In 2016, the only people who had heard of Meghan Markle were fans of the USA Network legal drama “Suits” and the handful of moviegoers who noticed her cameo in the 2011 comedy “Horrible Bosses.” The rest of the world was blissfully ignorant of the woman who was destined to disrupt the British monarchy simply by making one ginger-haired “spare heir” prince fall in love with her.
Today, however, the name Meghan Markle typically elicits some kind of response from everyone. To fans, she is an enchanted example of a fairy tale come true — one in which a blue-blooded royal forsook his family and country, valiantly fighting to protect his true love’s honor in the face of blatant, explicit racism, not the least of which originated among the aforementioned royal elites.
Then there are those who see the Duchess of Sussex as a ruthless gold-digger who sought fame and fortune by any means necessary. Her ladder climb included snatching away an affable yet aimless British royal who often played third wheel to his older brother, Prince William, and his wife, Kate Middleton, who was still clearly traumatized by the death of his mother, Princess Diana. To her critics, Meghan saw a weakness and exploited it.
No one will ever know Meghan Markle’s true motivations except for the duchess herself. But we can at least break down how one royal romance spawned a person who was unofficially dubbed the “Queen of Woke.”
November 2017: Prince Harry Pops the Question to American Actress Meghan Markle
Meghan and Harry met on a blind date in 2016. The press soon caught wind of their romance, especially after Harry was seen jetting off to Toronto, where Meghan was living and filming “Suits.” While their clandestine vacations and courtship were newsworthy, the couple really began to make headlines on the day Harry proposed.
At that point, he and Meghan had been dating for around 18 months and were clearly smitten with each other. However, older brother Prince William allegedly warned Harry not to rush into marriage. This is rumored to be the beginning of the royal rift between these former best friend brothers that still makes things awkward to this day.
April 2018: A Royal Wedding
Everyone loves a royal wedding, right? Well, not exactly. There were rumors of drama from day one, with some palace sources saying Meghan made Kate cry during a flower girl dress fitting. (Stay tuned: This tiff comes up again a few years later after Meghan agreed to do a bombshell interview with Oprah.) No matter what actually happened, things were off to a rocky start when it came to Meghan joining the family.
Even the date the couple chose — Saturday, May 19, 2018 — was controversial. According to Reader’s Digest, the late Queen Victoria thought May weddings were unlucky. As the rhyme goes, “Marry in May, and rue the day.” How true that would turn out to be.
These may not seem like important details, but they serve as the beginning of the drama Meghan causes in the royal family.
October 15, 2018: Expecting a New Royal Baby
Fans were overjoyed to find out a royal baby was coming when Harry and Meghan made the announcement in the fall of 2018. But the addition of a baby meant even more controversy was coming as Meghan refused to do things “the royal way.” This kicked off with the duchess hosting a celebrity-studded baby shower in New York City in February 2019, which was apparently seen as quite gauche by royal family standards. And it only got worse from there.
November 2018: Meghan and Harry Move Out of Kensington Palace
Many royal followers believe perceptions of Harry and Meghan started to shift when they decided to leave Kensington Palace, where they were close to William, Kate, and their three children, and move to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. While some interpret this moment as the beginning of the pair’s never-ending quest for privacy, others view it differently.
Not only did this move intensify rumors about Harry and William feuding, but critics saw it as the couple — with Meghan leading the charge — being ungrateful for what they were given. Since they were expecting, Frogmore underwent a massive, multi-million-dollar renovation. The couple’s new digs included a gym, yoga studio, and nursery, along with top-of-the-line security.
Plus, the Sussexes moving away from Kensington only intensified those rumors about Harry and William feuding.
December 2018: Royal Staff Won’t Stop Quitting; Meghan Gets Blamed
It could be a coincidence. But, then again, the simplest explanation is usually true, and the facts show that three royal aides resigned between the time Meghan and Harry were married in May 2018 and December of that year. Notably, this included the couple’s private secretary, Samantha Cohen, who announced she was leaving after serving the royal family for 17 years.
Press from that period included a Daily Mail article in which a palace aide and assistant named “Melissa” admitted she quit because of “Hurricane Meghan” ruining the positive vibe with palace staff. She [Meghan] allegedly drove away staff due to her “particular brand of ‘up and at ’em’ West Coast energy” and tendency of “getting up at 5am [and] bombarding aides with texts.”
Furthermore, a source told The Mirror that “Meghan put a lot of demands on her [Melissa] and it ended up with her in tears.”
April 2019: @SussexRoyal Is Born
Just one month before their actual son was born, Meghan and Harry debuted a new Instagram account, cementing their recent split from Kensington Palace and the royal offices that came with it.
Royal insiders insisted splitting offices made sense and happened all the time. But, once again, this change contributed to the narrative that Meghan and Harry were forging an identity separate from the other royal family members.
May 6, 2019: Another Ginger-Haired Heir Is Born
The birth of a royal baby is enough to make the most fervent critic set aside any animosity to admire the cute new infant. But the arrival of Archie Harrison was also steeped in drama and controversy. First, he was not born at St. Mary’s Hospital like many other royal babies — including both William and Harry as well as the three Cambridge children, George, Charlotte, and Louis — had been. This meant Meghan did not pose on the steps for a photo op like Kate did. In fact, Meghan and Harry decided to announce Archie’s birth in their own time, as shared in a statement nearly a month before his arrival: “The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”
Additionally, the couple privately selected their own photographer and kept his christening secret.
During this time, rumors started circulating that Meghan felt sorry for Kate having to pose for post-birth photos. Meghan also allegedly turned down Queen Elizabeth’s offer of using her medical team, which consisted of male doctors. She opted for a female doctor for the delivery instead.
