Meghan Markle would do well to hire Michelle Obama as a mentor, writes Angela Mollard in the Daily Telegraph.
By all accounts, the American woman’s head-first jump into life has a European royal has been a raging success. Though dogged by rumors of a tense relationship with her staff, and a possible tiff with her new sister-in-law, she has also wowed crowds with her visits to various events, been a darling of the British media, and has been embraced by the British public.
But that’s just the public face of Meghan’s new life — and the Royal Family intensely manages its public image. Behind the scenes, Meghan is almost certainly going through some things — the harsh realities of life in the fish bowl and her newfound fame — and she needs someone who can coach her through it all.
And the perfect woman for the job is Michelle Obama, writes Mollard.
For starters, both women have African American heritage, and both have found it to be both a blessing and a curse.
But the biggest way in which the former first lady can mentor the duchess is by helping her deal with a life of fame, something she knows about all too well.
In her new memoir, Becoming, Mrs. Obama writes about an experience where she learned first-hand that she bore the weight of high expectations and immense media scrutiny on her shoulders, and she was expected to bear it all with a smile on her face. It happened in London, of all places, Meghan Markle’s new back yard.
Early in her husband’s first term, Mrs. Obama was speaking to a London girls’ school, many of whose students were refugees.
“I’d felt overwhelmed by the pace, unworthy of the glamour, anxious about our children and uncertain of my purpose.”
But something else happened that day, too. When the grateful girls hugged her, she knew she’d been given a purpose, even if she would have to work through some difficulties to achieve it.
“I felt something completely different and pure — an alignment of my old self with this new role.”
It’s a career path that Meghan will likely herself have to learn to mimic.
Of course, don’t expect Buckingham Palace to be making phone calls to Mrs. Obama’s people any time soon. The palace is all about tradition, doing things the same way because that’s how they’ve been done for centuries. Doing new things such as hiring mentors are almost certainly not going to make it past the queen’s desk, especially when those mentors are such high-profile public figures as Michelle Obama.
Until then, Meghan is just going to have to power through on her own.