Stories About Meghan Markle That Let Everyone Down

Meghan Markle was thrust into the global spotlight in 2016 when she started dating Prince Harry. That spotlight only burned brighter when, in May 2018, the former Suits star tied the knot with the prince at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle and became known as the Duchess of Sussex. Joining the royal family hasn't all been smooth sailing for Markle; she has regularly found herself the subject of negative press and social media bullying. During an appearance on the Teenager Therapy podcast in October 2020, Markle revealed, "I'm told that in 2019 I was the most trolled person in the entire world — male or female." She went on to note that she "wasn't even visible" for a significant portion of that year because she "was on maternity leave or with the baby." Even so, she remarked that "what was able to be just manufactured and churned out, it's almost unsurvivable."

While it's impossible to know whether any of the reports about the duchess are true, it's undeniable that public opinion of Meghan Markle has been ever-changing. Here are some of the news stories which left fans of the Duchess of Sussex feeling let down.

A relative called Meghan Markle a social climber

It's no secret that Meghan Markle doesn't have a great relationship with her half-sister, Samantha Markle. In fact, ever since the now-Duchess of Sussex was revealed to be dating Prince Harry, Samantha seems to have set up camp in the tabloids, sharing less than favorable stories about her sibling. In 2016, Samatha gave an interview to The Sun in which she accused Meghan of "social climbing" and behaving in such a way that "is certainly not befitting of a Royal Family member." She also told the outlet that "Hollywood has changed" her estranged half-sister before adding, "I think her ambition is to become a princess."

Samantha also suggested that Meghan had become less interested in her family once she gained fame. Samantha even told The Sun that her sister's royal dreams started when she was young. "It was something she dreamed of as a girl when we watched the royals on TV," Samantha revealed. "She always preferred Harry — she has a soft spot for gingers." Considering the volume of interviews Samantha has given about her royal relative, it's possible she's simply looking for a quick payday, but her words have always been less than complimentary about Meghan's intentions.

Meghan Markle's divorce caught some off-guard

Before Meghan Markle became the Duchess of Sussex, following her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018, the actor was married to movie producer Trevor Engelson. Per The Sun, Engelson met Markle in 2004, with the couple dating for seven years before they tied the knot in September 2011. However, Engelson's marriage to Markle was short-lived, with the couple splitting in 2013, and being granted a divorce the same year. The split was so sudden that even Markle's former best friend, Ninaki Priddy, was shocked. Priddy told the Daily Mail, "The way she handled it, Trevor definitely had the rug pulled out from under him. He was hurt."

Priddy said she was in "shock" after Markle told her the news. "I knew they fought sometimes, but it wasn't anything huge," she continued. "The only obstacle was the distance because she was living in Toronto and Trevor was based in LA." While no one on the outside really knows what goes on inside a private relationship, Priddy reportedly felt as though Engelson was the injured party in his divorce from the actor. "I don't believe she gave him enough of an opportunity. I think there was an element of 'out of sight, out of mind,'" Priddy claimed.

Some possible friend drama for Meghan Markle

Just as Meghan Markle allegedly raised some eyebrows with her split from her first husband, Trevor Engelson, the Duchess of Sussex also reportedly upset some friends on her journey to becoming a royal. Ninaki Priddy, who was the maid of honor at Markle's wedding to Engelson, alleged to the Daily Mail, "All I can say now is that I think Meghan was calculated — very calculated — in the way she handled people and relationships. She is very strategic in the way she cultivates circles of friends. Once she decides you're not part of her life, she can be very cold." Priddy claimed Markle was most interested in friendships which could benefit her career and lifestyle.

Markle's treatment of her friends was more recently called into question during the former actor's court case against the Mail on Sunday, and its publisher, Associated Newspapers. According to The Telegraph, Markle "'freely' and 'without being compelled' disclosed identities of friends whose privacy she now fears will be breached." The five friends in question all defended Markle in an article in People in February 2019, after the duchess faced much negative press and trolling throughout her pregnancy. At the time, People reported that the five friends "requested anonymity to protect the private relationships they hold dear." As a result, Markle revealing their identities during her court case might not be in their best interests.

