Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Meghan's First Christmas with the Royals

On a cold Christmas morning in 1997, Prince Harry and Prince William joined the Royal family for the annual walk from Sandringham House to St Mary Magdalene Church on the estate where, as always, locals gathered to exchange festive wishes, flowers and cards with the royals. Skimming through the images now, it almost looks like any other royal Christmas, steeped in tradition and familiarity. For William and Harry it was anything but; less than four months earlier they had tragically lost their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales in a car accident in Paris; a loss we now know they are still trying to come to terms with. As any of us who have lost loved ones know, Christmas can serve as a painful reminder of those not present, their absence all the more sorely felt on a day reserved for family. At 15 and 13, I cannot begin to imagine how they must have felt knowing they would never spend the occasion with their mother again. Behind the smiles and gracious greetings, they were two boys hurting and making their way through what had to be an extraordinarily difficult day...

Embed from Getty Images

Leo Tolstoy famously said "the most powerful warriors are patience and time" and with the passage of twenty years, both William and Harry have now found happiness in their lives. On Christmas morning, the scene outside St Mary Magdalene Church will be in stark contrast to that sad day in 1997. Prince William was lucky enough to meet 'the one' at St Andrews University and as they approach their seventh wedding anniversary with their third child on the way, it's safe to say William has found happiness. It was a longer road for Prince Harry, who found relationships difficult because of how hard he found it to deal with the loss of his mother. Now, life has come full circle for him too, and he will make the walk to Church with his future wife, Meghan Markle, by his side.


The Sunday Times journalist Roya Nikkhah (if you're new to following the royal beat, Roya is one of the finest journalists out there) confirmed over the weekend: "Meghan Markle will join the royal family for Christmas at Sandringham in yet another break with tradition. The actress will also be the first royal fiancรฉe to open presents with the Queen on December 24, before she officially becomes a member of the royal family. It is understood that Harry asked the Queen to make an exception for Markle over Christmas. She relocated last month from Toronto, her home for the past seven years, to London shortly before the couple announced their engagement last Monday — as predicted by The Sunday Times last weekend. The move signals how fully Markle has been welcomed into the royal family after her 16-month romance with the fifth (soon to be sixth) in line to the throne."


What prompted the change from tradition? As noted by The Times, the Queen is very close to her grandsons and I believe would have been more than happy to accommodate Harry's wish to spend Christmas with his fiancรฉe. I believe there's a wider element to her thinking too; Her Majesty has witnessed so much throughout her reign, she's incredibly astute when it comes to reading the public and media temperature. It will not have gone unnoticed by her or her courtiers the vitriolic campaign factions of the press and social media have been vehemently running against Meghan. Disgruntled people from her past are being paid six figures sums to betray the woman they once called a 'friend'. Why, one might ask, would such people have one iota of credibility? Yet, every slight and salacious tale is being digested with relish by some. Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, has been hunted down like a wanted criminal. Labelled a "recluse" and "a man in hiding" because he wishes to support his daughter and unlike other members of the family, avoid at all costs selling her out to the press. I've observed the royals closely for a decade, and I've seen cruel stories, blatantly untrue 'exclusives', relatives of royals targeted, but I have never seen anything like this. What better way for the Queen and the Royal family to show how warmly they have welcomed Meghan than to invite her for Christmas?


Meghan will need one rather large suitcase as Christmas Day alone requires a number of outfit changes. The Duchess of York famously complained about having to change seven times. From a stylish but serviceable warm coat and hat for the church service to an elegant gown and jewels for the evening, successfully navigating the sartorial requirements of the day is no mean feat.


The festivities are a three-day affair for the Royal family, commencing on Christmas eve when immediate and extended family members descend on the leafy Norfolk Estate. The Sunday Times reports it's likely Harry and Meghan will stay at Anmer Hall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's country pile, also located on the estate, joining the Queen and other members each day.


If true, I think it's a lovely idea and a very relaxed way for Meghan to spend her first Christmas with the royals. Indeed, they'll be there to see Prince George and Princess Charlotte opening their stockings. During the engagement, Meghan said Kate's been "wonderful". I'm sure they'll both be getting ready together before heading over to Sandringham House.


Prince Philip has been enjoying much of his retirement on the estate and nothing gives him and the Queen more pleasure than welcoming at least a twenty-five-strong crowd. At 4 pm, the family gathers in the White Drawing Room for Earl Grey tea, cakes, home-made scones and a chat.


The Queen encourages the younger royals to add decorations and finishing touches to the tree - a Norfolk spruce taken from the estate. In fact, the Queen adores Christmas trees and has one in each room. The Master of the Household then gives each member a timetable and room plan, so they know where to be and when. Below, we see Meghan decorating the tree with friends last year.


The Queen will then give the go ahead for gifts to be presented and opened. They are not opened on Christmas Day, as the Queen adheres to strict observance of the religious festival. Trestle tables are laid out in the nearby Red Drawing Room, with sections marked off showing each family member's gifts, laid out in order of precedence. When it comes to gifts, the royals love to show their humour, shunning expensive gifts in favour of items with a good dollop of fun attached. Harry is a dab hand at this already, once giving his grandmother a shower cap with the slogan 'Ain't Life a Bitch'. Royals also love to get creative, and foodie Meghan may opt to prepare edible treats. Apparently she makes a mean berry crumble!


The gifts will be accompanied with cards and notes written in her beautiful handwriting. Meghan once worked as a professional calligrapher. She wrote a special note for Santa and shared it on her Instagram page.


All that gift opening is thirsty work! Next, it's time for Martinis and cider. Then it's back to their rooms for baths and another change of clothes. After a gong at 8 pm, guests are seated for dinner. Men will be dressed in black tie, while women will be draped in full-length gowns. The candlelit three-course meal usually consists of lamb or locally sourced game. Once dinner is finished, the women move to another room for coffee, whilst the men enjoy liqueurs. Afterwards, the Cambridges and Harry and Meghan will return to Anmer for a good night's sleep.

On Christmas morning, Meghan will mark a significant royal milestone as she joins the Royal family for the annual walk to the picturesque St Mary Magdalene Church.


Upon return to the house it is yet another outfit change before they all sit down for Christmas lunch at 1.15 pm. Norfolk turkey accompanied by a selection of cold meats and a variety of side dishes is served. At precisely 3 pm the family gathers round to watch the Queen's Christmas message. The evening consists of a walk around the estate, board games, television and drinks.


The Sunday Times added that "a friend of Harry’s said: 'Now they are engaged it was unthinkable that they would be apart for Christmas. The Royal family have fully welcomed Meghan into the fold.' On Boxing Day, guests traditionally take part in a pheasant shoot on the 20,000-acre estate, although Markle, who is thought to be opposed to blood sports, is unlikely to join in".


From there, it's reported Harry and Meghan will ring in the New Year in LA with Meghan's mother Doria Ragland. Kensington Palace confirmed Meghan would be travelling for several weeks before the wedding to spend quality time with family and friends. I imagine it's quite possible the trip to California could be the beginning of the time away. January is traditionally a very quiet month on the royal calendar; perhaps Harry and Meghan will spend it abroad?


Kensington Palace is expected to confirm Meghan's attendance at Sandringham closer to the date. I for one will be delighted to see her taking her place beside Harry on the day. It will no doubt be an unforgettable Christmas for both of them - their first together - and a lovely opportunity to unwind and relax before the hustle and bustle of wedding planning in 2018!

214 comments:

  1. Charlotte you paint with words very well.

    I love that she is being included from the start. Also I think it’s easier to bend rules when they all want Harry to settle down. And he is clearly happy with her. He isn’t the heir. They want him to be happy.

    She is older than Kate was and they are not wasting time on any front. This fits with the way their relationship has been.

    I also like him asking the family to help protect her. A bit of old fashioned chivalry? I’ll take it. :)

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    1. Paint with words . . . that's very evocative, and very true too. Beautiful job, Charlotte!

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  2. Whoa. Meghan has to come up with appropriate gifts for the royal family, her future in-laws. How would you all like that as a Christmas task? What would you pick out? I'd be flat out terrified.

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    1. I think it's best to go the creative route because they do have everything. Kate made her grandmother's chutney for HM and, apparently, that went over well.

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    2. I quite agree!!!!!

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    3. Home treats would definitely be the way to go and there are many items - seasoned nuts, jams, cookies - that aren't that hard to make but are impressive.

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    4. I so would not want to have that Christmas task! I think the fact that they only give joke gifts or creative things actually makes it so much harder in my opinion. Marrying into the royal family and not knowing them very well, I think giving a joke gift would be quite hard, so I would also say that Meghan, like Kate will go with something home-made. She's lucky to have Kate to give her tips and seems to be skilled at cooking & calligraphy, so this shouldn't be a huge problem for her.

