Meghan Markle has been effectively “silenced” by the royal family — to the point that she no longer has any voice of her own — two celebrity-watchers claim in an academic paper.
As the Express reports, lead authors Laura Clancy and Hannah Yelin, writing in Celebrity Studies, say via their paper “Meghan’s Manifesto’: Meghan Markle and the Co-option of Feminism” that the Duchess of Sussex, once a champion of feminism and women’s rights, is now reduced to repeating bullet points prescribed to her by the royal family and its handlers.
“Markle’s activist voice has been either silenced or appropriated by the monarchy.”
The authors point to the fact that, before marrying Prince Harry, the former Suits actress had to shut down all of her social media accounts as well as her blog, The Tig. As Bustle reported in May, the blog was a bit of this and that, with posts about food, travel, and other lifestyle topics — as well as the occasional post about issues facing women.
Requiring the American actress to shut down her social media and blog was the first step towards “silencing” her, the researchers write.
“She has quit her acting career, closed down her popular blog and social media accounts for all her online activity to be ciphered through Kensington Palace.”
‘Repellent’. ‘Disgusting’. ‘Narcissist’. I wrote about the extreme reaction to Meghan Markle cradling her baby bump at Monday’s night’s Fashion Awards, for @ELLEUK – and what it reveals about our prevailing cultural attitude towards women and their bodies https://t.co/k2u13Mvut2
— Pandora Sykes (@PINsykes) December 13, 2018
In fact, the royal family does indeed walk a fine line when it comes to publicly advocating for causes. On the one hand, the various members of the royal family are patrons of various charities and social causes — and indeed, they proudly advocate for them publicly at every opportunity. Prince William, for example, has advocated for teaching Britons about their mental health, while Prince Harry has worked with veterans wounded in war.
But as a constitutional monarchy with constrained political power, the members of the royal family must not, under any circumstances, ever come off as if they are advocating a political position. And since Meghan’s advocacy for feminist issues often butts up against politics, the Windsors have effectively taken away her voice, say Clancy and Yelin.
“While the monarchy appears to be celebrating her diversity and modernizing influence, then, this is only permitted within prescribed boundaries.”
Express writer Laura Mowat isn’t so sure that’s the case, however. She points out that Meghan has worked with woman who were affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, for example. And in a visit to New Zealand, she praised the Oceanic nation for being the first self-governing nation to allow women the right to vote, in 1893.
“The mother-to-be has fought hard for women’s rights, gender equality and improved education and health services for girls around the world.”