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Meghan Markle eyes bid for US president

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A very hungry caterpillar

Mar 15, 2021, 21:13

Meghan Markle is reportedly already networking with senior Democrats to help her ambitions to become the first female US president.
The Duchess of Sussex previously told friends about her political ambitions – and now hopes her blockbuster Oprah Winfrey interview will strengthen support in the US, sources told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

She has been openly networking among senior Democrats to help build fundraising teams and a campaign for the White House, according to a senior UK politician who served under former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and has close ties to Washington.

Harry and Meghan shocked the world with their tell-all Oprah Winfrey interview. 

“The Blairite, internationalist and Democratic party networks are buzzing with talk about Meghan’s political ambitions and potential backers,” the anonymous source told the UK paper.

Markle, 39, is thought to be looking at the 2024 campaign if President Joe Biden, who will be 82, decides against running for a second term, the source said. If successful, it would make her the first female US president.

Her biographer and friend, Omid Scobie, also previously claimed that the former actress “has her eyes set on the US presidency”.

“Meghan is the embodiment of the American dream. One day we may see Meghan become president,” the author of Finding Freedom: Harry, Meghan And The Making Of A Modern Royal Family previously told a documentary.

How Meghan's shocking claims stack up
In the wake of Meghan and Harry's bombshell TV interview, some details are already being questioned.
 
 
Princely 'Snub'
 
 
Meghan's view:
The Palace went against protocol to deny her mixed-race son the title of prince and subsequent security.

What we know:
Archie wasn't entitled to become a prince at birth - but can take that title when his grandfather Charles takes the throne.

Long-established Royal rules limit the title of prince and princess to the monarch's children and grandchildren and those in the direct line of succession.

But even with the title, taxpayer-funded security isn't guaranteed - as Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie can attest.
 
 
Nowhere To Turn
 
 
Meghan's view: 
There was no support from the "institution" when Meghan struggled with her mental health and, in the end, Megxit was the only way she and Harry could protect themselves.

Harry also struggled. “I had no idea what to do. I wasn’t prepared for that. I went to a very dark place as well,” he said of his wife's plight. 

What we know:
Meghan's revelations about feeling suicidal while pregnant were among the most shocking of the interview, especially as she said she was denied help when she explicitly asked for it.

Prince Harry has previously been candid about his own mental health, revealing Prince William convinced him to get counseling after he was "very close to a complete breakdown". 

Harry, Meghan, William and Kate have all been vocal in campaigning for mental health support and work with charities in the field, so it has surprised some commentators that Harry and Meghan weren't able to access the help needed directly if others failed to step up.
 
 
Secret 'Wedding'
 
 
Meghan's view:
"Three days before our wedding, we got married ... just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury."

What we know:
There are some pretty strict rules around weddings, such as needing witnesses. 

The private ceremony would have been a wonderful way for the couple to celebrate their love and exchange personal vows before the televised extravaganza at Windsor Castle, but, as has since been acknowledged, it wasn't legally binding.
 
 
Crying Foul
Meghan's view
Amid preparations for the real wedding, there was a clash with future sister-in-law Kate, and Meghan was left in tears. Kate apologised, but when a false narrative emerged in the media that it was Meghan who made Kate cry, the Firm failed to protect Meghan and correct it.

What we know: 
There are two very different sides to the story, and no one expects the Duchess of Cambridge to front the media about it any time soon, so it's hard to know the exact truth.

However, the counterclaims keep coming. 

Reports in The Times have since claimed Meghan slammed the door in Kate's face when she took flowers to the Sussexes' home in an attempt to mend fences.
 
 
Meghan's view: 
"When I joined that family, that was the last time I saw my passport, my driving licence, my keys - all of that gets turned over."

What we know:
Much of Meghan's interview detailed how she felt both trapped and unsupported in her new role, and having official documents taken away would only highlight her loss of agency.

On a practical level, we know many royals happily drive themselves around - Prince Philip only stopped in 2019, aged 97, after a headline-making crash.

The Australian also notes Meghan went overseas regularly "including to her ostentatious baby shower in New York".
 
Meghan's view:
She hadn't googled Harry or his family before they got together and was totally taken aback by Royal protocol, such as having to curtsy to the Queen even in a family meeting behind closed doors.

What we know:
Previous reports from the favourable biography Finding Freedom, would suggest both Harry and Meghan were a bit more clued up about each other before they first met. 

Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote: "Naturally, both participants in this blind date did their homework with a thorough Google search. Harry, who scoped out Meghan on social media, was interested."

Less convincingly, Meghan's half-sister Samantha has suggested a famous photo of a teenage Meghan outside Buckingham Palace indicates a stronger interest in the royal family than she cares to admit.
 
Another friend also told Vanity Fair last year that the Duchess “would seriously consider running for president”.

“One of the reasons she was so keen not to give up her American citizenship was so she had the option to go into politics,” the unidentified friend told the magazine of Markle’s brief time in the UK.

Another biographer previously insisted that the Duchess does not have the “skin of a rhino to run for office,” with her sensitivity to criticism only further highlighted during her sit-down with Oprah.

“I would state categorically that she has no chance of ever running for president. She would be eaten alive,” Andrew Morton, author of Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, told Vanity Fair last year.

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“I would state categorically that she has no chance of ever running for president. She would be eaten alive,” Andrew Morton, author of Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, told Vanity Fair last year.