The late actor Christopher Plummer once likened working with Julie Andrews on The Sound of Music to “being hit over the head with a big Valentine’s Day card.” Reading the latest bulletin from the Duchess of Sussex, the image returned unbidden; having to listen to the ceaseless stream of platitudes that this bad actress expels verbally into the world is like being hit over the head with an inspirational poster — LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE — until one loses the will to live, let alone laugh and love.
But whereas we might once have loathed her, so shameless is the aging starlet in pursuit of income — sorry, insight — that her performance now verges on the admirable. Reading her interview with Variety (such an obvious choice for someone who categorically claims that they are “done” with a showbiz career) it was hard not to feel that one was expiring in one of those grotesque Willy Wonka-esque candy stores — stifled with marshmallows, drowned in caramel and beaten around the head with candy canes for good measure.
Meghan doesn’t “gush” — her level of smarming is far beyond that. She oozes. The “bombshell” interview with Variety is actually a love-bombing. Laughing, apparently kicking her legs with childlike excitement and claiming that her and Harry’s “love story” had inspired the world because “people love love” she resembles nothing more than a traveling salesperson talking up snake oil to a skeptical crowd.
She must know by now how much people dislike her — in particular for making the Queen’s final years so troubled. But even that relationship is now refracted through the lens of Insta-inspo:
What’s so beautiful is to look at the legacy that his grandmother was able to leave on so many fronts. Certainly, in terms of female leadership, she is the most shining example of what that looks like. I feel deep gratitude to have been able to spend time with her and get to know her… I’ve reflected on that first official engagement that I had with her, how special that felt. I feel fortunate. And I continue to be proud to have had a nice warmth with the matriarch of the family.
Of her friends: “The power of sisterhood and female support can never be underestimated.”
Of herself: “Part of me is just really trusting, really open.”
Of any actress who plays her in a drama: “I hope that in preparing for that role, she finds the softness and the playfulness and the laughter. The silliness.”
I fully expected her to add: “I’m just a hippy at heart.”
And, of course, no modern Marie Antoinette’s crib-sheet is complete without the obligatory reference to how much she enjoys fast food. In this case it’s In-N-Out burgers and “chocolate chip cookies the size of my toddler’s head.”
If Meghan can provide “content” on this level — creating a character we love to hate on a level with an Alan Partridge or a David Brent, or a deluded show-business buffoon comparable with Count Arthur Strong – throughout the coming winter of discontent, maybe we should at last just cave in and award her the applause she craves. Because comedy gold such as this does not come knocking every day.
This article was originally published on Spectator Life.