Fab fashion game online
Published: 00:26 BST, 4 March 2018 | Updated: 08:41 BST, 4 March 2018
As I’m unlikely to score an invite to the People’s Wedding in May to mill around the castle grounds with several thousand of the happy couple’s closest strangers, I can talk about the elephant in the room. I know Prince Harry spotted it too, as he went a funny colour and chewed his lip.
It was at that Royal Foundation event last week when the founding members of Britain’s hottest new band, ie Harry, Kate and William, were introducing the new addition to the line-up for all future tour dates, for ever.
The Fab Four sat in their safe smart casuals in front of a bright blue backdrop burbling ‘making a difference together’. Headliner Prince William said his few words, then the interviewer turned to the stunning brunette in a navy silky dress with statement epaulettes.
It was time to put hands together and give a massive shout out to… Meghan Markle for her solo! The new band member used her moment in the spotlight to significant, and to my mind deafening, effect. Women don’t need to ‘find’ a voice, Meghan replied (and I got the feeling that this would be the prepared answer, whatever the question).
Outspoken: Meghan with Harry, Kate and William at the Royal Foundation event. Over here, we secretly don’t like women who speak out too loudly and often (I should know), let alone women who order other women to speak out and men to listen
Women already HAD a voice. The problem was they didn’t feel ‘empowered’ to use it and people (ie men) had to be ‘encouraged’ to listen.
‘There is no better time to shine a light on women feeling empowered, and people really helping to support them,’ she said, namechecking the #metoo and Time’s Up movements.
Wow. I’m all for women being empowered and using their voices and people (ie men) ‘hearing’ them. But this was risky on a couple of fronts. Over here, we secretly don’t like women who speak out too loudly and often (I should know), let alone women who order other women to speak out and men to listen.
Actually, that’s true over in America too (remember what happened to Hillary). And as a nation, we certainly prefer Royal women who don’t really speak, like the Queen, or the Duchess of Cambridge, as demonstrated by that No 1 hit about a perfect girlfriend with the lyric ‘you say it best when you say nothing at all’.
Instead of tipping up to the Oscars clutching white roses/ wearing black/making worthy speeches from the podium about sexual harassment in Hollywood, why don’t actors do something that might make actually help save lives: refuse to make movies that glamorise guns (that is definitely part of the problem) and gratuitous violence against women.
Or is that too crazy – even for La La Land?
Here’s the New Deal then: instead of getting a silent Stepford wife – as anatomised in Hilary Mantel’s famous ‘jointed doll’ lecture about the Duchess of Cambridge – we are welcoming into our bosom an American woman brimming with beauty and brains and beans who is going to make women’s rights her own personal mission.
If you look at the Royal Foundation, it divvies things up, so Harry is Armed Forces, Kate is young people and mental health, and William is across conservation. Meghan – mark my words – will be banging the drum for wimmin. We will have our first feminist-activist princess. Which is great, and could be fine (though I feel women are not victims in need of charity but continued advocacy), but equally it could end up with tensions in the band – and Royalty is a far harder show to keep on the road than rock ’n’ roll.
Meghan would do well to remember she is becoming a member of a constitutional hierarchy, which depends on everyone knowing their exact place in the pecking order, and toeing endless invisible lines.
In theory, the Royal Wives don’t do politics: they accept posies from little girls, they produce heirs and spares, they don’t go around using their romantic entrees into the Firm as a platform to lobby for lasting and much needed change in the patriarchal power structures of society – in a country they haven’t even lived in for more than a few months.
It just isn’t done… or at least it hasn’t been done, yet.
Meghan even dismissed her own nuptials as something to get out of the way before her real work begins. Harry muttered ‘Wedding first, eh’ but his dynamic fiancee had already powered on about ‘hitting the ground running’ when it came to making lasting change happen and so on. The Windsor wedding in May will not just loop Harry with Meghan into the Fab Four for the rest of their lives.
It will also team an English Prince with an American Ms in a culture clash with the potential for discordance in the months and years ahead.
Popcorn, please (and maybe some earplugs too).
For most parents, the three scariest words in the English language are World Book Day.
Not me. I celebrated this terrifying occasion by grimly ignoring it every year. In fact, I haven’t made a costume since I sent my daughter into school for a healthy eating-themed assembly when she was six.
‘I do hope you have other skills,’ her teacher observed when she set eyes on her home-made-by-me strawberry costume, ‘because, if I may say so, you sure as hell can’t sew.’
Barbra Streisand has cloned her late beloved dog Samantha
Barbra Streisand has cloned her late beloved dog Samantha.
She is now the happy mummy of Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett.
Wrong. When our dog Coco died two years ago in the arms of my daughter under the Christmas tree, we were inconsolable.
I can’t imagine saying: ‘Dry your eyes darlings, I’ve saved some DNA from her cheek, and we can always make another one just like her.’
Life is short. Those we love are irreplaceable. That’s the point, Barb.