Meghan Markle is at odds with some family members

While Meghan Markle is known to be on great terms with her mother, Doria Ragland, the same can't be said about Markle and the rest of her family. Samatha Markle has made no secret of the fact that she's less than impressed with half-sister Meghan. She's also suggested that the actor hasn't been forthcoming with any financial support, either. Samantha, who at the time was using her married surname of Grant instead of Markle, told Radar Online in 2016, "The royal family would be appalled by what she's done to her own family ... The truth would kill her relationship with Prince Harry, he wouldn't want to date her anymore because it puts her in a bad public light." Samantha also suggested that Meghan should've helped their father, Thomas Markle, with his money problems, with Radar Online reporting that he'd filed for bankruptcy earlier that year.

However, Meghan has since disputed the claims that she didn't financially help her dad. In paperwork filed during her court case against Associated Newspapers, per The Mirror, it was claimed, "From the moment [Meghan Markle] began to earn sufficient income, she began making voluntary financial contributions to her father." The statement continued, "These contributions were ... purely to give her father personal financial support." The duchess seemingly has frayed relationships with several family members, and it's unclear if there will ever be any resolution.

Is Meghan Markle really 'Duchess Difficult'?

Since joining the royal family, there have been a plethora of reports about Meghan Markle, with several suggesting that she's supposedly not the easiest person to work with. In November 2018, the Daily Express's royal correspondent, Richard Palmer, tweeted, "The crazies on Twitter won't like it but it is clear that Meghan is regarded as difficult and demanding by some in the family and on the staff." In December 2018, the Daily Express also reported, "It's claimed in some quarters that Meghan is hard to work for and has been branded 'Duchess Difficult.'" As for why the new duchess was allegedly getting people so riled up: "It's been reported that the behaviour of Meghan ... is testing the patience of officials. There were also reports about a tantrum over which tiara she should wear for the wedding."

However, the royal biography, Finding Freedom, gave an insight into Markle's thoughts on the "Duchess Difficult" commentary that prevailed throughout her time as a senior member of the royal family. Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand explained (via The Times), "The double standard was exacerbated when it came to successful women of color, often labeled demanding or aggressive." They went on to note that Markle felt many of the reports "were sexist and prejudiced" and that it was "more than a culture clash."

Bond Girl rumors about Meghan Markle raised eyebrows

In December 2017, The Sun reported Meghan Markle was in the running to be a Bond Girl in a forthcoming James Bond movie. The tabloid reported that Markle "caught the eye of 007 producers in her role as Rachel Zane in US legal drama Suits," and was subsequently shortlisted for consideration. "Bosses wanted a glamorous actress for the upcoming films and thought Meghan would be a perfect fit," The Sun reported at the time. However, the Bond Girl rumor has since been flagged as being potentially untrue, and simply a publicity grab on the part of Markle's PR team.

Blind Gossip quoted a source as saying in December 2017, "I know the producers. I can assure you that she was never on any list for any role in the series. Her name never even came up!" The website speculated that the rumor had been started by her PR team. "It's hard to say whether her people started the rumor to try to convince you that she is a much bigger star than she ever really was," Blind Gossip reported, "or if it was just the tabloids looking for fresh material to publish about her." Either way, it would seem that Markles Bond Girl dreams were entirely fictional.

Is Prince Harry being used by Meghan Markle?

