So much for saying you want a quiet life, Meghan Markle | Stuff.co.nz

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COMMENT: ​So Meghan Markle is reportedly attending the Met Gala in May. Because where better to celebrate your newfound privacy and “space” than at “the Oscars of the East Coast”, “the Super Bowl of red-carpet events”?

What could be more perfectly suited to anyone fleeing “intense scrutiny” and “commoditisation” than a mega-bash to which anti-commodification activist Kim Kardashian once turned up dressed in a nude-effect wet-look dress? A celebrity Pavlova, where the 225 photographers will take an estimated 50 shots a minute, before blasting millions of images out into the ether? Although why this is more appealing than a royal visit to the Mumbles Lifeboat station in South Wales is anyone’s guess.

Anthony Devlin
Has Meghan Markle lost the sympathy of the public?

According to sources at the weekend, Markle is to leave Prince Harry at home for the night, so “she can establish herself once more in Hollywood”, apparently attending the Met Gala with Vogue’s editor, Edward Enninful. This makes about as much sense as a woman who craves the quiet life asking her LA agent to find her a leading role in a superhero film, “something that pays big” – which is exactly what one Sunday paper claims Markle has done.

As the Sussexes fly back to Britain to complete their final engagements as working members of the Firm – and face the Royal family for the first time since The Statement, the petulant Instagram post from a fortnight ago in which they whined about being made to drop the “SussexRoyal” brand despite there being nothing legal to stop them using it – the pair may have no choice but to brazen it out.

I’m not sure the Sussexes will understand just how colossal a miscalculation that statement was. After all, you have a young man and his wife turning on a 93-year-old grandmother at one of the toughest moments of her life. You have them disregarding the pain and sadness prompted by Prince Philip’s ill health, Prince Andrew’s involvement with a paedophile and her beloved grandsons falling out – all because they have a brand to promote. Is there any way back from that?

Had you asked me a month ago, I would have said yes. Despite the acts of clumsiness and the missteps we’ve witnessed over the past two years, I would still have said yes. So they invited a bunch of A-listers that they’d only met once to their wedding. How many of us would do the same if we knew George and Amal would actually come? Was their dispensing of certain royal traditions really so bad? The insistence on Archie’s christening remaining private and the setting up of their own “breakaway” website?

Harry has always been his own person. At this point, one could still push a convincing narrative that these two were “breathing new life” into an outdated institution.

But the precise moment the couple began to lose the public’s sympathy wasn’t when they chose the hospitality of a billionaire in Vancouver Island over that of the Queen at Christmas, or indeed when they decided to make the desired “break from royal duties” permanent. No – that moment can be charted back to a lament the misty-eyed Duchess of Sussex made in the ITV documentary charting the couple’s African tour last year: “Not many people have asked if I’m OK.”

Because that single sentence managed to eclipse everything the couple were in southern Africa to highlight – from the 1,000 minefields that have yet to be cleared in Angola, to the abject poverty in Malawi and HIV-hit children in Botswana – and make it all about Markle.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle met with crowds when they visited Auckland.

It may be unfair to blame Meghan any more than Harry for these recent missteps. But one thing is certain: neither the words nor the sentiments in The Statement appear to be those of a happy young couple, revelling in the joy of each other and their nine-month-old baby.

And I worry that something is unravelling behind the scenes. Because if their intention were really to enjoy a quiet life, why would they care about a title that can only ever be used for professional profit and status?

Why would the team of LA-based agents, lawyers and publicists be necessary and the showbusiness parties and blockbuster film roles so appealing?

You don’t need those things or grand branding to live a serene and peaceful life. But solid family relationships? They’re essential.

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Abdication, divorces and death: a century of UK royal crises

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The announcement Saturday that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are to give up their titles and stop receiving public funds is only the latest instalment in a royal soap opera that has gripped Britain and the world.

– Love over country –
The 1936 abdication of Edward VIII 326 days into his reign remains the biggest scandal in modern royal history and caused a worldwide sensation.

