What did Meghan Markle ever do to you? I often wonder as I scroll through social media, soaking up the increasingly ludicrous Markle-hate that flourishes online. The Duchess of Sussex is often in the British public’s bad books, whether she’s cradling her baby bump (apparently no other pregnant woman has ever done this) or speaking up against racism in the monarchy. Her latest crime? Dancing at a Beyoncé concert – no, seriously.
In case you missed it (understandable), Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, were spotted having a boogie at Beyoncé’s Renaissance show in Los Angeles last Friday. TikTok user @Thasklassy also shared a reel of Markle dancing to ‘Diva’ wearing a silver sequin skirt – per Beyoncé’s silver dress code – and a sleeveless white top. Markle was one of thousands having a dance in the arena, but the mere suggestion that she appeared to be having a good time was enough to send some spectators spiralling.
One person had the temerity to tweet, “Nothing’s wrong with dancing & having fun at a concert. But I feel like everything this fraud Meghan Markle does has a motive. Even her dancing is screaming, “Look at me! I wasn’t at Taylor’s concert, but I’m here! ” Another added, “She looks ridiculous. She really is in love with herself. ”
And look, to a certain, very limited extent, I get it. It’s hard to see other people living your dreams, especially when those dreams consist of marrying a prince, wearing designer clothes, and being invited to Beyoncé concerts.
But as someone who can’t dance in public before three tequilas, it enrages me to see people posting these bitter, bad-faith takes about Markle. If we’re not admiring her moves or her style, I reckon we should be taking notes about how Markle maintains such an iconic air of ~unbotheredness~ while she knows the rest of the world is scrutinising her every move.
“Meghan Markle – like most famous people – will never be universally adored. And that’s OK…”
Apologies in advance for bringing up the comparisons between Markle and her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, but this is yet another example of the disparities between how they’re received by the British public. Just last week, a video of the Duchess of Wales being a “shy dancer” went through the rounds on TikTok. “Kate’s dancing is so sweet,” wrote one fan, but another pointed out, “Pretty sure she’d be judged by the press and other royals if she danced anything but shyly…” Yep, they’ve got a point.
The comparisons between Kate and Meghan may feel tiring, but they’re important. Through their dance moves alone, the former is characterised as sweet, while the latter is slammed as self-obsessed. As the critics will insist (over and over again), this isn’t solely due to skin colour; Kate embraced her role within the British monarchy, while Meghan – in the face of racist hostility –eventually rejected it.
But as GLAMOUR’s Sheila Mamona previously wrote in 2022, “Even Meghan Markle’s privilege as a white-passing, successful, rich woman can’t save her from racial bias and gaslighting. ” Six months later, it appears nothing has changed.
For all her fans, Meghan Markle – like most famous people – will never be universally adored. And that’s OK. You may resent her for living a seemingly swish life in LA or for speaking about her experiences on numerous documentaries and podcasts. But at some point, you actually just have to let her live. And if there’s no better time than the present, there’s no better place than a Beyoncé concert.