Palace aides micromanaged then-Meghan Markle’s jewelry & expressions in photos


People Magazine, as it turns out, is also doing some excerpts and highlights from Finding Freedom in the current issue. I didn’t know what to expect from their cover preview yesterday, but it looks like People Mag will cover some new stuff from the book, which… thank God. I think the Times did an okay job with their transcripts, but it was obviously parts of the book geared towards what British readers wanted to hear about: brother drama, sister-in-law drama, royal family drama and how romantic Harry is. But People Magazine’s audience is the American gossip reader, which is why they’ve caught on to different parts of the book, like the time then-Meghan Markle, Royal Girlfriend, was bitched out for wearing a necklace. Who dared to bitch her out? One of those pesky courtiers, of course.

Meghan Markle stepped out in a necklace with special meaning in December 2016 — and was caught off guard by what happened next, a new book claims. In the early days of her romance with Prince Harry, Meghan was photographed in a $300 delicate 14-carat gold chain bearing the initials “H” and “M.” In the best-selling new book Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by veteran royal journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, the authors report that the necklace sparked blowback from palace aides.

“She was advised that wearing such a necklace only served to encourage the photographers to keep pursuing such images — and new headlines,” Scobie and Durand write in the book, which is excerpted in this week’s PEOPLE. During a conversation with one senior Kensington Palace aide, the book reports, Meghan “said little during the call, choosing instead to simply listen to the counsel. But after hanging up, she felt frustrated and emotional. While she knew the aide had good intentions, the surreal experience of having someone from her boyfriend’s office tell her what kind of jewelry to wear or not to smile at a photographer was too much.”

According to the book, a “distraught” Meghan then called a friend, saying, “I can’t win. They make out like I’m to blame for these pictures, that it looks like I’m encouraging them, that me even acknowledging the cameras may not be sending the right message. I don’t know what to say. It was only yesterday that people online were saying I look miserable in pictures, because I was trying to just ignore the [photographer].”

Meghan, write Scobie and Durand, “felt damned if she did and damned if she didn’t.”

[From People]

I’m going to ask this because it’s honestly what I’m wondering: did… Meghan think that it would get better or worse after that call? That call should have been seen for what it was: a harbinger of shenanigans to come, and a bad omen of palace life. Just the fact that Kensington Palace aides were calling up Meghan and giving her notes about her jewelry and her expression in paparazzi photos…my god. I would have run screaming. But Meghan chose differently. (Also, I think of the truly awful sh-t which was awaiting her and she must have had no idea.)

Also: I was covering all of this in real-time and let me tell you, there really weren’t that many photos of Meghan around that time. We learned about her existence as Harry’s girlfriend in October, and from then until the spring/summer of 2017, there were only a handful of candid photos of Meghan, just the odd shot of her leaving a yoga studio or walking into work. It’s not like she was getting pap’d on a daily or even weekly basis. For example, the photos below – these were basically the only “new” photos we had for months in that time period.


Meghan Markle seen bundled up from the cold as she heads to yoga early this morning in Toronto

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.

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132 Responses to “Palace aides micromanaged then-Meghan Markle’s jewelry & expressions in photos”

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  1. Mignionette says:

    What’s interesting is how much the words of the Courtiers mirror that of Royal Reporters in their hit pieces. In particular the accusation that by smiling at Photogs Meg was media hungry.

    Had she been mean or rude to them, then there would have been the mean starlet / angry black woman narrative.

    She really couldn’t win.

    • Britt says:

      No she couldn’t win and still can’t. It was intentionally made that way to frustrate her and break her. The knowing your place undertones has been the underscore of many of these hit pieces and media reporters for a while.

    • Belli says:

      She couldn’t win. That was the whole point. The starting point was “Meghan is awful”, the game was finding a reason, any reason at all.

    • Ma says:

      It also mirrors the racist nitpicking seen all over the place including by progressive White Feminist royal followers. Every gesture, microexpression, word was nit picked to death, with sinister motivations attached behind anything she did or every thing she wore and how she presented herself was just deemed flat out wrong.

      • Hope says:

        So many supposedly progressive white royal followers in the media told on themselves when it came to Meghan. They’re quiet now because of BLM but I won’t forget.

      • Becks1 says:

        See: Emily giffin for a prime example.

      • Tris says:

        Emily Giffen is the worst!
        A bad writer and a bad person.
        If she wasn’t so nothing-Burger, she’d be up there with the top Karens like Nepotism Barbie.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        “It also mirrors the racist nitpicking seen all over the place including by progressive White Feminist royal followers.” Yep. Their usual response when this is brought up is to go on about how real they are for their deep commitment to not ‘giving Meghan a pass (for what, exactly?) because of her race and gender.’ 😒

  2. Britt says:

    It’s clear the palace, RF and courtiers didn’t trust or like her from the beginning and it’s sad that a “family” has allowed these aides, courtiers, media reporters etc become their voices. This is so toxic and shameful. This sham of an institution is a family of puppets that’s controlled by racists, government and a media that has no problem blackmailing or extorting royals. I’m starting to believe William is trapped in so many ways because he is literally a puppet. Harry and Meghan were incredibly smart to leave because it’s a scam and sham. I know the Royal Family isn’t innocent and are guilty of leaks and enabling this behavior but the institution itself is just disgusting.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      Remember that William willingly went to the media to start the smear campaign, as noted in Tim Shipman’s first article. It was initially out of envy at the Sussexes’ popularity more than anything else. He’s also happily hiring plenty of Tories and Brexit-linked people for his staff. The only thing truly “trapping” him is his apparent messiness in his personal life and his need to hide it.