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    5. I agree, Caroline. I think cooking and crafting are very much in her wheelhouse.

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    6. Since Meghan has lived in Canada and the Queen is head of state there also, presenting her with a Canadian Christmas treat might be nice :)

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    7. Yes! I think thats a great idea, Caroline.

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    8. That would be so cute, so thoughtful. Canadian maple syrup, yum. :)

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  3. Wonderful post! And wonderful photos! Such good news. It has really gotten terrible and it is such a good feeling to know that Meghan will be surrounded by welcoming future family members. I'm sure everyone wants to spend the holiday with Prince Philip and Harry and Meghan can retreat to spend downtime with Kate and William. I bet Meghan is out buying presents and clothes now! I love those Instragram photos from her---I'm sure she will handle the family with lots of confidence and be a whiz at Charades. Thank you for the positive uplifting post!!

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  4. I'm glad you mentioned the media vilification of this lovely woman, and the spiteful trolls who are lapping it up. You say you've never seen the like - it should be mentioned that the main reason for this vitriol is due to Meghan's race. At times like this, we are reminded just how much racism still abounds unfortunately. It must be really daunting to have this hatred & false stories spilling forth; even if you try and avoid it, some of it must filter through.

    I hope Harry is as supportive as he can be and I long for the day when the nastiness ebbs away. I somehow think it will endure for as long as Meghan is around - many of the comments seem to come from the extreme right who identify as Trump supporters and Brexiters. The world seems to have regressed!

    Anyway, I am really looking forward to seeing what Meghan wears this month, because I am in awe of her style. Thanks for the comprehensive blog, as always.

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    1. I don't think this is stemming strictly from race. I think it's a social class issue as well.

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    2. Just curious, Grenada. How do you know that the "nastiness" is coming from "the extreme right who identify as trump supporters and brexiters"?

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    3. Erika - While I don't completely disagree..I think the 5 to 6% of the more garden variety haters are just that - sad people who get some kind of kick out of being hateful and ugly. But I would put 90% as being racially motivated. Thinly veiled racism as well as the pure hate speech. This makes me horribly sad but I think it is so important to acknowledge what is really happening. Just my two cents. On the other side of the coin - how wonderful is this happiness that seems to shine on both of them. I am going to hold on to the belief that much good will come from these two and the example that they set.

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    4. While I dont deny the underlying tones of racism, there have been insinuations in this very blog because of her profession. It is sad to see there are still people around in this day and age who think acting is not a respectful career choice. Actors have to be media savvy because they thrive on popularity which is very much needed in their profession. Commenters even suggested she got through the engagement interview because of her acting background - really! And there have been questions here around her suitability for Harry. I wonder if anyone thought about the other way around. Harry is not exactly a naive person who is falling for a scheming woman. Give him some credit for god's sake!

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    5. @surfer girl Because I have seen many of them say "we don't want this lefty anti-Trump, anti-Brexit trash". Just reading the comments on the latest Daily Fail article turns my stomach.

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    6. I definitely think there is plenty of racism at play, but I also agree that classism, xenophobia and misogyny are all huge factors as well.

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    7. SOME of us are more concerned with Harry's happiness and have been discussing the sincerity factor on Meghan's part; I honestly don't care about her ethnicity. And, as my best friend in the world knows, I have stated more than once that if Diana was alive she would welcome the girl with open arms as long as she felt that Meghan was madly in love with Harry and would always have his back.

      And I do hope we can keep politics out of this thread and blog. Let's not make some valid concerns, at least on this blog, into something they are not.

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    8. I'm totally offended by your comment about who are making these nasty comments. Very uncalled for.

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    9. @Grenada - I just wanted to add my support that I agree with you that a lot of the vitriol, negativity, and criticism aimed at Meghan has to do with her race. It may not be outwardly stated or even consciously acknowledged in the poster's own mind, but I also believe it's related to race. It's similar to how Obama was criticized for things that other presidents had done and not been criticized for (e.g. taking a vacation, etc.).

      I'm definitely not saying that Meghan shouldn't be criticized or that there will not be legitimate reasons to find fault with her, but IMO race is most definitely a factor of some of the comments and anger we've seen directed at her (not here, necessarily, but on other sites and chat boards). Like Meghan, I'm a biracial black woman (married to a white Brit :) ) and I think this is just a fact of the world we are currently living in.

      Anyway, I don't want to get into a huge thing about it because I'm not sure that's what Charlotte wants, but I just wanted to add my support to your comment.

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    10. I want to clarify that I was discussing the motivations behind the press narrative and not comments on this blog. I think the other posters were also talking about the press and social media trolls in response to what Charlotte wrote on the topic in her blogpost, however I could be mistaken. I agree that I would personally not read about politics here, although it isn't up to me as it's not my blog obviously. However, I believe Charlotte has expressed the same sentiment herself.

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    11. I agree very much with your post IntheKitchen, you expressed yourself very well. I think it is important to acknowledge bigotry when you see, we won't make progress otherwise. But I also think that can be accomplished on *this particular site* without discussing politics.

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    12. In my post at 15:54 that should read: I would personally *rather* not read about politics here...

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    13. Even though I don't wish to share my opinion about the political content of your post Grenada, I would like to say that I agree with everything else you wrote. Meghan is undeniably being subjected to additional vitriol in both the press and on social media platforms as a result of her race, and as a woc I really appreciate that you and others are acknowledging that.

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    14. I have to say I haven't seen much negative press about MM here in the US. I don't read tabloids but respectable news outlets have been very fair and complimentary. I think you have to be careful what you read. Tabloid journalism has always been sensationalized and out of line. Some platforms are just disgusting whatever the topic. Same holds true for some comment sections. I never read comments on the DM site for instance. As consumers, we have to be vigilant about where our news is coming from.

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    15. Agree with RoyalFan on this one

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    16. I choose not to read sites that allow racist comments. And I liked Finn's original statement-"I would personally not read..." By frequenting those sites we are supporting them. I know ignoring ugliness like that will not make it go away, but neither will calling attention to it. I don't think they care who believes them They just want a reaction. Even disagreeing with them is validating their remarks.

      I agree that HM is both wise and clever. The Queen is also is nobody's fool. Meghan has become a touchstone of the media, perhaps partly in reaction to her being a target of racists- some of whom apparently comment on sites that employ a few of those journalists .
      I also think Harry is smitten enough to make it a package deal. "It's Meghan and me or neither, Granny."
      "Poor dear, all alone at Christmas." Maybe a little of that involved, too.

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    17. Wait. Wasn't Queen Charlotte bi-racial? So even in that sense the media making a big deal about Meghan being bi-racial is a non-starter. Shades of Miriam and Moses. Perhaps Andrew and Fergie will "officially" re-unite and get re-engaged (I kind of wish they would) or Eugenie will finally get engaged. Any other ripples in the royal pond and the media will move on to those.

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    18. Courtney From NC7 December 2017 at 09:07

      I'm with RoyalFan here. I believe politics don't belong anywhere near Charlotte's blogs since they breed divisiveness.

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    19. amen, rf and Courtney. Nice to hear from you Courtney. :)

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    20. Elizabeth5 December 2017 at 23:52
      I disagree it is 90% racism. W&H have done the unusual first in BRF history if I am correct. Even with W&K having dated for over 7 years before the engagement, the announcement confirmed to UK public and the media that a potential future heir to the throne was to marry a commoner. If I remember correctly the last such union was over 300 years ago (BRF heir and a commoner marriage). UK tabloids offered twisted leads in titles /articles which helped emboldened all kinds of degrading comments about Kate and her family. If I did not follow W&K since 2011, I would have been inclined to think the same way as you do.

      In PH’s case, it is also another first in many aspects. Edward VIII, later DOW / 1936 has similarity, but PH is not a direct heir to the throne. True, what added to the nationality and divorcee profile is the bi-racial profile as a first. Some of the commenters are from USA and the Commonwealth too. The extreme vitriol is maxed by the “thinly sailed racism” factor, but not necessarily 90% of the reason is racism. Some people might have also found PH’s turning point as a surprise, if not a shocker (based on expectations and what he had been associated with in the past, this is quite a turn to a different angle).

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    21. Susan in Florida9 December 2017 at 22:05

      No one can deny that there are nasty things being said about Meghan because of her biracial heritage. . Those comments are from horrid people. Do not lump Brexit supporters , the right (in the USA) or Trump supporters with this issue. Sorry Grenada , Let’s keep politics off the table.

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    22. Thank you susan for stating that perfectly

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    23. Sorry Anon 15, but you are not remembering correctly. Prince Charles and Camilla married in 2005, only a dozen years ago and only six years before Wills and Kate. She was a commoner at the time. In fact, The Queen's sister, all four of her children and 3 of her 8 grandchildren all married commoners. Harry will be her fourth grandchild to do so.

