When aspiring actress Meghan Markle had the chance of a major interview with Vanity Fair magazine, her approach was agreed beforehand. She would be cautious.
Meghan would steer clear of such controversial subjects as racial politics, Donald Trump – or her burgeoning relationship with Prince Harry…
So a cover story with the headline ‘She’s just wild about Harry!’ was decisively not in the schedule.
Within hours of the magazine’s pre-publication copies being distributed, Meghan was on the phone to her public relations firm to tell them ‘hysterically’ of the Palace’s dismay, according to authorTom Bower.
Vanity Fair’s September 2017 edition cover, featuring Meghan Markle and the headline ‘Wild About Harry!’
Prince Harry and Meghan during an official photocall to announce their engagement at Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, at the Ms Foundation Women of Vision Awards in New York this year
Bower, the author of ‘Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors’, said Meghan had been ‘ecstatic’ when first asked to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair’s September 2017 issue.
But that was then…
According to Bower, theinterview was to focus on Meghan’s philanthropy and the celebration of the 100th episode of her legal soap opera, Suits.
But when she was asked about her relationship with Harry, Meghan replied: ‘We’re a couple. We’re in love.’
The interview was done at Meghan’s home by Sam Kashner – a long-standing contributing editor at Vanity Fair, who admitted before the interview that he had no idea who Meghan was.
As reported by Vanity Fair in 2017, Meghan said: ‘I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.
‘This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.’
Pre-publication copies of Vanity Fair’s September 2017 edition were released to Megan’s PR agency and Buckingham Palace.
‘Her unexpected openness about Harry took the Palace by surprise, Bower wrote.
‘Like a thunderclap, the interview triggered sensational reactions: Meghan had used her relationship with Harry to promote herself,’ he said.
Meghan would later suggest that she had known little about the British Royal family before meeting Prince Harry and that she had, for example, ‘never looked up her husband online’.
Others have called that apparent naivety into question, among them former childhood friend Ninaki Priddy.
Shortly before Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding in 2018, Priddy, told the Daily Mail: ‘[Meghan] was always fascinated by the royal family. She wants to be Princess Diana 2.0.’
A picture of a 15-year-old Meghan posing in front of Buckingham Palace, with her friend Ninaki, during a European trip in 1996 had previously emerged.
Others have called that apparently into question, among them former childhood friend Ninaki Priddy.
A 15-year-old Meghan Markle poses in front of Buckingham Palace with childhood friend Ninaki Priddy in 1996
A young Meghan is shown at an age reaching adolescence in the trailer to her Netflix documentary,Harry and Meghan
Speaking in 2018, Ninaki, whose friendship with Meghan ended before the duchess began seeing Prince Harry, said: ‘I know the royal family was something she found fascinating.
‘She had one of Princess Dianas books [Diana: Her True Story] on her bookshelf, and even when she was with Trevor she told me she wanted to go and stay in London for at least a month.
‘I wasnt shocked or even surprised to hear about Prince Harry. I know she used to love The Princess Diaries films about a commoner who becomes part of a Royal Family. She was very taken with that idea.’