      • February-Pisces says:

        KP seems to have an infestation of former Tory mps. I think those Tories are enjoying the political divide they have created, because William and Kate becoming more and more right wing. Racists love them for their whiteness and only that. Now Willie and Kate have alienated Meghan that have openly shown their disrespect towards minorities and other marginalised groups, meaning all they have left are the racist right wingers. that’s the crowd they now have to play to cos they have burnt their bridges with the left. so those Tory courtiers have really got them where they want them. Willie and Kate are the new faces of the Tory party.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        It would be difficult for anyone with Liberal Democrat or Labour politics to work for the BRF because as a rule (very over simplification) both the LibDems and Labour support a republic with a written constitution. That only leaves the One Nation Tories (not to be confused with the Thatcherite Tories) to serve the BRF.

        Note; Neither the LibDems or Labour have a problem with QEII that has been publicly espoused.

    • A says:

      “become these voices”? They have always BEEN these voices. Always. The staffers have always been the conduit between the Queen and everyone else. They have always behaved this way.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I was listening to one of the hosts of A Duchess Like Us podcast and she is so disgusted with the way KP packs Will’s staff with Tory’s who worked on the Brexit campaign, as well as the revolving door between KP and no.10. Now they’re using former Tory foreign secretary William Hague, Brexit shill, for their foundation. There is nothing neutral about it and it’s so blatantly right wing. I’m sure they used some of the same distortion and scare tactics used in Brexit campaign to brief against Meghan. Even during the last election, you could see some of the same dishonest media tactics employed. It seems the press over there can make or break political candidates, and they definitely wanted to break Meghan. My question was what exactly did they think Meghan and Harry would do? Some have said that if they’d waited a year or two, and given the couple space, they would have settled into their lives, work and parenthood, and the furor would have died down. It was the press meddling, coupled with the family’s lack of support, that actually amplified the couple and drove them out.

  3. Priscila says:

    Meghan might very well thought they were doing this because she was a girlfriend, or not yet formally, publically engaged, that they were unsure of her and that is why they were crossing this line. Maybe she fooled herself thinking once she was married and with the full support of Harry, she would be getting more positive help. Her friends told her she would be eaten alive, but she indeed elected to see the best out of these people, partially because Harry hismelf was optimistic, and also, I think, she convinced herself not only is she marrying the love of her life, but she could truly make a difference with this new role- she, as a biracial woman, might have thought of the millions of mixed girls like her, who are constantly told princess are all white, that Santa is white, that they should not wear a Belle costume, that for the first time they would be watching one of them having a true fairytale ending.

    • CuriousCole says:

      Yes to everything you said!! I think both of them optimistically expected more support once they became officially engaged. But whether or not she’s officially welcomed by The Firm, she has made a difference and will continue to do so.

  4. Noki says:

    She must have felt like she was joining the circus pretty early on then, and I am sure Harry worked over time trying to convince her it would get better,imagine another serious girlfriend leaving him for the same reasons again?

    • Crowned Huntress says:

      I don’t think Harry believed that either considering the public statements he made prior to their wedding for people to back off. Even though it was directed mainly at the press, I’m sure he also meant it to include everyone behind the palace walls too.

      I think Harry was more surprised that all the good karma he’d racked up by being a decent human being & the kinder of the two brothers would give his wife cover. Sadly racism & misogyny has no rules for either of them to play by.

  5. Eleonor says:

    More I read about this, more I get why Kate is sooooo perfect for the role.
    Being a royal is not something a “real person” can do: you have to abdicate to your personality, and do whatever you are told to do, in order to preserve the crown.
    An independent woman like Meghan couldn’t survive to all this nonsense: a necklace? Really?
    I am glad they escaped.

    • Belli says:

      But then… Is it the courtiers who tell Kate to do her exaggerated facial expressions for the camera?

      • Sara says:

        Her obvious efforts at trying too hard to look engaged on camera tell me that yes…it’s them she’s trying too hard to please.

      • Nic919 says:

        Courtiers clearly don’t bother Kate with these calls because she literally showed her ass during a few engagements… she’s a spouse representing the UK at this point. After one Incident there should has been a phone call for skirts to be weighted but there were multiple occasions when it happened.

        They were scrutinizing Meghan immediately and for far more minor things.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Maxima, Letizia, Mary, Marie, Daniel. Plenty of real people who are successful in their roles as married-in royals without being robots.

