Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Meghan: A Hollywood Princess by Andrew Morton


Like a lot of people, I'd never heard of Meghan Markle until it was announced that she was dating Prince Harry. Then I did what millions of other people were also doing: I looked her up.

MEGHAN: A HOLLYWOOD PRINCESS is a biography about Meghan Markle. It's thorough, respectful, and exhaustive, delving not just into Meghan's own history, but also her parents (her mother, descended from slaves-turned-sharecroppers) and her father (studio light designer, German, English, and Irish descent). It talks a little bit about Prince Harry and his background, and how a lot of his wild years were borne from frustration at being in the fishbowl and unresolved feelings about his mother's death.

But most of this book is about Meghan.

I found this biography so fascinating. Maybe it's because it's part fairytale, part Hollywood expose. Meghan Markle is half-Black, and half-white, and scrabbled for her good role on Suits with many frustrating failures and setbacks on her acting journey. It was so cool to read about her passion for her now defunct blog and all the jetsetting she did while promoting her career and involving herself in causes and charities. It was interesting to hear about how her ethnic makeup impacted her life and career. She just strikes me as a really interesting, real person.

I think Morton did a good job showing her in a mostly good light while also hinting at the complexities that make her a real, and therefore flawed, person. There are a lot of Meghan haters out there. I've heard people say that she's a bitch and a social climber (and also things that were much worse), and I don't really get it. It always felt like she was held to an unfair set of standards, standards that were perhaps (probably) harsher because of her ethnicity. I don't blame her for being ruthless to get what she wanted in her career and I don't blame her for pursuing the man she believed herself to be in love with. Who of us haven't dreamed of having our own prince or princess charming?

If you, like me, were also fascinated by Meghan Markle's whirlwind, fairytale romance and also enjoy learning about Hollywood and fancy people shit, this is the book for you. I'm definitely going to be checking out some of Morton's other biographies. It looks like he wrote one for Diana, too.

4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars

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