There have been so many reports about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's relationship, it's difficult to keep track of what's been said. But one of the recurring themes has been the idea that Harry is under Markle's thumb, as it were, and that the Duchess of Sussex is simply using the prince to gain notoriety. Daily Star published quotes from royal biographer Ingrid Seward on the topic of Markle and Harry. Seward, who was speaking at a book launch, reportedly said, "I don't like her for it, but I do admire her for being able to pack so much into such a short time." Seward continued, "Harry is totally mesmerized by her; he would follow her to the ends of the earth, that's my feeling. He's obsessed. ... He's being dragged around like a royal performing seal." Ouch.

Meanwhile, biographer Tom Bower spoke about Markle and Harry during an interview on LBC Radio in January 2020. According to The Telegraph, Bower said that Markle has "singularly pursued her own interest to try and promote her own career ... by marrying Harry." Speaking about Markle and Harry's decision to step down from their roles as senior members of the royal family in early 2020, Bower said, "I thought it was absolutely disgraceful of Meghan. ... I think she's exploited Harry who is damaged and who is psychologically vulnerable but worse of all I think she's been unbelievably abusive towards the Queen." Strong words.

Meghan Markle's Social Dilemma dilemma

Meghan Markle has been outspoken about the dangers of social media and online bullying. During an October 2020 appearance at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Next Gen Virtual Summit, Markle told viewers, "There are very few things in this world where you call the person who's engaging with it 'a user.' People who are addicted to drugs are called users and people who are on social media are called users." However, as reported by the Daily Mail, people on Twitter were quick to call out the duchess for allegedly plagiarizing her comments from the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma.

As noted by the Daily Mail, one Twitter user shared screenshots from the documentary, revealing the featured Edward Tufte quote which said, "There are only two industries that call their customers 'users': illegal drugs and software." It's unclear whether Markle was trying to reference the documentary by saying something so similar, or if she believed she was being original. (When Insider reached out to Markle for comment in October 2020, she did not respond.) Either way, Markle's originality and integrity was called into question when she shared a sentiment that sounded like something from The Social Dilemma.

Royal family bridges have reportedly been 'burnt'

Perhaps one of the biggest ways in which Meghan Markle has allegedly let people down is by deciding to step down as a senior member of the royal family and move to America. Markle and Prince Harry apparently even shocked royal family members with their announcement, and the sudden decision may have burned some bridges irreparably, according to reports. Royal expert Penny Junor wrote in The Mirror in October 2020, "In the past few months, Harry and Meghan have burnt some significant bridges that may be beyond repair." Junor went on to write that she "can't see Meghan ever wanting a way back." Considering the fact that Markle grew up in Los Angeles, it's unlikely that she'd want to move back to England anytime soon.

In fact, Junor appeared to put the blame firmly on Markle as she mused about the duchess's political aspirations. "I don't believe that Harry has the same ambition," she wrote. "He is not a political animal." Meanwhile, the Daily Mail's royal editor, Rebecca English, wrote in March 2020, "As one royal insider ... said to me recently: 'Harry has given up everything, literally everything. He has burnt every single bridge back at home. And ­Meghan? Well I rather think she's got what she wanted.'"

Meghan Markle's dog didn't get the royal treatment

While giving up a pet is hardly a crime, Meghan Markle's fans were shocked when it was revealed one of her pooches did not make the trek from Canada. When it came time to move to England and marry Prince Harry, Markle's beloved rescue dog Bogart didn't come along with. The Mirror reported that "Meghan brought Guy with her, but left Bogart behind, with insiders saying it was because he was too old to fly." In July 2020, an "insider" allegedly told The Sun, "Meghan adored that dog but the decision not to take him back was based on Bogart's relationship with Harry. Bogart never took to Harry ... He didn't like Harry. Meghan was very vocal about the fact it wouldn't be fair to take him back full-time, given Bogart's feelings for her husband."

Understandably, fans were surprised by Markle's decision to leave Bogart in Canada, where he is reportedly staying with the duchess's friends, especially given the fact that she's since moved back across the pond. Whatever the truth of the matter, not everyone is going to approve of the decisions Markle makes in her life, so she can't really control people feeling let down.