One full year after she officially stepped away from her duties as a senior member of the Royal Family, Meghan Markle is under greater scrutiny than ever.
That's largely a result of Meghan's interview with Oprah Winfrey, which remains a hot topic of discussion one full month after it first aired on CBS.
Thankfully, Meghan's comments sparked some long overdue criticism of the royals and their more problematic practices.
The Queen and company are said to be in crisis mode, and thus far, attempts at damage control have proven fruitless.
Publicly, the Queen's only response has been a statement issued through her press secretary.
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning," the statement read.
"While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
All of this comes on the heels of claims that Meghan bullied staff at Kensington Palace during the time she spent living in the UK.
Some believe the claims were part of a calculated effort by the Royal Family to slander and discredit Meghan ahead of her highly-anticipated interview.
One of those people is Meghan's high school boyfriend, Joshua Silverstein, who says he simply can't imagine a scenario that would cause Meghan to lash out at someone who had been hired to assist her.
Asked about the allegations by Us Weekly, Silverstein stated that he can't “personally see her” mistreating palace staff.
And as with so much of the friction between Meghan and her in-laws, he believes that this might be another case of Meghan receiving unfair treatment as a result of her race.
“I see her doing whatever it is she feels like she should do in order to be happy and coexist within a system that has probably not been very welcoming to who she is and where she comes from,” he said.
“When you find women of color—particularly Black women—standing up for themselves and speaking out and speaking against what they feel [is] disrespect or oppression, often times whiteness tends to classify that in negative ways because they don’t want that to happen,” Silverstein continued.
“It’s almost like people are expected to know their place and whenever they don’t fall in line with that, then people say it’s a problem.”
Silverstein believes Meghan's time in the UK consisted of one trial after another -- and he suspects that life isn't all that much easier for her now that she's back in the States.
“She’s probably having to make hard decisions and uncomfortable ones for the sake of just being able to smile the next day,” Silverstein said.
“That’s what life is about—making tough decisions so that you can live the life that allows you to thrive as the person you want to thrive as. As long as she’s happy and he’s happy, that’s all that matters.”
As for Meghan's relationship with her father, Silverstein says that Thomas Markle was a menacing presence in the Duchess' life long before she became one of the world's most famous women.
"I didn’t see him often...but I did know that Meghan’s relationship with her dad was complicated and I understood that as most teenager-to-parent relationships are," he explained.
"Being there when Meghan’s parents were divorced at that time…it’s hard raising your kids without the secondary parent. It’s all challenging," Silverstein added.
"I don’t think there was anything specifically surprising to find out at that time because there were a lot of people that I knew [who] had challenging relationships with their parents. But I did know about it."
Asked about Meghan's decision to cut ties with her father after he betrayed her by selling private letters to a tabloid, Silverstein says he understands completely.
"I think at the end of the day, we’re all human beings and we all have to create boundaries with people that we may not want to create boundaries with...but at the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you and your family," Silverstein added.
"If that means creating a boundary with your parents, sometimes that’s what you have to do."
Sounds like Joshua has a pretty good understanding of what's motivated Meghan to put up barriers between herself the the problematic people in her life.
If only her friends and family could extend the same sympathy.