      • Eleonor says:

        They haven’t married into the Firm.
        I am not saying that there’s no drama, but the British Royals seem more dysfunctional.

      • Eleonor says:

        They haven’t married into the Firm.
        I am not saying that there’s no drama, but the British Royals seem more dysfunctional.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        I think it’s the BRF that require robotic women as their married in. Meghan is Harry’s ideal match it seems in every way from where I sit, but the institution isn’t supportive to people like them. Ultimately, I now think that even without Meghan, Harry would have eventually left BRF.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        The BRF is really something apart – not because they are better or more important but because they are trapped in a time-pocket and extraordinary dysfunctional.

      • Hope says:

        At some point we have to look at the Queen because she actually is the Top CEO of that family. The dysfunction very likely derives from her style of leadership.

        The only other family that seems to have such toxic people is the Spanish royal family with Felipe and Letizia being the outlier. Letizia does seem very controlling but not toxic.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Pointed out the UK-centric nature of your assumptions, because many of us watch multiple royal families. I’m not going to assume that all royal families require robots like Kate, because I know better.

        There are plenty of independent people who marry into royal families and thrive, because of the nature of those royal families.

        Letizia controlling? Try Sophia and JC, Ianki and Cristina as the controlling ones. Letizia has been doing her best to keep her daughters away from all of their toxic inlaws.

        Letizia spent a decade being forced to twiddle her thumbs because jealous Sophia wouldn’t allow Letizia any foreign or high-profile work. The moment Felipe was in charge, Letizia got a UN appointment and solo foreign tours.

    • MA says:

      People were posting throwback pix and pointing out how the courtiers never seemed to have a problem with Kate’s drunken and clubbing pictures or straight up cheesing the camera during the girlfriend days, you know things that stuffy conservatives might typically deem “inappropriate.’ They applied a racist double standard to Meghan alone.

      Also I’m the last to mention Kate’s hemlines and flashing but will go there now…..again the prim courtiers police a necklace but can’t get Kate to switch to a safer silhouette or material?

      • Nic919 says:

        Freaking out over a barely visible necklace with initials must mean that it is more serious a breach of protocol than flashing your private parts during an engagement in the minds of the courtiers….. or let’s be real they are just racist and let the white girl do things the biracial one wouldn’t even dare.

      • MA says:

        @Nic919 Like Obama breathing incorrectly was a scandal but not Trump’s ethics violations, Russia bounties, and numerous other scandals.
        it’s incredible that Meghan doesn’t have anything like that out there and she’s still called “trashy”. We know if she did have equivalent photos she’d be crucified.

      • Anance says:

        I remember Kate’s clubbing days well. That said, I don’t believe the courtiers weren’t mindful of Kate’s antics. More likely, they were giving her enough rope to hang herself. I remember the press catching a Kate walk of shame, complete with overnight bags.

        After the 2007 breakup, Will reportedly assures Kate that marriage will happen and she then disappears from the clubbing scene.

        IMO, Meghan was arrived already engaged (unofficially), so the courtiers began nitpicking early. First to chase her away, second prevent press coverage in case they could convince Harry to drop her quietly.

        I don’t believe there was a master plan re Meghan, the abusive behavior just coalesced.

    • Meg says:

      I agree. Kate was in it for the crown her mother supported that so shed have nothing keeping her from following william around to be accessible to him at all times she wasnt distracted by friends of her own or a pesky job. Meghan had and has all of that. She doesnt need to be royal, shes got her own life and things going on

      • Anna says:

        Oh, I’m sure Kate was under the same pressure. It’s not a rocket science when you see how thin she was back then. It’s good Meghan &Harry escaped from this direct scrunity. At least it seems they did…

      • Nic919 says:

        Kate was seen falling out drunk at bars all the time and the courtiers did not call her up to scold her. There is a difference in treatment as we have seen for years.

      • Cari says:

        At the time of Kate’s engagement the courtiers called her “pointless” due to her lack of work ethic. They weren’t a fan of hers either. They only try to give her good pr now because she’s the future queen.

    • A says:

      Kate is willing to grit her teeth. These courtiers fully expect married-ins to be perfectly subservient at all times. And Kate does just that. Or she has ever since she got married.

      • Nic919 says:

        I wouldn’t say the flashing incidents are toeing the line. Had she been reprimanded the first time it would not have happened again, but it did and more than once. William kept the courtiers off her back once they were married and Kate hasn’t had to do their bidding. It’s obvious because she remains so bad at her job and massively unprepared.

      • A says:

        @Nic919, well, she’s not really that assertive is she? Have we ever seen her take any initiative? Demand any help, pursue her own course of actions? No. Clearly not. In all the years she’s been married in, she hasn’t lifted a finger or demonstrated that she has any sort of independent mind of her own. She is content to go along with what is told to her for the most part, hence the reason why she’s subservient. She’s not exactly marching around KP going, “No, I want things done THIS way.” or “I WILL flash my knickers at the world, and you can’t say otherwise to me.”

