Dear Gossips,

Sorry to make it about me but the Daily Mail did it first. So hello to those of you who are visiting this site for the first time because you read a headline referring to me as a “pal” of Meghan Markle. This is not true, which probably means you’re leaving now, although I hope you stay, because we try to have fun here and it’s Emmy nomination day and coverage of that is coming soon. 

 

If you want the vain truth though, here it is: I’m obsessed with the photo of me (from the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards) that they chose to accompany their article, as inaccurate as it is. Because of my boots! God I love those boots and I miss wearing them so much! The whole point of that outfit was to showcase the boots.

Anyway, as I’ve already explained here but I’ll do it again for the people in the back, I’m not friends with Meghan Markle. The reason people online think I am is because back in 2015, before she started dating Prince Harry, we both ended up at the same dinner. That’s the other photo in this article, a photo that’s been circulating on social media for a few years now. People have made a lot of assumptions from this photo but I had no contact with Meghan Markle before or after it was taken. The photo doesn’t even belong to me. I didn’t take any photos that night. I was too busy being amused by my husband, Jacek, who is the dude sitting in between me and Michael Buble. Jacek is a hermit, he doesn’t go out. He only came out that night because of one person: Trevor Linden. If you are from Vancouver, I don’t have to tell you why. 

As a lifelong Vancouver Canucks fan, of course Jacek would have wanted to be in the exclusive presence of one of the team’s most beloved players and, at the time, the president of the hockey club. You can imagine then why this picture always cracks us up. While everyone else has been fixated on the Meghan Markle-ness of it, our memory of that night was Jacek trying not to fanboy over his #1 Canuck and seizing the opportunity to do what all hockey fans (all sports fans, actually) dream of: getting facetime with the president of his favourite team and offering to him his valuable (LOL) insight about how the team should be managed. Seriously, isn’t that the dream of everyone in the stands or on their couch during a game? You’re the one always screaming at the coach to put someone in or take someone out…and then one night you find yourself sitting across from the team president! Wouldn’t you take a shower, comb your hair, put on jeans for the first time in three months, and go downtown? But this is what I love most about Jacek. He's so antisocial he couldn’t be bothered to show up for the actual meal, he only came for dessert!

 

I know you don’t give a sh-t about what I just shared but it’s a good example of lens and perspective. That photo has spawned all kinds of false narratives but for one person in it, the takeaway from that night has nothing to do with what’s been out there. Finally, after all these years, Jacek’s story has been told!

To go back though to the Daily Mail’s bullsh-t about me being friends with Meghan Markle and a source for Finding Freedom – again, I am not and I am not. Their report hinges on two things: a blind riddle I posted in February 2017 and my use of the word “vipers” to describe palace courtiers, both of which show up in the book. 

But if they did their homework (obviously not), they’d know that palace courtiers have been called “vipers” by insiders from back in Princess Diana’s day. One example (and there are many of them) is Jay Mulvaney’s 2002 book, Diana & Jackie: Maidens, Mothers, Myths, which of course I read because I’m obsessed with both of them. Here’s a passage from the book that still resonates today. It recalls a time when it was suggested to the Queen that she try to make the royal transition easier for Diana by inviting people she might have something in common with to royal gatherings. Author Jay Mulvaney elaborates on the reaction: 

“I don't care,” the Queen responded. “She'll just have to buck up.”

It was a remark worthy of the imperious Queen from Alice in Wonderland, a remark that showed little, if any, compassion or understanding for the situation and displayed an attitude that would eventually undermine the very monarchy that Elizabeth had devoted most of her life to serving. It was, in the long term, best for the monarchy to welcome Diana into the fold, to prepare her for the role she had taken on, and to adapt itself to make the best use of what she had to offer. Instead, Diana was lost inside a viper’s nest of indifference, strict adherence to antiquated traditions, gossip, and political rivalries cloaked in exquisite manners. There was a huge disconnect between the world of the “establishment” and modern Britain, and when Diana tried to build a bridge between the two worlds, she was continually thwarted, often in petty and demeaning ways.”

 

The fact that the word “vipers” shows up in Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s Finding Freedom then is merely a connection between the present and the past. 

As for that blind riddle from 2017, well, in May of this year, so like just three months ago, Emily Andrews wrote a report for the Daily Mail… THAT INCLUDES THE SAME STORY! You can read it here but just in case they decide to modify it, I’ve screencapped the section:

Article in the Daily Mail

Let me just break that down for you, just so we’re clear: the Daily Mail says that my blind riddle from 2017, about how Kate Middleton didn’t give Meghan Markle a ride even though they were going shopping to the same place, is evidence that I’m a source for Finding Freedom… even though their own reporter knew about the story! 

Does the Daily Mail know what the Daily Mail publishes? 

Needless to say, I’m not the only one who knew about that story. Emily Andrews knew. Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand knew. More than one royal reporter knew. This is a story that was known in the bubble of royal gossip, I’m just the one who wrote about it three years ago as a blind. And the lesson here is not that I’m the secret friend of Meghan Markle who is a secret source for Finding Freedom but that stories well known in the bubble of royal gossip get little public play when they don’t fit the preferred narrative of the time. 

The other lesson here though is that if the Daily Mail is going to falsely claim that you’re friends with Meghan Markle, the best thing you can hope for is that they use a hot photo. 

Yours in gossip,

Lainey