famewhores than Meghan could ever hope to be.

    • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

      So very true. You’d think it would be the ranting, psychotic obsessives who would get the side-eye, but apparently not.

  16. Mignionette says:

    Men do this and it’s called being strategic.

    A woman does this and she’s a fame hungry social climbing b*tch.

    The reality is that Bill Cambridge met his match in Meghan and it irked him. He’s used to Stepford model No.3333777XZZZ who cowers and averts her eyes as she enters a room two paces behind him. Meghan likely got under his skin bc she didn’t give a shit enough to kiss his metaphorical ‘FFK’ ring and twigged what a bizarre oddity of a family they are.

    That kind of revelation I can understand would be deeply disturbing to the courtiers bc effectively the secret is out that (1) these pitiful inbreeds are not anything special (2) are not ordained by god (3) are remnants of a bygone era that should never have existed in the same vein as slavery or any other system akin to the subjugation of others.

    I personally find the idea of blue blood offensive and outdated. It’s just another offshoot of eugenics bc behind it lies the ideal of racial purity. Meghan and Archie’s rejection by the BRF proves that point.

    Their time is coming and I have my popcorn ready.

    • OriginalLala says:

      *slow clap* yes to everything you said!

    • one of the Marys says:

      Love your comment, Bill was and is so threatened by Meghan. If it wasn’t so costly I bet Harry enjoyed it for a minute, someone not cowed by his brother

  17. AGreatDane says:

    The UK is such a strange country. Being an actress is totally fine everywhere else, whilst the British tabloids are still doing “she’s an actress!” like it’s the Victorian era.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I know right. God forbid she promote her show ( isn’t that part of the contract), or get her name out there for her TIG site. It’s called working and promoting your brand. Also, once they launch their foundation, and whatever projects they’re promoting, they’ll work with press again, just not YOU British tabloids. . You can press your nose against the glass and rant about them not hiding away.

    • Nic919 says:

      They mostly save the actress equals prostitute implication for Meghan. Cressida was also trying to be an actress while dating Harry and they never made the same implications. Same with Sophie Winkleman, former wife of Freddy Windsor.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Wait Sophie and Freddy are still married, no? Did I miss some minor royal adjacent drama?

      • Nic919 says:

        They are separated.

      • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

        That’s because if you’re a ‘toff’ your career is irrelevant- not necessarily to you, but to the other toffs. Your identity is made up of your relationships and perceived personality, and is typically static and unchanging.

  18. M says:

    I clutched my pearls so hard, they spilt all over the floor. How dare she set up a pap stroll at a work event. She should have known better and listened when her crystal ball showed her royal future. She should have planned her whole life for that future. Oh wait… wrong duchess /sarcasm
    I just can’t with the British Red tops

  19. aquarius64 says:

    Like Kate didn’t set up pap strolls before and after marriage. I think the Fail dredged up this picture because Finding Freedom busted Toxic Tom, their star witness for the lawsuit, for getting paid for those pre wedding pap shots.

  20. MsIam says:

    This is a weird story. “A year before she met Prince Harry”? A celebrity arranging a photo shoot is a problem? I guess they have some column inches to fill. And I thought that Meghan and Harry were going to fade into obscurity? The BM looks set to keep writing about them for the next ten years.

    • windyriver says:

      The year before she met Harry, Meghan also did an interview with Larry King that was about, and only about, her advocacy with UN Women. She looks amazing, and comes across impressively intelligent, well spoken, and in control. It doesn’t fit the fame whore narrative so none of these “columnists” would mention it.

      You have to wonder though – the clip would’ve come up when doing an internet search re: Meghan in 2017 once the word was out about Harry; what did the Firm and the BM think when they saw it? Clearly she was leagues ahead of Kate (at a mimimum) in her ability to be interested in and speak well on a serious subject, which would have been worrying for KP at least – unless with her actress background and Deal or No Deal past, they couldn’t see who she really was, or they were sure they’d be able to pressure/shame her into taking her “proper” place in the hierarchy.

      • Clueless9x9 says:

        I don’t see any difference between being a model on Deal or No Deal or the male/female models on the Prices Right and Vanna flipping letters on Wheel of Fortune.