Britain’s brief king provoked a constitutional crisis when he stepped down in order to marry the twice-divorced US socialite Wallis Simpson.

The union was deemed impossible while Edward was monarch and head of the Church of England, which at the time refused to remarry divorcees while their former spouse was still alive.

Edward was the first monarch in the 1,000-year history of the British Crown to give up his throne of his own free will.

His brother King George VI replaced him on the throne, and Edward — who married Simpson in 1937 — was subsequently ostracised by the rest of the Windsor family until the late 1960s.

He died in 1972.

– Margaret’s heartbreak –
Queen Elizabeth II’s fun-loving younger sister, Princess Margaret, also sparked a firestorm with her choice for marriage.

In 1952, the then-22-year-old began a romance with her late father’s divorced equerry, former Royal Air Force officer Peter Townsend.

The couple’s wish to marry prompted a battle between the government and the public — which was seen to be sympathetic to the union — with the queen caught in the middle.

READ ALSO: Minister tasks Nigerians on patriotism, commitment to nation-building

Margaret was eventually persuaded to abandon the relationship, under the threat of losing her royal position, and instead married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960.

They divorced in 1978.

– A horrible year –
The queen memorably described 1992 as an “annus horribilis” after three of her children’s marriages crumbled.

Heir to the throne Prince Charles’ split from Princess Diana after 11 years of marriage caused a media sensation.

The princess then rocked the monarchy by leaking shocking details of palace life to author Andrew Morton for his 1992 book “Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words”.

Around the same time the queen’s second son Prince Andrew separated from wife Sarah Ferguson, whom he had married six years earlier.

Meanwhile, Princess Anne, the reigning monarch’s only daughter, finalised her divorce from first husband Mark Phillips following their separation in 1989.

– Diana’s death –
The popular princess died in a high-speed car crash in a Paris tunnel in August 1997.

For the next week leading up to her spectacular funeral, Britain was plunged into an unprecedented outpouring of grief which shook the monarchy.

Anger had soon mounted at the silence of senior royals holed up in Balmoral in Scotland, where the queen, Diana’s ex-husband Charles, and their two children, William, 15, and Harry, 12, were holidaying over the summer.

Newspapers, furious that the Union Jack flag was not flying at half-mast over Buckingham Palace, called on the queen to address her subjects.

Within days she had paid homage to her former daughter-in-law in a televised speech for only the second time in her reign. She also publicly bowed before Diana’s coffin.

– Prince Andrew scandal –
Prince Andrew has been dogged by allegations he had sex with one of the then-teenage victims of deceased US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The prince often referred to as the queen’s “favourite son”, attempted to clear his name in a BBC interview in November but it backfired spectacularly.

He looked stiff and unapologetic in a performance that one public relations consultant said was akin to “watching a man in quicksand”.

The prince promptly promised to “step back from public duties” a few days later but remains under pressure to cooperate with United States authorities still investigating the Epstein case.

VANGUARD

The post Abdication, divorces and death: a century of UK royal crises appeared first on Vanguard News.

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Twitter explodes as Davido refuses to ‘rock’ US rapper Meghan

By Praise Olowe

Popular singer David Adeleke, also known as Davido has got Nigerians talking after video of his performance with American rapper, Megan hit the internet.

Davido had mounted the stage alongside American rapper Megan Thee Stallion, who was in Nigeria for a concert.

During the performance, Megan was twerking and the Nigerian singer almost joined her but suddenly stopped and smiled.

Davido seems to have won the hearts of his fans on social media by this act that many describe as “unexpected”.