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  5. I loved reading this post! Also, I think logistics has something to do with this decision. She does live with Harry with no relatives close by. She can't very well be left on her own on Christmas Day. Kate had family to go to.

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    1. I agree, Erika. That would be so bad to not include her after she just left her home. I am so very happy that she has been so warmly welcomed and that they are setting a precedence for she and Harry. ❤️

      Charlotte, you do "paint with words" as MommaMary
      said. I was sad when the narrative was over. I truly wanted to linger in that steeped-in-tradition holiday warmth. ๐ŸŒน

      And I hope that Roya Nikkhah realizes that you calling her "one of the finest journalists out there" is very high praise indeed. :) ๐Ÿ†

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    2. Good call Erika on the logistics. Hadn’t thought of that.

      Harry is a smart intelligent savvy man. He knows the real thing when he finds it. I agree with the above and say we should give him credit.

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    3. It makes perfect sense to me that she would join the RF for Christmas. Correct, she did just leave her family/home behind and why should she be denied Harry's company on such a special day? And for Philip's sake, let the family be together for Christmas. Who can predict what the future will bring......

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    4. Maggie - Minneapolis6 December 2017 at 03:56

      To be completely honest, I couldn't see the reasoning for excluding Kate and all previous fiances whole allowing Meghan to join the royal Christmas, but your post had changed my mind completely. I somehow hadn't considered the fact that Meghan just recently moved to an entirely new country and thus might need that extra support during the holidays. Perhaps the fact that I didn't even think about that maybe speaks to how quickly she's been jumping into things so far.

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    5. rf, I think one of the thoughts to include Meghan, aside from leaving her by herself at Amner Hall, is the thought probably prevalent in all their minds and that is to spend as much time with Prince Phillip as is humanly possible. And hip hip hurray to that idea. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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    6. But Kate was technically allowed. In December 2010 all the newspapers were writing that she was invited but that William chose to stay in Wales and work to give the other pilots that were husbands and fathers a chance to be with their families and Kate the opportunity to be with her family and have a quiet Christmas at home. Everyone praised him for that and Kate for choosing to be with her family. Zara and Mike also elected to be with Mike's family that year. But of course the tabloid press will say "Queen breaks rule for Meghan" because it makes for more interesting story than "engaged woman to spend Christmas with future husband in new home country".
      I've been watching the royals for too long :)))))

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    7. I don't know that Kate was excluded, as Claudia mentioned on twitter in 2010 it was reported that she wanted to spend her last Christmas as a single woman with her family. Given that she and Wills still alternate who they spends Christmas with, I imagine there is some truth to that. Additionally William worked that Christmas, and it may have felt daunting to spend the holidays with his family for the first time without him by her side.

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  6. What a warm and lovely post. Thank you for all you do to keep us updated. One of the first places I go each morning.
    - Duch

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  7. Thank you for your post Charlotte. The nasty comments in my opinion have nothing to do with race or class. The annonimty of comments sections on the Internet has given rise to to a sub species of bullies who will use anything to rip the victim apart. There is no particular agenda not Brexiters, not Republicans etc etc just plain nasty bullies who enjoy being nasty. Look at any open social media, blog, newspaper articles etc and the vitriol is there in the comments section. It is one of the worst expressions of our so called civilisation.Meghan will be more vunerable to the tell all sttoies. There is a dysfunctional family, previous marriage and 37 years of photographic evidence and narrative as well as her social media accounts. It is a pity they were not closed down immediately she became involved with Harry. Now I am certain every photograph and comment will have been copied and will be used to fuel stories once the euphoria of the love story has abated and more fuel for click baits is needed. A very sad reflection on our society.

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    1. There is plenty of "dysfunctional family, previous marriage and 37 years of photographic evidence" in the royal family, too, no? There is more grist for the gossip mill there than in Meghan's family put together I would be willing to bet. Yet Meghan is highlighted as the one with issues. I wonder why.

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    2. To be fair, the press has published every document it had about the dysfunction in the RF. And it would be publishing more in a minute given the opportunity. They do what they can with ex butlers and William's ski weekend. Only they cannot find anyone who will give interviews, even uncle Gary is not big news. No, I think there are stories about Meghan because quite a lot of people are willing to sell them.

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    3. Agreed Bluhare.

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    4. Whether the press has published everything they have isn't the point I was making. In fact, I'm pretty sure they haven't published everything they have. That being said, the conversation is about Meghan and things being said about *her*. And how she's being slated for those things. My point is she probably doesn't have any more, and probably fewer, skeletons than the family she's marrying into have yet according to some people she isn't good enough. I beg to differ.

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    5. That's the point though. There are many negative things about members of the BRF that are public knowledge, and yet the press narrative is still overwhelmingly that she isn't good enough for Harry and the royal family and not the opposite.

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    6. Good point, bluhare.
      The reasons are classism, racism and mysogyny

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    7. You may be right but I still think she is more interesting to the press because she is fresh news.The RF scandals have been so often remembered ( last time with the Diana commemoration) that they are almost boring. If they can find anything unpublished it is worth much more. On the other hand there was also a campaign against Kate before her marriage, against her mother in particular. And everything about her past had been tracked down. I was living in the Netherlands when Maxima got engaged and the press against her was something awful. I have a Dutch friend, very nice in other respects, that is still convinced she only married William Alexander to save her father from prosecution in Argentina. And her father was not allowed to attend the wedding. So I think what is happening to Meghan now is the way the press works. Not nice, but not unusual or unprecedented. I don't think it would help Meghan if they started digging all the RF old skeletons. It only would make the RF unpopular and she wouldn't gain anything. In any case, I am sure it won't be long before there is an article comparing the dysfunctions of both families. If it is a selling story line.

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    8. Courtney From NC7 December 2017 at 09:09

      Alimai - I agree with you.

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    9. Yes Kate and her family did receive a lot of criticism before the engagement announcement and some of that criticism was due to classism and misogyny. And even though there was a large shift in the tone of coverage after the engagement announcement there were still some very snobby articles written about her and her family. I remember when Harry was dating Cressida that the tone and language of the articles written about Cressida's family versus Kate's family were positively oozing with classism. And even though there are people with legitimate criticisms of Kate, as there are people with legitimate criticisms of Meghan (that is not at all what *I* am discussing, I don't have any problem with people who have legitimate criticisms of either and express them in a civil manner, although I may personally not agree with them), there are many articles and commenters on social media that publish misogynistic articles and comments about Kate (and this is true of other female members of the royal family as well). And that is also not okay. Just as it is not okay that Meghan who is also female and from a non-aristocratic background is similarly on the receiving end of classier and me sexist based commentary now, and that is what is being pointed out. But what is *also* being pointed out is that because unlike Kate she is mixed raced and American, she is also being confronted with press coverage and social media comments that are rooted in racism and xenophobia. And that is also not okay.

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    10. That should read classist and sexist based commentary. Sorry, autocorrect gremlins!

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    11. I agree, Finn. I also think it is fine to voice criticisms of both Meghan and Kate but classism, racism and misogyny are not criticism, they are offensive and uncalled for. I don't think anyone can disagree with the fact that a man marrying into the royal family would never face what women doing the same have to face.
      We all know that with Kate there was (and to some extent continues to be) plenty of classism. A family who admirably worked their way up was portrayed as 'social climbers' and misogyny also comes into play where Kate's mother is concerned. She has long been portrayed as a 'controlling evil witch' whereas no one much cares to write articles about Kate's father or to find anything wrong with him (not that they should).
      Now suddenly, in comparison to Meghan's, Kate's family is portrayed differently. I think it was on the Daily Mail site where I read an article in which the family of 'social climbers' and the 'air hostess mother' had suddenly turned into an upperclass family with the intention of portraying Meghan's background as lesser and embarrassing.
      It is also obvious that Meghan has it harder still as there is the added issue of race.

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    12. Exactly Caroline. Thank you for adding your perspective!

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  8. We as a family watch HM speach each year aswell as the family walk to Church, and we're so looking forward to seeing Meghan hand in hand with Harry.
    Love the idea that Kate will be on hand to help with the protocol of dressing, im sure they'll have some fun together !
    Brilliant post ! Thank you !

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  9. Let's see. All Meghan has to do is study for citizenship, be confirmed into the Church of England, plan a royal wedding and reception, buy or make a perfect gift for the Queen and one each for the rest of the family, plan and choose outfits for Sandringham and other upcoming events, visit family and friends asap, and get accustomed to her unusual new world. Piece of cake. ๐Ÿฐ

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    1. True! But she will have a staff to help her. Thank goodness!!!

