Next Saturday cannot come soon enough. Not because I’m excitedly crossing off each day on the calendar with a big red Sharpie, so great is my anticipation for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, but because I genuinely fear that so many members of the British press may spontaneously combust if this build-up lasts much longer. If you thought the coverage of the engagement got quite weird, I would have to ask: have you seen any headlines about Harry and Meghan recently? Well, let’s just say that in the absence of any actual news about the couple ahead of their wedding day, the press has been desperately trying to capitalise on the public interest, resulting in some headlines that, on first reading, I genuinely thought were all from satirical news site The Onion.
Let’s dive straight in with incest. That’s right, several media outlets have published articles claiming that Meghan and Harry are related. A personal favourite is Sky News’ very helpful video montage, entitled “The royal couple are closer than you think”, which involves footage of the couple set to the strains of Florence + the Machine’s You’ve Got the Love, while captions appear on screen detailing just how closely related Meghan and Harry are. “Researchers have found that they are related through English royalty,” says the video. And “researchers” apparently doesn’t mean someone’s aunt who has just discovered ancestry.com – this refers to genealogist Garry Boyd Roberts, who helpfully explains that Harry and Meghan are 17th cousins thanks to their shared “Seymour” ancestry. As in, Jane Seymour, third wife to Henry VIII, back in the 16th century. Maybe they’re both also related to Danny Dyer, whose own momentous genealogical revelation was, thankfully, captured on camera. And aren’t we all related to Kevin Bacon, anyway?
If you thought the coverage of the engagement got quite weird, I would have to ask: have you seen any headlines about Harry and Meghan recently?
Naturally, Markle’s style is a popular topic of conversation for many committed news organisations. Ever wondered “Why Meghan Markle’s fondness for green is a genius choice”? Well, wonder no longer. “Now that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have officially gone into hiding prior to their big day on May 19, it gives us a chance to fully decode the bride-to-be’s wardrobe.” And decode we will, starting with the fact that Markle is “Well heeled” as we venture “Inside Meghan Markle’s £20,000 shoe closet, featuring Princess Diana’s nude Jimmy Choos”. This article is particularly enlightening, as we journey through a woman’s shoe collection while also being treated to pictures of said woman wearing shoes. In one “snap”, Meghan is wearing a pair of nude court shoes. “A nod to Princess Diana,” reads the caption. Ah, yes, for beige court shoes haven’t been seen since Diana wore them. And, as we all know, anything Meghan (or the Duchess of Cambridge, for that matter) wears always comes back to Princess Diana.
While I really could do this all day (see also: “THE 'MARKLE SPARKLE' Meghan Markle’s nephew has launched a ‘Markle Sparkle’ cannabis strain in tribute to this months’ royal wedding” and “LEAVING HER MARKLE How to do a messy bun like Meghan Markle”), I think the real winner in this weird hullabaloo that is literally about two people getting married, is Derek Prime. “Meghan mugs are my biggest seller,” reads the BBC’s headline for a video about a souvenir shop in Windsor, owned by Derek, whose window display has been admired by the Queen herself. But what’s his biggest seller at the moment? It’s obviously the mugs bearing Harry and Meghan’s picture. “Mugs are going out,” says Derek, who is sporting a Hawaiian shirt. “Especially this particular mug here, the one in the box. Because it’s in a box, they think it’s just a bit better than the one which isn’t in a box. I don’t know why. ‘Cos it’s all the same mug.” And that, right there – courtesy of Derek – basically sums it all up.