AMANDA PLATELL: Say what you like about Meghan Markle – and I have – but I salute this PR masterclass
As a former spin doctor, who once coached top politicians in how to craft their image to maximum public effect, I’m simply in awe.
Meghan’s latest video, released yesterday alongside a soul-searching interview in Variety magazine, shows her to be a truly consummate PR professional. What an operator: what a phenomenon!
She tells the world she’s now ‘done’ with acting – swiftly adding ‘never say never’, of course – but don’t you believe it. Meghan is in the midst of performing her finest role ever – and her fans seem to be lapping it up. That said, given that her previous claim to thespian stardom was a leggy role on an unremarkable American legal soap opera, the bar was set pretty low to begin with.
In her new video accompanying the interview, the Duchess of Sussex shows herself to be a mistress of the dewy eye, of winsome empathy, of kindness, of wifely virtues, of sisterhood.
The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle fronts the latest cover of VARIETY, out yesterday
Meghan Markle, pictured with Her Majesty, allegedly decided to re-record the interview because it was first done before the Queen died and she wanted to give her tribute
VARIETY COVER: The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle is pictured
Wow, she looks fabulous in one eye-wateringly expensive designer outfit after another – a Jason Wu dress thought to cost £4,600, a £2,700 Carolina Herrera number and a £1,395 Galvin gown – while reminding us that, in many ways, she’s just an ordinary mom who loves burgers and cookies.
Life is short and we only have this moment, she reveals – but that shouldn’t stop us emancipating all women and destroying the ‘archetypes’ (I think she means stereotypes) that hold us gals back. She claims that love is all that matters: ‘partner love, self-love, love of community and family’.
At which point, I admit I choked. Family! This from a woman who hasn’t seen her own father for years: that now frail, yet still-loving dad who funded her expensive education and has never met her children or her husband.
All of Meghan’s own half-siblings have apparently been sent to Siberia – and Harry has become virtually estranged from his own family since he met her. Note, by the way, that ‘self-love’ comes before ‘family love’… self-love is what counts most for Meghan I suspect.
Yet I digress. The girl is simply beguiling. Having accompanied the late Queen on just one solo public event back in 2018, now she claims to be ‘proud’ of the ‘warmth’ of the deep relationship she shared with Her Majesty and ‘to have been able to spend time with her and get to know her’.
Well, as the Queen herself once famously said, ‘recollections may vary’ on that score. But Meghan has brilliantly sold the narrative to her millions of followers that she and the late Queen were close. And which royal would now dare to publicly contradict her?
Meghan took part in a glamorous photo and video shoot for the magazine where she wore a £4,657 Jason Wu dress and other expensive outfits
With boundless modesty, Meghan even says she’d be happy to coach an actress playing her in the future, hoping this starlet would portray – and here Meghan apparently refers to herself in the third person – ‘the softness and the playfulness and the laughter’. Certainly, all are on display in this latest, brilliantly effective stunt.
Yet, as the syrupy interviewer also dares to suggest: ‘Meghan has been described as many things: disingenuous, calculating, determined, relatable, even Diana-like.’ And all these traits are on display, too, if you look closely enough.
I who have been one of Meghan’s fiercest critics salute her for this masterful PR make-over – and its merciless dispatching of her detractors. No one should ever underestimate this woman again. Harry, for his part, is invisible, written out of the script apart from coy references to ‘my husband’.
This interview and video should be pored over in media studies courses at universities around the world. Meghan has a thing or two to teach any spin doctor… even me.
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