In the time vortex that is 2020, it’s easy to forget anything that happened before coronavirus came along and ruined everything. But there were two whole months of this year that came and went pre-pandemic, and we spent approximately 50% of that time talking about Meghan and Harry’s decision to step back from the Royal family. Yes, all of this happened in 2020, no matter how long ago it feels.
In the few months since the Sussex fam officially peaced the f*ck out of their royal duties, they’ve kept a pretty low profile. They’re chilling in LA these days, and thanks to the pandemic, they, like the rest of us, have barely been leaving the house. Back in April, they volunteered for a food delivery organization, Meghan narrated a Disney nature documentary, and last week, they filed a lawsuit over paparazzi photos of their 14-month-old son that were taken with a drone. You know, just average pandemic things.
But now, Harry and Meghan are back in the headlines in a major way, because of a new book that allegedly tells the behind the scenes story of their time in the Royal family. Finding Freedom, which came out today, is written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, “two top royal reporters who have been behind the scenes since the couple first met,” and the sneak peeks at the book have already revealed a lot of interesting information. (Of course, Meghan and Harry haven’t authorized the book, so take this all with a grain of salt.) Here’s what we’ve learned so far.
crazy that at the beginning of 2020 Meghan and Harry were still royals and I was still wearing a bra every day
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) July 29, 2020
They Were Secretly Engaged
Harry and Meghan announced their engagement in November 2017, and said that he had popped the question earlier that month, while they were making dinner at home. Lame, but okay. But in the new book, the authors say that the couple “became secretly engaged in August,” and chose not to tell anyone for a few months. If this timeline is accurate, it would mean that they got engaged after just over a year of dating, so maybe they didn’t want the engagement to seem so rushed? It seems odd to tell such a specific lie about when they got engaged, but idk, royal society is weird. The authors also say that Harry told Meghan he loved her after just three months of dating, so clearly things were moving quickly from the beginning. (And I’m just trying to get a guy to meet my friends after three months…)
The Palace Didn’t Love Meghan
This may not be shocking news, but Finding Freedom includes some quotes that are pretty rough. Scobie and Durand say that they once heard a member of the Royal family call Meghan “Harry’s showgirl,” which is a major yikes. According to the book, members of the family’s staff also had negative things to say about her, including that she “comes with a lot of baggage,” which I imagine is referring to her previous divorce. Another more vague complaint, was reportedly that there was something about her they “don’t trust”. Whether these things were petty gossip or straight-up racism, no wonder Meghan was ready to get out of that place.
William Really Did Warn Harry About Meghan
It’s long been rumored that a rift between William and Harry began when William warned his brother about moving too fast with Meghan, and according to the book, this mythical conversation between the Royal brothers really did happen. Scobie and Durand say that William reached out to Harry when he started getting serious with Meghan, and told him to “take as much time as you need to get to know this girl,” so that he was not “blindsided by lust.” Apparently, Harry was “pissed off” about this, which like, duh. This convo reportedly went down in 2016, and by the following summer (when Harry and Meg allegedly got engaged), the relationship between the brothers had almost completely deteriorated. The advance excerpts from the book don’t mention anything about Prince William’s alleged cheating scandal, but I imagine that only would have made things worse between him and his brother.
Meghan & Kate Didn’t Hate Each Other
One of the most persistent rumors that followed the family was that of a bitter feud between the Royal sisters-in-law. In Finding Freedom, Scobie and Durand say that this was never really the case. They clarify that Meghan and Kate “struggled to move past the distant politeness of when they first met,” but that they were “not at war with each other,” as the media suggested. They write that “Meghan and Kate just didn’t know each other that well,” and for what it’s worth, “Kate did little to bridge the divide.”
Honestly, this sounds like a very normal relationship between in-laws. Like, it sucks that they weren’t closer, but sometimes two people just aren’t meant to be ~sisters~. It’s exciting to imagine some kind of Bride Wars rivalry, but it makes sense that these are two adult women who probably never spent that much time together outside of official family functions—especially if their husbands were at odds with each other.
The Decision To Leave Was Harry’s
Meghan was almost always treated poorly by the British press, so it makes sense that they blamed her for the couple’s decision to step back from their royal duties. But according to the new book, the choice was Harry’s. They write that while Meghan’s presence “opened the door” to leaving, she was willing to do “whatever it takes” to stay. But Harry was done with the whole royal experience. The authors say that he told a friend, “I don’t need to have that movie moment where we get out of a car and wave to a hundred photographers before going into a building.” Instead, he wanted to “focus on what really matters.”
