The ‘truth’ about Meghan: Her inner circle speaks out
The duchess’s close friends reveal what happens behind the scenes, including the troubled relationship with her father
The Duchess of Sussex wrote to her father begging him to stop “victimising” her after the royal wedding, her friends have claimed, as her inner circle go on the offensive to confront what they call “global bullying”.
Five close friends of the duchess, each speaking anonymously, have provided a glowing tribute to her in the pages of a US magazine, sharing details of their private visits to Kensington Palace to relay the “truth” about her.
Saying the duchess has “silently sat back and endured the lies and untruths” since she joined the royal family, her friends have now moved to paint a picture of “elegance, grace, philanthropy”, calling her “selfless”, devoted to God, and able to “make a five-star meal out of the garbage in your refrigerator”.
In an extraordinary interview with US celebrity magazine People, the five friends tackle tabloid news stories head on, giving new and intimate details about the duchess’s interactions with her father Thomas Markle.
While the friends ask for anonymity “to protect the private friendships they hold dear”, each will be immediately identifiable to the duchess after they gave precise details of their visits to stay with her at Kensington Palace.
A Kensington Palace spokesperson declined to comment on whether staff had been aware of the interviews, while fans praised the interviewees – described as “a longtime friend, a former co-star, a friend from LA, a onetime colleague and a close confidante” – for speaking out with what they assumed to be the duchess’s permission.
“We worry about what this is doing to her and the baby,” the duchess’s former co-star told the magazine. “It’s wrong to put anyone under this level of emotional trauma, let alone when they’re pregnant.
“We want to stand up against the global bullying we are seeing and speak the truth about who our friend, a mother-to-be, really is.”
Friends laid bare Meghan’s relationship with her family, claiming she has “no relationship” with her half-siblings and is now like “ships passing” with her father, who fell ill and missed her wedding after he was caught colluding with the paparazzi.
In the emotional aftermath, friends claim, Mr Markle “wouldn’t get” into a car sent to take him to the airport and went on to ignore his daughter’s “scared” phone messages.
In a letter sent after the wedding, she allegedly told him: “Dad, I’m so heartbroken, I love you. I have one father. Please stop victimising me through the media so we can repair our relationship.”
“He writes her a really long letter in return, and he closes it by requesting a photo op with her,” said the friend.
“And she feels like: ‘That’s the opposite of what I’m saying. I’m telling you I don’t want to communicate through the media, and you’re asking me to communicate through the media.’
“It’s almost like they’re ships passing.
“He knows how to get in touch with her. Her telephone number hasn’t changed. He’s never called; he’s never texted. It’s super-painful because Meg was always so dutiful. I think she will always feel genuinely devastated by what he’s done.”
Reports that the duchess sends early morning e-mails to staff are evidence that she is an “incredibly organised, diligent, focused, hardworking person”, said the former colleague, while the turnover of staff in the Sussexs’ office is “all natural courses of employment”.
Relaying how, during a recent visit, the “very self-service” duchess did her own makeup and styling sitting by a space heater at Nottingham Cottage, she added: “She writes her own remarks. And many of Harry’s. They do it together.
“There’s a false assumption that she lives in some gilded palace with staff and ladies-in-waiting and all these royal perks.
“It’s simply not true. We’ve all been to their cottage. It’s small and she’s made it cosy … Meg cooks for herself and Harry every single day – there’s no chef or butler.” ‘The real Meghan’ The duchess, her friends say, is “wicked funny”, and is someone who drops everything to support them in times of joy and crisis, and is a “leader of group morale”.
On television show Suits, she “would always do spirit boosters for the crew”, including ordering “gourmet burgers” to the set.
She now keeps a box of hand warmers to take to palace guards when it gets cold, one friend claimed.
“It’s the same stuff she does with her office [at Kensington Palace] now,” said her former co-star.
“I came by there one day, and she had ordered an incredible ice cream and sorbet stand for the office. They were remarking how it was the ‘best day of work ever’.”
When friends visit, one said, there are candles by the bed, biscuits, slippers, homecooked meals and muddy dog walks, ending in the duchess “wiping them [the dogs] off with towels” herself. Her solace The duchess, who was baptised shortly before her wedding by the Archbishop of Canterbury, has “a very close relationship with God”, a friend said, adding: “A deep sense of gratitude and humility has guided her.”
Citing that “extremely faithful” life as evidence, she claimed that stories of how Prince Harry and Meghan upset palace staff during a dispute over a wedding tiara, and asked for fragrance to be sprayed in St George’s Chapel, are “100% untrue”.
“If people knew how spiritual she is and how serious and respectful [sic] she takes her relationship with God – she would never ask for something like that.”
“Her lifestyle can be very isolating,” said the longtime friend. “She and Harry are both very grounded. She has a firm understanding of the things she can and can’t control.
“And she tried not to put any effort into the things she can’t control.”
The LA friend added: “Forget the fact of who she’s married to: she was royalty from the day I met her.”
Never complain and never explain
Comment by Daily Telegraph royalty correspondent Camilla Tominey
The Queen’s mantra has long been to “never complain and never explain”, so the People magazine article is likely to raise eyebrows behind palace gates.
The 92-year-old monarch still has unhappy memories of the so-called War of Waleses, when papers were full of lurid headlines briefed by the closest confidantes of Charles and Diana.
As Prince William once said of his mother’s Panorama interview: “I can understand – having sometimes been in those situations, you feel incredibly desperate, and it is very unfair that things are being said that are untrue.
“The easiest thing to do is just to say or go to the media yourself. Open that door. [But] once you’ve opened it you can never close it again.”
Of course, we don’t know for certain the extent of the involvement of the Duchess of Sussex in the article, although it seems highly unlikely “anonymous sources” would spill the beans to America’s bestselling weekly without HRH’s permission.
People magazine claims she is being portrayed as a “demanding bride, an exhausting boss and an uncaring daughter”, but is that really true?
As far as the British public is concerned, Meghan has been given a rapturous welcome.
The general consensus appears to be that the free-spirited former actress is breathing much needed fresh air into the sometimes stuffy House of Windsor.
Yes, there have been a few negative headlines, including in this newspaper when I reported that the Duchess of Cambridge had been left in tears following Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid’s dress fitting with Meghan (a story followed up and confirmed by none other than People magazine).
But the life of a royal wife is a marathon, not a sprint and while Meghan has every right to set the record straight, she would be wise to remember that fuelling the flames of bad publicity often only serves to make the public think there is no smoke without fire.
There is a big difference between the hysterical nonsense about Meghan breaching nail polish protocol, which has been published with impunity online, and the accountable British media that diligently covers all her charitable endeavours.
And let’s face it, the Markle Debacle has been largely fuelled by Meghan’s in-laws, not the press.
On top of this, the duchess has endured a bit of hostility “below stairs”.
It happens to everyone new, and it smacks of anti-Americanism.
Royal brides have historically had to put up with a lot: Diana was hardly immune from criticism, and let’s not even get started on Camilla.
Kate endured years of negative publicity when dating William.
Would you believe I once called the future queen on her mobile to ask for her reaction to splitting up with him in 2007?
“I’m terribly sorry,” she told me politely. “I’ve never commented to the press before and I don’t think it would be wise to start now.”
It proved to be a winning strategy.
Keep schtum and let your actions speak louder than words. Take a leaf out of HM’s book, Meghan, and rise above.
– © The Daily Telegraph