In an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan Markle has spoken frankly about her relationship with Prince Harry and dealing with a new level of fame for the first time. This made headlines everywhere because we’ve always been fascinated by royal pairings. Look at Diana and Charles, Will and Kate. Is it their public and private lives we’re so fascinated by? Or do we just hope that a great romance breeds a scandal as has been very much the case in years gone by? Most importantly, why do we even care? But to an extent, some do, even if we can’t quite explain – with all the real problems in the world – exactly why we do.
The public obsession with the Royal Family has reached fever pitch in the last few years, usually because it’s frowned upon for those having the relationships to speak directly about them – so the media hounds the woman in the relationship for more – or for fear of provoking a more intrusive frenzy, she simply chooses to stay silent. Which is why it’s refreshing when someone associated with such a public figure – in this case, Suits actress and activist Markle, who just happens to be the partner of a famous Prince – decides to take ownership of the way in which her life is perceived and tell her own version of events.
The US actress said, just over one year into their relationship, they are in love and happy together. Markle, who met Harry through friends in July last year, was surprisingly candid and open about the relationship, which asides from Harry being forced to make a statement about, hadn’t been spoken about by either of them.
“We’re a couple. We’re in love,” she said of the year-long romance. “I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.”
Markle was a success well before a member of the British royal family entered the equation: she had roles in film and TV and was a businesswoman and humanitarian, but she was reduced to little more than “Prince Harry’s Girlfriend” in almost every article on the internet. We wrote about how the frenzy needed to stop. However, it seems this has been taken all in strides by the intelligent, confident woman who insists that others changed at the revelation – not her. It is precisely that; a relationship, she says. A thread overlapping many different threads in her life and not the center of her life.
“We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.” The fact that she chooses to feature on the front of a very influential magazine and redirect the conversation back to where she wants it is empowering all on its own (and not too dissimilar to Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, who used the press to her advantage when her marriage came to an end).
That said, the sexist, racist and totally unfair criticism of Markle in the press has been apparent; the trolls have really gone for her (naturally, as opposed to Harry). But despite the “challenges” of the new levels of interest in her personal life, it never waivers her, and she handles it with grace and aplomb. “Right out of the gate it was surprising the way things changed. But I still have this support system all around me, and, of course, my boyfriend’s support.”
“….I don’t read any press. I haven’t even read press for Suits. The people who are close to me anchor me in knowing who I am. The rest is noise.”
“This is for us,” she said, of their inevitable presence in the public eye. “It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.”
And so it seems, does everyone else.