  21. EM says:

    So, once again they are mad at her for working and doing her job? Got it.

  22. Marigold says:

    I think she is adorable. I would be terrified of a pap stroll and would probably trip and fall!

  23. Lizzie says:

    How thirsty was Waity all those years ? Pap’s just happen to run into her?

    • KW says:

      Truth. Coming out of the bars with friends, jumping in to cabs after night out dancing. She met Will already, he dumped her and her pap strolls were on front pages everywhere. What was she promoting? Her uterus for heir and spares?

  24. w1 says:

    Funny thing is Meghan has set up pap shots since meeting Harry. Remember the pap shots of Meghan outside the spa the day before Pippa’s wedding?…. a set up for sure. And despite Harry complaining about Meghan and Archie being pictured on a walk in Canada, Meghan looked happy to see the paps. Strange behaviour for a person who apparently didn’t want to be followed by the paps.,

    The media just used the wrong examples here.

    • Sid says:

      If those had been set up, the Daily Fail would have reported on it by now. Paparazzi love to gossip about the celebs who call them. And the Fail would have paid a pretty penny to be able to do an expose on Meghan like that. We are talking about the same British press that offered an actor money to lie and say he slept with Meghan. The fact that so little has come out about her that is negative should tell you something.

      • w1 says:

        So by pure coincidence the pap just happened to be on the exact road at the exact same Meghan was leaving the spa? Sure Jan, I have a bridge to sell you! Besides Meghan could have waited inside for her ride to arrive, she decided to wait outside in full view of the pap(s).

        Not every pap is willing to to sell out their sources to DM especially if they set up papwalks and other publicity tactics for other celebs or work with PR companies.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @w1 – I am willing to bet that all members of the BRF excepting QEII and Philip set up pap shots and/ or their PR people (or their rivals PR people) let the media know exactly when they will be somewhere which is pretty much the same thing.

      • Nic919 says:

        The locals in BC had said that the paparazzi was in the parking lot waiting for them to get back from the trail because it was the only way out. The entire town didn’t want them there. So was Meghan supposed to look like a bitch in the photos knowing that they would be plastered all over the papers?
        But sure new name that never posted before, we will totally believe that she called in the paps to a small town in BC.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      Meghan always has a pleasant look on her face and those pictures are ones they are suing over, right? If she set up those I bet they could prove it. As for the other since we are now convinced William has authorized his staff to leak on H/M, I wouldn’t put it past KP to have leaked Meghan’s whereabouts, it’s what KP does – Canda, LA. I feel more confident trusting M/H than I do anyone in the BM or RF.

      • Eugh says:

        Only here to comment that Meghan has the exact opposite of RBF, she has perma RPF (resting pleasant face) all the time, even when she’s getting ruffled by people.

  25. Sid says:

    LOL. They are really grasping at straws at this point. 99.9999% of actors set up the occasional pap stroll. That is how the industry works. The rare few that don’t are the Daniel Day Lewis types who don’t really care about opportunities like endorsements, magazine and TV features, side businesses, etc. and are not interested in anything besides filming their movie/ TV show and going straight back home.

  26. Digital Unicorn says:

    I’d clutch my pearls more at a celeb who DIDN’T arrange pap strolls – they all literally do it.

  27. Mariane says:

    lol the DESPERATION from the palace controlled RRs to try and vilify Meghan before the release of the book is hilarious to watch. They realised that the narrative that they were pushing is about to be completely destroyed because of this book. The most pathetic one is hannah furness who thought writing about Meghan’s wikipedia page being edited to add humanitarian was worthy of an article!!! And she hasnt mentioned how racist trolls changed the pages pictures to a monkey and wrote disgusting sexist comments and added black face caricatures. These people have showed how much control the palace has on them or that they are willing to sell their dignity for access

  28. Suzieq359 says:

    I think the mention of her paps shoots is a dig against her disgust with Thomas, as if to say how dare she be mad at her father for calling the paparazzi when she herself does the same thing. It’s part of the narrative they will likely use against her in the lawsuit.