It’s Open Season on Everything Meghan Markle Does (Again)
The duchess is slowly returning to the spotlight — and so are her detractors.
Meghan Markle is technically still on maternity leave after giving birth to Baby Archie in May, but she's been easing her way back into the public eye with scattered public appearances here and there. Unfortunately, her critics have also made their comeback (that is, if they ever went away).
Since giving birth, the Duchess of Sussex has stepped out at Trooping the Colour, a baseball game, Archie's christening, Wimbledon, and a charity polo match. And for a majority of those appearances, she's endured backlash for everything from her jeans to how she holds Archie.
Meghan is, of course, known for eschewing tradition when it comes to royal customs and for infusing the royal family with more modernity, but not everyone is a fan of her tradition-breaking ways. During Wimbledon, she was called a "nightmare" for wearing jeans to the match.
"She wanted to come incognito but there were problems. They couldn’t invite her into the royal box because she was wearing jeans but that didn’t really matter because all she wanted to do was come and watch Serena [Williams]," a source told the Times U.K. "Andy Murray was on Court 1 afterwards and it was a massive faux pas not to watch a Brit when she is signed up to the Royal Family."
Except that a palace source told the Times that Meghan had only intended to cheer on Serena, and had no intention of sitting in the royal box, so it wasn't as if she was trying to roll up to a fancy seating area in lowly denim, expecting to be accomodated.
That wasn't the only drama at Wimbledon — she also faced backlash for allegedly asking people not to take her photo during the match. Sally Jones, a fellow Wimbledon attendee, told The Daily Telegraph that a royal protection officer told her not to take any pictures of Meghan because she was at the event "in a private capacity." Though Jones said that the officer appeared "quite embarrassed" to ask patrons to put away their phones, that's subject to opinion. Plus, it's entirely possible that the directive didn't come from Meghan herself, but from the officer being tasked to do his job of keeping her safe.
Actress Tatum O'Neal weighed in on the drama, calling the duchess "tacky," adding, "It’s so upsetting to me, because if you think of Princess Diana and you think of how absolutely inclusive she was and she would never turn anyone away."
Whether or not you think it's fair to compare Meghan to Princess Diana, it'd be a little remiss to ignore that being hounded by photographers played a big part in Princess Diana's death.
And that's not all — after making an appearance with Archie to support Prince Harry in his charity polo match against Prince William earlier this week, Meghan faced criticisms over how she held her son.
"She can't have any maternal instincts at all," one person wrote. "Archie's neck and whole body not supported by her at all. No sun hat to protect him."
Still, pictures captured of people in motion don't always tell the full story, as some royal fans pointed out. Parenting experts also disagreed, with Lucy Shrimpton, The Sleep Nanny and parenting expert at the U.K.’s The Baby Show telling Yahoo that "the way Meghan is pictured holding Archie is actually a commonly recommended hold."
Meghan Markle is certainly not the first famous person to be mom-shamed, but the point remains: she can't win. Now that the duchess is out in public again, it's almost as if her detractors were waiting in the wings to pounce on anything she does that can be construed as controversial, disrespectful, or personally offensive to them in some way. The Meghan backlash began right when she started dating Prince Harry (causing him and the palace to release an unprecedented statement confirming their relationship), and from the looks of it, it likely won't be stopping anytime soon.
We can only imagine it's a good thing she apparently doesn't read anything about herself.