Meghan Markle is subjected to constant attention in the tabloids. Often, the things written about her are vicious. She’s portrayed as a money-grubbing diva, a domineering wife over husband Prince Harry, an ungrateful brat towards Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the royal family, an evil foil to sister-in-law Kate Middleton, and even a straight-up criminal. Gossip Cop is taking a deep dive into the worst allegations the gossip media has made about the Duchess of Sussex.
Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they would be stepping down as senior members of the royal family, one popular tabloid narrative is that the Duchess of Sussex only cares about money and is manipulating both her husband and the rest of his family into giving her more and more of it. There is no evidence that she has ever demanded huge payouts or blackmailed The Firm in any way, yet the tabloids keep inventing stories claiming she is.
Earlier this month, the Globe published a phony report alleging that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were still receiving an allowance from Prince Charles. That arrangement began in January when they left their jobs in the family, but unfortunately for the outlet, the couple had signed their deal with Netflix just days before. Even worse for the supermarket tabloid, the Daily Mail had just reported that Markle and Prince Harry had not only paid off the remaining debt they owned the British taxpayers for the renovations on Frogmore cottage, but they also announced that they would no longer be receiving money from Prince Charles.
The story itself was easy enough to debunk, but it also laid into Markle specifically, calling her a,
high maintenance wife,
and claiming she had “destroyed her hubby’s world” by forcing him to move to Los Angeles so she could resume her acting career (more on that later). By all legitimate accounts, the break from the family was a mutual decision by the Sussexes, but despite that, the gossip media constantly makes it out to be Markle’s decision alone (more on that later as well).
the unreliable publication claimed that Queen Elizabeth would have to pay her the money to avoid her airing the family’s supposed dirty laundry in public.
Once again, the story was easy to bust, and once again, it was filled with the same kind of toxic language. In addition to claiming that Markle had trademarked “tacky” merchandise to profit from the “Sussex Royal” name, she was accused of being
difficult and demanding,
and acting like “Diva Duchess” and “Queen Bee” that always gets her way. The piece also purports that she drove a wedge between Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, which is also a complete fantasy.
Another popular trope is to attack Meghan Markle are a failed actress turned ego-driven princess hell-bent on receiving constant praise and attention. Despite the family leaving England because of all the attention, she’s still portrayed as a media-seeking diva.
In August, the National Enquirer ran a bogus story asserting Meghan Markle was a
Rather than simply wishing the duchess a happy 39th birthday, like the royal family did, the tabloid invented a mean-spirited narrative that alleged that she didn’t respond to any of those birthday wishes from Prince Harry’s family. In fact, the magazine claimed, Prince William only wished her a happy birthday on his official Instagram account because the queen ordered him to.
Once again, the vitriolic language the tabloids so often use when describing Markle was on full display, with a so-called “palace insider” saying Prince Harry didn’t thank his grandmother for the well-wishes because “what Meghan wants, Meghan gets.” Apparently, Markle wanted to snub his family. Instead of words, the dubious outlet maintains, she was demanding gifts, “designer clothes, pricey jewelry,” and even an “A-list chef” to cook dinner for them in their “borrowed mansion,” referring to the house they lived in for a few months after moving to LA.
It was yet another example of poor reporting by the Enquirer, as the duke and duchess had already moved out the house they were renting and into the house they purchased in Santa Barbara. Clearly the “insiders” the tabloid quoted weren’t inside enough to know the couple had moved a month early.
Controlling Prince Harry’s Every Move stories like that are also very common, perpetuating the idea that Prince Harry is being manipulated by Meghan Markle rather than an equal partner in their marriage. Take, for example, this other birthday story.
Early in August, just before Meghan Markle’s birthday on August 4, In Touch wrote that she was “demanding” a $200,000 birthday party despite Prince Harry protesting the idea. The title pretty much says it all: “Meghan’s Birthday Diva Demands.” Sound familiar? The prince is depicted as nothing more than a bystander in his wife’s extravagant demands, as she refused to tamp down her plans as despite his pleas. Worse yet, the tabloid said, even
her friends are already annoyed by her ridiculous demands.
The story was, obviously, complete nonsense. Markle and Prince Harry are following all the guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic, and she was never planning a large gathering for her birthday. As her birthday came and went with no party, it was obvious this was just another way for a tabloid to trash Markle, depicting her as a Hollywood diva that craves attention and doesn’t respect her husband.
The media often uses terms like “Henpecked Harry,” as if he has no say whatsoever in the couple’s decisions. However, as far back as last October, it was clear that Prince Harry was struggling with the idea of raising his child under the royal microscope in the United Kingdom. As the authors of the book Finding Freedom reported, “Deep down, he was always struggling within that world. She’s opened the door for him on that.” The decision was not hers alone, nor was it his, because as any healthy couple would, they made the decision together.
