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Is Meghan Markle really watching "The Crown" to learn about royal etiquette? That's what one tabloid is trying to get readers to believe. Gossip Cop, however, can bust the story.

According to the current edition of Life & Style, the hit Netflix series is Markle's "cheat sheet" now that she's engaged to marry Prince Harry. The gossip magazine contends the show "isn't just a guilty pleasure for Meghan; it's insight into her in-laws." A so-called "source" is quoted as saying, "Whenever Prince Harry isn't home, Meghan watches the show to learn about royal etiquette."

"With her wedding approaching," continues this alleged source, "Meghan is nervous she won't get through thousands of pages on royal protocol in time her big day, so she's kind of cheating the system by watching the show." The publication is conjuring an image of Markle as a school student who rents the movie instead of reading the book. Tellingly, though, the outlet and its alleged tipster don't name a single thing the royal-to-be has supposedly learned from the program.

"The Crown" has won raves from critics and there are royal historians on staff to ensure the program is largely accurate. As such, viewers are, for the most part, getting a relatively authentic look at royal life. But the show moves chronologically and is only in its second season. The first batch of episodes covered 1947 to 1955, while the recently-debuted second collection focuses on 1956 to 1964. There is a lot that's happened in the world of the royals, and with their bylaws, since the 1960s.

For all the stereotypes about the monarchy being stuck in the rigid past, there's been new protocols established in various areas to keep up with modernity in the 21st century. While Markle could certainly see on the show how a fictionalized version of Queen Elizabeth once acted during her early reign, it's laughable to suggest the series could actually be a substitute for all that she needs to learn today in 2017. And it's not simply a matter of reading "thousands of pages" on royal rules.

Markle is actually getting etiquette lessons in the ways of being a royal, along with safety/security training and more instruction. She also has to learn decades of royal history, well beyond just 1947-1964. As overwhelming as it all may seem, she's not going it alone. There are people specifically working to teach her everything she needs to know. Merely watching "The Crown" wouldn't cut it. It seems likely the tabloid is only trying to sell this angle because outlets have been quick to draw comparisons between "The Crown" and Markle's new life. Even some of the actors from the show have been asked to weigh in.

Still, it's not surprising Life & Style has gone with a cutesy narrative versus a real and rational one. This is the same magazine that falsely claimed Prince Harry and Markle were engaged in November 2016, a full year before they actually were. Perhaps the outlet is still living in a fantasy world better suited for TV.


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