Meghan Markle is turning into a Kate Middleton mini-me and that's the last thing she needs
Stella McCartney was right.
Just days ago, she declared that the high neck silk crepe gown she designed for Meghan Markle’s second wedding look was her “last moment of joy” before joining the “austere...and serious royal life”. The comments sounded slightly hyperbolic - after all, what measures of austerity do one of the wealthiest royals in the world adhere to?
But Meghan’s slow dissolution of her individuality just weeks after her wedding doesn’t bode well for her future royal life, one which we were promised would be a form of female driven intelligence in Christian Louboutins; a sort of Amal Clooney with a crown type.
The royals’ limits aren’t financial ones, but personal boundaries, and that family acts as an effective vaccum that sucks up every bit of your personal identity.
After nearly 20 years with Prince William, Kate Middleton has mastered the complexities of life in the fishbowl, one which requires women to look, dress and behave in a certain way to honour traditions of the past while remaining just ‘woke’ enough for younger fans.
Kate smiles at the right time, wears the right designer, she poses for pictures eight hours after giving birth and corrals two young children in high heels on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Kate is a pro, while Meghan, who is presumably accustomed to being one of the most capable people in any room, is a novice.
In comparison to Kate’s decade head-start before her 2011 wedding, Britain’s new Duchess of Sussex was rushed into her new royal role after a whirlwind wedding just 18 months into her relationship with Prince Harry.
William previously said the reason he waited so long to propose was because he wanted her to fully understand the life that she was signing up for, but it seems like Meghan could have benefited from a few extra years of experience before exchanging vows.
The British press are quick to point out that Harry’s order in the line of succession to the throne means he is, and never will, receive the same level of adoration as his older brother, but his publicly affable nature and the ‘real-life fairytale’ headlines from his new marriage have ensured the longevity of British royal popularity, at least for his generation.
When Meghan walked up the aisle at St George's Chapel last month, she didn’t just sign away her privacy, she signed away her entire identity and now, at the age of 36, she will adopt a new nationality, relationship status and levels of superstardom only a handful in the people in the world could ever truly understand.
Which means that she wears a questionable outfit like she did as a guest at Celia McCorquodale’s weekend wedding, it becomes headline news. Every Markle appearance is of note and ones where isn’t perfectly preened becomes fodder for critics.
Where are those Huit Denim flares and Burberry coats she wore during the engagement tour around the UK? I'm yearning for her longer hair, a middle parting and the simplicity of its style; a sort of California cool-girl infiltrates the palace vibe.
Exactly one month after her wedding, she has transformed into a mini-Kate, trying to emulate a look that took decades to perfect.
In the run-up to her wedding, she displayed a sort of quiet confidence that seemed to assure royal watchers she would deliver in the much-promised shake-up her arrival heralded.
Now, she is reduced to silent rebellions in wearing off the shoulder satin dresses during Trooping The Colour.
Her ill-fitting Oscar de la Renta gown on Saturday was symbolic of her integration into the royal family because there is frankly no way she would have been caught dead in that before. Not to mention that tissue box style fascinator placed on her head.
It emerged yesterday that the piece was from Marks & Spencer, a quintessentially British high street store with an endless supply of chic designs to choose from, and she chooses something that have been restricted to the bottom of the clearance pile. Because nobody is their best version when they’re pretending to be someone else.
Old Meghan would never have made this mistake. New Meghan is trying to emulate Kate’s high-end/high-street combinations, earning the type of positive headlines that come from wearing a Zara necklace to a premiere or €11 earrings from Accessorize on an international tour.
For a self-styled trailblazer, Meghan is already trying to fit the mould of what she thinks a duchess should be, instead of doing what she’s done so many times before - broken the mould and reshaped it from scratch.