        She just does things and she lets things happen to her. That’s a world apart from purposefully pursuing a certain course of action. And I think the flashing incidents are far less a case of her purposefully rebelling against the strictures of the palace, than they are of her being an absent minded airhead who can’t remember what fabrics to pick and what hem weights are.

    • MJM says:

      Kate’s married to an heir to the throne and thus is supposed to shine. If Charles or Camilla were threatened by her however what do you suppose might have happened? Kate is not a threat because she posses little charisma. Diana was another story.

      KP were trying to keep the spotlight off of Meghan because their bosses William and Kate were very threatened by her star power and the star power of Harry and Meghan the couple.

      • HeyJude says:

        Yes, it’s an very important distinction this reprimand came from Kensington Palace. Not Clarence House or Buckingham.

        It came from William and Kate.

        Whinging Willy probably sent the order himself to have someone talk to her. So gross.

  6. Belli says:

    Meghan WAS damned if she did, damned if she didn’t. And that started from the very first moment she was identified as Harry’s girlfriend, right up to now.

    If she smiled at the photographers, she was attention seeking. If she didn’t, she was arrogant and didn’t know her place.

  7. SomeChick says:

    I must see the offending necklace! Because it sounds sweet.

    Jeez, these courtier shenanigans. SMDH.

  8. Rapunzel says:

    The courtiers whined about Meg wearing a necklace and smiling. So it’s clear they watch everything.

    So… how is it Kate has flashed her ass at least half a dozen times on royal engagements? How was that not corrected?

    I’m seeing some on this post already say, “see, this is why they like personality free Kate. She’s their obedient Princess Barbie.”

    But y’all are missing the point: Kate has never gotten this kind of treatment from the royal courtiers. It’s obvious. If she had, the flashing, the curl twirling, manic gurning, the lack of preparation and speeches and work… it would have been dealt with.

    They were clearly holding Meg to a different standard, to drive her out.

    This isn’t to say that Kate doesn’t feel the need to sublimate her personality for the role, or that she doesn’t feel pressures. I’m sure she does.

    But I don’t for a minute think the courtiers would treat her like they treated Meg. If they did, she’d have behaved a lot differently over the years.

    • Becks1 says:

      I agree Rapunzel. Maybe when they first started dating the courtiers gave Kate advice about some things, but I cant see a courtier ever calling up Kate and telling her what to wear or what not to wear. They treated Meghan differently from the start, but I think at the time it wasn’t so much about “driving her out” as it was about not thinking it was a permanent thing. They were telling her not to draw attention to her relationship with Harry because they thought it would fizzle out quickly. After they got engaged/married, though, I think it was a blatant attempt at control to make her miserable.

      Also, though – now we see why the courtiers resented M so much. They wanted to do things like call someone to talk about a necklace, she wanted to…

    • Beach Dreams says:

      Hell, look to the time before Kate joined the family and remember how often she was papped drunkenly falling out of clubs and cars (with AND without William). Apparently that was A-OK for the family but wearing a minuscule necklace with initials crossed the line 🙃

    • Pearl Grey says:

      During both the dating years and dumping months, Princess-In-Waiting Kate was photographed on multiple occasions grinning for the paps (even during the infamous 25th birthday media scrum that lead to William and the palace releasing a statement calling for an end to her “harassment”), wearing short dresses and cleavage baring tops, out in public wearing low-riding jeans and a vest top that looked like something you wear to bed, flashing her thighs and knickers not-so-graciously getting in and out of cabs, looking drunk, wearing a ring on her engagement finger on a night out with William, being captured on camera openly talking about how “sexy” William was at an official event. Odd how we’ve yet to hear stories of how courtiers called her to admonish her for her public behaviour, but God forbid Meghan wear a necklace or smile.

    • notasugarhere says:

      No wonder he bought her that evil eye protection ring a few months after they started dating. Guess that one slipped right by the courtiers.

    • Ennie says:

      In different articles in relation ti Angela kelly’s book, it is mentioned how SHE told Kate to weigh her hems After the Canada Show er… tour.
      She (FFkween) was cozying up to the hand of the queen

      • Nic919 says:

        The Canada tour was before another incident in New Zealand and another one later on a tour in India. Clearly Kate wasn’t listening.

      • CrazyCatLady says:

        Kate flashed Australia in 2014. I googled Kate flashed Australia and it came up with all the other times she flashed the world. She was so disrespectful! Perfect FFQ please ! Hopefully not of Australia .

      • Sid says:

        The flashing during the India tour was a jawdropper, especially as it happened at a war memorial site. I just remember being stunned at the video and wondering how after all the prior flashings she still hadn’t worked out weighted hems or forgoing such floaty skirts.

  9. S808 says:

    This just convinced me that they micromanaged her wardrobe post marriage as well. As posted above, this why Kate is perfect for the non working of being a royal. Anyone used to having control over their life would’ve gone crazy. I wouldn’t have made it down the aisle honestly.

  10. Becks1 says:

    This is insane, but I bet Meghan thought it would get better after she got married. I wonder if she thought this was KP’s way of “protecting” her from the press and after marriage the protection would take a different form (like an actually helpful form.)