See reactions below:

A man that respects his woman! Davido a King, I stan. That space between them, na Chioma get am! 😂 https://t.co/ZTYW1jQdN3

— Omoniyi Israel (@_omoissy) December 23, 2019

The level of self control Davido displayed towards Megan is proof that as a married man, no matter how hot the girl is you can still back out or avoid it. It is possible. At that point just think about your sexy wife and children. DAVIDO has shown us the way! Chioma is blessed!😁

— Lawani Friday Esq (@LAWANI_FRIDAY) December 23, 2019

He remembered Chioma, man had to restrain himself. 😂 https://t.co/TF3CpvJrKM

— Kiko (@Ibgreenson) December 23, 2019

The level of self control Davido displayed towards Megan is proof that as a married man, no matter how hot the girl is you can still back out or avoid it. It is possible. At that point just think about your sexy wife and children. DAVIDO has shown us the way! Chioma is blessed!😁

— Lawani Friday Esq (@LAWANI_FRIDAY) December 23, 2019

Megan few centimeters away twerking in your direction and my man Davido was ready to risk it all but nah he stepped back cos Chioma “owned” that space.

Davido just scored a screamer of over 70 yards!

Nigerian men 5-0 Menascum FC.

— Omoniyi Israel (@_omoissy) December 23, 2019

Just when we taught that the Match was over, Davido scores a Dying Minute Freekick late in 2019 to give Nigerian Men a deserved 8-0 win over “Men will embarrass you” FC. He saw Megan’s ass, remembered Chioma & stayed Far Away.

Nigerian Men Dont Cheat FC Feasting

— King Nonny 👑 (@Zaddy_nomso) December 23, 2019

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Who Is Alexandra Grant? – Meet Keanu Reeves’ Artist Girlfriend

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For the first time in over a decade, Keanu Reeves made a major red carpet debut with a date. Reeves took Alexandra Grant to the LACMA Art + Film Gala on November 2. They walked the red carpet holding hands, sparking romance rumors. Neither Reeves nor his rep have confirmed whether or not the actor is dating Grant yet.

Stefanie KeenanGetty Images

Grant isn’t a new presence in Reeves’ life though; she’s been there for years. And this isn’t the first time he held her hand on a red carpet either this year.

Here, what to know about Reeves’ rumored new girlfriend.

Reeves and Grant have been friends since at least 2011.

Their first project together was published then. Grant illustrated Reeves’ book Ode to Happiness.

Grant is a 46-year-old artist who has worked with Reeves on multiple projects.

People notes that Grant illustrated two books that Reeves wrote: his 2011 book Ode to Happiness and his 2016 book Shadows. They also founded a publishing company together, X Artists’ Books in 2017.

According to the company’s site, “XAB is a small publisher of thoughtful, high-quality, artist-centered books that fit within and between genres. Our books are works of art; portals to imagined worlds; treasured companions; the fabric of a community. We love the same things about our books as we do about our friends: generosity, open-heartedness, intelligence, mystery, style. They bring sustenance and shift realities. They may occasionally break your heart.”

Grant and Reeves have gone to multiple red carpet events this year.

In June, the two attended Saint Laurent’s fashion show together, and they held hands(!!):

Neilson BarnardGetty Images

In May, they attended the MOCA Benefit:

Rachel LunaGetty Images

The two made their event debut as friends in 2016.

Reeves and Grant were first photographed together at the UNAIDS Galaat Design Miami/Basel in Switzerland.

David M. BenettGetty Images

Reeves and Grant were photographed out on a possible dinner date in October.

According to People, the two were photographed at Giorgio Baldi last month. They “arrived together in Reeve’s Porsche and spent three hours inside the restaurant conversing and sharing a meal.” They left together.

Grant can officiate weddings.

As People pointed out, the artist shared photos of her Instagram showing herself presiding over her friend’s ceremony in Brooklyn.

A post shared by Alexandra Grant (@grantalexandra) on

A post shared by Alexandra Grant (@grantalexandra) on

Grant is based in Los Angeles but has lived in four different countries.

On her artist site’s bio, Grant wrote that her living abroad in Mexico, France, and Spain in her childhood and adolescence has strongly inspired her language-based work. Per her bio, “Some of the basic questions that fuel her practice are: How do the languages we speak and the images we see form how we think and exchange ideas? How can artists and writers work to create and influence culture in an increasingly technology-driven world?”

