Meghan Markle and the Duchess of Cambridge may not be completely aware they’re in a popularity contest but each of their rival fanbases is determined to elect its own “People’s Princess”.
With Her Majesty the Queen sidelined by a back injury, Kate Middleton took centre stage on Remembrance Sunday, wearing her trusty Alexander McQueen coat adorned with a cluster of poppies.
One admiring fan wrote described Prince William’s wife as “The People’s Princess,” a title once used for William’s mother, Princess Diana.
Royal watcher @Hefeydd_ wrote on Twitter: “Remembrance Sunday, Kate Middleton is the People's Princess that Meghan Markle could have been but she chose her Hollywood Status over being a royal and you cannot have both.”
Meghan had certainly cemented her claim to Hollywood glamour at the Salute To Freedom Gala the day before, sizzling in a one-off red Carolina Herrera dress that featured a plunging neckline and fitted bodice.
Fashion bible Vogue described the gown as “sultry” and “daring by royal standards”.
Vogue’s Janelle Okwodu, wrote: “Beaming as they [Meghan and Prince Harry] walked the carpet hand in hand, the couple gave the event a jolt of star power and a fresh take on royal style.”
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But Meghan could be leaving both royalty and Hollywood behind, with many observers speculating that she might be positioning herself for a move into politics.
Last week she appeared on the “Minding The Gap” panel at the New York Times’ DealBook Online Summit, to discuss her recent campaign to bring British-style paid parental leave legislation to the US.
But when DealBook founder Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Meghan whether she had any “anxiety about getting into politics” she appeared to distance herself from taking a party political stance, saying that she didn’t see the parental leave issue as a “political matter.
“Look there’s certainly a precedent in my husband’s family, the royal family, of not having any involvement in politics,” she told him, “but paid leave, from my standpoint, is just a humanitarian issue.”
Of course neither of the duchesses can say or do anything without attracting criticism and royal expert Daniela Elser, who writes for news.com.au, was quick to respond.
She said the comment “had a suspicious whiff of a dig about it,” adding that in her opinion Meghan had used the interview as an “opportunity to drag her husband’s family into the mix”.
She wrote: “The issue here isn’t the point she was making about the apolitical nature of helping new parents but that she chose to yank the Royal Family into things, especially at a time when, back in the UK, the palace has been contending with the Queen’s biggest health crisis, perhaps ever.”
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