  11. Nancy says:

    It was a necklace HE gave her! She can’t even wear a necklace from her own boyfriend? My God.

    Also, I remember a lot of photos of her in Toronto that winter.

    • Becks1 says:

      Nancy, I remember a lot of photos of her (or of Harry coming and going from her house) but they were all boring, lol, and ran together. They were all shots like the ones from this post, of her bundled up and going to yoga or work or whatever.

    • Rapunzel says:

      Yes, he did give it to her. And you’d think the if the courtiers really didn’t like Meg wearing it, they’d go after Harry for giving it to her. Why didn’t they call him up and say “hey, Harry, stop giving this girl jewelry right now cause then she’s gonna wear it (cause of course a woman wears the jewelry her BF gives her) and get too much publicity. ”

      If this attention getting necklace was really the problem, it’s a much better solution to stop Harry from giving than stop Meghan from wearing. After all, he’s the royal who should know better.

      But of course the necklace was never really the issue.

      • A says:

        @Rapunzel, exactly. If their real concern was the press attention, and it came from a place of actual care for both Meghan and Harry, the staffer would have had both of them come in and been like, “You two…I know you’re in love, and I know we’re probably overreacting, but pls….you’re giving us heart palpitations….it’s cute but it’s still palpitations.”

        Instead they only went after Meghan, and so coldly too. It was just about putting her in her place. And I’ll bet that Meghan, when she married, thought that if she were nice to them, they’d warm to her. But I bet that they made fun of her for that too.

  12. aquarius64 says:

    These courtiers wanted Meghan to conduct herself as Harry’s dirty little secret. Other royal girlfriends are expected to be on the down low; they are snuck into royal residences as if they were jump offs. One pap picture had Meghan going through the front gates of KP with her head held high and not hidden in the trunk of a car.

    • Edna says:

      I guess the courtiers thought Meghan would be just like the other black women Harry was alleged to have dated. Never seen or heard. They must have all shit bricks when M&H got engaged.

      • Green Desert says:

        This is a very important point Edna that really shows the BRF for what they are. The racism behind this request made to Meghan. They didn’t want people knowing Harry was dating a black biracial woman. They didn’t think it would last. Then they got engaged and everyone was like whoa, including Future King Kevin. Then they actually got married. Had a baby. It was too much for the BRF and the horrid courtiers. They had to drive them out. It really is astounding.

    • Nancy says:

      Omg can you link to that picture? Would love to see it!

    • TheOriginalMia says:

      This is how they saw her. As his dirty little secret. As the showgirl. As the woman he beds, but not weds. Fools. All of them were racist, classist fools.

  13. Aurora says:

    “ While she knew the aide had good intentions“

    Did she? This is where I feel like the book is under serving the Sussexes. Micro-aggressions are constantly being framed as “good intentions”. I feel like the authors are assigning these “good intentions” moreso than Meghan.

    • Tia says:

      She probably thought they had good intentions at the time. It’s only when you look at subsequent behaviour by the courtiers that the truth starts to dawn.

    • starryfish29 says:

      They’re trying to keep their jobs on the royal beat. That’s why I don’t put much stock in this book supposedly being a bombshell. I do think it’s interesting that Omid’s co-author has been radio silent on the book that she’ll be cashing checks off of for ages, he’s been attacked all over the place and there’s been nary a peep from her.

      • TeamAwesome says:

        What, you mean Omid the mixed race reporter is getting flack whilst the, I assume, English rose Carolyn isn’t? Well who knew.

      • MA says:

        Durand’s actually white American while he’s mixed race British which…. is perfectly illustrative of Meghan’s treatment and flies in the face of the “it’s not racism it’s anti Americanism”crowd

      • HeyJude says:

        I’ve never bought the anti-Americanism angle. For one we’re that country’s child, although a unobedient one, we’re there’s nonetheless. And FFS that ruling family isn’t even British they’re German, they have no stance to look down on Americans.

    • A says:

      I don’t know if you’re misunderstanding the quote, or if I’m misunderstanding your comment, but the way I understood this, is that Meghan was trying to keep some perspective with these aides and not lose her cool with them completely for being so petty. So she was probably trying to stay calm and telling herself, “They probably mean well, and have good intentions when they say what they say, but their delivery is just off.”

      I didn’t take it as the authors saying that the aides themselves actually HAD good intentions, just that Meghan wanted to think they did so that she could avoid some conflict, and give them some (undeserved) grace, because she’s a nice person.

  14. JaneDoesWerk says:

    Who do these people think that they are?! Also, how demented are they to believe that not wearing a necklace will somehow cause a photographer to lose interest?! They didn’t care about the necklace, they were interested in HER because she was dating Harry. It’s a necklace not a bloody honing beacon.

    It very much feels to me like that courtier didn’t like Meghan’s confidence in herself.

  15. Tiff says:

    Imagine being a 36 year old self sufficient grown woman and having someone tell you not to wear a necklace as if you were a child. The Duchess is a much stronger person than me.

