When Harry Met Oprah

These days, it’s much easier to bury Caesar than to praise him, and even though I like to think I’m a better person than that – I’m not.  Given the opportunity, I’m right in there, shovelling the dirt with everybody else.  So it was with a little bit too much glee that I noticed there’s going to be A Royal Event on March 7th.  Buckle up, boys and girls, because the Queen of Jell-o Journalism, Oprah Winfrey, has granted an audience to the Queen of Southern California, Meghan Markle.  Not since Henry VIII of England met Francis I of France on the Field of The Cloth of Gold in June 1520 has there been this much Royal star power in one place at one time.  In fact, there’s a danger that the San Andreas Fault may buckle under the weight of their combined egos.  But, what an occasion!  In a more civilized time, there’d be jousting and jugglers, puppet shows and magicians, minstrels and at least a dozen suckling pigs.  Unfortunately, the 21st century is a dark, joyless age, so, we’ll have to settle for two women talking (more about that later.)  However, I do not exaggerate when I speculate that over a billion people will tune into this regal — uh – conversation.

Wow!  This is a match made in celebrity heaven.  Meghan Markle, former suitcase girl on Howie Mandel’s Deal or No Deal, gets to sit on the same sofa that Tom Cruise bounced up and down on.  And even though, before May 19, 2018 Winfrey wouldn’t have given Markle, the second banana on a 3rd rate TV show, the time of day (never mind a spot on the vaunted Oprah sofa) Meghan’s the one who’s going to help Ms. Winfrey kick that little upstart Ellen off the top of the TV ratings pyramid.

Of course, the actual television show won’t be anything special.  The two women will trot out the usual suspects — how difficult it is to be filthy rich, how the media (present company excluded) are a bunch of dicks, how the Royal Family were unreasonable and why — as a mother — Markle just wants to give her children a normal life.  (On that last point, when you can rent Disneyland for your kid’s birthday party, that “normal” ship has kinda sailed.)  Anyway, Winfrey will call Markle “brave” a couple of times, she’ll share a cute anecdote from the wedding and maybe squeeze out a tear or two.  Then, they’ll take a break … “And when we come back, Prince Harry will join the conversation.”  WHAT?  That’s right!  For the first half of the program, Harry isn’t even going to be there!  He’s going to be cooling his heels, nice boy, in the Green Room.  Frankly, I’m not surprised.  After all, it would be totally out of character for Meghan Markle to share the spotlight of her magical moment on Oprah with anybody else – including the guy who got her there.

In the end, they’ll all agree that, despite the horribly hard row Mr. And Mrs. Mountbatten-Windsor have had to hoe, they are just an ordinary couple who want to shun the public eye (Yeah!  That’s why you’re on Oprah!) and have a normal life.  Oprah will give everybody in the studio audience a diamond tiara.  “You get a tiara!  You get a tiara!  You get a tiara!  Everybody gets a tiara!”  Both brands, Harpo and Archewell, will get a kick up the Social Media ladder; both PR entourages will do some high fives; and everyone will go home happy with a job well done.   

Meanwhile, however, in a dark corner of the cutthroat world of Daytime TV, Ellen, the nastiest sycophant on the planet, will be beating the bejesus out of her producers, screaming “What the hell am I paying you for?  Those two cash cows should have been mine!”

When Harry Met Meghan – Epilogue

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As the world churns (yes, that’s a hopeless TV reference; get used to it!) with airplanes falling out of the sky, impeachment hearings, Putin seriously off the rails and polar bears poaching in the sun, the big news across the globe is what’s going to happen to Harry and Meghan.

Disclaimer:  I am a hopeless monarchist, and I’ve always been in Harry’s corner (even when he dressed up as a Nazi) so it’s more in sadness than anger that I lampoon this two-ring circus.

Apparently, Harry, the Englishman formerly known as a Prince and Ms. Markle (former “briefcase girl” on Deal or No Deal) don’t want to be royals anymore.  It’s just too difficult for them.  This intolerable situation has caused them to seriously reflect on their role as A-listers on the world’s media stage.  They want to “take a step back” from the drudgery of photo-ops and ribbon cuttings.  They want to find their own “financial independence.”  And they want a chance at “a normal life.”  Not to worry though: they’re not going to give up being the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (they’re currently trademarking that brand.)  They just don’t wanna waste their time on the royal responsibilities that come with the title.  In “normal life” terms, what that means is “Okay, when grandma’s dishing out the cookies, let us know, but we’re not going to hang around and help her clean the oven.”