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    2. Hahaha! Gosh I know! She's so wonderful to not be caving under the pressure! She seems to have her head on straight and has a lot of support from Harry and her parents so I'm sure it will all eventuate! I think the royal family is overjoyed that Harry is so happy and it seems they've been really supportive :)

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    3. Surfer girl, I like how you’ve listed all that Meghan has to do. Lord, I would be eating that piece of cake and then some! I bet she nails it all...she seems super confident and has it together. Can’t wait to see all this unfold!

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    4. Lol, yes, easy peasy! ;) I don't envy her but at the same time, it must be so exciting. I look forward to Charlotte's reports on all of these matters in the months to come.

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    5. MM also has the help of her friend Jessica, and I imagine the two of them have been consulting at rapid speed! MM does like casual hats, so maybe a nice compromise will make her comfortable.This is just an amazing time---from very little news to marriages and babies and then maybe more babies!

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    6. There will be no celebratory cake on this blog without Eve from Germany. When this blog was in its infancy, a lot of speculation and just a few commenters on this blog, she was the ultimate optimist with certainty of H&M’s relationship. May be she did send that letter to Harry, and she had moved to London by now. I hope all is well wherever she is. There will be no wedding planning w/o the self-designated wedding planner SG of this blog. The champagne, the cake, the details /wow, SG, you did not need those movies after all. The announcement had rolled out in November with continued up dates. If only you and Eve go to UK in May, it will be wonderful. You will be posting live from Windsor. Think about it. Where is Eve?

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    7. thank you anon 15. :) ๐Ÿ˜Š If we are blessed to be there, we will gladly do the best reporting ever, lol. and I was asking the same question about our dearest Eve. :)

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    8. thanks, ya'll. (we have to be her makeshift p.a. until someone else shows up.) :)

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    9. surfer girl, you are welcome. By the way, when I first saw your name several months ago, I used to think you live by the sea and enjoy surfing. Then, I realized it can also mean, surfing the internet.

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    10. lol. Anon. 15. I used to surf in days gone by. Windsurf. And, of course, body surf from a very young age. I still very much enjoy the ocean though. Paddle boarding when I can and kayaking are more my speed these days, and then, only in the bay. :)

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  10. Thank you for this lovely post Charlotte! You did a dynamite job as always, which is especially impressive given you also published a post on DKB about the Cambridges attending the Diplomatic Reception this same evening. I agree that Roya Nikkhah is much more reliable than most, and so I will be surprised if Meghan doesn't spend Christmas with Harry and his family at this point. Hopefully she will also be at the Queen's pre-Christmas lunch, as I believe more members of the extended royal family usually attend that occasion than the Christmas festivities at Sandringham.

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    1. Finn. The pre-Christmas lunch would be a golden opportunity for her to meet and get to know her new family. Here's hoping she and Harry are there together. :)

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  11. Charlotte (or other posters) - do you remember when William was gifted Anmer? I'm assuming Harry will also get a place to stay on the Sandringham estate? (Didn't/doesn't Sarah also stay somewhere on the estate so she can see Bea and Eug?) Maybe Harry will get it this year so he and Meghan won't need to stay with Will and Kate?

    I'd imagine Doria would also be in England for Christmas and this way she can stay near them and celebrate part of the holidays with M&H. I also imagine Harry may be done with tagging along with his brother and sister-in-law and may looking forward to starting new traditions with his own budding family :)

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    1. If I recall correctly, it was shortly after the Kensington Palace renovations started or were completed. Because after they were done, they didn't stay there long and bolted for Anmer very soon after. Caused controversy too, based on the amount of money that had been spent redoing the place for them.

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    2. I question the idea of staying with William and Kate too. I think the Middletons will be there and that can get crowded. I know the place is like 10 bedrooms but I still think Charles might like Meghan to stay at the actual Palace - he is to be her father in law and he is running the estate. Otherwise, he may give them a cottage of their own on the estate for themselves for their stay. As far as we know Harry never stayed with the Cambridges before at Christmas, why start now. They are living together at KP so it's not like it's a problem with their non-married status.

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    3. Yes, inthekitchen, it's quite likely that H&M will have their own cottage on the Sandringham estate.

      A home in the city and one in the country; not at all uncommon for members of the RF. Although I have never been aware of the time spent under this roof or that being an issue before W&K got married. They will live in these homes for decades to come. No worries; they WILL be used. :-)

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    4. After expensive and extensive work done at Clarence House around the time Camilla joined the RF, she and P. Charles managed to spend a great deal of time in the Cotswolds, Highgrove, and Birkhall (my auto correct wants to say "Beer Hall") in Scotland. It is upper class/royal way of life. The Queen "bolts" for Windsor from Thursday evening to Tuesday morning and has followed this pattern for years. I really don't understand why the Cambridges are being singled out as wastrels. The controversy was mostly ignited and fed by the tabloids, as I recall. And some royal watchers.

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    5. Jamie. Indeed. They all do go from dwelling to dwelling and back again. Not that unusual. It is done in other families also. "Snowbirds", etc.
      The Queen said she would like for her head to sleep on the same pillow every night but she knew no one would see that as something to complain about yet that is a dream of hers. (Obviously I paraphrased.)

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    6. Disappointingly, unlike Balmoral, there aren't, as far as I know, that many other dwellings on Sandringham other than Amner Hall and York Cottage, the latter being used for estate offices and employee quarters. But, the Middletons could easily drive up for the day if Harry and Meghan were to be houseguests at Amner Hall. Or the Middletons could be hosted by Rose next door (wouldn't that be fun) or by some of Willam and Kate's close friends who live nearby. (Just brainstorming a little here.) I looked it up because it bothered me that someone might not have a room. lol

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    7. I regretted using the word bolt after it posted and I read what I had said. However, the fact remains that after spending 4 to 6 million pounds on redoing their apt in Kensington palace they decamped for amner hall very soon after. I remember it well as they caught flack for it after spending all that money. And they weren't using amner as a weekend place. It was permanent. Before you tell me it was because of eaaa travel time from both places to their airfield was about the same. I recall that talked about too.

      My facts are correct. Your interpretations are your own.

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    8. SG, there are many Christmas scenarios circling around in my brain at the moment. :-) I don't think it would be difficult for W&K to accommodate H&M for a night or two, even if the Middleton's are present. And after that, perhaps the newly engaged couple will sneak away and Meghan will wear the swimwear she purchased recently. ;-)

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    9. Very true, Jamie. And I'm not arguing with you, but I want to point out that Camilla was involved with the 2003 renovations long before she was even a member of the RF.

      To be fair, it is a lovely home and IMO the "coziest" royal residence that I have visited. Not by invitation, of course. ;-)

      https://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-royal-palaces-part-two.html

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  12. Also, p.s. I absolutely adore that last picture of Meghan and Doria. They both look so happy!!

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    1. That is a beautiful photo. Reminds me exactly of the photo of me giving my dad a big kiss on the cheek
      right before my wedding. Him so handsome in his tuxedo, grinning from ear to ear, and me so happy to have him walk me down the aisle. :) good photos. sweet memories.

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  13. I can't wait to see her on Christmas Day in a hat! It's not at all an American tradition to wear hats to church and other formal gatherings, so I'm curious about Meghan's hat style. :)

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    1. Penny - actually, in a large portion of black American culture (I guess I would say, in black American church-going culture), church hats are a huge thing. Not to say this is Meghan's background, exactly, but she might have some ideas on amazing hats for royal events (Christmas, Ascot). Can't wait to see her hat style.

      Here are a couple of links about African American women and church hats --
      https://blackamericaweb.com/2013/02/13/little-known-black-history-fact-church-hats/
      http://content.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1874131,00.html
      http://blackgirllonghair.com/2015/08/3-historical-reasons-why-black-women-wear-elaborate-church-hats/

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    2. My guess (totally a guess) is that she'll wear something cute but not grand. More understated until she knows the ropes and has some more tenure. ๐Ÿ‘’

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    3. It is what I have observed in black American culture; hats on Sundays are a part of the outfit. It may not necessarily be for all AA Christian denominations. Otherwise, it seems to be a long tradition.

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    4. I have to agree that it is actually quite common for African American women to wear hats to church in the US, although agree that it is more common in some Christian denominations and some regions of the us than others.

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    5. I am counting the days, lol. I am so excited to see them all together. Hats and all. ๐Ÿ‘’

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    6. Finn-That is a sharp observation. It is true, and sometimes certain denominations are more concentrated in certain regions.

      inthekitchen6 December 2017 at 14:22

      Thank you for the very informative links. The following is from the second link you posted. Different faith including non Christians have something about the modesty of covering the head. It was nice to find St. Paul's verse regarding the matter. Obviously African Americans have taken it to the next level of style, and still in accordance with its original purpose.

