AFTER a couple of weeks suffering slings and arrows from multiple columnists for keeping Archie’s christening private and refusing to name his godparents, the Duchess sparked even more outrage visiting Wimbledon with friends, sitting in splendid isolation, all seats around her hurriedly cleared of hoi polloi.
Meanwhile a royal official reprimanded a blameless regular for taking photos. The cheek! The poor woman hadn’t even realised Meghan was there. She was snapping away at Serena Williams on court, as you do. The official told the astonished fan the Duchess was present “in a private capacity”. How pompous and paranoid. How private can you be in a public place thronged with enthusiasts enjoying one of Britain’s most iconic traditions?
So, Meghan’s reputation was in deep doo-dah, as loyal subjects huffed (“she thinks she’s an A-list celeb, not a working royal”) and there was more than a whiff of Amal Clooney in the air; detached, untouchable and superior.
So, and this can’t be a coincidence, Meghan unexpectedly turned up a couple of days on at a charity polo match where Harry and William were competing. And in a gesture of sisterly solidarity, so did Kate. The message was clear: there was no royal rift and Meghan was perfectly happy to take Archie and lark about with Kate and her delightful children.
Except Meghan didn’t lark, because obviously Archie is too small to do much except sleep in her arms. While Kate ran around pulling funny faces, Meghan looked pensive – and a bit lost.
And that’s when I started to feel sorry for her. She looked so alone and unsure.
I suddenly saw another side of this confident Hollywood actress: a young woman in a strange country, married into our first family but at some level lonely, isolated, and maybe even a little frightened.
When Princess Diana married Charles, I remember the Queen summoned a meeting with newspaper editors of the day.
So overwhelming was press interest Diana was afraid to leave the house, even to buy a packet of wine gums from the shops near Highgrove.
When News of the World editor Barry Askew suggested that surely the princess had servants to fetch her wine gums, the Queen told him not to be so pompous. It worked. Well, for a while.
Isn’t it time Harry and Meghan called a similar meeting? Asked the media for a reset of the Press-Palace relationship? Promise to be a bit more open with the rest of us? Everyone wishes them well. Babies and children delight. We just want to see a bit more of Citizen Archie.
It’s not so much to ask.