Meghan Markle on 60 Minutes: How she 'lost her sparkle'

Prince Andrew is facing serious allegations but ‘Meghan Markle losing her sparkle’ is the story ‘investigated’.

Meghan Markle 60 Minutes
Prince Andrew’s close connections with the now-deceased convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein are scandalous.

Even before Epstein was arrested earlier this year, facing multiple Federal charges for trafficking minors, the Duke of York’s relationship with Epstein was highly controversial.

A photo of the pair walking together in New York in 2010, just after Epstein had served an 18 month sentence for sexually abusing an underage girl, made front page news and sparked the famous ‘Prince & the Perv’ headline.

Also highly controversial and deeply problematic is a 2001 photo showing Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of a then-17 year old called Virginia Roberts Giuffre, with Jeffrey Epstein’s lover Ghislaine Maxwell in the background. The photo was reportedly taken at Maxwell’s London home.

It’s problematic for the Royals because Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a 35 year old mother of three who now lives in Australia, says she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew three times when she was 17 years of age. Roberts Giuffre also alleges that she was procured by Jeffrey Epstein’s lover Ghislaine Maxwell as a teenage “sex slave” for Epstein when she was 15.

The photo, which sources close to the Duke of York says is digitally doctored, certainly places the pair in proximity at the relevant time.

The allegations are scandalous and the mounting pressure is grave, even for a member of the royal family as accustomed to negative press as Prince Andrew.

Yet it was not Prince Andrew’s ties with a famous sexual predator that attracted the attention of 60 Minutes on Sunday night.

It was the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, who was scrutinised in a segment with Karl Stefanovic at the helm.

Her crimes range from having ‘lost her sparkle’, being a ‘divorcee’, wearing ‘bad clothes’, flying on a private plane, to apparently becoming ‘insufferable’.

The fact the famously bigoted British commentator Katie Hopkins was invited to share her views on ‘where it all went wrong’ for Meghan, out of concern for ‘the future of the Royal family’, was sadly telling.  She is a one woman controversy-stirring show and she didn’t disappoint.

“What does Meghan Markle do? Oh, we’ve got to save the planet. Oh, do one good thing every day. Blah blah blah blah blah. Then what does she do? Get on four private flights to wherever land at 400,000 pounds a week hire and then uses up half the CO2 emissions that anyone else might have had. It’s pure hypocrisy.

“And what is she really? She’s a no one. She’s a divorcee. When did we want a divorcee in the Royal family? She wears bad clothes. When did we ask for that? We’ve just got so much better of our own.”

This would have been an apt opportunity to ask whether by ‘one of their own’ she includes Prince Andrew as a ‘better’ figure?

Hopkins totally dismissed racism as being relevant to her vicious and varied criticisms of Markle. Notwithstanding the fact she once described African immigrants as ‘cockroaches’ and called for a ‘final solution’ on Twitter, Hopkins declared she is not at all racist.

Hopkin’s involvement has been widely derided, as was the segment itself, even before  it was broadcast on Sunday evening.

It is difficult not to dismiss the criticism of Meghan Markle as a witch-hunt. On what grounds can her ‘crimes’ be considered valid enough to explore in a TV ‘investigation’? What exactly does ‘losing her sparkle’ mean?

A more important question might be: why did the media turn on Meghan and strip her of the adoration it had briefly bestowed upon her? Was it because she didn’t “behave” the way they wanted? Because she has her own views and friends?

If the real issue is the royal family itself, how exactly is Meghan Markle, one of the newer members of the institution, the valid target for that criticism?

A little over a year ago she married one of the world’s most famous men. A man who has been very open about his reluctance to accept the scrutiny that comes with being a member of the British Royal family. A man who has openly expressed his disappointment in the media bringing his then girlfriend’s, now wife’s, racial heritage into commentary. A man who has been honest on many occasions about wanting to protect his family, as much as humanly possible, from intrusion and undue scrutiny.

It hasn’t helped.

Four months ago they had their first baby and they have been criticised at almost every turn since. Particularly Meghan. No matter what she does it seems she can’t win. When you consider the alleged conduct of a senior member of the royal family that deserves legitimate scrutiny right now, it’s distressing to contemplate that it’s Markle ‘losing her sparkle’ is the story we get.

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