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Meghan Markle, it’s fair to say, is a controversial figure. There are people on both sides of the extremes. People that absolutely adore her and others who totally can’t stand her. People who hate her, however, seem to be the most vocal and they make some very disparaging claims about the Duchess of Sussex, though these opinions shouldn't be taken as pure fact.

There are a lot of factors for why people don’t like, or outright hate, Meghan Markle. To those people, there’s just something untrustworthy about her. Her two year marriage and subsequent split from her first husband, Trevor Engelson, topped a lot of people’s lists for why they couldn’t bring themselves to like Markle. The two first met in 2004 and after seven years of dating, they married in 2011 in Jamaica.

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This afternoon, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Commonwealth Day, alongside Her Majesty The Queen and Members of The Royal Family. The Commonwealth is a global network of 54 countries, working in collaboration towards shared economic, environmental, social and democratic goals, and the Service today seeks to highlight the vast community which spans every geographical region, religion and culture, embracing diversity amongst its population of 2.4 billion people, of which 60 percent are under 30 years old. As President and Vice-President of the @Queens_Commonwealth_Trust, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been passionate advocates of the Commonwealth having spent many years working closely with the next generation of Commonwealth leaders. The theme of the Commonwealth for 2020 is ‘Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming', placing emphasis on youth, the environment, trade, governance, and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) and innovation. From working to protect the earth's natural resources and preserving the planet for generations to come, to championing fair trade and empowering the youth of today to transform the communities of tomorrow, the Service celebrates the Commonwealth's continued commitment to delivering a peaceful, prosperous and more sustainable future for all. Photo © PA

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Meghan Markle's Hasty Divorce

The marriage didn’t last, obviously, and Engelson and Markle divorced in 2013. It’s not the divorce that had Markle haters convinced Markle was more sinister than she’d have people believe, but the way Markle reportedly went about it. In his unauthorized biography of Meghan Markle, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, which was published just before her wedding to Prince Harry, author Andrew Morton wrote that Markle’s decision to divorce came seemingly out of nowhere.

The choice came about so suddenly, Morton insisted, that Markle wound up sending her wedding and engagement rings back to Engelson through the mail. This abrupt ending of a two year marriage convinced some that Markle was the type to cut out people from her life who couldn’t or wouldn’t further her ambitions.

Markle Versus Markle

Speaking of cutting people out of her life, her very public falling out with her father is another piece of evidence people who dislike Markle use as evidence of her sly, duplicitous nature. Many people point out that Thomas Markle seemed to be an integral part of Markle’s life growing up. They hold up a since deleted Father’s Day blog post Markle made in honor of her father. In the post, Markle mentions several activities that they did together, including fishing trips and the fact that Thomas would always take his daughter to ballet class. The former Suits actress also mentioned that her father supported her in making her dream of becoming an actress a reality.

Many of Markle’s detractors believe her to be too harsh in her dealings with her father, and are especially upset about the fact that Thomas has yet to meet his grandson, Archie. To them, Markle had no problem taking all of her father’s support during the years she needed him, but now that he’s old and can no longer do anything for her, she’s cut him off. Though Thomas has certainly made mistakes, the critics argue, many of them could have possibly been made out of ignorance. Thomas didn’t receive the training that Markle did when she joined the royal family. Not allowing him to meet his grandson is too harsh a punishment for his actions, many have argued.

Princess Training Put To Waste?

There are also those who are annoyed by the fact that, despite all the training the British royal family provided Markle, she still commits countless royal faux pas that are apparently a huge embarrassment to the royal family. A few flubs, these people could forgive. But Markle’s repeated offenses, especially when it comes to fashion, began to seem purposeful, almost as if this was Markle’s way of thumbing her nose at the rest of the royal family. The rules apply to them, but not to Meghan Markle, these haters insist.

Markle’s fashion choices have also riled up her critics. In addition to breaking royal protocol a little too often, people also feel like her tastes are too expensive for her station. The fact that Markle wears designer clothes causes endless consternation for her disparagers. Though she doubtless has some designer threads left over from her previous life as an actress, some argue that she’s probably bought more clothes on the British taxpayer’s dime. Her lavish baby shower was also cause for concern. Plus, there is still some annoyance that Prince Harry and Markle renovated their British home base, Frogmore Cottage, with taxpayer money, spending millions of pounds to do so.