      A Colorful Command
      Who knew that a Bible commandment could come in so many colors? When the Apostle Paul declared that women must cover their heads during worship (1 Corinthians 11:15)

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    7. My understanding of Doria is a lady who came of age when Eastern religion was popularly adapted and spread in USA in the 70s. She might have incorporated some aspects of it, like meditation and Yoga. I and my husband have gone through that phase in later years, though we come from conservative Christian faith. For others it was a conversion to Buddhism, and or studies on it. The nuclear family including Meghan’s father are Episcopalians although the couple’s marriage location was once again a recall into the influence of Eastern religion. D&M may wear hats out of custom, culture and style which also confirms to Anglican Church costumes accessories and style. More details will be known after the Christmas Church appearance of MM.

      Delete
  14. Tammy from California6 December 2017 at 02:45

    You mean I get to see Kate AND Meghan on Christmas Day? Well, MERRY CHRISTMAS TAMMY FROM CALIFORNIA!!!

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    1. I am so excited about that too.

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    2. ๐ŸคฃRight?!? I KNEW Kate would invite her to stay at Anmer Hall! Imagine the excitement this year! I believe Kate took the train last weekend to get the house decorated and prepped for guests! Everything we ever wanted and more for Christmas!

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  15. First time commenter but have read this blog and "Duchess Kate" since their beginnings and am a HUGE fan and admirer of yours, Charlotte. I believe you are the best of all of the bloggers on the Royal Family. Your writing, scholarship and sensitivity all make it a true pleasure when a new post is published. I just cannot thank you enough for your TWO blogs now! You are terrific! Please do not ever stop writing them both and let your readers/followers know how we can best support you. Also, I wanted to weigh in to say that it is not my nature to follow Kate or Meghan unless I support them and do not look to find fault with either woman. I so appreciate that your blogs take the same approach. As surfer girl so astutely commented, Meghan has an incredible amount of pressure on her. How can anyone look at that and want to add criticism of her to the mix. Same with Kate. Thanks, again.

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  16. I love this Charlotte. I’m so glad she’s receiving a warm welcome. My MIL refused to attend our wedding so I know how painful that can be. Looking forward to all the fun of Christmas and 2018.

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  17. Thanks Charlotte for your wonderful post. I agree it's sad to see how many people are lapping up all these salacious stories (in fact even a couple of commentators on this very blog seem convinced there is some truth to these stories...)

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  18. Wow, Charlotte what a lovely post! Thank you very much!!

    To be honest, traditon or not, I would have been really disappointed if Meghan hadn't joined the family at Christmas. She moved to another country, her mum, I suppose will spend the holidays in America, so it seems the only reasonable solution to me.
    I look forward to seeing them on that special walk, if it happens:)

    I wanted a bit to address a few posts I read back then. I think it always good to remind us that Charlotte doing TWO blogs out of her freetime. She must spend a crazy amount of time, energy with each, and I am sure she has many other commitments. So I think let's all think before we ask for a new post, pictures (those cost money).
    Christmas is one of those times when we can count and appreciate our blessings, so she will be in my thoughts for sure!! Thank you Charlotte!

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  19. it is truly a pleasure following your posts... thank you for the good work, I do hope you are rewarded for it! I also enjoyed reading the comments... exciting times ahead! best regards from Vienna to all :)

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  20. Thank you for your clear words, Charlotte!

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  21. Annette New Zealand6 December 2017 at 10:28

    No matter how well she does there will always be someone who criticizes her. Nobody is perfect and those who marry into the Royal family have to develop very thick skins. I can't believe the exaggerated TV version of the Queen's marriage which is being served up to the British public. They all have to put up with a lot of gossip and rumour which is usually not accurate.

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  22. This is very nice. The only thing that bothered me were the cruel jabs at Kate, who was made to look as if the family did not invite her for Christmas after her engagement in 2010. They have very conveniently forgotten that that year Will volunteered to work the RAF Anglesey Christmas and Boxing Day shift, allowing her to go to her folks's house while he worked. I don't actually think the Queen is bending the rules- its just that the circumstances are different and Harry is available to spend Christmas with his family. The tabloids are going to make the next few years hard on everyone.

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    1. 11:31. Not if we don't let them. As I was skimming recent headlines I realized how beyond ridiculous regular media coverage is and I decided to not even click on 99% of the media sites anymore. They may use the number of clicks to gauge profit. I don't know. But it isn't even worthwhile to listen to them for even a nano second so I won't. My way of stopping bad "journalism" and of also reducing my frustration levels greatly, lol.

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    2. SG - your comment on the previous post about the tabloid stories on Meghan- esp the one from her childhood friend said if there is smoke there is fire and now your comment is to ignore those. Not sure if those stories ought to be ignored only for certain members of the RF, atleast thats what am inferring. Just saying

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    3. I don't think that SG is being inconsistent. Like me, I believe she is trying to be optimistic yet still voicing her concerns. Fair no?

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    4. Thanks, rf, ๐Ÿ˜Š. That is exactly what I am trying to do. Now, though, I know how to filter my research better, hopefully.

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    5. Anon 16.56

      Fasten your seatbelt because concern trolling has already started and fed by the same every time. Just saying.

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    6. No royalfan - it's not fair. Some on this blog (shall remain nameless) have been fanning the flames with the stories coming out about Meghan, specifically Priddy's (her former BFF). The exact phrase used was - where there is smoke, there is fire. Clearly we know what that means. Yet for other members of the royal family, we are told we should ignore tabloid stories. Disguising your comments as "concerns" is not working - we clearly know what you and SG mean. Stories about MM should be regarded as truth. Stories about Kate should be ignored. Isn't that right?

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    7. Zora from Prague6 December 2017 at 20:44

      Anon 19:14, your comment does not sound nice to me. You say you'll remain nameless and the next moment you name people. Saying "we clearly know" without either signing your name or stating who you are speaking for (who do you mean by "we"?) looks like typical trolling. Speaking for yourself and using a moniker would be more polite and honest.

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    8. Zora - multiple people post as anonymous. Perhaps "we" refers to most of the people commenting who are supportive of Meghan and Harry and see dishonesty in people who want to tear her down simply because she happens to be engaged to Harry.

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    9. I have one indirect comment to this thread. What I don't want to see happen on this blog is posters making critical comments of MM being labeled as racist, and by that I mean not out of line comments. This happened to me once when I stated that I thought she would feel stifled by the BRF and I wasnt sure the marriage would work out. Another poster told me I obviously hated MM and didn't want her to marry Harry because I was racist.

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    10. anon 18:52 and anon 19:14 - i completely agree. I generally skip through some of the comments which by now I know i am not in agreement with. But this consistent criticism (albeit voiced in a more concerned manner) in some of the comments has been too much to just ignore and scroll past. As long as we are judging let it be fair with the RF members analysed in the same way. At this point its laughable to read about "concerns" about Harry. He is a grown adult fully capable of thinking for himself and making decisions. Do we know this is the right decision - no, but one can only decide within the given parameters at any time. If this does not work out in the future for any reason, it does not necessarily mean the decision today is wrong. You do the best with what you know. Also dont forget - Meghan should also be equally concerned. So long as we are speculating how do we know Harry hasnt given assurances/promised to Meghan in the relationship and she should be equally concerned if he is doing all this because he is desperate to get into a relationship without thinking about consequences or he is genuinely into it. Hey am asking because am concerned about Meghan!!!

      Zora from Prague - I don't see anything rude with 19:14 comment. I rather think calling the comment as typical trolling is rather rude. "we" is in the context of this whole thread, dont see anything unclear about this. Anon is not generalizing all the comments but being specific to the context. That's how i see it.
      -Anon 16:56

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    11. I'm tired of the accusations that concern is simply a cover for something more sinister. No one here has made rude and dismissive remarks about Meghan. I think we have had conversations where people expressed their opinions and tried their best to convey the thought process behind it. So instead of ignoring this and dismissing it as something it is not, why not come back with a valid rebuttal. Tell us why you believe we're wrong ... tell us why you see it this way ... I'll listen. But please don't assign feelings to other people. That's the easy way out.

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    12. con·cern trol·ling
      nouninformalderogatory
      the action or practice of disingenuously expressing concern about an issue in order to undermine or derail genuine discussion.
      "every election we're subjected to left-wing concern trolling about the GOP coalition"

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    13. Seรฑorita Dee7 December 2017 at 13:51

      Completely agree, royalfan.
      Expressing cautious optimism gets you vilified and told that your feelings are not valid (but theirs totally are). Sigh. I may stop commenting and just keep lurking. I like to follow the style of the DoC and am curious what Meghan will come up with style wise.

