Now let’s all enjoy a stroll down the embarrassing royal memory trail.
The absolute climax of the Windsor humiliation is 1987 It’s a royal knockout That gave the world the incredible image of members of several of the Queen’s children disguised as vegetables as they tossed fake hams across the place while Meatloaf and John Travolta watched. In fact, it would take Sarah, Duchess of York, and her introduction of the toe eye into the popular lexicon five years later to really surpass that level of ridiculousness.
Then there was Andrew’s decision to return to Britain after serving in the Falklands War with a rose between his teeth, an image that has not aged well. (His recent connections with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein do not fall under “embarrassing” but rather “awful.”)
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Let’s also enjoy the palace’s questionable attempts to give Charles an “action-man” alteration in the 1970s, with the stem-like prince windsailing and jumping into skydiving. (Though everything Wagner and Jung and the signet ring twiddling really got in the way of that failed rebranding.)
Never forget Prince William and Harry’s additions to this canon of shame with their semi-regular, soaked nightclub japes of the early aughties. (A Honorable Mention goes to the woman formerly known as Kate Middleton who kept the paparazzi in recordings of her.
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Earlier, let’s welcome Meghan Duchess of Sussex to this long and bitter tradition of youthful decisions who, in her case, return to haunt HRHs thanks to the spirit of a past blog post.
But it gets particularly juicy when I tell you that not only the king but also Ivanka Trump, the current first daughter and soon to be a social pariah on the Upper East Side, plays the leading role in this particular story.
In 2014 Meghan started a lifestyle blog called The Tig, named after her favorite Italian red wine, Tignanello. The Suits Star’s foray into publishing offered a less-than-unique mix of style, travel, and eating tips, interspersed with a certain introspection from Oprah-lite.
Meghan wrote great that her project would be “a hub for the discerning palate” and a “breeding ground for ideas and excitement – for an inspired lifestyle”. Diptyque candles by the ready ladies!
(To be fair, she’s really inspired many people in the years since then to aspire to the British royal family lifestyle.)
The Tig also featured some celebrity content, including then-designer and hotelier Ivanka Trump, who participated in a very brief Q + A.
Meghan’s introduction of Ivanka takes flattery to a new, disgusting level. Donald Trump’s daughter is “breathtakingly beautiful” and “so incredibly accomplished and intelligent”.
“Let me not start with your jewelry collection: The nightly window shopping I did on my computer snuggled into my bed with a glass of wine and stared longingly at the beautiful designs,” wrote Meghan.
As she arranges the interview, she writes: “We also started planning drinks and dinner for the next time I was in NY.
“This is what I know – if we have a drink, I’ll make sure I order whatever she does – because this woman seems to have the formula for success (and happiness).”
(And the actual questions and answers? The six questions provide insight into how Ivanka believes that everything tastes better with salt and that she can’t live without chapstick.)
All of this would have vanished into the internet ether if Ivanka’s dad hadn’t made a terribly successful, hateful run for the White House and Meghan married the sixth in line British Throne.
Given that Meghan, alongside her husband Harry, is now busy establishing herself as the shining light of the left and aligning herself with key power players like Gloria Steinem and Michelle Obama, Ivanka’s Tig excursion makes for toe-reading.
Submission is difficult to bear even from a distance. Similarly, watching Meghan crawl on the celebrity ladder over someone only as tall as her (at the time) is unbearable.
Beyond the tone and tenor of the piece, there is something inconsistent with Meghan’s idolization of a woman who has swapped her infamous surname. Sure, she points out that Ivanka graduated from the prestigious Wharton School of Business and allegedly “created her own empire”.
But for Meghan, a woman whose success was entirely thanks to her own hard work, tenacity, and talent is so shameful to rave about the supposed accomplishments of a woman whose business was funded by Daddy, isn’t she?
It’s also worth noting that even in 2014, the wisdom of being associated with the Trump name was up for debate. Donald Trump was already a controversial figure in America’s political landscape by the time Meghan first flooded Ivanka.
When Barack Obama ran for the presidency in 2011, Trump Sr. was the best-known proponent of the conspiracy theory that Obama was not born in the United States and therefore was not eligible.
“He doesn’t have a birth certificate. He might have one, but that birth certificate says something – maybe religion, maybe it says he’s a Muslim; I don’t know, “Trump told Fox News in March this year.
Relations between Sussex and Trump have deteriorated a bit since the Tig years. In 2016, Meghan called Ivanka’s father “misogynist” and “divisive”, which barely earned the actress a second invitation for cocktails and low-carb snacks with Ivanka.
More recently, when Mr. Trump and his group of nepotistically hired descendants came to London on an official visit in 2019, Harry appeared to be doing everything possible to stay away from the President.
When asked about Meghan’s previous comments during that UK trip, Mr Trump said, “I didn’t know she was angry.”
Suffice it to say that both the Sussexes and Donald and Melania Trump are all now in the US and (soon in the case of the Trumps) no longer have full-time jobs. It is unlikely that the quartet will be enjoying a game of doubles tennis anytime soon. (The thought of Melania snaking through three sets across from Harry, however, is entertainment enough.)
Even so, all of this could have an interesting circularity. It has long been rumored, if not fantastically, that the Duchess of Sussex has political ambitions, and in fact, in October, an amazingly realistic but fake website “Meghan for President” mysteriously appeared online.
Wilder things have happened – after all, in 2014 no one would have imagined for a second that a blogger and a cable actress would no longer be a member of the royal family.
So watch out for 2024: no savvy person would beat the humanitarian HRH, which uses its zeal and initiative from Kensington Palace to the White House.
Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years experience working on a number of leading Australian media titles.
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