keeping up with the royals

Royal Insiders Are Furious That Meghan Markle’s Friends Said Nice Things

Meghan Markle.
Meghan Markle. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Crisis in the palace: Five of Meghan Markle’s best friends (anonymously) said nice things about her to People — and royal insiders sure seem pissed off about it all.

In recent months, negative reports about the Duchess of Sussex have reached a fever pitch, attacking not only her character, but also her … uh … too-good work ethic. All the while, Meghan has not been permitted to defend herself. But, in People’s newest cover story, Meghan’s closest confidants set the record straight.

The anonymous friends called out the “bullying” the duchess has been subjected to. Meghan, according to her friends, cooks for Prince Harry every night, and is as kind and supportive of her friends as ever. Beyond that, she’s never been close with the extended family members (including her half-sister Samantha Grant) who have been trashing her in the press. And Meghan, they said, tried to repair her relationship with her messy dad, Thomas Markle Sr. — but he, in turn, asked her for a photo op. (It’s unclear whether Meghan approved of or sanctioned the article, but if the friends are as close to her as People suggests, it’s unlikely they’d risk betraying her trust.)

You’d think that, perhaps, royal insiders would be glad that positive stories about Meghan, a member of the British royal family, were leaking to the press; after all, doesn’t it make the Firm look good if nice things are finally being written about her? According to the Daily Mail, that’s a no — because reportedly, no one involved with the article asked the palace for permission:

However the suggestion that the duchess sanctioned her inner circle to speak to the media over the heads of her closest advisers sparked concern both inside and outside the royal households.

The Daily Mail states that the palace press office had apparently been kept out of the loop and only found out about the scope of the article “minutes before publication.” Some royal experts told the tabloid (on the record) that they were worried that the article would aggravate her father even more, and it went against the royal family’s longstanding “never complain, never explain” mantra. And a senior courtier said they get why Meghan or her friends might want to speak out, but that they should have abided by palace norms in the process:

“But that is why they have a press office … if they feel there is a wrong that they want to be righted, they have paid officials to do that,” they said. “What it isn’t their job to do is to stifle or censor criticism.”

So let me get this straight: Meghan and her friends shouldn’t have said anything, but if they were going to say something, they should have gone through the press office, which apparently would not have been cool with the article being published, so the article would never have happened if they went that route and Meghan’s side of the story would never have been told? Hm. Sure seems like any way you put it, royal insiders would have been pissed off regardless.

Royal Insiders Are Furious Meghan Markle’s Friends Spoke Out