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    14. Bluhare i wish there is a like button ...lol
      -anon 16:56

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    15. So if we really have a concern, what are we supposed to say? Nothing? People can voice concerns about Kate but not Meghan? With Meghan all non positive comments are trolling? I think we are getting into dangerous territory here if we are going to subjectively judge intent behind fellow posters' comments. What happened to let's believe the best about each other and assume most comments are comming from a decent place?

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    16. Plus one for the like button idea Anon 16.56.

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    17. rf, Senorita Dee, Erika. I couldn't agree more. :)

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    18. This is really my last comment in this thread. The original comment was about paradoxical opinions expressed by the poster and was clearly re-iterated , dont see why this is a struggle to understand. And I also dont understand asking for a valid rebuttal, that's exactly what i thought was expressed in the comments above, varying opinions from the same poster.
      On the same note, MM's response, "I didnt know much about him" was taken out of context and interpreted in a multitude of ways and none of us know what she really intended by not knowing "much" about Harry. Why believe the worst, yet we are asked to believe the best about each other?
      Anon 16:56

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    19. I only posted the definition for those who have not heard the term. I'd be the last one to tell you that you shouldn't express your concerns, Erika!

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    20. Erika

      I wish you were around when my intent was subjectively judged and branded jealous when I had an unfavourable comment on Kate’s work ethic or fashion choices. Also it was suggested not to spend my precious time on a subject which gives me "concerns" and so don’t respect and like. Maybe you were around, but remained silent, I can’t recall.

      I suppose you would not condone such ideas, right?

      Now, imagine my surprise reading concerns from the SAME person here, day by day.

      For the rest, there was someone who had so many concerns about Meghan already that she decided not to comment, I understand and respect her for that!

      And this whole thread started because Anon -who was called rude and a troll- called out another for why certain things apply for Kate that don't apply for Meghan? No answer but silence. And THAT speaks volumes:)

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    21. Thanks Anett. I completely agree.

      I think the point is concerns based on reason are valid e.g. Meghan seems independent minded, career driven and therefore may have a more difficult time adjusting to royal family constraints.

      Concerns such as Meghan plotted to marry Harry are disingenuous.

      Do you see a difference?

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    22. Thanks bluhare:)

      Anett, I have defended you several times. I'm sorry you can't remember them. We don't always agree on Kate's work habits and clothing but I remember several instances when the going got rough, speaking out for you. Specifically, I reminded readers to take into account that english is not your first language when your tone was questioned. Depending on my life, I don't read every post or all the comments, so very possible I missed an all out war on you.

      Obviously, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Concerns about Kate have always been allowed on Duchess Kate. You might not get a ton of support for them but, of course, but they shouldn't be shut down or minimized. Everyones' opinion is valid in my mind.

      Perhaps, in the excitement of Meghan becoming a a member of the BRF, there isn't any place for concerns here though. Fans seem to be jumping to the worst possible motive. From my perspective, some of us are just more realists not haters. I'm not a romantic. Words like "perfect", "destiny", "soul mate" and "happily ever after" aren't in my vocabulary. I know how hard this marriage will be. So, I'm going to take myself out of this comment section because I can't be swept up in the fairytale or have stars in my eyes, and everything else is just getting me grief.

      Anon 1:16, I don't believe everything I'm told. If it doesn't sound right, I'm not going to buy it. Does it really matter? No.

      Anon 15:32, I hear what you are saying but I'm not quite sure anyone here actually said that.

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    23. Erika, first of all, I don't think anyone is talking about you, here; I want to be clear on that. But you have to admit that some people have said things here and on DKB that have very little to do with Meghan herself but full of concern about the impact on the royal family, etc. etc. and it's not that difficult to read what the thinking is behind those comments, and it really has nothing to do with Meghan herself.

      I get that some people think she and Harry are rushing (and I think you're one of them!) as they've been long distance transatlantic and haven't been in the trenches with each other yet. I think that's valid, although I also think that they're in their mid 30's and hopefully mature enough to understand all that. What I don't think is valid is the urban American divorced actress thing. That has absolutely *nothing* to do with who she is as a person and a lot more to do with attitudes. If Meghan is a disaster, Meghan will be a disaster, but only one of those attributes has anything to do with whether she'll do well. I think the acting will hold her in good stead in terms of public appearances as she knows how to move in front of a camera. But that's the only thing I can think of in those descriptors that pertains to her role as Harry's wife and royal duchess.

      When William and Kate got engaged I was as happy and hopeful for them as I am now for Meghan and Harry. If it turns out that philanthropic, caring Meghan turns disinterested and only participates when necessary, my opinion will start shifting. Until then, they get the same goodwill and benefit of the doubt that William and Kate got from me. And I'll be staying up all night to watch their wedding too.

      Delete
  23. This is a wonderful development for H&M as an official couple during the holidays. There is some joy in knowing, that love conquers in the workings of relationships in spite of some odds. Even when love struggles to conquer, there are elements of vulnerability in human nature. I wish them well.

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  24. Love this post so much! Thank you for all the details about the family's Christmas traditions.

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  25. Theresa - Austin, Texas6 December 2017 at 14:08

    Lovely post, Charlotte. Thank you for continuing to keep your blogs fun and informative and for speaking out against what is unjust. It's wonderful to get a glimpse of their family traditions and I'm excited to see all of them together on Christmas day!

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  26. Really wonderful post. You have such a lovely way with words! I so enjoy both your blogs! Thank you Charlotte!

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  27. Charlotte - I have to say if you EVER decide to make a book of all of your blog posts for both this and DKB I will buy it. Your writing is a dream and I can't imagine anything better than sinking into a chair on a winters afternoon with a cuppa and leaving through your posts. What a wonderful way to experience history. I really encourage you to work with a publisher to create a yearly tome of your highlight posts and maybe even include a few of the significant comments from each. You have a ready made following and as I said, I'd buy it in an instant. Thank you for all you do!

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    Replies
    1. You are too kind, thank you!

      I want to extend my thanks to all who have been so supportive since I started this blog.

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    2. You are most welcome. ๐ŸŒท :)

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  28. Charlotte,
    This is a complex intertwining of the past, present and future. When I opened this blog early this morning, what stood out immediately was your independent opinion well expressed which stood your ground firmly. Good journalism does that when necessary. In brief summaries, you covered so much w/o looking like you did. Media consultant psychologists may not have done any better. Yours comes with truth and consideration w/o compromising your integrity, passion and profession. The image of the brothers here is of course another triggering symbol. My thought just lingered; words were not ready.

    To break tradition purposefully sometimes shows reasonably practical flexibility. Meghan is not rooted in UK like the rest of the previous fiancรฉes. It may be daring, yet leadership needs to have such courage. It is the spirit of Christmas to invite new foreign guests in one’s proximity, let alone a future daughter in law.

    Good news is that the couple will travel to LA; Meghan will spend some time in her own home turf with people she trusts and loves and vice versa. Your choice of the image with her mother is a gem. Her mother was the one who was asked for her daughter’s hand. In all this noise, it is easy to assume Doria and PH might have been Meghan’s rock (I don’t know about her spirituality). For people who are truly in love, it should feel more like the bright sunshine- a different easy and loving world. They may attempt to dismiss vitriol. Still, the way DM spins chases and distracts privacy, needs to get a grip. Even some commenters there are complaining DM is going the excessive route.


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    1. I enjoyed reading your comment Anon15. I agree very much that Charlotte addressed the situation with exceptional skill and sensitivity. I was thoroughly impressed with how she aproached the issue. I wish I had the ability to articulate myself as eloquently as she does!

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    2. Finn-TY, I agree about Charlotte's outstanding skills in combining many aspects of what will become history. She is a star of her generation in what she does in this field.

      Another fact I know is that you are articulate, express very well, and share useful information when applicable.

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    3. Thank you Anon15, that is sweet of you to say.

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    4. Finn, You are welcome, and I hope you will continue to post.

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    5. "She is a star of her generation in what she does in this field". Very nicely said Anon 15 and I very much agree. Her Uni professors must be very pleased. :)

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  29. Hopefully Ms Priddy will fade away and we will be left with the inane reports that I saw today, like why MM touches her hair a lot! There are indeed gorgeous hats worn by African American women at times---remember the beautiful ones at Obama's inauguration? And in the film The Color Purple? Would love to see a big hat like Camilla wears on MM, maybe in white. I imagine she'll try to blend in at Christmas, though. I think, Charlotte, that you are going to be very busy---I predict that after Kate's baby and after the MM/Harry wedding, there will be babies for Pippa and MM in 2018! I work on the computer and open your blogs before starting work. Is there a blogger award for which we can nominate you?

