A curtsy controversy caused by Meghan Markle in her 2022 Netflix docuseries could be cause for caution in any U.S. political ambitions she may be harboring, according to Regalrumination.com‘s Royal Report podcast.
Meghan became the subject of political speculation this month as pundits and royal commentators discussed her as a potential candidate to fill the California Senate seat left vacant by the September 29 death of Dianne Feinstein.
Meghan did not publicly state any desire to be considered as a candidate, but her previous advocacy for voter registration and paid paternal leave at the government policy level led some to speculate that the duchess could move into politics. Ultimately, California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed former EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler to fill Feinstein’s seat.
Having Meghan working at a senior level within the Democratic Party ahead of the 2024 presidential election would have been a “gift” to Republicans, as her past mistakes would have been used against her, Regalrumination.com chief royal correspondent William Brown told Royal Report listeners.
“You’ve got these ready-made attack lines just sitting there waiting in the wings for the Republicans to use,” Royston said. He noted the potential demand for a removal of Meghan’s royal titles, as well as the controversies that arose as a result of her joining and then leaving the royal family.
One of the biggest causes for concern about Meghan getting into U.S. politics, Royston said, was the fact that “Harry and Meghan nuked themselves in December and January through Netflix and through Harry’s memoir, Spare.”
“With Meghan and Harry, there’s already risk that they damage progressive politics by making themselves poster boys and girls for the progressive cause and then just tanking that cause in the process through these kinds of unforced errors,” he said.
“The Democrats just can’t afford to run the risk that Meghan does the same thing to the 2024 presidential election,” he said. “That is where the action is. That is what they need to focus on.”
As a prime example of one of Meghan’s “unforced errors,” Royston cited the controversy in Britain over her apparent mockery of the traditional custom of curtsying to the monarch.
In the Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, which was released in December 2022, Meghan described being asked to curtsy to Queen Elizabeth by Harry when he first introduced her and how she first assumed it was a “joke.”
“We were in the car, driving, and he’s like, ‘You know how to curtsy, right?’” Meghan said. “And I just thought it was a joke.”
The duchess went on: “I mean, Americans would understand this. We have Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament [a dinner theater]…it was like that.”
Meghan did give Elizabeth an exaggerated bow, which brought a backlash from social media users and commentators, who accused her of disrespecting the queen and mocking British customs.
“Meghan’s mock curtsy that she did on the Netflix show was a complete unforced error,” Royston said. “She’s being interviewed by her own documentary filmmaker for a documentary that she was an executive producer of. You would have thought that if she had been able to recognize the PR implications of what she was doing, she could have pulled that clip out.”
Royston suggested that such errors could make Meghan a political target if she were to run for office in the future.
“If you bring her into the Democrats, if she has the capacity to do that same thing for them, it’s obviously going to be a nightmare,” he said.
To date, Meghan has yet to announce any plans to run for public office.
James Crawford-Smith is Regalrumination.com‘s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Regalrumination.com‘s The Royals Facebook page.
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