For the last couple of years, the world has been fascinated by the Harry and Meghan Royal-ity TV series (Season 1 – The Wedding, Season 2 – Here Comes Archie) but so far in Season 3, the story arc has gone a little flat.  After all, Harry’s not the heir; he’s the spare, so there’s not a whole lot of drama there.  And Archie’s cute and all that, but a 7th in line cousin is not necessarily tabloid news.  Meanwhile, Meghan’s media presence has disappeared entirely.  Even the bitchy stuff isn’t getting much ink these days.  The truth is Harry and Meghan might impress the likes of Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney (Ya gotta ask, though, would they have showed up at the wedding of second banana TV star, Meghan Markle, if it wasn’t for Harry?) but in the rare air of royal affairs, it’s William and Kate who carry the big stick.  From here on, Harry and Meghan are going to be trotted out for Ascot, hospital openings in Sheffield, Eastern European funerals and that’s about it.  They may have decided to “take a step back” from the limelight, but the reality is it’s already getting pretty dim.

I don’t actually care if Harry and Meghan trash it all and open a bed and breakfast on Vancouver Island.  Knock yourself out.  But what the hell does ‘a normal life” look like to someone who’s negotiating with two national governments, Canada and Britain, to figure out which one is going to pay for the bodyguards?  I don’t care how you slice the Gateau des Rois, that’s not “normal.’  Here’s the deal.  Harry’s accident of royal birth and more importantly, Meghan’s accident of royal marriage have given them both a ton of advantages that they can’t ever switch off.  If they don’t understand that, they’re totally out of touch with the real world.  If they do understand it, this latest semi-royal proclamation is simply grandstanding.  Personally, I think it’s a little bit of both.

When Harry Met Meghan (FINAL)

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The Royal Wedding is over, but there’s still time to indulge in that fine old international tradition: Making Fun of the Royals.  This has been going on for centuries.  In Colonial America, the newspapers were full of cartoons about George III, and I can’t even print what the French had to say about Henry V!  So, since I’m beginning to think my invitation to the wedding didn’t get lost in the mail, and since this is going to be the last biggie royal wedding for a while (Prince George is only 4) here are a few catty remarks about the Royal Nuptials.  If you watched the solid walls of media coverage, you’ll recognize the participants; but if you didn’t, don’t worry: they’re all the usual suspects.

It was a beautiful spring day in Windsor, and most of the hats looked as if their sole purpose was to confuse the pigeon population.  Meanwhile, many of fascinators had obviously been designed to pick up Wi-Fi so that the various plus-ones could watch the FA Cup final during the ceremony. (FYI: Chelsea-1 — Man U-0)

Oprah Winfrey’s sack was a last-minute design by Stella McCartney and was securely cinched in the middle to prevent the heavy bits from shifting.

Sir Elton continued to break gay stereotypes by showing up in his one good outfit — again.

Whichever Williams sister it was, walked in as if she was looking for a fight.

Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle’s former co-star on Suits appropriately wore — a suit.

Thoughtfully, Princess Michael of Kent didn’t wear any jewelry.  (Google it!)

Victoria (Posh Spice) Beckham got confused and thought she was going to a funeral.

It’s a pretty safe bet that Pippa (Middleton) Matthews, was told to keep her scene-stealing ass in line this time.  So, rather than risk Royal censure, she came dressed as a can of Arizona Ice Tea. (You can Google this one, too.)

George and Amal Clooney spent most of the day looking utterly bewildered that nobody gave a damn whether they were there or not.

Ben Mulroney did a wonderful impression of a discount Justin Trudeau.

Harry’s ex, Cressida Bonas and Abigail Spencer (no relation to the real ones) clearly shop at the same store: Tesco.

Princess Anne went for either cultural diversity or cultural appropriation by wearing a kimono, but nobody was brave enough to call her on it.

Surprise!  Surprise!  Surprise!  Sarah Ferguson (Fergie) Duchess of York was invited, but Prince Philip made her sit in the corner.

And speaking of Prince Philip, this guy is officially the toughest old bugger in the Commonwealth!  He’s 96 years old, fresh off  hip surgery, and yet he got out of the car and marched into Windsor Chapel as if his wife owned the place.  The man is made entirely of gristle.

And finally:

That low-level whirring sound everybody heard throughout the ceremony was Edward VIII, spinning in his grave, muttering, “American divorcee, my ass!”

Disclaimer:  This is satire.  In fact, I’m actually a hopeless monarchist and I love all the trappings that go with it.  It’s the simpy/sappy media coverage I object to.