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    1. YES. Allison. ๐Ÿค— YES. My sentiments (for years) exactly. I once asked if there was such a thing so we could all sign a petition or whatever to get her nominated. Excellence should be recognized to hold up that standard for the world to see and emulate. I am sure there are blog and journalism awards that she more than qualifies for. How do we get the process started ???? ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ†

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  30. Ariagurl that is a MOST excellent idea. ๐Ÿ’ก
    I have said many times here how DKB (and now MAM) are superlative personal diaries for the Royal family, especially William and Kate, and now Harry and Meghan. Can you imagine having family diaries like that? And you have expounded on that beautifully. And with the blog content annually put into book form they can be gifted, etc. And would be excellent for history and journalism studies in general. (Charlotte must have missed my previous posts, lol. I am beginning to get a complex. I'm relieved that you caught her attention, lol.) I sincerely very much hope she takes your most excellent idea to heart as that would be an immense blessing to so many. Her blogs are most bookworthy. I hope that happens. Truly. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  31. It was really hard for me to even look at that top photo of the younger William and Harry without starting to tear up. I scroll past it really fast.
    Not saying, at all, you shouldn't have included it Charlotte. You should have. Perfect illustration as you intended of how, through the grace and lots of love, they have made it. The eagles have landed. :) And with such precious company by their sides. Miracles never cease. ❤️

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  32. Thank you Charlotte for this charming post. I felt I actually had been at a Sandringham Christmas, and the pictures were luscious. It is wonderful that Meghan will be joining the family over Christmas. I can't wait to see the Christmas morning walk to church. What a special and exciting holiday for Harry and Meghan, one they will always remember. I wish them both love and peace, which they have already found in each other.

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  33. I will have Christmas day to myself, hubby's off to work, so I know what I'll be doing!!!

    Thanks for a great post Charlotte!

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    1. :), Laura. You won't be the only one. lol
      We should all do a Christmas toast here that morning with Earl Grey, or maybe a brunch Mimosa.☕️๐Ÿฅ‚✨๐ŸŽ„ Sound good anyone?

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    2. That sounds wonderful Surfer Girl! Mimosa for me, please!!

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  34. Niknakky has not revealed anything controversial at all for normal people who are human with their own faults and foibles. The problem comes with the spin from the tabloids who cater to a rabid base who want stories that justify their prejudice. A typical 18year old girl raving about fashion and boys is spun into Meghan has always chased after men and wanted money, she plotted at 18 to get a 15 year old prince. That is the problem. The palace has to get ahead of the story, perhaps have a friend present another view up her divorce. It won't make people like her but they have to be proactive in this post brexit environment. They also need to take more control of the narrative, Meghan and Harry need to be more visible at this point, allow more trusted friends to talk about their relationship. Anything that drowns out the bad friends and their narrative.

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    1. Mimi,
      " They also need to take more control of the narrative,..." You are at the heart of what most likely needs to take place. A reality check and advice well expressed.

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    2. Unfortunately, the remit of the UK media at the moment is pure negativity. I don't think they want to hear any positive stories. I bet Prince Harry's lawyers are looking at ways of limiting the press intrusion and hours of hate, because it is pretty much out of control now. I would love this blog's author to do a piece on all of it: the media, the lies, the public who hate her and spread lies. It is something that needs addressing. Something has to be done because things are spiralling out of control and I fear for the future.

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  35. I agree Mimi. I think they need a better PR team. Hopefully CQ's influence will be the spark. They do need to be more "proactive" at "controlling the narrative" to keep it in the best, most balanced perspective. Again. And yet again. Basic PR 101. :)

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  36. US Weekly said they have an exclusive in knowing Meghan is now in Los Angeles with her mom.
    Charlotte, do you have any news on that yet?

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    1. E is also reporting it. "A source tells E! News that Meghan is back in Los Angeles visiting her mother, Doria Ragland. The insider also shares that Meghan will head back to London for Christmas, where she will spend the holidays with Harry and do the traditional royal family celebrations at Sandringham."

      http://www.eonline.com/news/898590/meghan-markle-is-back-in-l-a-how-she-keeps-in-touch-with-prince-harry

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    2. Thanks, Charlotte. Why doesn't her mom live in San Diego? lol That way I could just drive by and give you guys an update. :)

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  37. I highly doubt she plotted to get a guy who up until 18 months ago had a certain type which wasn’t Meghan. I can’t put too much stock into a woman word who throws away a lifelong friendship over a guy she’s wasn’t even with. This drama will died down. All she has to do is put in the work and she can win over some folks who are buying what the bitter friend is selling. I feel people took her I didn’t know him comment too literal of course she knew who he was but she didn’t know him as a person.
    I do hope her and Kate become friends considering how close the brothers are the ladies will spend a lot of time around each other. I think it would be empowering to see those two getting a long since the media wants a feud because they’re women. These two have to deal with being constantly compared to their mother in law but also to each other. There is enough room for two stylish women in that family.

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  38. Feeling unhappy that MM is reportedly in LA (gossipy report that Harry was at a memorial and MM was in LA) as there are terrible fires that erupted suddenly and I read tonight that some have gone into the city. Does anyone know if MM is indeed in LA now?

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  39. Replies
    1. I will echo Surfer Girl in this question. I hope you are okay!

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    2. Going back t the blog awards, I found this site https://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/

      Then at the bottom of the page one can go to categories.

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    3. And you, SG. Are the fires near-by?

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    4. Not real close, no. I live in San Diego per se, close to the harbor. The fires are in the northern part of San Diego County. I have family in that area, but the fires are still at a distance from them. Thank heaven. Thank you for asking, carole, :).

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    5. Thank you Allison, :). I will definitely take a look.

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    6. Thanks, Finn. :) I am so hoping and praying that they get the fires out very soon.

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  40. Ms Meghan Markle is not perfect; nor is Prince Harry. Both have past lives, as WE ALL DO. Prince Harry’s past, pretty colorful. With that being said, I am happy for Prince Harry and Ms Markle and hope the very best for their future together. Charlotte, this is one of your best works. Wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments.

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  41. Lovely post Charlotte,
    I absolutely love reading about family traditions especially royal ones. It will be such a treat to see Meghan and Kate at an event together. I wonder when we wil get to see George and Charlotte on the walk to church with them.

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  42. Thank you for this lovely post. I like many Meghan and Harry fans was overjoyed when they announced their engagement. I've gone from shock to disgust at how quickly the coverage of Meghan's life story has turned spiteful and mean-spirited in some British tabloids. Meghan has accomplished amazing things in her life yet the coverage is aimed at humiliating and embarrassing her because she's divorced, biracial and apparently not from a suitable family (fyi, we don't get to pick our families or where we grow up). Meghan and Harry's wedding is a huge economic boost to the British economy. It's clear her beauty and fashion choices are being followed and copied as closely as Kate's. Her first walkabout showed how relatable she is to the public. Isn't this exactly what you would want in a Royal spouse?? I applaud the Queen and Prince Harry for sending the message that Meghan is welcome into the fold without reservation. She is a huge asset to the Royal family domestically and globally. And I've adopted Meghan's own advice about the negative coverage. I don't waste my time reading it. It will pass.

    Meghan fan in Toronto

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    1. It's like a drug reading the comments in the Daily Fail - I should avoid them because they are actually quite upsetting. I have never seen the cruelty aimed at Meghan Markle ever before, by the commenters and the media, tracking down and stalking her family, accusing her of copying other famous people's style, speculating about how she's continually "breaking royal protocol". My excitement about this relationship has been replaced with horror and dismay. The things they are writing are wicked beyond belief. I know I should stay away, but I keep hoping that one day I will see positive comments that reflect the reality of what a beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, accomplished woman Meghan is.

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    2. You hit the nail on the head, Grenada. The reinforcement and even censure one gets from commenting in those forums does act like a drug, similar to playing a video game. Have you tried making kind, positive remarks there about Meghan yourself? The best way would be to
      comment without looking for responses. That would just feed into the hold this seems to have. Perhaps wean yourself from that site. The DM photos are great, but they lead into the ugly side.
      You seem sincerely disturbed about the direction some of the press is taking with Meghan stories. Simply clicking on the sites supports and helps continue them. Try reading the Twitter accounts of the royal reporters. You don't have to have a Twitter account. Just Google their names; it will come up.Right now they have some lovely remarks about Meghan, as well as in some of their feature stories. If you slowly turn loose of the hold of the darker forums while you increase reading the more up-lifting ones you can break loose from their hold. You are probably aware of which commenters here you disagree with. One solution is avoid them. Hopefully, with Meghan out of the country and out of sight for awhile, the talk will turn elsewhere and the happier aspects will be featured.
      Good luck!

