She is a “merciless opportunist” – a “furious adventuress” who has ensnared Prince Harry “in her web”. This “very scheming, very clever” woman manipulated her husband, his relatives, her family, Oprah Winfrey and the Archbishop of Canterbury. She is “determined” to deny the Queen a “final happiness”, sabotaged Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Caribbean tour with her “sermons” about the royal family’s racism and won over an entire region that appears unable was to think for himself, to turn against Britain. Despite being a self-proclaimed “foodie,” her cooking skills are limited. And she might even have worn a padded bra on Deal or No Deal.
This is biographer Tom Bower’s characterization of Meghan Markle in his royal hatchet job. Revenge. Bower is known for his biographies, in which he impales politicians and businessmen such as Jeremy Corbyn, Robert Maxwell and Richard Branson. He also wrote about Prince Charles in 2018 rebel princebut the study of a vain, stubborn man who didn’t know what cling film was reads like a love sonnet by comparison Revenge.
Bower’s title hints at the content: a cartoonish portrait of a ruthlessly calculating woman who constantly “snaps,” “demands,” “explodes,” or “ballistics.” There is “steel” in her voice and “hard anger” in her eyes.
The author has set out to take a comprehensive inventory of what he calls Meghan’s “false claims” about everything from her childhood to her career and her mental health. Much of his book is compiled from information already in the public domain – mostly reports from the Daily Mail — supplemented by interviews with 80 people. Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, is often cited, for example when he and a white teacher dispute Meghan’s claims that she suffered from racism as a child. Readers may wonder how relevant these white viewers’ accounts are in response to an interracial woman’s experience.
Bower is fixated on discrepancies in Meghan’s statements – he doubts she really felt suicidal because the Sussexes’ comments in their Oprah interview varied “whether Meghan felt suicidal at night, in the morning or both.” And they didn’t agree on the number of days she felt suicidal.”
That accuracy is rather undermined by his fundamental flaws: Bower misattributes quotes, mistakes a podcast host for Meghan’s boyfriend and mistakes the £56,000 couture evening dress from Meghan’s first formal portraits for the white coat she wore to mark her engagement to announce.
Revenge is just the latest in a series of royal biographies. Meghan’s arrival, previously relegated to special interest shelves and enjoying modest sales, sparked a boom in royal writing that’s only getting stronger every year.
“This year has been one of the most fruitful times for royal biography, for reasons of celebration and celebrity,” says Tom Tivnan, Editor-in-Chief of The Bookseller. “On the celebratory side, the [platinum] Jubilee obviously meant that many books came out that adored the Queen and, to a lesser extent, Prince Philip.
“But then there’s the celebrity and racy side, which has lasted since Diana’s death but has really picked up momentum since Meghan Markle. I think there’s been a shift in treating the lesser royals more like, say, the Kardashians rather than as heirs to the throne: as rich, privileged, out-of-touch celebs who are fair game. ”
In the UK, royal biography sales have topped £5million in the last 12 months – accounting for around £2million most years, Tivnan says. Along with Bower’s book, Robert Hardman’s was released earlier this year queen of our timeand Tina Brown’s sequel to the Diana Chronicles, The Palace Papers. The 25th anniversary of Diana’s death this month brings biographies of her police protection officer Ken Wharfe and even superstar crime writer James Patterson.
In an age of 24/7 royal reporting, what drives such a feverish interest in these biographies? “Although we live in this world of supposed total content, many get our news from narrow channels: our personal Twitter echo chambers and just a news site or two. A book can therefore give a more comprehensive picture than just a handful of news outlets,” says Tivnan.
On top of that, royal reporting is full of unnamed “palace insiders” – a bio that promises access to the royal circle can provide supposedly more credible insights. However, Tivnan points out that many of these books merely reuse existing accounts.
“It’s a circular argument: the books provide journalists with stories that they can regurgitate for clickbait, and almost none of the books really have exclusivity and are themselves a cold of stories that got a lot of media coverage in the first place,” he says .
In fact, Bower’s book offers little new detail. What it offers is validation for readers who are already suspicious of Meghan and her motivations. As the royal family has become more partisan, royal watchers have also grown. Those who dislike Meghan have their concerns vindicated Revenge. On the other hand, Meghan and Harry’s superfans applauded the likable portrayal in Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand find freedomfor which Meghan provided “briefing notes”.
The insatiable appetites of royal observers—and the unrelenting speed of today’s media culture—push biographers to write with the times, resulting in books that feel outdated upon publication. What these books fail to grasp is that it is too early to think about many of these events. To provide a truly valuable perspective requires more distance.
Part of the problem is that the royals have become too interesting for their own good. According to Brown, the royal family is determined to go back to being “boring” like they did after Diana died. That seems unlikely as this year will also see the release of Prince Harry’s memoir, which promises “a firsthand account of my life that is accurate and entirely truthful”.
Demand for royal books does not abate, and another turning point is at hand. “The real change will be when the Queen dies — there’s going to be a huge amount of books that are similar to the jubilee stuff, all that ‘God bless dear Queen Bess’ nonsense,” says Tivnan. “But after that, I think we’re going to see a lot more on the racy and celebrity side. The gloves will really take off.”
https://www.independent.ie/life/if-you-think-the-meghan-markle-book-is-harsh-just-wait-for-the-next-royal-watershed-41891581.html If you think Meghan Markle’s book is tough, just wait for the next royal watershed