  16. Ginger says:

    They were doing this to get rid of her, it’s so clear. Make her life miserable so she will leave Harry. It was fine for Kate to be photographed falling out of clubs drunk but wearing a necklace and smiling is not?

  17. Jane says:

    I actually find this a really interesting insight into the royal courtiers’ mentality. Let’s assume for a moment that the intentions really were good, and not riddled with hypocrisy, classism and racism – they thought that Meghan wearing that necklace would attract attention because people love to analyse and over-analyse everything, and they were certainly right about this – remember how people poured over Meghan’s Instagram pictures and said she was sending Harry secret messages with bananas and puppy sweaters and the like? It’s like what fans do with Beyonce and Taylor Swift. But if the courtiers thought that all Meghan needed to do to stop press interest was not wear a necklace, or not go places where she might be photographed, they were completely deluded or in denial. They must be aware of the blogs that follow royal fashion, at the very least, and go to considerable lengths to try and interpret royal women’s clothing choices, let alone the more intense elements of the royal fandom. Or are they all Luddites with absolutely no understanding of social media, or any other type of media beyond the Royal Rota? Poor Meghan.

  18. smee says:

    that’s when I would have gotten a “F” & “U” initial necklace 😊

    • starryfish29 says:

      That’s why I’ve never understood the people who harp on about her being with him for the come up, anyone would have left ages ago having faced half of the nonsense that she did. It’s always been pretty clear imo that she really loves him because she had a perfectly good & much easier life before they ever met.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        I agree. I think that before Harry, Meghan was living a charmed life at that stage in her career. She was on a successful show where she had enough fame to be recognized and therefore promote her side projects and her humanitarian efforts. But not so much fame that prevented her from living a relatively normal life that allowed her to travel where and when she wanted. She had enough success that she could access most of what she wanted and all she needed. She seemed to have had her dysfunctional side of her family reasonably at bay so she could ignore them. I think marrying Harry torpedoed her peaceful life and I truly believe that love is the only reason any sensible woman would allow that. We, most of us do all kinds to things in the name of love.

      • Pearl Grey says:

        If she just wanted a come up, she would have followed the Cressida Bonas Method and dated him for a couple of years, leave and say media scrutiny got too much/palace life wasn’t for her, then try to use the attention to boost her acting career. But she gave up a much better life for him, and now she has her husband and baby.

    • MA says:

      @Smee lmao

    • Nic919 says:

      I am going to nominate this for comment of the week.

  19. Prayer Warrior says:

    Couple of things: @smee…I LOVE your response! A necklace w/ F and U would have been very funny to many of us, but she’s a classy lady and would never.
    Also, was the necklace a gift or did she have it made or do we know either way?
    Also, I want NAMES. Someone said “hello, this is Gray from the Suits department of Kensington Palace (ie: not your workplace), and I’m calling to yell at your for your necklace” Did someone else, or was it the same someone who said ” hello, this is George from the Abby and we’re here to yell at you for smiling/not smiling”….I want to know who ARE THESE PEOPLE? I want all the names of the people who DID this, and I want the names of their direct supervisors, all the way to whomever they take their instructions from. NAME THEM …..otherwise, these remain just….stories with no facts……*I know she can’t but aren’t there some honest and loyal to Harry investigative journalists? I want NAMES* and I know she must have them because who would accept as real or true a random call from “hello, I’m calling to tell you not to wear the necklace and to smile and I won’t give you my name or tell you who I work for” … ???? I believe the story. But I want NAMES

    • Saartjie says:

      I know right? Its weird to have everything be so anonymous

    • A says:

      “Also, I want NAMES.” Oh my god, YES. I want names too. I want names soo bad. I don’t think it would be very difficult to know who’s who on the Queen’s staff, since all that information is public, so that would give us some idea of who was saying what and why. But for real, I want people named in specific. I’d love to know, because I’m pretty sure that people who run in those circles know exactly who’s being talked about in all of these instances.

  20. Mary says:

    This was around the time that Royal reporter, and former Grey Man, Dickie Arbiter insisted on Twitter that Harry and Meghan were just having a “fling” and that it would not last. Were they just trying to make Meghan’s life difficult so she would give up and go away? And, when she didn’t the staff just continued to harass her? I do wonder if that senior staff member was JLP. Didn’t he quit around the end of 2017?

    • Mignionette says:

      I am guessing the courtiers (whom Dickie knows first hand) gave him those talking points. I am also guessing the courtiers hoped the relationship would just ‘fizzle out’ given Meg’s heritage. When that didn’t happen, it became a battle of the wills with the family and courtiers being shocked that Harry chose a bi-racial ‘outsider’ over them and Harry being shocked at how he and Meghan were being treated.

      Just in case there are any doubts, watch the engagement interview. Harry clearly says ‘I choose you’. The song choice also at the wedding was also interesting. These two knew there was some degree of trouble ahead, racism, class-ism etc from the snide remarks, however I think they never imagined it would be this bad.

