It has been a WEEK for Meghan Markle. Her issue of British Vogue was released, and she announced a new capsule collection in support of Smart Works, one of her patronages, and the UK tabloids have been finding new ways to drag her every single day. Her birthday is on Sunday, a day I’ve been looking forward to for a while now.
This will be Royal Meghan’s first birthday since Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born. Will we see a new photo of Archie with his mother on her birthday posted to Instagram? Will she cap off an eventful week with a new exclusive? Typically the royals do birthdays on social media by thanking everyone for their well-wishes on their birthday. Like this:
Prince Andrew chose a collage this year:
And here’s how Meghan’s birthday was celebrated last year, before House Sussex and House Cambridge were individualised:
As we know, House Sussex has its own Instagram style now. So what will Meghan’s birthday post look like? I mean, if it were me, I’d post a never-before-seen shot of her with Beyoncé. That’s probably unlikely. But I can’t imagine it won’t be something that feels fresh compared to what we typically see from the royal family. Which means, of course, that the haters will have something to criticise.
Speaking of criticism though, as just mentioned, there’s been all kinds of outrage in response to outrage this week with British reporters defiantly pushing back on accusations of “unconscious bias” in their coverage of Meghan. The fallback argument has been that they should be able to criticise and that the people objecting to the way they’ve criticised Meghan are crazed fans who don’t understand journalism, conveniently bypassing the valid criticism they’ve received about their imbalanced approach to Meghan in comparison to other members of the royal family and the racial subtext in their complaints.
Royals should be criticised through a certain lens. And Helen Lewis has written a great piece for The Atlantic about “The Issue With Meghan Markle’s Vogue Issue”. Helen analyses the British media’s treatment of Meghan and then goes on to discuss the limits of Meghan and Harry and William and Kate’s advocacy, and the advocacy of the royal family overall. It’s a fair and balanced essay – Meghan isn’t being singled out and the shortcomings identified in hers and Harry’s and the Cambridges’ approach to social issues is examined in larger context with modern activism in general and its inherent conflict with capitalism. What Helen’s done here is NOT what the British tabloids are doing and if their approach were similar, they’d actually have a legitimate claim.