October 2019: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Sue the Tabloids
Harry and Meghan were on a royal tour of Africa when they announced they planned to sue the UK tabloid newspaper Mail on Sunday and its parent company, claiming they published one of Meghan’s private letters without permission. The letter in question was between Meghan and her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
Harry released a statement in response.
“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences — a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” he said.
“The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave. She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour,” he continued.
“Though we have continued to put on a brave face — as so many of you can relate to — I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been,” he said.
In conclusion, the Duke of Sussex recalled Princess Diana and how she was treated by the press.
“Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised [sic] to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
Late October 2019: Meghan Admits She’s ‘Not OK’
The ITV documentary “Harry and Meghan: An African Journey” was the first time Meghan shared some of her feelings regarding the British press’s bullying. She recalled how British friends tried to warn her that would happen.
“When I first met my now husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy,” Meghan recalled.
“But my British friends said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great, but you shouldn’t do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life.’ And I very naively thought — I’m American, we don’t have that there — what are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense … I didn’t get it. So it’s been … complicated.”
Meghan said she had tried to put on a brave face, but it just all got too much.
“I’ve said for a long time to H — that’s what I call him — it’s not enough to just survive something, right? That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive; you’ve got to feel happy,” Meghan continued.
“I’ve really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip … I’ve tried, I’ve really tried.”
When asked if she was “OK,” the duchess said she really wasn’t.
January 2020: Prince Harry and Meghan Quit the Royal Family
The world was shocked when Harry and Meghan announced their decision to step down as senior royals in January 2020.
At the time, the Sussexes claimed they’d be splitting time between the United Kingdom and North America to “raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”
It was clear that royal officials were blindsided by this announcement. After weeks of hammering out details, it was announced that the pair would lose their “royal highness” titles but Harry would retain his place in the line of succession.
Among other things, the pair demanded more privacy and freedom from the relentless British press that had been intent on making their lives miserable.
July 2020: Harry and Meghan Settle in California
The duke and duchess spent time house-hopping first in Canada and then in areas of California. They made the decision to stay in California permanently by purchasing a sprawling mansion in Santa Barbara
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved into their family home in July of this year,” a rep for the couple told People in August of 2020. “They have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbors, as well as for them as a family.”
August 2020: Royal Fans Start a Frenzy Over “Finding Freedom” Biography
“Finding Freedom” is not an officially authorized biography, however, authors Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie are known to have close ties at the palace and access to insider information. The book details what was thought to be the beginning of the rift between William and Harry.
As mentioned earlier, apparently, William told his younger brother not to rush into a serious relationship with Meghan. According to the biography, Harry thought William was being a snob, and nothing was the same after that.
When it came to choosing between blood and love, Harry picked Meghan. And her detractors hated her more for it.
December 2020: Harry and Meghan Sign with Spotify
After landing a multi-year Netflix deal in September 2020, the Sussexes inked a contract with Spotify to host and produce podcasts as another step in the direction of making their own money on their own terms.
“What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction,” Harry and Meghan said in a statement (via Yahoo). “With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.”
To date, there hasn’t been much action on the Harry and Meghan podcast front despite the lucrative deal they struck.
March 7, 2021: Meghan and Harry Sit Down with Oprah
Fresh off the announcement of their second pregnancy on Valentine’s Day, the Sussexes sat down with Oprah for a tell-all interview that attracted more than 17 million viewers, Washington Post reported. The interview was chock-full of shocking moments, including the following most talked-about reveals:
- An unnamed person in the royal family made rude comments about how dark baby Archie’s skin would be before he was born. According to Meghan, Harry was there when it happened. “They were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince, which would be different to protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security. This went on for the last few months of our pregnancy,” Meghan said.
- Meghan had suicidal thoughts following the horrific falsities and alleged “lack of support” while part of the royal family. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. That was clear and real and frightening and a constant thought.”
- Harry and Meghan got married in a secret ceremony three days before the royal wedding.
- Kate Middleton made Meghan cry just before her wedding, not the other way around as was originally reported.
- Prince Charles wouldn’t take Harry’s calls. Also, the Duke of Sussex said Meghan helped him realize how unhappy he was all along. “I was trapped and I didn’t know I was trapped. … My father and my brother, they are trapped, they don’t get to leave,” Harry told Oprah.
The couple also revealed that their unborn baby was a girl.
September 15, 2021: Meghan Wears the Pants on the Cover of Time Magazine
In case anyone was still wondering who wore the pants in Meghan and Harry’s relationship, Time Magazine made it quite clear by putting the couple’s photo on the cover as part of their annual Time100 list. The image drew criticism due to the overall composition, which shows Meghan standing front and center and Harry hunched over and hiding behind her.
Many critics saw it as a metaphor for their relationship.
September 2021: Piers Morgan Gets Fired and Dubs Meghan Markle the “Queen of Woke”
The feud between outspoken British news host Piers Morgan and Meghan is legendary. It all came to a head in September 2021 when the former “Good Morning Britain” host gave the duchess her least flattering nickname.
Following the Oprah interview, Piers declared he didn’t believe a word Meghan had said. Critics came after him with claims of racism. In a later interview with The Sun, Piers addressed the drama saying Meghan is a “whiny, forked-tongue actress” and that the court ruling in his favor was a “resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchio.”
“The woke brigade think they can vilify, shame, silence and get fired anyone who has an opinion they don’t like. Meghan Markle is the queen of this culture, who personally sought to have me lose my job — and succeeded.”
He added, “Why are she and Prince Harry entitled to have their opinion but I’m not entitled to mine?”
All of these events helped contribute to the rapidly deteriorating image of Meghan Markle. Is she an innocent victim of a relentless British press? A social climber? A woman who fell in love and just wants a happily ever after? The world may never know for sure. But in the meantime, many will continue to see her as the Queen of Woke.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.