      Harry’s family not only broke his heart, they shredded it when they rejected his wife and child. That kind of betrayal cuts deep.

      • anonymous says:

        “Harry’s family not only broke his heart, they shredded it when they rejected his wife and child. That kind of betrayal cuts deep.”

        You’ve hit the nail on the head, unfortunately.😞. He will never forget this. Even if they do sort out their troubles with each other, Harry now knows his brother’s heart. William loves his brother, but it’s only on his terms. That same love will never extend to Meghan and Archie. I’m sorry for the whole lot of them, but mostly for Harry. His family has shown that that they believe that there is no love lost for the three of them. It’s cruelty in its most devastating form. Family should be that soft spot to land in a world that
        often takes glee in the harm it can inflict. Here, it was being used to destroy a family from within. My heart goes out to them.

  21. Harla says:

    I’m wearing my initial necklace this morning, that my husband gifted me for Christmas after I fell in love with Meghan’s necklace, as a big ole FU to anyone who thinks they can tell any woman what she can or cannot wear.

  22. EM says:

    As someone else stated, she must really love this guy. Then again, red flags are always easier to see later. She probably just thought they were testing her, or really trying to help her. After all, the royal family has decades of dealing with papparazzi their way, no matter what people on the internet say.

    I wonder if we’ll ever know when Harry first had the thought “we’re out of here”. Maybe he was being gaslit right along with Meghan – they’re lecturing her about jewelry to help her, I should have told her to do this facial expression. And then maybe Archie came and it was just too much? Or maybe they thought having Archie would “legitimize” them to certain people?

    • Sara says:

      Yeah, my MiL used to make some passive aggressive, hurtful “criticisms” at me when my husband and I were dating. I got fed up with it and told her I am not a child, she is not my mother and her criticisms held no merit and she stopped. I doubt it’s as easy with this dysfunctional family. Though I guess Harry and Meghan moving out was a very effective way of telling them to STFU.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      I think their son was a major reason why they decided to get out. They want to protect him.

      • Sid says:

        Yup. Living in England as part of the BRF would mean Archie and any he siblings he had would grow up as the press scapegoats in order to make the Cambridge kids look good. No one would want that for their kid.

  23. Lizzie says:

    This is how disfunctional families work, the passive aggressive comments and everything is your fault and you are selfish for making this a problem.

    • Jay says:

      Agreed, and with the added passive aggressive layer that these criticisms were coming via royal aides and through public comment, rather than directly. Classic manipulation. I’m sure they framed it as the attention was somehow “hard on Harry”.

  24. GG says:

    Necklace micromanagement? I applaud Meghan for her composure during that phone call, as I would not have had the same reaction.

  25. Sara says:

    Seriously, all I remember about Harry dating her was a grainy night time shot of him in Toronto entering a nondescript building. That’s it.
    I also don’t know anything about Harry’s previous girlfriends, but is this why they ran? F*ck the Firm. Good for Harry from distancing himself from that nonsense.

  26. MaryContrary says:

    I am sure she thought that once they got married she’d have more clout. I also think that Harry naively believed that his family would back them up. I just think about their engagement interview when he mentioned how happy he was for her to now have this big, fun family. He knew the press was difficult, and I think he had an inkling of how “old fashioned” the palace staff was-but underestimated how together along with his own family back stabbing them it would be unbearable.

    • A says:

      I think she figured that, once she got married, they would be able to warm up to her. I have always sort of side-eyed the allegations of a culture clash, because I don’t think that the royal aides are representative of British culture. British culture itself is nowhere near as stuffy and snobbish as it is in these circles. I think the culture clash only happened because Meghan simply wasn’t prepared for how it would be in the palace itself. The workplace culture was just all off and horribly toxic, not British culture. And frankly, how could Meghan have prepared for this? Unless you know a lot about British royalty and its peculiarities, there’s just no way to know.

    • yinyang says:

      This turned out to be an epic failure. Kate couldn’t put her jealousy and cattiness on the backburner for one minute to make things run smoothly, I don’t think she cares at all about the royal family and making them look good, it all had to be about her, her feelings, her competetiveness, Meghan met her more than halfway for there to be a completely different outcome, if Kate wanted it. I just can’t over it what a shame this all is and the fault lies completely on her, not the tabloids, not the courtiers, not even William, what Kate wanted William would have reluctantly went along with, I believe. I can’t see it any other way.

    • Eugh says:

      Dying that she’s wearing hose

    • A says:

      Every time I see pictures of Kate pre-wedding and engagement, I just feel sad. She looked much more healthy and vibrant in those days. Her face has a fullness to it that you don’t see anymore, y’know?

    • The Quill says:

      I remember her being papped. They were trying to protect her and Harry. You’re showing photos of a very young Kate. Classism and racism? Thats a real stretch lady! How old was Kate? 19? What were you doing? Knitting?

