Is it better to be loved or heard? In an interview published Friday by British news outlet the Telegraph, Meghan Markle said she doesn’t want the public’s love; she just wants to use her newfound platform to advance the causes she cares so deeply about, according to journalist and friend Bryony Gordon.
“She told me that she didn’t want people to love her—she just wanted them to be able to hear her,” Gordon wrote (h/t Elle).
Gordon accompanied the Duchess of Sussex to the opening of the second branch of Luminary Bakery, a UK-based charity and training center which gives disadvantaged women support and a fresh start by teaching them professional baking skills.
However, Markle’s reported indifference to being a beloved public figure may run contrary to the desires of the British royal family. According to Daily Express reporter Richard Palmer (h/t Marie Claire), the royals are reportedly “disappointed” the Sussexes have decided to file suit against British tabloids the Daily Mail, the Sun and the Daily Mirror. This, despite William and Kate successfully winning a suit against French magazine Closer in 2017, after topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge were published.
“Nobody in the Royal Family or the Royal Household is supporting Harry and Meghan at the moment,” tweeted Palmer in October. “Even the couple’s aides seem embarrassed by their actions. William, who dropped his brother like a ton of hot bricks earlier this year, and Charles have distanced themselves.
“Obviously, if that changes it will be a story but at the moment the Sussexes appear out on a limb,” Palmer added. “Whatever the merits of their various legal actions, they didn’t inform their family that Harry was going to release that inflammatory statement.”
The inflammatory statement in question was issued on Oct. 2, and read in part (h/t the Guardian):
For these select media this is a game, and one that we have been unwilling to play from the start. I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in...
There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behavior, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this.
Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.
On Friday, Palmer doubled down on his assertions of discord within the royal family, tweeting:
“This rather bald statement of the facts remains true 25 days later, as far as I can tell. While there is concern for Harry and Meghan’s mental health, their attitude has disappointed the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, according to several sources.”
If true, it’s yet another obstacle in what has clearly been a very difficult and prolonged entry into the British monarchy for Markle. (Seriously, do even fraternity pledges get hazed this much?) But amidst the continued turmoil, perhaps Markle’s words at Luminary Bakery were indicative of the patience with which she’s approaching her own life, at present.
“We get into this habit of wanting things done immediately nowadays. There’s a culture of instant gratification, of the instant fix,” she told Gordon. “But we aren’t mechanical objects that need to be fixed. You’re a wounded creature that needs to be healed, and that takes time.”