Why Meghan Markle’s Type A Personality Earned Her the Nickname Difficult Duchess

Meghan Markle faces a lot of scrutiny as a public figure, even earning the nickname “Difficult Duchess” by the British media. It’s become easy for the media to spin negative stories about the Duchess of Sussex based on rumors, but how much of it is true? In the recent TLC special Meghan & Harry: A Royal Baby Story, royal experts shed a bit more light on why Markle’s personality earned her the unflattering moniker.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visit Morocco
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Yui Mok – Pool/Getty Images

High staff turnover was a big factor

While the specifics of staff turnover are unknown, the fact that people left the palace staff seemed to point to Markle having something to do with it.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl explained in the special: “There have been a lot of rumors about Meghan and what she’s really like behind the scenes. Of course she’s an actress, and when you see her in public, that mega watt smile, she is the consummate professional.”

She added: “And this reputation for being ‘difficult’ was linked to an unusually high turnover of staff at the palace.”

Is Meghan Markle too demanding?

Further supporting the ‘difficult’ description are details that surfaced about Markle’s Type-A personality, as she likes to be organized and on top of things.

One royal expert explained how Markle gets up early, “5:00 in the morning oftentimes, gets on the treadmill” and begins by texting her team members about the day’s plans. This approach is not what the staff are generally used to and, in fact, a source told ET last year that Markle’s “direct approach” didn’t “sit well” and “raised eyebrows” among the staff.

The expert added, “probably in her mind she’s just kind of getting her day set up but royal staff members were certainly not expecting or happy to start getting a barrage of text messaged instructions starting at 5:30 every morning and took great umbrage and offense at that.”

She continued, “But I would just say, celebrities do that so for her, I think she was a bit shocked certainly that within the royal family there’s a whole different protocol when it comes to speaking to staff.”

Nicholl added that “Meghan’s approach to things have been different” and might have “ruffled some feathers.”

Markle ‘knows what she wants’

Broadcaster Sarah-Jane Crawford explained in the special that while Markle might do things differently, she shouldn’t be called out for being organized and straight-forward.

Crawford noted: “So the tabloids have coined this name for Meghan ‘the difficult duchess’ which I don’t think is fair and I’ll tell you why. There’s nothing wrong with being a woman who knows what she wants. The fact that she is a feminist, she is somebody who is known for really speaking up for what she believes in — people don’t like that and it comes not just from a place of jealousy but also from a place of sexism.”

Markle, according to Nicholl, has responded to the criticism by “following that very famous royal rule: never complain, never explain. And that is what the royals do.”