      • Tealie says:

        she was at least 22 and yes i am currently knitting, not going out every night and calling the paparazzi to ‘stick it’ to my ex partner he’ll get jealous and come back to me

  27. Vanessa says:

    I think the courtiers have too power and they don’t behave like senior staff members of a royal family they behave like a bunch of power drunk high schoolers. They tried to meddle in Harry and Meghan Relationship from the beginning that phone call was meant to drive Meghan away from Harry that didn’t work so when the Engagement was announced the courtiers work over times to make sure they didn’t get married. I Always thought that the palace and the Cambridge’s worked with Thomas to make sure the wedding didn’t take place it’s stranger how throughout Meghan and Harry Engagement Thomas was quiet it wasn’t until weeks before the wedding That all of suddenly when Harry and Meghan sent people to help Thomas that things went left . When Thomas said the palace owns him I think the Cambridge’s and courtiers pay Thomas to cause havoc to stop the wedding at all cause that’s what Thomas meant he cause a enough problems for Meghan and Harry to stop the wedding .

  28. yinyang says:

    I don’t think the royal aides wanted Kate as well, it’s just that she and Carole bamboozled them out of nowhere, if William had his mother looking over him, Kate would not be here, WIlliams wife would have been the whole package with a strong work ethic and sense of community as Diana did, not laying about waiting on perks and turning into fragile flower when she’s asked to do anything.

    • A says:

      Oh, they didn’t bamboozle the aides. The aides just wised up to the fact that it was going to be Kate or it would be no one, because no one who would have sufficed for the royal aides were willing to marry William. Plus, there were some real fears at the time that William would renounce his succession rights and take off, which they wanted to prevent at all costs. The rumour was that Kate had successfully convinced him to stay on at St. Andrews, since he wanted to quit school after a single semester as well, and they decided that if she can be counted upon to keep him in the royal family, she’ll do just fine.

    • Cari says:

      A courtier was asked if w would marry k and he said “he has to. It would be another embarrassment for the palace if he broke up with her after all this time”. That wasn’t actually true, the public would have been delighted if he’d broken up with her, but that’s what they thought. There was also an article saying William had been bullied into marrying her before the queens jubilee.

  29. Kim says:

    Diana complained about these courtiers the men in grey . But what is the point of being in this family if you have limited power and freedom. The government pays the courtiers to tell basically bully and manage the queen and her family . What a joke

  30. L4frimaire says:

    I wasn’t really following their romance but I remember some of the comments from some of her public events in U.K., where she would greet in the crowds. People would write all kinds of nasty things from the photos. Most of it was she was smirking and looked self satisfied if she was smiling in photos or that she was seeking the cameras. This woman is incredibly photogenic and she had a million cameras on her at every event. Every expression was recorded so either it was attention hungry or if she wasn’t smiling, she must not want to work or who does she think she is. Now we know where that crap started.

    • A says:

      I forget where I read this, but I remember hearing about how she was actually the favourite of the royal rota photographers. They said, once, that she was extremely considerate of them, and would go out of her way to plan and schedule events so that they would have time to get from one event to another and set up etc. They also said that she would always try her best to give them a good shot going in and out of the event, unlike William or Kate, who would do things like purposefully sneak in so that they can’t take pictures, or throw the shot somehow so they can’t get good ones.

  31. Howdy says:

    It seems like new royal girlfriends/ brides in the UK are raked over the coals after a brief honeymoon period with the press. It isn’t exclusive to Meghan. Diana and Fergie both had their hot then cold relationships with the press. Diana was criticized for her spending and called crazy. Fergie was the Duchess of Pork for her weight and criticized for not being polished enough at engagements. Kate went through this hazing process during her dating years and early duchess years. I hoped Meghan would survive the hazing too. That is what it look like. An old fashioned British public boarding school hazing.

    If anyone has forgotten Kate was called Waity Katy/Duchess Dolittle/work shy for not having a career as a single woman and not working as hard as the older royals as a new duchess. Kate was criticized for her clothing and makeup choices, misspeaking (about tea and Faberge), flyaway hems and hair pieces (wiglet watch was popular here), her inability to deliver a decent speech, her photography skills, not attending the Irish Guards, her manic grinning at events, being William’s doormat, being a social climber, etc.

    Kate stuck with it and adapted. Over a lot of time and after adapting to what the public expected, Kate grudgingly earned respect.

    • Tealie says:

      thanks but ‘waity kaity’ which was well earned after 10 years of not bothering to get a job but catering to boyfriend to be at his beck and call, is not the same as racial slurs, death threats and having a hate campaign against you, people begging for your divorce, wishing death on your child so your husband can marry someone elde. if it were Kate should’ve had it 100 times worse for the shit she pulled and still pulls day in day out.

      Everything you listed I think is that Kate could easily change no one is begging her to be lazy she wants to be lazy she doesn’t want to be a working woman she wants to be a lady of leisure housewife.

      Everything you listed I think is that Kate could easily change no one is begging her to be lazy she wants to be lazy she has been given 9 years of grace, actually 19 years of grace with headlines such as she is about to step into the headlight Kate to become a new woman every five months to give her time to change. NO ONES press has been comparable to Meghans