Does Meghan Markle Do More Good Than Harm for the Royal Family?

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has faced more than her fair share of criticism since marrying Prince Harry and joining the royal family. The cruel comments have been ever-present since she came on the royal scene. The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, even came forward publicly to ask for the vicious social media comments to end, calling the platforms a “sewer” because of the bullying.

Despite these calls for better media behavior, the criticism of Markle continues. Recently, she has gotten caught up in another controversy over “un-royal” behavior. However, it’s worth questioning whether the criticism is warranted and looking at what good the duchess has brought to the royal family. 

Meghan Markle is criticized for acting like a celebrity

Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Before she became the Duchess of Sussex, Markle was best known for her life as an American celebrity. Many have focused on this former role in their criticism of her joining the royal family. Critics argue that she is bringing too much of her old life with her into a new role, and she should no longer expect the privacy of a celebrity when she is living a publicly-funded royal life. 

These criticisms came to a head at Wimbledon when a security guard asked a fan to stop taking photographs of the duchess. Shortly after, the neighbors of Frogmore Cottage were given strict rules to follow regarding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, including demands that they not ask questions about the new baby or touch the family’s dogs. 

In both cases, the gaffes were attributed to overly-protective security employees rather than the Duke and Duchess themselves who claimed not to know about the requests. However, the news added to the criticism that Markle is arrogant and expects to live like a celebrity. 

A magazine is causing new trouble 

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We are proud to announce that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex is the Guest Editor for the September issue of @BritishVogue. For the past seven months, The Duchess has curated the content with British Vogue's Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful to create an issue that highlights the power of the collective. They have named the issue: “Forces for Change” For the cover, The Duchess chose a diverse selection of women from all walks of life, each driving impact and raising the bar for equality, kindness, justice and open mindedness. The sixteenth space on the cover, a mirror, was included so that when you hold the issue in your hands, you see yourself as part of this collective. The women on the cover include: @AdwoaAboah @AdutAkech @SomaliBoxer @JacindaArdern @TheSineadBurke @Gemma_Chan @LaverneCox @JaneFonda @SalmaHayek @FrankieGoesToHayward @JameelaJamilOfficial @Chimamanda_Adichie @YaraShahidi @GretaThunberg @CTurlington We are excited to announce that within the issue you’ll find: an exclusive interview between The Duchess and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, a candid conversation between The Duke of Sussex and Dr Jane Goodall, inspirational articles written by Brené Brown, Jameela Jamil and many others. Equally, you’ll find grassroots organisations and incredible trailblazers working tirelessly behind the scenes to change the world for the better. • “Guest Editing the September issue of British Vogue has been rewarding, educational and inspiring. To deep dive into this process, working quietly behind the scenes for so many months, I am happy to now be able to share what we have created. A huge thanks to all of the friends who supported me in this endeavour, lending their time and energy to help within these pages and on the cover. Thank you for saying “Yes!” – and to Edward, thank you for this wonderful opportunity.” – The Duchess of Sussex #ForcesForChange

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The September issue of the British version of Vogue magazine will feature an article guest-edited by Markle. The issue is titled “Forces for Change” and highlights activists women who are making a difference in the world. Markle’s involvement in the project has sparked fresh criticism

Reporter Dan Wootton was particularly harsh, calling Markle’s decision to get involved “idiotic” and going on to say: “Remember Meghan doesn’t want to be a celebrity, she says she wants to be a royal. Royals don’t guest-edit magazines, celebrities guest-edit magazines. Do you get me? Do you see the point that I’m making?”

As impassioned as Wootton may be, he is also wrong about his claim that royals don’t guest-edit magazines. Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton have all had their hand in such media collaborations in the past. 

Further criticism came about just which women Markle had picked to be featured. Many see the inclusion of activists who have been vocal against President Trump or activists who have supported transgender rights to be too political for a royal, who is supposed to stay disconnected from politics. Piers Morgan called Markle’s involvement a “shamelessly hypocritical super-woke Vogue stunt.” 

Meghan Markle’s changes have helped the royal family

It’s true that Markle is a royal like none other. She has brought some changes into the royal family, and change to a traditional institution is always going to face some critics. However, Markle’s personality and heart have done a lot of good. 

For one thing, she is modernizing the royal family’s image, especially when it comes to women’s roles. As someone who had a thriving career before joining the royal family, she brings her savvy and skills with her into this new role. Everything from her fashion choices to her charity work demonstrates that she is not afraid to step outside of conservative boundaries and take on new challenges. Some argue that Markle is just what the royal family needs to carry them into a new era.

While the criticisms of Markle are unlikely to stop anytime soon, she is also gaining a lot of supporters and fans along the way.