It was a historic day on which the attention of the world was supposed to be focused on one extraordinary woman.
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II capped off ten full days of mourning in which friends and admirers from all over the world paid tribute to the late monarch.
Foreign leaders traveled from across the globe to pay their last respects to the Queen and many were in attendance as she was laid to rest at Windsor Castle.
But as usual, the British tabloid press remained laser-focused on their favorite punching bag during the ceremony — a woman who has been under even greater scrutiny than usual these past two weeks.
We’re talking of course, about the Duchess of Sussex herself, Meghan Markle.
Meghan and husband Prince Harry stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family back in 2020, but since last Thursday, the couple has been performing their official duties along with the rest of the Windsor clan.
But the press and the British public have nonetheless seized every opportunity to remind the Duchess exactly what they think of her.
Mourners refused to shake Meghan’s hand as she greeted the crowds outside of Windsor Castle.
The press gave credence to an asinine rumor about Meghan secretly recording memorial services for an upcoming Netflix reality show.
Meghan and Harry were criticized for holding hands during one appearance, even though other Windsor couples behaved in the exact same fashion.
While there was hope that the notorious UK tabloid press would ease off of Meghan for a few days in the wake of the Queen’s death, but they instead doubled-down on their criticism, as evidenced by the following headlines:
“Australian senator brands Meghan Markle a ‘horrible human’ with a ‘terrible influence on Prince Harry’ and declares they are ‘awful, revolting people’ in an extraordinarily scathing live TV rant”
“Meghan’s new favorite magazine ‘The Cut’ launches vicious attack on father-in-law King Charles for being a ‘big, fussy baby and a jerk to his staff’ as he mourns loss of beloved mother, Queen Elizabeth II”
“‘They say the cause of death was Meghan Markle’s podcast’: Bill Maher takes a jab at Meghan’s Archetypes podcast”
Maher, of course, was only joking about Meghan being personally responsible for the Queen’s death.
But don’t tell that to the Duchess’ harshest critics, who believe that there’s no tragedy so great that it can’t be blamed on Meghan.
So why is it that Meghan is treated so much more harshly than any other royal?
Why is it that the same Brits who are infuriated by the sight of her offered no outcry in response to the news that known sex offender Prince Andrew will fill in for King Charles when he’s ill or out of the country?
The simplest explanation is abject racism, and the manner in which Meghan’s most virulent detractors bristle at the allegations of bigotry suggest that it’s also the most accurate.
There are other factors, of course — Meghan is an American, and she spoke out about the abuse she endured at the hands of the royals.
But it’s difficult to imagine that Harry’s wife would be receiving such brutal treatment from the UK tabloid media if she were a white woman.
Whatever the case, the public can demand that Meghan “go home” (a nakedly racist command that’s been shockingly common in Twitter this past week) all they want, but she has just as much a right to be there as anyone else.
In fact, while millions might have maintained one-way parasocial relationships with the Queen, Meghan actually knew the woman personally.
So the folks standing in the 30-hour queue can hate all they want — the Duchess of Sussex will return to Montecito when she feels good and ready.
And while some may hate her more than ever, the dignity with which she’s endured the slings and arrows of the past week have earned Meghan the respect of millions.