Why Do People Hate Meghan Markle?

Meghan Markle has been a controversial public figure ever since she started dating Prince Harry in 2016. While many admired her as a refreshing addition to the British royal family, she also faced intense backlash and criticism in the media and online. Even after stepping back from royal duties in 2020, Markle remains a divisive personality. But why exactly do some people harbor such strong dislike towards her? This article will analyze the various factors behind the animosity.

Her Background

One source of criticism is Meghan Markle’s background before joining the royal family.

She’s American

Markle grew up in California and was previously best known for her acting role on the TV show Suits. For some British traditionalists, the idea of an American actress becoming a British royal was simply unacceptable. Her American habits and expressions were picked on as evidence that she was not properly assimilated into British aristocratic culture.

She’s Biracial

Markle’s mother is African American and her father is Caucasian. While many welcomed the diversity this brought to the historically white royal family, some saw it as diluting the purity of the monarchy. Racist online trolls targeted Markle on this basis.

She’s Divorced

Markle was previously married to film producer Trevor Engelson from 2011-2013. Prior to 2018, it was very rare for a royal family member to marry someone who was divorced. Markle’s split from her first husband was characterized by some as evidence of moral failing.

Her Behavior as a Royal

Much of the animosity also stems from how Markle conducted herself in her brief time as an official working royal.

Breaking Protocol

Critics accuse Markle of intentionally flouting royal protocol and norms, such as:

  • Guest editing the September 2019 issue of British Vogue
  • Keeping an Instagram account after joining the family
  • Skipping events like the annual grouse hunting shoot

This was seen as selfish or disrespectful, overshadowing the typical royal focus on duty and decorum.

Lavish Baby Shower

Markle drew backlash in 2019 for having an extravagant $500,000 celebrity-attended baby shower in New York City while she was pregnant. The expensive affair seemed hypocritical coming from someone who advocates for humanitarian causes.

Private Jet Controversy

Despite lecturing on climate change, Markle and Harry faced uproar in 2019 for taking multiple private jet flights rather than flying commercial. This came off as entitled and out of touch.


But perhaps the biggest reason for ongoing hatred is the dramatic exit from royal life that Markle and her husband announced in January 2020. Abandoning their royal duties was seen as a betrayal and accusations flew that Markle was to blame for pulling Harry away.

Effect on the Monarchy’s Reputation

Some believe Markle has dealt lasting damage to the monarchy’s image through her disobedience and stoking of family divisions. Even after leaving, she and Harry have given tell-all interviews seen as disrespectful smears.

Double Standards Because of Gender

Several analysts argue that Markle faces more hostility because of misogyny and double standards applied to women versus men.

Scrutiny of Fashion and Body

Markle’s outfits, accessories, and body shape came under intense scrutiny. Her character and professionalism were even questioned if she wore casual jeans or showed shoulders. Prince Harry escaped similar fashion policing.

Angry Black Woman Trope

Markle’s confidence and outspokenness caused her to be labelled aggressive, demanding, or rude – playing to racist stereotypes about “angry” black women. Black women often face such double standards when white women do not.

Maternity Leave Critiques

Markle was criticized for taking maternity leave, despite Kate Middleton receiving no such backlash for doing the same. According to a 2022 study, 85% of new mothers feel criticized about their maternity leave. Markle’s treatment fits this pattern.

Vilification After Becoming a Mother

After the birth of her first child Archie, intense vilification of Markle accelerated. Women often face bias in the workplace once they have children, and Markle proved no exception even as a royal.

Ongoing Relevance and Legacy

While no longer a working royal, Meghan Markle remains famous worldwide. She will likely continue speaking out on issues like gender and racial equality. But the polarized opinions surrounding her seem unlikely to abate soon. Her legacy as a royal will be defined both by admirers as well as vocal detractors.


Meghan Markle’s royal role reveals the perils of marrying into an ancient institution struggling to modernize. Unavoidable culture clashes played out publicly, augmented by unfair bias. This collision encapsulates the monarchy’s wider challenge of staying relevant in a more progressive era. Markle offered a window into these tensions that will persist despite her exit. The vitriol she sparked reflects not her individual failings, but rather the conflicts inherent to an outdated system encountering social change. Her lasting impact will be helping expose the royal family’s need to evolve gender and racial norms, even at great personal cost.

So in summary, the dislike towards Meghan Markle stems from a mix of cultural misconceptions, unbalanced media coverage, and entrenched societal prejudice regarding gender and race. Her treatment represents the growing pains as historically white patriarchal institutions belatedly diversify. Though no longer a working royal, she will remain a symbol of the monarchy’s ongoing reckoning with modernity.

Was Meghan treated fairly by the press and public?

  • No, there seems to be unfair bias and double standards in much of the criticism Meghan faced, particularly related to gender and race. The level of personal attacks were disproportionate.

Why do some defend Meghan strongly?

  • Her supporters empathize with the discrimination and scrutiny she faced. They saw her as modernizing the monarchy and making it more relatable.

What lasting impact did Meghan have on the royal family?

  • As the first American and first biracial royal spouse, she represented a break from tradition. Her very brief tenure makes her legacy complicated.

Will Meghan remain a polarizing figure?

  • Likely so. She is now closely associated with rival media portrayals as either principled or selfish. Strong opinions on both sides seem persistent.

Could anything have been done differently?

  • More effort by the palace to defend Meghan publicly from unfair attacks may have helped. But existing biases would have been hard to override entirely.

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