Meghan Markle played the victim, and played America


If you want to know why Meghan Markle and her limp-along husband the former Prince Harry sat down for a whine-a-thon with Oprah the other day, simply look at Buzzfeed. 

The headlines yesterday: Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Are American Celebrities Now

The piece goes on. 

It was the television event of the year. Last Sunday, CBS’s Oprah With Meghan and Harry proved to be a perfect storm of entertainment — it had everything! — somehow surpassing the colossal hype it had drummed up, all while effectively (and somehow respectfully) dragging the monarchy. For the first time since admitting she was “not really OK” in 2019 and then leaving the royal family in 2020, Meghan Markle was doing a televised interview, now with America’s beloved media demigod (and her new neighbor). Oprah Winfrey is no stranger to high-traffic, high-profile interviews (her 1993 broadcast with Michael Jackson still holds the record for most-watched TV interview of all time), but this was, according to her, a career personal best.

And further down:

With all eyes on them, they’ll likely be under scrutiny and forced to prove themselves, but in doing so, they’ll also have a chance to define themselves — something Prince Harry never really had the freedom to do (permanently anyway). To be a former royal living in the United States has no major precedent or protocol — it’s a path they can forge however they like. (Case in point: Diana had been in talks to star alongside Kevin Costner in a sequel of The Bodyguard.)

Meghan and Harry’s former adjacency to the monarchy will of course largely be what lends them their cultural currency. Nowadays, a celebrity’s primary vehicle is their life and identity, and the former royals have a hell of a story to launch from (which might be why they’ve signed with an upscale speaking engagement agency). Some might side-eye them for cashing in on high-profile, lucrative contracts — they’ve already landed deals with Spotify and Netflix — but that feels unfair. For one, they never claimed they wanted to leave the public eye, just the British tabloid circus.

This is why the pouty-princess went on with Oprah. To sell a victim narrative, to become culturally relevant in this country. To become a celebrity. 

Meghan Markle was acting. She was playing the victim role, and playing the victim role for young women in America who also see themselves as victims. Markle lied, or lied by omission about her ‘hard life’ as a literal princess and now expects to be rewarded with the ultimate in America. The celebrity victim. 

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