On May 26, two days after a school shooting killed 19 children and two teachers and injured another 17, Prince Harry’s wife paid an unannounced visit to the Texas town of Uvalde.
Vanity Fair said, “She was spotted placing a bouquet of white flowers at a makeshift memorial,” without bothering to rewrite the press copy.
Meghan Markle’s arrival immediately caught the attention of Yahoo News, People, Elle, and other outlets worldwide.
“The 40-year-old Duchess of Sussex – dressed in jeans, a T-shirt, and a blue baseball cap – reached down with her head bowed,” the articles said one after the other.
“She also walked around the memorial and looked at the white crosses with the names of the victims of Tuesday’s massacre.”
Uninvited, Meghan, “as a mother,” had jumped on a private plane in Santa Barbara.
Camera icon Meghan Markle leaves flowers at a memorial to those killed in a shooting in Uvalde. Credit: Jae C. Hong/AP
She flew with staff and bodyguard to a private airport near Uvalde, was taken in a black van, amply photographed, and was home before dark: the job is done; it’s a wrap.
Was this a strange parody of a royal visit? What the hell was it?
With Meghan, there are too many borings to list.
“I grew up with that farm-to-table food before it swept the nation,” she said.
“I think there’s some value in throwing yourself into food and embracing where it comes from.”
Do you remember the rescue chickens?
“I just love saving,” Markle said, chatting with Oprah Winfrey about the basics and authenticity.
They stood in front of the hens’ new house, tacky and named Archie’s Chick Inn, after Meghan and Harry’s son.
In this fallow moment during their tell-tale interview in March 2021, any insightful person would say, “This one is faking us,” click off the television and walk out of the room.
Meghan’s fans go for this kind of excess.
Sussex brand merchandising in America comes with promises yet to be fulfilled: Netflix exclusive content, Spotify podcasts, and a four-book deal with Penguin Random House.
The dollars are staggering. But Netflix has already canceled one company ‘product,’ and Harry’s memoir has been delayed.
After an occasional drama for the anniversary visit earlier this month, no pictures or movies featuring the Queen or Harry’s estranged brother William appeared.
Royal choreography at St Paul’s Thanksgiving service and elsewhere signaled cool distance and Harry’s secondary rank.
Camera icon Prince Harry and Meghan attend the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral as part of Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee celebrations. Credit: Aaron Chown/AP
FThefuture Queen Elizabeth II was tutored in English constitutional history. from twelve
She grew up respecting the boundaries and demands of the monarchy.
She has spent her free time in the countryside, riding horses and walking her corgis. (She’s had 30 in her life.)
In contrast, Meghan offers an LA version of “bread and games” – the baubles distributed by Roman emperors to maintain their power and silence the plebs.
When Meghan discovered how dull royal rounds and duties were and that her silly goals had to be passed, she must have longed for the bright lights and dim glamor of Southern California, where she could flash and shine among sycophants.
Meghan has no idea of England’s constitutional history and royal role. For her, it’s the A-list celebrity, the lead, no more. Sovereign and state? Who knows what difference it makes.
Her awakened, vegan, climate-change-morning nostrums—her dreamy Cinderella story with an equity angle—could mesmerize fans.
To worldly London aristocrats, she must have seemed stupid and rude.
Camera icon Prince Harry’s ghostwriter book is behind schedule. Credit: Daniel Leal/AP
British royals and colleagues can be remarkably level-headed.
But manners, etiquette, and codes of conduct in public are rock solid.
Privacy and discretion are paramount.
Experienced, sympathetic advisers tried to teach Meghan how to do it.
The English public hates Harry’s self-exile, an act believed to reveal a tormented soul overshadowed by his brother and sister-in-law, Kate.
At Eton, his academic performance was weak, and his behavior was ultimately disruptive.
The nation nevertheless loved him, as did his late mother, Diana.
Harry is an accomplished horseman and soldier.
He is now widely seen as prey for an American adventurer, reminiscent of Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII.
There are 30 Dukes of England and more equals. Many sponsor civic projects and good works such as Harry’s Invictus Games.
According to some, Harry would be better off living the life of an English country gentleman in normal social conditions.
Instead, he’s an alien in the land of trust funds and everything-has-a-price merchandisers, playing charity polo while his sassy wife parades in front of the cameras.
He oversees a ghostwriter book on a $20 million advance, a project behind schedule.
“Harry Under Pressure”, the tabloids say. “Mystery behind missing memoirs”.
Camera icon Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in motorcade during the platinum anniversary celebrations. Credit: Emily Sevenoaks/Emily Sevenoaks
Despite appearances, Meghan poses very little threat to the constitutional order.
She will cause trouble.
But the majority of the British public has turned against the pair.
The goodwill that overflowed at the 2018 wedding is gone.
Meghan’s baloney speaks of a run for the US Senate from California or even the presidency.
This is fantasy.
Good judgment and introspection aren’t the couple’s forte, it seems.
Don’t they know? The caravan moves on, always.
As their hollow selves grow exhausted, the mark is likely to fade.
The Netflix cancellation and their unsteadiness suggest more psychodrama to come.
The Sussexes are emotionally unprepared for ridicule or pity – nor are they ready to go unnoticed.
Gilbert T. Sewall is one of America’s leading conservative commentators – and, like Harry and Meghan, a native of Santa Barbara, California.
A version of this piece appeared on spectator World’s website: spectatorworld.com