She told LA Weekly in May, of why she lives in that city, “I grew up in part in Mexico City, Washington, DC, and Paris, moving between languages and cultures. Los Angeles felt like home from the moment I first arrived in 1995, especially the diversity of people, idioms, foods, and plants (like jacaranda and bougainvillea). There’s an incredible work ethic here—many people are creative and entrepreneurial. Having friends who are working hard practicing their crafts—whether it’s set design, publishing, or acting—is very inspiring.”

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Prince Harry Cried For The Sweetest Reason Tuesday Night

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Prince Harry wore his emotions on his sleeve Tuesday night during the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s appearance at the annual WellChild Awards in London. 

The royal dad gave a speech at the awards, which pay tribute to sick children as well as their caregivers, and spoke about knowing he and Meghan were secretly pregnant at the same awards last year, prior to making the announcement public. 

“Last year, when my wife and I attended, we knew we were expecting our first child,” Harry said as his voice slightly started to break.

“No one else did at the time, but we did. And I remember…” the prince started to say, before he got emotional and stepped away from the mic. As fellow presenter Gaby Roslin reached out to comfort the duke, the crowd began clapping as he collected himself. 

Prince Harry reacts next to television presenter Gaby Roslin as he delivers a speech during the WellChild Awards Ceremony reception in London on Oct. 15. 

“I remember squeezing Meghan’s hand so tight during the awards, both of us thinking what it would be like to be parents one day,” he said, after beginning his speech again. “And more so, what it would be like to do everything we could to protect and help our child should they be born with immediate challenges or become unwell over time.” 

“And now ― as parents ― being here and speaking to all of you pulls at my heartstrings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own,” he said. 

Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in May. 

At the awards on Tuesday night, the two confirmed that their little one indeed has red hair, just like dad, during a conversation with Angela Sunderland and her daughter Milly, 11, at the awards. 

“Meghan said he has and Harry said he definitely [has], you can see it in his eyebrows,” the mother said, according to the Mirror.

“Harry said he’d had no hair for five months, but Meghan told him she had taken him to the playgroup and she said there were other children there with the same amount of hair or even less,” she added.

We’ll have to keep an eye(brow) out. 

Little Archie visits the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sept. 25.

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Mental health website struggles after royal advert

A mental health website has struggled to cope with demand after a promotional video voiced by the dukes and duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex aired on TV. The film screened on Sky, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and MTV on Monday evening.

Since then the Every Mind Matters website has been intermittently showing the message: “Something went wrong. Please refresh or try again later.”

Public Health England said it was looking into the crash but thought it could be due to a surge in traffic.

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The three-minute film is intended to promote Every Mind Matters, an initiative by Public Health England (PHE) and the NHS, to help people look after their mental health and support others.

The film is narrated by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who in May launched a text messaging service for people experiencing a mental health crisis through their royal foundation.

In the film, written by Richard Curtis and directed by Rankin, Prince William begins: “Everyone knows that feeling, when life gets on top of us.

“All over the country, millions of us face challenges to our mental health – at all ages – at all intensities, and for all sorts of reasons.

“We feel stressed, low, anxious, or have trouble sleeping. Me, you…”

Prince Harry continues: “Your brother, your mother, your colleague, or your neighbour. Waiting, wondering, hoping, hurting.

“We think there’s nothing to be done. Nothing we can do about it.”

Meghan then says: “But that’s so wrong. There are things we can do. From today, there’s a new way to help turn things around. Every Mind Matters will show you simple ways to look after your mental health.”

BBC Catherine continues: “It’ll get you started with a free online plan designed to help you deal with stress, boost your mood, improve your sleep and feel more in control.”

The royals are joined by other celebrities and public figures whose lives have been affected by poor mental health.

They include the actresses Gillian Anderson and Glenn Close, singer Professor Green, former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff, television presenter Davina McCall, and Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain.

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