UPDATE: Now that the book is finally out, there’s even more palace goss to get into. Again, take it all with a grain of salt, but here are more things we learned from Finding Freedom.
The First Date
It’s not like, shocking that Meghan and Harry had a bougie first date, but I find it amusing that they met for the first time at the Soho House. Well, not the Soho House, but their Dean Street location in London. Apparently, they “chatted over drinks” for three hours, but didn’t kiss that night. But obviously things went well, because they came back to the same place for dinner the next night. Considering Harry can obviously get a reservation anywhere, I’m not sure I’d be impressed with him taking me the same place two dates in a row, but whatever, I guess he liked the privacy.
Pippa’s Wedding Drama
Kate Middleton’s sister Pippa got married in the spring of 2017, and Harry planned to bring his then-girlfriend Meghan as his date. But not long before the wedding, there was a tabloid story comparing Meghan and Pippa’s “backsides.” LMAO, really. Because of the, um, press coverage, it was decided that Meghan should skip the ceremony, but she still got to (quietly) attend the reception. Honestly, being a part of this family sounds f*cking exhausting. When I get married, people are welcome to talk about my ass as much as they want, as long as they’re only saying nice things.
Family Photo Drama
Back in 2019, this official photo was released in honor of Prince Charles’ 70th birthday. The photo is super cute, but apparently Harry and William did not want to be there at all. According to Finding Freedom, the scheduling for the photo was “an absolute nightmare,” because “the boys can be hot and cold with their father,” and didn’t really make finding time for the pics a priority. I’m not sure anyone loves taking family photos, but the funny thing about this is that it’s literally a Keeping Up With the Kardashians storyline. Remember when Kim said that Kourtney was the least interesting to look at? That whole argument was about scheduling the photoshoot or the family Christmas card. Maybe the Kardashians really are American royalty?
The Fired Nannys
Remember last year, when the Sussexes went through three different nannies in a matter of weeks? There was a lot of speculation that Meghan and Harry were just difficult to work for, but it sounds like there are clear explanations. In the book, Scobie and Durand write that baby Archie’s first night nurse was fired on her second night on the job for “being unprofessional and irresponsible.” What???? I need MANY more details on what this means. Another night nurse was hired, but ultimately, Meghan and Harry decided they didn’t want someone else taking care of their baby at night. So that’s when nanny number two was let go, and someone else was hired to help out with Archie during the day. I feel like there’s still more to this story, but whatever.
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Images: Samir Hussein/WireImage
I said as much on the episode of Not Another True Crime Podcast that covered Princess Diana, and I’ll say it again: I really don’t give a f*ck about the royal family. Number one, they are not our (as in, America’s, where I currently write this) royal family. Their actions have really no bearing on our lives in the U.S. whatsoever, never mind their lack of actual political power. And yet, we cover the minutiae of their everyday lives to an extent that I find completely ridiculous. (Those sentences are actually the opening to an opinion piece I was working on about why we should stop covering their every move.) And still, even I was shook by a Twitter thread that alleges Prince William cheated on Kate Middleton, and that’s the source of their long-speculated feud.
But I’ll back it up a bit. Even if you try not to read every news piece about the royal family (hi), you are probably at least vaguely aware of some supposed rift between Meghan/Harry and Kate/William. First, there was the rumor that Kate and Meghan didn’t get along (followed by reports that Meghan is considered amongst her staff as “duchess difficult”). That was accompanied by numerous “analyses” of Meghan and Kate’s body language. Then, there was the news that Harry and Meghan moved out of the residence they shared with William and Kate, which many tabloids thought was a sign of an underlying feud and not just, I don’t know, not wanting to share a home with your brother and sister-in-law and their million kids, while your wife was pregnant.
I didn’t buy any of it, and truly was ready to write an entire diatribe exclaiming as such. I have the draft in my Google docs and everything! Until I read a Twitter thread by Nicole Cliffe, a writer for Slate and The Guardian, among other publications. Pop an Adderall and hold onto your comically large hats, because this sh*t is as crazy as it is long.
No, I am not going to retype that entire thread because I don’t want to be here for the next 17 hours. I will say, wow. Just, wow. To briefly recap the theory: Prince William cheated on Kate Middleton with Kate’s own friend. Harry is f*cking pissed, because his father, Prince Charles, cheating on his mother, Princess Diana, set into motion a tabloid circus and extremely difficult period that ultimately ended in his mother’s tragic and untimely death. But to shift the focus off William, the royal family is blaming Meghan for being “difficult”. Harry and Meghan, not wanting to rock the boat or expose William, are riding this one out and taking it for the team.