In one of the more absurd reports that Gossip Cop has debunked lately, a story in New Idea asserted that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were having “major” relationship issues that were apparent from the body language the royal couple used on a Zoom call. Sound ridiculous enough? It was.
A so-called “body language expert,” who has likely never even met the Sussexes, alleged that “when Meghan speaks, it is her taking the stage and Harry immediately looks at the floor.” This, the expert contended, was a “manifestation of someone giving away their power.” Sometimes you have tip your hat to these publications for their inventiveness. Creating this tall tale based on nothing more than a few movements on a video call is impressive. It’s also completely false and really just another attempt to portray Markle as a manipulative wife that rules over Prince Harry’s every move.
If you would believe the tabloids, you would think that Meghan Markle hates everything about the other members of the royal family and they hate everything about her.
The tabloids love to pit Meghan Markle against Queen Elizabeth II. Usually, it's over rules or traditions Markle is breaking, but occasionally an outlet will go way over the top. New Idea is often that outlet, like the time it claimed Queen Elizabeth was on her way to Los Angeles to confront Markle.
The ludicrous story alleged that the queen was so upset with Markle that she was planning a trip to California in the middle of a pandemic. A pandemic, remember, that has confined the queen mostly to Windsor Castle and other properties of hers, forgoing almost all public in-person events. And yet, this tabloid wants readers to believe the 94-year-old monarch is boarding a plane to pick a fight with Duchess of Sussex? Of course, she wasn’t, but it was ultimately just a way for the magazine to attack Markle.
The story depicts Markle as ungrateful and backstabbing, mostly due to the book Finding Freedom, which Markle had no part in writing and yet is constantly attacked for in the gossip media. According to the bogus article, the queen believed that she is the only one that could reign in Markle. Frankly, that’s the most insulting and recurring trope the tabloids use on Markle — that she is out of control. What evidence is there, anywhere, that she is “out of control”? She and Prince Harry have spent the entire lockdown inside, doing speaking engagements via video and occasionally venturing out into LA to do charity work. Nothing needs reigning in, by the queen or anyone else.
Early in September, New Idea turned to a story in the Daily Mail for inspiration. An article in the paper explained that since Meghan Markle’s son Archie is sixth in line for the crown, the sovereign must formally approve of who he marries. According to New Idea, Markle also read this story and was “preparing for an almighty showdown between herself, Kate and the Queen in London once travel restrictions ease,” because she was upset to find out about this rule.
Seriously? Markle is IN the family. Her husband is the brother of the future king. Are we really supposed to believe that a story in a London newspaper is where she first learned about a protocol like this? Absurd! Really, all this was, once again, was an opportunity to insult and lambaste Markle, specifically pitting her against Kate Middleton in this situation, something that often happens.
For the starkest examples of how unfair the tabloids are to Markle, look at how her sister-in-law is presented in the same phony reports. Often, it’s part of pregnancy stories, which is, of course, a very frequent subject for phony reports about both Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton.
Just last week, Gossip Cop debunked yet another story that claimed that both Middleton and Markle are pregnant in an In Touch article, but the language used to describe the two bogus pregnancies stood out to us.
On one hand, Markle is described as wanting a “the best” nursery “money could buy,” while Middleton, “doesn’t particularly care if her nursery has the latest technology or luxury pieces.” Remember, this story is completely made up, so the choice to present Markle as wanting only expensive things and Middleton being “traditional and simple” is completely by choice. It is a deliberate attempt to paint a very distinct contrast that Markle is a diva, while Middleton is a saint.
The same contrasting description was used in a previous piece by the same outlet making the same outlandish claim that both Markle and Middleton are pregnant, but this time using biology to contrast the two. Markle was morning sick and feeling lousy, while Middleton was walking on air. Markle was tired, but Middleton was full of energy. It even stated that Prince Harry was “going above and beyond” as if to suggest he was a better father than Markle was a mother. Just how mean can one tabloid be?
Perhaps the most insulting and most degrading thing that the gossip media has done recently is to Meghan Markle is to accuse of an actual crime — not a breach of protocol or an act of defiance, but an actual property crime.
Back in June, the National Enquirer purported that Meghan Markle had “run off” with millions of dollars of jewelry that belonged to Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana. Of course, Gossip Cop debunked the rude tale, but beyond the blatant lies were very disrespectful depictions of the duchess. Using coded language like “biracial” to make sure the readers were aware that Markle isn’t white like the rest of the family, the outlet's implication that her race made her criminal was downright disgusting. This kind of dog-whistling is also common enough that Gossip Cop will likely address it in the future.
Frankly, the rest of the article was filled with all the same insults and lies as all the other pieces. The “royal insider” asserting that Markle had called herself “the new Di” wasn’t a surprise, as it’s something we’ve gotten used to here, but whenever race is added to the mix, it takes these depictions to a whole new and outright repulsive level. Sadly, for Markle, these false representations are likely to continue far into the future, but you can count on Gossip Cop to continue to call out the tabloids for this utter trash.