Is Meghan Markle the Wallis Simpson for the Instagram age?
Simpson, those of you who paid attention in history class (or at least during “The King’s Speech”) will recall, was the twice-divorced American who King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne to marry. According to a 2018 New York Post interview with a Simpson biographer, however, their marriage was “fraught with deception and opportunism at its core.”
“It was a total mess,” said biographer Andrew Morton. “He was utterly adoring, and she had to put on an act, realizing that he had given up the throne of the greatest empire in order to marry a twice-divorced American. If she kicked him to the curb, she’d be the most reviled woman in British history.”
There are differences, of course — and if you aren’t familiar with them or the oft-repeated cautionary tale of the Edward-Wallis marriage, you should probably read more. A neat synopsis would be that one woman got a fickle king to give up the throne to ascend the social ladder, and another once-divorced American seems to have persuaded a similarly vacillant royal to give up official life with the Windsors, so she could become the ultimate influencer.
And, if Markle’s half-brother is to be believed, Harry is next on the chopping block of marital unhappiness. In a segment on an Australian reality television show, 55-year-old Thomas Markle, Jr. said the Duchess of Sussex had been “cold” to her former husband and that “money” had changed her.
The segment comes as the Harry and Meghan have reportedly pressured Spotify to take action against controversial podcaster Joe Rogan, which isn’t the first time Markle has used the increased visibility of the British throne to comment on sociopolitical matters in the United States.
(It’s an irritating trend we’ve noticed here at The Western Journal. After all, we threw off the shackles of the British royal family 246 years ago. We’ll make sure America knows exactly how one of the monarchy’s newest members is interfering in our political life — and you can help us bring readers the truth by subscribing.)
According to the U.K. Daily Mail, Thomas Markle, Jr. made the remarks during a recent segment on “Celebrity Big Brother Australia.” During the show, he expressed surprise at the change he saw in his sister after she became famous on the series “Suits.”
“That’s like the big thing now, is like what happened to her?” he said.
“Nobody can figure it out. Money changed her, I guess. Money and fame just went to her head really bad.”
He also referred to Markle’s previous marriage to film producer Trevor Engelson, alleging she’d been “cold” to him.
“Trevor took care of her, she was adored by him, and she walked all over him and dumped him. That fast,” he said, adding she’d sent the wedding ring back to him in the mail.
He added that he didn’t know how his half-sister ended up married to Prince Harry.
“But, you know, Harry’s next. Harry’s on the chopping board next,” he said.
“The only difference between now and then is in all the photos prior to that, he had a smile on his face. All the ones after, he doesn’t.”
Thomas doesn’t sound like he’s besties with his half-sister, and his rant about the distorting qualities of fame is taking place on “Celebrity Big Brother Australia,” the antipodean version of a reality game show in which personages of varying degrees of stardom (all usually low) agree to have their every moment inside a house scrutinized by video. So, take this as you will.
That said, the Sussexes have cleaved from the royals in degrees since Markle married Prince Harry in 2018. In none of these shifts does Harry look like a particularly happy man, and accusations of racism and bullying have come from both sides.
One needn’t rehash an entire year of headlines to prove this — just look at any random five-minute clip of the Sussexes’ interview with Oprah Winfrey last year. Despite looking as if he were in a hostage tape for most of it, however, Harry insisted the experience of stepping away from royal duties and moving to America had freed him and opened his eyes.
“I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped,” Harry said. “My father and my brother, they are trapped.”
The same way Edward VIII was, right?
Enjoy your freedom, Harry. You can be safe in the knowledge that British royals who refuse to learn from history are condemned to make home with the Wallis Simpsons of the world.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.