Spare a thought for Meghan Markle. Just when she probably thought members of her family had given up talking about her, bam! Up they pop to remind the world they’re still munching on that bunch of sour grapes.
First up is Samantha Markle, Meghan’s 56-year-old half-sister who hasn’t seen the duchess for a decade but is still bitter she didn’t crack the nod to Meghan and Harry’s 2018 wedding. She’s written a book, artfully titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister Part 1, which has just been released in America and hasn’t been that favourably received.
Reviewers have given it a one-star rating and the trolls have got stuck in too. “I’m sure it’s full of distorted fantasies,” one said. “Diary of a spoiled brat,” another said.
Samantha says the naysayers are just being mean and don’t know what they’re talking about. “I think the royal family will enjoy my book,” she adds. “I hope they find it warm, funny and heartfelt. I don’t think there’s anything they will be unhappy about.”
Well, if they read it, of course. Somehow it’s hard to imagine the queen and company debating its merits over tea and cream scones.
Samantha says she wanted to contact Meghan to discuss the book with her but didn’t know how to get hold of her. But in the next breath, she says Meghan didn’t send her a copy of Finding Freedom, last year’s Sussex-friendly tome by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, in the mail. Why should she extend any kind of courtesy to her?
And then there’s Thomas Markle, Meghan and Samantha’s father. The man who cashed in on his daughter’s fame when he agreed to a staged paparazzi shoot shortly before Meghan got married. Who claims Meghan abandoned him when she needed him most and doesn’t care that he’s old, sick and a bit poor. After all he did for her when she was a kid!
Thomas is now making a documentary “to figure out what went wrong” between him and his youngest child. “We had a good life together, up through her first marriage and her move to Canada [to film Suits]. Then a new story begins!” he says.
He’s working with a cinematographer and hopes to complete the project later this year. “I think we will do a good job,” he says. “It’s kind of like, ‘What happened to my baby girl?’”
Well, she went off and found a prince and finds you profoundly disappointing, that’s what. You have to ask: isn’t it time Thomas and Samantha gave it a rest already and stopped trying to cash in on the family name?
And yet another question lurks too: could Meghan not have avoided all this? She grew up with this lot – surely she knows this side of her family is a bit tricky?
It might’ve been a totally different ballgame if she’d just swallowed her pride (and her own sour grape) and invited her dad and sister to her wedding.
She could’ve stuck Samantha at the back of the church, far away from the Clooneys and Oprah and the Beckhams and the other glossy guests. And Thomas – would it have been so hard to invite him to walk her down the aisle instead of getting her father-in-law to do the honours?
Yes, Thomas was recovering from a heart attack and maybe he wouldn’t have been able to make it. But you can bet your bottom dollar he would’ve tried. Your kid marrying into the most famous family in the world – chances are he would’ve been there in a wheelchair if she’d asked him to come.
Clearly the saying “keep your enemies close” doesn’t mean much to Meghan. Slipping on a pair of kid gloves and reaching out to her dad and sister might have changed things. Inviting Thomas to her and Harry’s Santa Barbara mansion to meet little Archie might have mollified him.
But bridges seem to have been well and truly burnt and Thomas and Samantha don’t look like they have any intention of keeping quiet. And as they continue to show, it’s pretty easy to talk with a mouthful of sour grapes.