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The sad truth about Meghan Markle's life as a new mum

Daniela Elser, news.com.au,
Publish Date
Monday, 3 June 2019, 11:26AM
That's because the sad truth of the matter that she is kinda all alone right now, stuck in a country where she has few (if any) close friends. Photo / AP
That's because the sad truth of the matter that she is kinda all alone right now, stuck in a country where she has few (if any) close friends. Photo / AP

It must be the most exclusive Whatsapp group in the world.

Earlier this month, Mike Tindall revealed that he found out about the birth of Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor via the group the 30-something grandchildren of the Queen (including Wills and Kate) share on the ubiquitous messaging service.

(SIGH. Oh to know what glorious cat memes also pop up in the group chat.)

Which just goes to show that apps and social media, even for bona fide royals with tiaras to their name, are essential for modern life.

However, I would bet that right around now they are even more crucial day-to-day for one particular member of the Windsor clan — Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. That's because the sad truth of the matter that she is kinda all alone right now, stuck in a country where she has few (if any) close friends.

In late 2017 she upped sticks, packed her Diptyque candles and moved to London to live with Prince Harry. One infamous roast chicken dinner later and they were engaged. However, her decision to marry into the British royal family also equated to a decision to leave her friends and family behind in North America.

Last week, it was revealed that her mother Doria Ragland has returned home to Los Angeles after spending more than a month sequestered away at Frogmore Cottage, before and after Archie's (delayed) arrival.

Earlier this week, Meghan's longtime BFF and quasi-stylist Jessica Mulroney was photographed landing in Toronto with her daughter Ivy. It is widely believed the duo had been in the UK meeting the Windsor clan's newest member.

Which leaves Meghan marooned in semirural Windsor, in a nation that is not her own, with a newborn baby, surrounded by a cadre of (at times) antagonistic courtiers who seemingly resent her arrival on the royal scene.

It would be hard, nigh impossible, for Meghan NOT to be craving the day-to-day, real-world connection with and support of good friends — none of which she has right now.

I reckon that girl needs a hell of a hug.

Remoteness is an inherent part of royal life, made all the more acute for Meghan given she is American. When Kate, Duchess of Cambridge (and even Diana and Fergie) joined the royal Firm, they did so with a keen, local support system in place.

There were trusted lifelong friends (who were already au fait with royalty and knew how to keep their lips zipped) on hand for (I'm guessing) gin-soaked tete-a-tetes. These pals could be called upon to provide the loyalty and companionship necessary for any soul to survive a cloistered life inside the towering palace walls.

Meghan has none of that.

Her mother Doria is a ten and a half-hour flight away on the West Coast as are many of her actor mates such as Abigail Spencer and Janina Gavankar. The time difference between Old Blighty and Hollywood is a killer.

Jessica Mulroney is in Toronto which is also inconveniently on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

Ditto longtime pal Markus Anderson, who was instrumental in arranging the logistics for Harry and Meghan's first date. Even her makeup guru Daniel Martin, who jets around the globe pretty much non-stop can only make the occasional stop over in the UK for some avo on toast and a chinwag.

Meghan's current plight is a stark reminder that royal life might be heavy on the tiaras and gilt carriages but it can be terribly light on the friendship and support part.

Meghan and her BFF Jessica. Photo / Instagram
Meghan and her BFF Jessica. Photo / Instagram

Some of that is thanks to the lingering suspicion and fear of just who might say what to which nasty tabloids, which would make it incredibly hard for her to form new friends in London.

(Loose lips sink royal relationships — Diana's sister Lady Sarah Spencer was a shoe-in to marry Prince Charles until she had a very indiscrete lunch with royal writer James Whittaker after which she was promptly expelled from royal circles.)

And, it is also partly down to the physical isolation of Meghan's life. There are checkpoints, armoured guards, police patrols and security screening points in varying configurations around all the royal residences which impose a very real barrier between her life and the outside world. (And makes nipping around for a quick pinot after work quite the palaver.)

Which leaves her nearly entirely reliant on husband Prince Harry for emotional support. Pity he has been away from home so much.

In the three or so weeks since Archie was born, the Duke of Sussex has managed to fit in two overseas trips, most recently heading to Rome for two days to play in a charity polo match.

He has also attended at least three other events since he became a father earlier this month.

(He went to the Windsor Horse Show with his Grandma aka The Queen, flew to The Hague for an Invictus Games event three days after Archie's birth, and visited an Oxford children's hospital.)

Exactly why Harry decided to accept these particular invitations and to thus leave Meghan on her own, to contend with a newborn solo, is totally mysterious, especially given a) he is clearly a highly devoted husband and father, b) they would have been locked in when he knew that his child would have been born by that point and c) the much ballyhooed reports that he was going to take a whole two weeks paternity leave to prove what a thoroughly modern chap he is.

(A Buckingham Palace spokesperson archly told the Daily Mail: "I'm sure Her Majesty will accommodate a break from duties.")

So, chances are that right about now, Whatsapp (and Skype and FaceTime) is something of a lifeline for Meghan, giving her the contact she must desperately need with her trusted coterie of confidants and family members.

However, the image of the Duchess, home alone, cuddling Archie and furiously messaging her mates as she watches guards patrol her garden is haunting.

In this case, the Princess did live happily ever after, or at least WhatsApp ever after.

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