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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex made it no secret that she suffered a great deal in the limelight as a member of the British royal family. While her sister-in-law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge eased her way into royal life, Meghan was thrown in headfirst.

Unfortunately, as a mixed-race American woman who was already othered by royal fans and the British press, this was not the right strategy. Though the former actor did her best to weather every storm hurled her way, nothing she did seemed to be good enough.

Even when Meghan tried to do progressive things like guest-edit British Vogue instead of simpling appearing on the cover for an interview, she was lambasted. Now, British Vogue editor Edward Enninful is speaking out in defense of the duchess.

Meghan Markle guest edited British Vogue’s September 2019 issue

In September 2019, fans were delighted to learn that Meghan had guest-edited British Vogue for their “Voices For Change” issue. She was originally asked to be on the cover but she pivoted.

“I asked the question,” revealed in a candid letter around the time the issue his the stands via People. “Edward… Instead of doing the cover, would you be open to me guest-editing your September issue.” Enniful was delighted by the idea. Meghan became the magazine’s first guest editor in its 103-year history highlighting 15 outstanding women including Michelle Obama and Jane Goodall among others.

Unfortunately, this was not good enough for the British press and public. They found something very wrong about the issue before it was even released. The duchess was called everything from “self-serving” to “egotistical.”

Meghan Markle received criticism for everything she did

This was not the first time and certainly not the last time Meghan received criticism for something she did. In fact, it’s the way of the British press to do their best to get under people’s skin. Meghan became a good target because of her differences. However, much of this criticism was also racist and sexist.

In their new book, Finding Freedom reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand write via The Sunday Times,

This is a script that wrote itself as soon as you knew that an American actress was coming into the royal family. Meghan felt as though some of the commentary and tabloid stories were more than a culture clash; they were sexist and prejudiced. If a man got up before dawn to work, he was applauded for his work ethic. If a woman did it, she was deemed difficult or ‘a b*tch.’ The double standard was exacerbated when it came to successful women of color, often labeled demanding or aggressive.


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Vogue editor Edward Enninful believes Meghan Markle was never given the chance to learn the royal rules

Enniful also believes that racism and prejudice played a role in Meghan’s villainization. However, he also explained that she never learned the royal rules.

“I think you know, the Duchess of Sussex is a brave woman, I feel that… part of the problem was racism but it was more institution, she walked into an institution and everybody expected her to know the rules,” the fashion legend explained to Sky News. “And I think sometimes it takes a minute to understand the rules. “

Still, Enniful was adamant that Meghan was treated horribly during her time in the British royal family. “But she did get a very unfair treatment, I thought,” he said. “It was harsh, but I wouldn’t just blame it on racism.”