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    3. Maggie - Minneapolis10 December 2017 at 02:55

      I wish a newspaper would take it upon themselves to commit to posting something about Harry's past that wasn't a great thing to do and then writing it in the same language as the negative articles about Meghan that inevitably treat Harry like an angel, but writing them opposite in terms of which member of the couple fits into which role for the article. And doing it every time at least a particularly incendiary, racist, sexist, and/or silly in its idiocy article comes out. Just to make the point.
      But in all honesty, I kinda think they just need to ride this media wave out. Kate was lucky that her relationship with William was public knowledge for almost a decade before their engagement bc it meant the media and the public had years and years to figure out what kind of person she was, things about her past, skeletons in her closet,etc. So it all got spread out enough and never pursued quite as vigorously bc most of the research was done before there was an engagement to make everybody overly enthusiastic. The public has barely had any time to adjust to the idea of Meghan. The media is packing in the same digging and negativity that Kate got, but into a few months, rather than 7 or 8 years. There's no way to have avoided this given the incredible speed at which Meghan and Harry's relationship has progressed. Of course Kate was also lucky that she had a privileged enough life to herself where her parents both could and seemed to want to be the ones to completely financially her so that she could live a life minimizing any risk of controversy or anything, bc never needing to have a regular full time job and not wanting to pursue a career path already seriously minimized how many and what kind of ppl she would be exposing herself to who might later get caught up in wedding fever and greed and start talking about something to do with working with kate in years past and of course maybe bringing up a mistake or something even if it was rare. Kate managed to avoid the biggest possibility of ever being arilound anyone who could use that to hurt her public image later, by having a lifestyle that most ppl can't do, and also wouldn't want to do,esp of like Meghan they didn't even know at the time that this could be an issue,or like Meghan, didn't want to "be the lady who lunches". Obviously though Kate's biggest source of luck when the media was talking about her so much was just her skin color. I think Meghan has probably experienced enough in life to know that it's pretty useless to try and fight the racist comments and criticism. There's nothing anyone can say to ppl who are racist that would them change their mind about Meghan. MAYBE like a small percentage could come around, but only in time. Racism, also sexism, are both too time-honored of traditions to be able to break out of in a media cycle or two.

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  43. I noticed that after a day or two of hysteria over Ms Priddy's revelations, the news hs shifted to who will be flower girls, how MM and Harry will spend Christmas, their plans for a vacation after the new year, MM spending time with her mother, what kind of cake will be served at the wedding---the usual mostly fun stuff. I think it didn't take long for the "scandal with no purpose" to blow over. Good thing because there's too much fun stuff coming up!

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    1. I, too, am over all the "scandal" articles etc...time to look forward, especially to the fun stuff that's to come! Like George being a page boy & Charlotte as a flower girl. :)

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  44. Jessica in Los Angeles7 December 2017 at 23:42

    I’m scanning through comments and wasn’t sure where to reply. If Meghan is in LA with her mom, she’s nowhere near the fires. Her mom lives on the other side of the city of Los Angles (south of LA) and all the fires are north of downtown Los Angeles. She’s sure to be completely unaffected by the fires :)

    We were woken up a few days ago at 4am with a neighbor pounding on our door as we live against the mountains of the Angeles National Forest where the Creek Fire is burning. Thankfully we evacuated safely and our house was saved! It was quite a scary day until we heard the news.
    I hope anyone else in the area of the fires stays safe!

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    Replies
    1. Thank goodness to hear you're OK & that your house was saved! My prayers are with you & others affected by the fires :(

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  45. Jessica. wow. Thank God for your neighbor and that you and your home are safe and sound. ๐Ÿค—

    I went through an evacuation on Maui once because of a tsunami threat. Not fun.

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  46. Jessica, I'm so glad you are safe and have your home! These fires, just like the hurricanes, are devastating and it is very hard to people to go on when they have lost everything, including their work and any possibility of housing. I live in TX but was watching the earlier northern CA fires threaten an equine sanctuary housing about 80 rescued horses. The roads out were blocked by fire but the local fire dept stationed themselves at the farm and worked around the clock to save the animals. It was very humbling.

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    1. An encouraging thought that such effort was made to save-not thoroughbreds-but lost and abandoned horses. Thank-you for that story, Allison.

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    2. It was a beautiful story. The woman who runs the rescue would not leave (she could have let but they could not get horse trailers out), and her two brothers fought their way there, one to bring in supplies he got from donors and one to fix the water pumps. Very encouraging that people are mostly thinking of their pets. One woman crammed her miniature horse into the back seat of her car. :)

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    3. truly thankful that they did that. :)

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  47. Just a random thought: I absolutely adore Meghan's handwriting/calligraphy skills! She seems like such a creative lady (a bit like Kate). I hope we see a lot of handwritten letters from Meghan to her charities etc. like we saw with Diana (who liked to write letters). In this day in age of emails and typed letters, a handwritten note is a special treat and seems so much more personal. With handwriting like Meghan's, I would write letters all the time! I hear that she has a habit of writing people little notes...I hope she keeps up this habit once she becomes an official member of the BRF.

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    Replies
    1. That's a great idea, KG, and I hope to see examples of it in the years to come.

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    2. Kiwi Gal. Certain calligraphed notes and letters of of hers will go down in history no doubt. Kept in the Royal archives/storage as are so many things from the Royal family now and the Royal families past. Just think. Even with her calligraphy aside, Meghan will now be in the history books. ๐Ÿ“š

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    3. P.S. let's all rush to write Harry and Meghan notes of Congratulations and see if we might get a handwritten note from her in return before she becomes entrenched in secretaries, assistants, etc. Our notes are a good idea though regardless of the response, yeh? :)

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    4. Excellent idea Kiwi Gal!!

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  48. when do you think they will announce the actual date of the wedding?

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    Replies
    1. January, perhaps? It's a quite month so the timing may be ideal.

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  49. I am noticing how incredibly happy Harry's face is when he's with Meghan. The first image of the two of them in this post is just remarkable. And he seems to love the touching. I think he really wanted someone who was not afraid to show her feelings in public.

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  50. I completely agree with your assessment, Charlotte. What I may add is that Royal Family Christmas’ May be a treat for Meghan since she grew up in a smaller family, in many ways. She may be excited for a huge family holiday!

    Do we really think H&M will stay with W&K? What if the Middleton’s are there, is there enough space? (I know that sounds silly but how many bathrooms do they have?) Although that could also be an amazing family experience for both H&M to have the elaborate family gathering, as well as the intimate family gathering. I think there hearts will be overflowing this Christmas!!

    Oh, my two cents on a gift for the Queen is a framed engagement photo!

    AH

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    1. I sort of doubt they'll be staying with William and Kate. I think that is just fantasizing by the media. Even though Kate has "help", she's pregnant and has two little ones and Christmas is already such a busy, stressful time. Having two houseguests (even if they are family), along with the Middletons (most likely), would probably be overwhelming. I believe there are other residences on the Sandringham estate so it makes the most sense, to me, for Harry and Meghan to stay in one of those. Just my $0.02.

      I like your idea of a framed engagement photo as a gift for HM!!

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  51. Have you seen this? They need to stop hunting down her parents at their homes!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5160373/Meghan-Markles-mother-Doria-Ragland-spotted-LA.html

    AH

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    1. One of her dogs looks like a serious attack watch dog. I wish she leases out her house and move to a well-guarded, secured condo with a camera, and a dog park nearby. Do that until all the dust settles down for about two years. Homes in US have certain municipal standards in some zones not to put a high fence. I don’t know about the rules in CA. This year had also been a time of uprisings with some bigots openly mowing through crowds with a car in demonstrations of opposite spectrum. She is most likely vulnerable to some risk, not just the ruthlessly stalking tabloid media.

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  52. Great article Charlotte as always. I am disgusted to see in the news how Meghan's ex best friend Nikki has betrayed her in the press. She was no friend at all. I remember Kate's ex friend Jessica did the same to her what vultures!

    I wish Meghan and Harry and the Royals a beautiful Christmas together. I can imagine Meghan is very nervous meeting them all and spending time with them at this time but she will do fine. I wish her and Harry the best. I also wish you a wonderful and Happy Christmas Charlotte.

    Mellie

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  53. There is a long Daily Mail article about how Meghan and Harry networked her into his life over the 1ast year. Even being from DM this one read like a properly researched feature article where the sourced quotes actually read like a real person said them and it matched known facts. It like so many other details that have come out since the engagement reinforce both that Harry from very early on was working to making sure that his future wife would be accepted by all parties, and that Meghan possesses the skills and the personality to pull it off.

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  54. Eve, calling Eve. Where are you dearest Eve? ๐ŸŒบ

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  55. I just found this... An interesting post about H&M's relationship. And it even seems to echo some of the comments shared here. Great photos as well.

    https://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/

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    1. Love the pics of Meghan's decor. Wish we could see Kate's as well

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  56. Remember the Load More button, after the number of comments reaches 200!

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)