Editor’s note: Mari Rodríguez Ichaso has been a contributor to Vanidades magazine for several decades. Specialist in fashion, travel, gastronomy, art, architecture and entertainment. Film producer. Style columnist for CNN en Español. The opinions expressed in this column are solely his own. Read more opinion pieces at cnne.com/opinion.
(CNN Spanish) – For those of us who for many years have followed the life of the “royals” (and sometimes we even feel that they are a bit “like family”) and we find in that world an “escape” to the reality of the COVID-19 so sad and Uncertain that we live, the figure of Meghan Markle -duchess of Sussex, wife of Prince Harry, mother of his son Archie and the baby that is on the way, former actress, divorcee and native of California- is at the moment a very difficult enigma to define . And cause of great controversy.
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I have discussed it with many friends and royal experts – and I find many conflicting opinions and even great passion in their insights about Meghan.
Personally, I don’t even know what to think anymore – and I feel very confused. I loved Meghan – and even visited London and Windsor Castle twice – to see St George’s Chapel before the event where Meghan and Harry’s wedding took place on May 19, 2018. I wanted to know all the details! and write about it!
I liked that Harry had fallen in love with a smart woman, proud of her black heritage, hardworking, green-loving and helping the underprivileged. And she – an actress (of a not exactly well known soap opera) divorced and apparently very ambitious in her professional life – had fallen madly in love with a red-haired prince who until then had lived an unstable love life with successive blonde girlfriends and from wealthy families, although always yearning for his trips to Africa to help different NGOs, struggling with his emotional problems.
And although Meghan has said that she did not follow the life of the “royals” – and did not know details of the English royal family – on a “blind date” in July 2016, organized by a mutual friend – she met Harry and found love! An “amour fou” that just weeks later led them to camp under the stars at a luxurious “resort” in Botswana – and at dizzying speed they were living a divine romance. After many trips between Toronto (where Meghan lived) and London, in November 2017 the engagement and wedding were announced.
And the vast majority of British and half the world were fascinated by the couple and their passionate love and evident rapport! Love was coming back to the English crown and the second of Princess Diana’s children was happy!
And what happened next?
Until then everything was rosy – and the majority of the English press was a “fan” of Meghan. I know because I read articles and very positive notes every day. And Queen Elizabeth welcomed the marriage with great love and joy. Harry is one of his dearest grandchildren and to see him happy was a great joy!
But soon rumors surfaced that allegedly employees who had been working for the royal family for years had quit working with the Sussexes. Nine employees left in just 18 months, according to figures compiled by The Sun – many with excellent reputations, including Natalie Campbell, who resigned from the Sussex Royal Foundation, where she worked shoulder to shoulder with Meghan, to become CEO of a water company.
More rumors began to be heard that Meghan did not get along with her sister-in-law Kate, William’s wife and one of the favorites in the family. According to a source close to the two women, “it is just clickbait”, that is, bait for people to click on the story. According to CNN sources, while the two women don’t spend much time together, they have a friendly relationship. At an event in 2018, Princes Harry and William said that if there was any disagreement it was actually between the brothers, and not between their wives.
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And here and there it seemed that Meghan did not feel comfortable and thought that she was not treated as she wanted. The panorama had changed 180 degrees and soon the Duchess of Sussex no longer seemed to be so loved by the press and social networks where offenses and verbal abuse towards Meghan Markle were common.
The scandals caused by Meghan’s father and siblings did not help the situation and the tabloids and TV shows in which they appeared were happy to report them. Some outlets undoubtedly abused the freedom they enjoy in the UK and overnight the public perception of the new couple soured.
After Archie’s birth, Meghan complained in a documentary about her trip to Australia for TV that no one ever asked her, “How are you? How you feel?” and spoke of the pressures of being a new mother and newlywed under public scrutiny.
And very soon everything was tangled and like a snowball that begins to roll, the press made it all very ugly. Too ugly! In January 2020, the Sussexes announced (without notifying the queen) that they would cease to be an active part of the royal family – and were moving to the United States. And so it happened!
In February 2020 their new website Sussex Royal – which they established privately – had to change their name because the English crown suddenly prohibited them from using them. And so many more setbacks occurred.
Advancing the clock – already living in California and in addition to participating in charities in the area, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are still in the news even in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic. They live with their son in a large mansion in the Santa Barbara area and are now expecting their second child. They have also signed a million dollar contract with Netflix to produce documentaries and TV shows, a commercial “deal” with Spotify – and recently Meghan invested in an ecological coffee company – which her neighbor the famous Oprah Winfrey has already publicly endorsed! It will be Oprah who on March 7 will give the couple a “tell all” style interview (openly) on TV.
Although they say they want to be anonymous, the Sussexes are still big news. And months ago Meghan wrote a dramatic and surprising editorial for The New York Times – where she revealed that last summer they had lost a baby due to a miscarriage. And now – as we all know – a second baby will arrive in the family in a few months. And how do we find out? Because the Sussexes issue constant press releases!
A planned Christmas trip to the UK did not happen due to the pandemic – and according to Us Weekly reports in 2020, Doria, Meghan’s mother lives close to them and spends more time than before with the Sussexes. As royal biographer Sean Smith told British magazine Fabulous, the couple are still in contact with the queen and say they enjoy showing her how much Archie has grown since they moved from the UK.
Everything that has happened in that country has caused – and among royal followers – very diverse opinions and comments that blame Meghan for separating Harry from his family and his world – comparing it to what the divorced American Wallis Simpson did in 1936! , for whom King Edward VIII resigned the throne!
On the other hand, many applaud that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have “freed themselves” from protocol and want to be happy in their own way. They say that Harry misses his fellow Army members and his world. And now – after the queen removed the official patronage of many organizations from both – the situation is worse. According to Queen Elizabeth, the crown cannot be represented at half time or “part time”.
Others predict that their lives will not be as perfect as they want, and there is even speculation about the future of this couple!
I do not know what to think! But the truth is that -for the moment- Meghan and Harry are and will continue to be news – and along with detractors just like their fans – we have not heard even half of this story, which began as a fairy tale and perhaps has been losing the Magic.