First off, I’ll say, I would believe this. Then again, if said with enough conviction, I’d believe just about anything. I would have totally fallen for Fyre Festival if I’d had the money and paid days off of work. Then again, and it is important to note, Kensington Palace has called the rumors “totally wrong and false“, even serving one publication with a legal warning for publishing the rumors.
Also, as we have just been over, I know next to nothing about the royal family. Do I think Prince William is capable of cheating on his wife? Sure, just as much as I think any man is capable of infidelity, which is to say, absolutely. Then again, I don’t know the guy, nor am I going to take a Twitter thread as gospel (no matter how convincing it seems).
If this is true, then I think I’ve finally started giving a sh*t about the royal family and their comings and goings. And, as one user on Twitter put it:
Holy shit, season 16 of The Crown is going to be lit ?
— Laura (@l_a_u_r_a______) March 30, 2019
Images: Shutterstock; Nicole Cliffe; l_a_u_r_a______ / Twitter
The winter months are finally behind us, and we are entering into the most beautiful season of the year. Wedding season! There’s almost always an open bar, shrimp cocktail, and the potential you’ll make out with your step-cousin. What’s not to love? In fact, I’m currently looking forward to my brother’s wedding, where, with the help of my unlimited Bar Method membership, I plan on outshining everyone and calling it “Cait’s Big Day.” See! These things are fun!
But I hate to break it to you: no matter how awesome your sorority sister Deborah’s all-inclusive Cabo nuptials were, they were a mere dumpster fire compared to the opulent events that celebrities throw for their weddings . I guess when you made a billion dollars on a sex tape, why not get married in a castle for the publicity to celebrate the third time you found your true love? It doesn’t make a mockery of the sanctity of marriage at all! This year, the main event we’re all waiting for this year is the marriage of the King and Queen of Extra, J.Lo and A-Rod, where I’m sure as a party trick they’ll have Instagram models lighting stacks of hundreds on fire, and serve champagne spiked with liquid gold. But since we don’t know exactly when that’s coming, I’ve decided to take a look back at the most expensive celebrity weddings of all time. Proceed with caution, because these numbers have been known to cause extreme jealousy and even rage blackouts.
1. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra
You can’t mention extravagant weddings and leave out our most recent gluttonous celebrants, The Hottest Jonas Brother ™ and his Bollywood star bride, Priyanka Chopra. Nick and Priyanka had not one, not two, but THREE wedding ceremonies, all in the hopes of luring Duchess Meghan to just one, but apparently she was busy making Kate Middleton cry or whatever. Kidding! I mean, not kidding about the three weddings, I would never joke about something like that. I’m kidding about them trying to trap Meghan Markle into coming, I’m sure they know she already dropped them faster than ABC dropped Quantico.
One of the weddings (don’t ask me which one, I’m already exhausted from this story and I have numerous disgustingly ostentatious weddings to go), took place at the Umaid Bahwan Palace, a royal palace-turned-hotel in India, which costs $60,000 a night. They also put on a fireworks display and wore custom Ralph Lauren designed outfits. I know you’re wondering, “Did poor Nick Jonas have to spend all his Camp Rock money on this wedding?” and the answer is a resounding NO! Thankfully, our lovely couple got practically the whole thing covered by sponsorships including Tiffany & Co, Longchamp, and Elit Vodka. I hope you all are able to get sponsors for you own weddings, because is it even true love if you aren’t getting paid for it?
2. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
TBH I totally forgot Kris Humphries existed until last week, when he decided it was important to let the world know he is the proud owner of a Five Guys franchise. Congrats! This revelation really just made me hungry, but it also got him into this story, so I guess he can call it a win?
In case you also forgot about Kris, let me refresh your memory. His wedding to Kim reportedly cost $10 million, $20K of which was spent on the cake that they all enjoyed, and then they immediately went to their plastic surgeon and had the fat the cake left on their waistline injected into their asses. I’m just speculating, but we all know it’s plausible. This wedding is especially fun because it involves math! If you spent $10 million on a wedding that last 72 days, how much did that cost you per day? Probably more than Kris’s Five Guys franchise will ever take in, that’s for sure. (It’s actually $138,888.88 per day, if you’re seriously curious).
3. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
After Kris Humphries, Kim decided she needed a more famous husband fell in love with longtime friend Kanye West. So, in typical girl-with-no-shame fashion, she decided to throw yet another obscenely expensive wedding.