The Impact On The Royal Family

Markle is to blame for the current state of the British royal family, people who find her distasteful insist. She poisoned Prince Harry against his family, which isn’t too surprising, these people sneer, considering the way she’s treated her own family. It was clear to Meghan Markle’s haters that Kate Middleton didn’t much care for her sister-in-law, and there were countless tabloid stories proclaiming to have evidence of an alleged feud between the royal sister-in-laws. It was even rumored that Markle had treated her husband’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, badly. Though the royal family brought her in, supporting her on her wedding day when her own father couldn’t walk her down the aisle, Markle still treated them badly, critics say.

Above all, there just seems to be an air of arrogance around Meghan Markle that people just don’t like. Some have even gone so far as to call the Duchess of Sussex a narcissist. Everything has to be about Markle all the time, which is why Markle has reportedly clashed with her royal in-laws. Markle, her critics proclaim, is a diva who has manipulated herself into a marriage with a prince, who she’s much too controlling of.

Markle Called Herself The "Most Trolled" Person Ever

In a recent interview with the Teenager Therapy podcast, Meghan Markle was honest about her experience dealing with public criticism, harassment, and online trolling that affected her during her last year as a working royal. Speaking about the toll social media specifically took on her, Markle said, “Yes it’s a great way to connect, but it also ends up being a place where there's a lot of disconnection. I can speak personally too, I’m told that in 2019 I was the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female.” The Duchess of Sussex added that much of that year, she wasn't even particularly active since she was on maternity leave, but that didn't stop the cruel comments and false stories about her.

Now, 8 months of that I wasn’t even visible — I was on maternity leave or with a baby. But what was able to be manufactured and churned out, it’s almost unsurvivable. I don’t care if you’re 15 or you’re 25, if people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging.

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50 years ago, women in Britain won the right to equal pay. That monumental moment began with one courageous and inspiring group of women in a factory in Dagenham, England. In 1968, facing a pay settlement that declared them less skilled than men, the sewing machinists of the Ford Motor Company walked out on strike. In the face of great pressure, they stood firm, and two years later the UK Parliament was forced to pass the Equal Pay Act, protecting and supporting working women ever since. To mark International Women’s Day, The Duchess of Sussex visited Dagenham to meet with Geraldine Dear, one of the strikers, and spend time with students at the Robert Clack Upper School to meet the town’s next generation of female role models, and talk to young women and men about the women who inspire them. • “Being in Dagenham is incredibly profound. Because as you can see with Geraldine and the other women who had the strength to really stand up for something that they knew needed to be done. This is the best example of no matter how small you might feel, how low you may feel on the ladder or the totem pole, no matter what colour you are, no matter what gender you are, you have a voice, and you certainly have the right to speak up for what is right.” - The Duchess of Sussex A lifetime advocate and campaigner for gender equity, The Duchess joined a special assembly to celebrate this remarkable local story, as well as recognise the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of all women around the world. #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2020 #EachForEqual Photo © The Duke and Duchess of Sussex / Chris Allerton

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Our Verdict

It goes without saying that much of the charges made against Meghan Markle have no evidence. All we know about the Duchess of Sussex is what she’s revealed and what people have claimed happened. Much of people’s complaints are simply conjecture. Yes, it might be true that Markle abruptly filed for divorce from her first husband, but no one but the two of them knew the reality of their relationship, so anyone else commenting on their short-lived marriage shouldn’t be taken seriously. Meghan Markle and her father don’t get along, that’s very true, but it’s definitely not fair to say that Markle abandoned her father.

It’s not just individual people who spread rumors about the Duchess. The tabloids are a huge reason why there is so much negative press out there about Markle. The slew of negative media about Markle even influenced Prince Harry and Markle to release a statement calling out four top news outlets for “clickbait and distortion.” It’s clear that this couple is often the target of false stories and rumors, which some people read and believe wholeheartedly, unfortunately. Those people pass along the misinformation and before you know it, a swarm of people begin to believe Markle is only a few steps down from the devil himself.

There are legitimate complaints about her, absolutely, that make it clear that Markle is no saint, but she’s not the sinner that she’s made out to be in the tabloids and gossip blogs, either. Like most people, she’s somewhere in between. It might be fun to pretend that Markle is the worst thing that ever happened to the British royal family, but those who do so must have a very short memory. It’s unfair to Markle to simply believe every bad word that’s spoken about her, but it’s not wise to believe every positive story about the Duchess, either. If someone has a very strong opinion about Markle, in either direction, it’s best to take that opinion with a grain of salt.

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