With the tabloids freed from their role as an agitprop mouthpiece for President Trump, they have gleefully returned to their long-time mission of fantasizing about Britain’s biggest soap opera stars: The Royal Family.
“Camilla Locked in Psycho Ward!” screams the Globe cover, reporting that Prince Charles’ wife physically attacked his sister Princess Anne at a recent family gathering, concluding: “Camilla’s Off Her Rocker!”
“Camilla is now in therapy and was released after a 72-hour hold,” an unnamed “royal courtier” allegedly told the Globe.
It’s yet another world exclusive that failed to be reported by the entire Royal press corps – a group not known for its restraint or compassion. But why would Camilla be placed under a 72-hour psychiatric hold – a 5150 – when that is an American medical response? A “royal courtier” should know that in Britain patients are “sectioned” for up to 28 days, while a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation – s.5(2) in the UK - is only applied to patients already being treated in a medical ward, which Camilla clearly was not.
“Queen Puts Meghan Through Sex Test!” yells a National Enquirer headline. No, Her Majesty hasn’t reclaimed the ancient "droit de seigneur," the Medieval “right” of a feudal Lord to sleep first with any vassal's new bride – a practice more common in Europe than England. Rather, the Enquirer claims that the Queen demanded that Prince Harry’s bride undergo an ob-gyn test “to guarantee Royal babies.” This comes months after the Enquirer reported that Meghan underwent pre-wedding fertility screening – with no mention of the Queen’s involvement in her uterus.
Of course, it was the Enquirer that told us in June that Harry and Meghan were “having twins” due in February, so they couldn’t possibly be wrong, could they? And why would the Queen even care about grandson Harry’s ability to produce progeny, when the prince is currently sixth in line to the throne after father Charles, brother William, and William’s children George, Charlotte and Louis? There’s zero Royal succession imperative for the Queen to get all up in Meghan’s womb.
“Whipped Harry not Allowed to Hunt!” proclaims another Enquirer exclusive, reporting that Meghan has forced Harry not to join his family on a recent grouse hunting shoot. The story doesn’t make clear whether Meghan thrashed Harry within an inch of his life with a buggy whip, or whether it was merely a tongue-lashing, but yet another unnamed Royal insider tells the Enquirer that “Her hunting ban is the latest example of how she’s exerting control over Harry.” Maybe she is just looking for something to grouse about?
Plunging headlong off the reality cliff, the Enquirer also offers a photo-simulation of how the Royals will look in 25 years, Photoshopping images of Duchess Kate, Harry and Meghan to add wrinkles and grey hair. The answer, apparently: They’ll look exactly the same, but older. Well, that’s a surprise.
When not maligning the British Royal Family, the tabloids happily savage Hollywood Royalty instead. Melissa McCarthy has dropped 75 pounds in three months on a “death diet” claims the Enquirer, which routinely fat-shames anyone with greater than 5% body fat, but evidently will gladly attack stars if they lose weight too quickly.
Former Beatles star Paul “McCartney Tells All Before he Dies!” proclaims the Globe front page. Just like the thousands of other interviews he’s given over the past 60 years, in which he made a conscious decision to talk before he died, rather than afterward.
Us magazine tells us that “Brad Wins the Kids” in Pitt’s custody battle with Angelina Jolie – if "winning the kids" means sharing equal parenting time with Jolie.
Khloé Kardashian tells Us “I Got My Body Back!” which strangely enough is also the headline on the cover of the latest edition of Body-Snatcher Weekly.
The ‘Us’ cover story tells how singer Carrie Underwood “Survived Heartbreak” with “Faith, Family & Forgiveness.” After three miscarriages “a miracle happened,” the mag reports. Can we expect the Pope to initiate steps toward her canonization any day now?
People magazine devotes its cover to “Jane Fonda at 80!” She’s apparently proud of her activism, admits making mistakes, still misses ex-husband Tom Hayden, wishes she had been a better mother, has given up on sex, and has overcome feelings of inadequacy. Well, it’s about time.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at Us to inform us that Lady Gaga wore it best, that singer Macy Gray spends her days off “wishing for more days off,” that actress Maude Apatow carries coffee, eyeshades and hairpins in her KARA backpack, and that the stars are just like us: they grocery shop, drink coffee (didn’t Maude Apatow just tell us that?) and play carnival games. Evidently Prince Charles also qualifies as a “star” who is “just like us,” perusing fresh bread at a farmers market – or as Us tells it: “Prince Charles was surrounded by carbs . . ."
Vying for next year’s public service journalism Pulitzer Prize, the Globe offers a gripping medical story under the headline: “Sign You Have Only 23 Hours to Live!” Watch out for these tell-tale symptoms: If you can barely breathe, cannot clear your throat of mucus and saliva, and you emit “a haunting sound known as the death rattle” then you might have a condition that medical experts tell the Globe means that “death is imminent.” That’s real news you can use.
Onwards and downwards . . .