Kim and Kanye got married in Italy at the Forte di Belvedere, which cost over $300,000 to rent. There was a performance from Andrea Bocelli, and her gown was Givenchy Haute Couture. Okay, now listen hard, because this is the only nice thing I’m ever going to say about Kim Kardashian: I kind of liked her dress. Now excuse me while I go burst into flames. Anyway, the lovely couple was married amongst their friends and family, except for Rob, who deemed himself too fat to attend. If only we could all use that excuse Rob, IF ONLY. When all was said and done, the event cost around $2.8 million, according to E! Online. That sounds atrocious, but TBH the cost per day is WAY less than her wedding to Kris Humphries, so it was practically a bargain.
4. George and Amal Clooney
When the ultimate bachelor announced his engagement, the world was stunned. Everyone thought that George would grow old with his motorcycle and Max, his potbellied pig. But he gave it all up to eventually run for office marry a gorgeous British human rights attorney. Fine, if you had to settle, George, I guess she’ll do.
The pair got married in Venice, with their A-list guests arriving by boat and looking every bit the movie stars they are. Everyone stayed in Cipriani hotel suites that cost a reported $3 million, and George looked dapper in his Giorgio Armani tux, while Amal wore a custom Oscar de la Renta gown, which she showed off on the cover of People magazine. The whole event cost over $4.5 million, and that doesn’t even include all the Casamigos Tequila that I’m sure George provided at no cost.
5. Prince William and Kate Middleton
Finally, we get to the royalty! The parents of the most badass member of the monarchy, Prince George, got married on April 29, 2011. Their wedding is unique because most things didn’t actually cost money. The castle for the reception? Oh no biggie, they own it. The tiara? A loaner from the Queen’s personal collection. Kate’s makeup? Oh, the future Queen consort will do it herself, thanks. So why the f*ck did this wedding cost a reported $34 million? SECURITY. That’s right! A whopping $32 million was spent to keep this event secure. And I guess it was worth it? All members of the royal family (as well as Pippa’s iconic backside) survived the event and have lived on to bless the world with their beautiful offspring, mediocre fashion, and petty family fights.
So there you have it, all the
sh*t celebrities waste money on for marriages that probably won’t last most expensive celebrity weddings. I wish there had been more circus performances and puppies serving appetizers to report on, but if that happened, no one is telling me. Fingers crossed J.Lo will do it!
Images: Giphy (2); priyankachopra, kimkardashian, about_clooneys, katemiddletonphotos/Instagram
Just when we thought Prince William and Kate Middleton literally couldn’t get any more perfect, on Monday they announced that they’re expecting another child together. This is basically the best news in the world, because their last two kids are the almost cute enough to thaw our cold, dead hearts.
They technically only made the announcement now because Kate is having the same severe morning sickness as her last two pregnancies, which means that she’ll somehow still be skinnier than we’ve ever been. But really, the morning sickness sounds fucking terrible.
Because Kate is a little busy puking her guts out, I took it upon myself to brainstorm some appropriately royal baby name options. We hope Her Royal Highness likes them, because she’ll definitely read this while she’s on bed rest.
William: It’s boring af, but doesn’t the future King deserve to have a son named after him? William is a timeless name that will also get him a hot girlfriend in college. Like father, like son.
Harry: If they chose this, everyone would think they were naming the baby after Prince Harry, but we like to think Kate really just has a crush on Harry Styles. She just seems like the type of girl who would go to a One Direction concert.
Ringo: They already have one kid with a Beatles name, so why not throw out the rulebook and pick Ringo? Little Prince Ringo could definitely be the bad boy of the royal family, à la Crown Prince Edvard from the classic film The Prince and Me.
Matthew: No reason, I just like this name. Sue me.
Adele: The crown jewels are nice, but England’s greatest national treasure is definitely Adele. Grammys are cool and all, but she deserves some royal recognition.
Elizabeth: The Queen turned 91 this spring, so realistically time is running out to suck up to her by naming your kid after her. By the time The Crown runs out of material about the Queen, little Princess Elizabeth will be old enough to have her own Netflix show.
Blair: Even though Gossip Girl ended like, a million years ago, we still feel strongly that it’s Blair Waldorf’s destiny to have some connection to royalty. #JusticeForBlair
Diana: Yeah okay they’re probably not going to do this because if they were they would have just named Charlotte Diana but it would just be such a moving tribute and no we don’t have a lot of feelings about this.