Meghan Markle covers the new issue of US Weekly that clearly went to print before her surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards on Monday night because otherwise, obviously, they would have used a photo from that event. She looked amazing. And, you know, belly-cupping is always a newsstand bestseller. 

According to US’s royal source, Prince Harry is “feeling powerless” because of the sh-t that Royal Meghan’s been taking recently.  

“It has put pressure on her relationship with Harry. He’s very frustrated with how little can be done,” the source explains of recent stories in the British press. “Keeping her away from the negativity and harm has been hard for him. It’s been his purpose in their relationship to keep her away from the negativity.”

As this is US Weekly, and not the old, much more reliable US Weekly, I don’t think there’s anything really exclusive here. I mean, of course Harry’s pissed about all the drama lately. He launched a love shield a month after it was revealed that they were dating. It’s been his “purpose” to protect her from the downside of royal life, something his mother famously struggled with. That said, US’s cover story, while not all that substantive, gives us a peg to go deeper into the courtier politics that lit the match on this situation in the first place. Because before the media started running wild with these stories, it was the leaks coming from inside the royal households that provided the initial spark. 

It might be worth taking that into consideration when thinking about the Sussexes moving to Windsor. There was all kinds of speculation that they would stay at Kensington Palace, move into another apartment, and they’ve decided instead to leave the royal power centre, physically separate themselves from all three courts – Buckingham, Clarence House, and KP – and take up permanent residence outside of the city. Are they putting as much distance as they can between themselves and the courtier vipers? 

Speaking of those court vipers, it’s also worth remembering that they’re not all new. A few of them in the BP and CH households have been around since the time of Diana and we all know Diana’s relationship with the courtiers, her suspicions about them, her distrust of those she believed were undermining her from inside the palace. That kind of sh-t doesn’t change in one generation. It hasn’t changed in several generations. These people play vicious. 

This time though, they may be playing against someone who’s better prepared. Harry, understandably, is protective of Meghan. But as I wrote the other day, there was no vulnerability in her appearance at the British Fashion Awards the other night. If anything, she was like…is that all you’ve got? Where I come from, in Hollywood, a few rumours about a pissing contest over a dress and a tiara, speculation about staffing and allegations of crying fits, and divas and egos, that’s NOTHING. At most it’s a half day on set, not even. Here’s a woman who auditioned for years and years in one of the most complicated, arguably dirtiest businesses in the world, which means she’s used to rejection and backstabbing and competition and politics. In that sense, perhaps no one has been more prepared than she is to survive the rejection, backstabbing, competition, and politics of the British royal court.