Thursday 20 September 2018

The inevitable backlash against Meghan Markle has begun with release of new biography

The fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, reacts after a visit to a science park called Catalyst Inc., in Belfast, Northern Ireland March 23, 2018. Chris Jackson/Pool via Reuters
The fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, reacts after a visit to a science park called Catalyst Inc., in Belfast, Northern Ireland March 23, 2018. Chris Jackson/Pool via Reuters
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast, Northern Ireland March 23, 2018. Niall Carson/Pool via REUTERS
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

It was only a matter of time before the positivity surrounding coverage of Meghan Markle would dissipate.

The appetite for information on the 36-year-old former actress and her life before Harry is voracious and royal biographer Andrew Morton is cashing in with Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, which is published in the UK and Ireland on April 12.

The former Suits actress has only been engaged to Prince Harry (33) for five months and excitement for the royal wedding on May 19 is at fever pitch, but the new biography throws a little shade on proceedings.

Morton, who famously penned the 1992 Princess Diana biography, makes some unsavoury claims about Meghan, in excerpts published in The Sun on Sunday, the most striking of which revolves around her relationship with her first husband.

One of the claims which is likely to be unsettling for Markle is the suggestion that she was ruthless when it came to the demise of her first marriage to producer Trevor Engelson, who Morton credits with helping her to get a role in romantic drama Remember Me, which starred Robert Pattinson, before she landed the lead in Suits.

Meghan moved to Toronto from LA for the role in the hit TV series and she and Engelson split two years later, with Meghan allegedly returning her engagement ring and wedding ring by post.  Morton claims that Engelson can "barely contain his anger" towards his ex despite the fact they split five years ago.

Bucking tradition: Harry and Meghan
Bucking tradition: Harry and Meghan

The Daily Mail also picks out the bizarre allegation that Meghan took the couple's expensive food mixer with her to Toronto as a "statement of intent - and of her newfound independence".

The biographer writes that Meghan ditched old friends once she started experiencing success in LA, and describes her as a "networker to her finger-tips" and says she was "forging new friendships with those who could develop her career."

Morton also writes that Meghan was obsessed with Princess Diana and was heartbroken when she died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.  She saw the late princess as a role model, he writes, adding that her friend Ninaki Priddy said, “She was always fascinated by the royal family. She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0.”

Having Diana as a role model prompted Meghan to campaign to ban a sexist soap advert at the age of ten, claims Morton, and inspired her to help out a homeless shelter. 

Meghan Markle in 'Suits'.
Meghan Markle in 'Suits'.

Of her university days in Northwestern, Illinois, Morton writes about her physical appearance, "Now that she wasn’t under the watchful gaze of her mother, she started wearing heavier make-up and experimented with highlighting her hair."

He continues, "She also packed on a “freshman 15” [pounds] — weight gained from drinking, munching starchy dorm food and making late-night trips to the 24-hour Burger King."

The details about Meghan's life have been garnered from interviews with numerous sources including a former friend who describes her as a 'social climber'.

Speaking to the Telegraph recently, Morton said he believes the Queen will be doing "cartwheels" and "backflips" at the prospect of Harry marrying Meghan.

Prince Harry with Meghan Markle
Prince Harry with Meghan Markle

He said: “I think the Queen will be doing cartwheels. Backflips. At the fact that she has assured the dynasty – which is what the job of the monarch is to do. She’s ensured it will go on for a long, long time. I’ve spoken to people at the Palace about this who say exactly the same thing. That by letting Meghan in and Kate in and all the rest of it, she’s established a pedigree of people who are prepared to devote their lives to the Crown.”

He added: “If you were sitting in a script office in Hollywood, and you said ‘give me a character that will make them [the Royal family] relevant for the next 100 years’, they [the ideas people] would have said: OK, she’s bi-racial, divorced and an actor.”

 

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