Heritage

Princess Envy: Hollywood's Meghan Markle Backlash

When Markle landed Prince Harry, she got the role of a lifetime-and the jealous naysayers who come with it.
IMAGE ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI/ROTA/CAMERA PRESS/REDUX
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For many Americans with dreams of one day becoming royalty, November 27, 2017, the day Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made public their engagement, was highly charged. The announcement was especially complicated—emotionally, at least—for people in Hollywood, due to Markle’s spot in their food chain.

Although her story is not something out of a romantic comedy—a cleaning lady swept off her feet at a five-star hotel, as in Maid in Manhattan—she’s not an untouchable movie star, either. Indeed, until recently she was one of their own: a working actress.

People in L.A. are asking themselves, Did we miss something? She skipped over all of us.

And in a town where “everyone’s a climber,” in the words of someone who knew Markle before all this, the question seems to be, by becoming a royal, has Markle outhustled them all? “It’s almost too close to home,” says one Tinseltown publicist. For the role of a real-life princess, “you want someone you can relate to, not someone you could actually be. I’ve seen her trying to get into a Golden Globes party. She’s probably been to my juice bar."

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“I sound like a horrible person,” the publicist concedes. “But, obviously, I wish I could be the princess.”


Markle on Deal Or No Deal

Hollywood’s sharpest tongues agree. “People in L.A. are asking themselves, ‘Did we miss something?’ ” says a prominent agent. “She skipped over all of us.” The writer and actress Erin Foster, a daughter of songwriter David Foster and therefore Hollywood royalty, took to Instagram after the engagement to post a photo of Markle early in her career, on the game show Deal or No Deal. She captioned it “Never forget.” (The post has since been taken down.)

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Also on Instagram, writer Gary Janetti has posted a series of pictures of Prince George adjacent to ones of Markle, suggesting, comically, that the four-year-old has it in for his future aunt. “May 19, got it,” one post reads. “Is it going to be a cash bar?” Offline, Markle’s half-sister recently announced plans to publish a memoir titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.

Sarcasm and jealousy aside, though, one pal of Markle’s admits to being “still fundamentally obsessed” with the wedding. And when the publicist considered what it will take for Markle to master her new role, she realized it’s a lot of work not just to become a princess but to stay one. “My mother said, ‘You wouldn’t want that life,’” she says. “Which is true, because I don’t even like being in Instagram photos.”

This story appears in the March 2018 issue of Town&Country.

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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Marshall Heyman
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