It’s ’The Sound & The Fury' over at Buckingham Palace these days in more ways than one, as Britain’s royals all have differing perspectives on “Megxit,” while it’s Christmas and July 4th wrapped into one for this week's tabloids.
Megxit - the surprise announcement of the departure of Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry from the first tier of Royals for a life split between the UK and North America - has been caused by Meghan’s demanding behavior, or Prince William’s bullying, or Prince Charles’ disdain, or Prince Harry’s ineffectuality, depending on which publication’s unnamed sources close to the Royal family you choose to believe.
The one thing all reports agree upon: The British media made life intolerable for Harry and Meghan.
So it’s only fair that America’s tabloids and celebrity glossies this week get their chance to offer wild insinuations and contradictory stories about events that have inevitably occurred behind palace gates.
“Harry & Meghan - Why They Walked Away,” screams the cover of ‘People’ magazine.
Pray tell: why did they?
The Royal couple, AKA The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, “felt stifled” by the “ribbon-cutting nature of much of the job and the financial restrictions on working outside the family firm,” claims the mag.
Evidently Harry’s frustration pre-dates his marriage.
Harry “chafed against various parts of his life” long before meeting Meghan, claims a source. ”There is so much bad blood in that family - it’s toxic,” says an unnamed family friend. “Harry and Meghan’s hand was forced.”
And of course, Meghan was “deeply hurt” by negative press coverage and felt unsupported by the Royal family.
But while ‘People’ believes that Harry’s frustrations were behind Megxit, ‘Us’ magazine makes it sound more like Battle Royale at the palace as a weak Harry was led astray by his manipulative bride.
“Under Meghan’s Spell,” proclaims the cover story. "Why Harry Gave Up $88 Billion Fortune.”
Seriously, if Harry stood to lose $88 billion, do you think he’d have been having that awkward conversation with the Queen last week? He’s worth substantially less - Harry receives a $6.5 million stipend each year, but clearly that wouldn’t look so good on the cover because who wouldn’t walk away from $6.5 million for love? Okay, don’t answer that.
The entire Royal Family’s net worth may be $88 billion - and even that figure seems inflated.
“Inside the battle for the throne,” gushes the mag, getting carried away with what it clearly mistakes for the finale of ‘Game of Thrones.’ For the record, there is no battle for the throne: Harry is sixth in line to the crown, and whether he remains a senior member of the Royal Family or departs what the Queen likes to call "The Firm,” he will have zero impact on who sits on the throne over the next century.
“The real reason Harry abdicated,” promises ‘Us,’ taking the volume up to 11. Abdicated? He’s not the King, so he can’t abdicate. And so far he’s only indicated that he and Meghan will take a “step back” from being “senior Royals” - not that he intends to relinquish his Princely title altogether.
Claiming that Harry and Meghan want to divide their time between Canada and Los Angeles - despite the Royal couple’s public statement saying they intend to split their time between the UK and North America - it’s ultimately their infant Archie who gets blamed by ‘Us' for the rift.
“Their main goal is to give him the most normal upbringing possible,” says the mag.
Not that the rest of the Royal family is happy about any of this. ‘Us’ explains that Prince William and Kate “aren’t happy,” that Kate and Meghan “have cut ties,” the Queen is “furious,” and Prince Charles is “livid and blames Meghan.”
Which unsurprisingly is also the view of the ‘National Enquirer,’ though it naturally has an entirely different twist on the proceedings.
Rather than Harry & Meghan fleeing Britain, the ‘Enquirer’ cover claims: “Meghan & Harry Chased Out - ‘Don’t Come Back!’”
“Diva Duchess doesn’t care what chaos she creates,” continues the story inside. The impeccably ill-informed rag reports that the Queen ordered Harry and Meghan to a crisis meeting at her Sandringham estate with Charles & Camilla, William & Kate - even though we now know that Meghan, Camilla and Kate were not present for the showdown.
It wouldn’t be the ‘Enquirer’ without the Royals behaving like soap opera villains.
When Harry reportedly said he wanted to be financially independent “Charles laughed in his face!” William called Meghan “a two-bit actress with no class,” and manipulative Meghan got her way when she “promised Harry she’d have a second baby by the end of the year.”
Despite apparently walking away from the Royal fortune, the ‘Enquirer’ concludes: “Now they’re shopping for a five-or six-bedroom mansion in the city’s trendiest neighborhood, and Meghan says money’s no object.”
But wait - a second ‘Megxit story in the ‘Enquirer’ supplies an entirely different motivation behind Harry & Meghan's imminent departure from the UK, under the headline: “Why Harry Gave It All Up To Keep Meghan.”
We seem to have heard that one before.
Okay, I’ll bite: why is he moving to give it all up - or at least, give up a small piece of it?
The ‘Enquirer’ informs us that Harry & Meghan “shockingly split up before their stunning decision to quit the royal family . . . that’s the shocking REAL reason the queen told them to take a six-week break from royal duties.”
But the Queen didn’t tell them to take their six-week break in Canada over Christmas; it’s widely agreed that they went there over Her Majesty’s objections.
Meghan allegedly threw a tantrum, refusing to spend Xmas as Sandringham, and “stormed out,” the magazine explains.
Yet even though Harry & Meghan fled to Canada together, “they barely saw each other while she hid out with her friends!” claims an unnamed source. “Meghan agreed to one last chance to make the marriage work - but on her terms! Quit the royals - or she was done.”
Just when you think that couldn’t be topped, the ‘Globe’ comes along and with its trademark nose for a hot story, and writes not one word about Harry & Meghan’s Royal split. Not one.
instead, the ‘Globe’ offers this dubious “breaking news” - “Dying Charles Cuts Camilla From $1.3 Billion Will! Payback for making his life hell.”
You may recall that Charles was photographed recently with swollen fingers after a long trans-Continental flight, prompting a doctor who has never treated the Prince to declare he’s on his last legs with congenital heart failure.
Prince Charles “won’t live out the year,” his doctors supposedly say.
But Charles isn’t done yet. He plans “to punish henpecked son Harry” by bequeathing him “only a third of what he would normally get, and will put that in a trust that can only be used by his children.”
What would Harry “normally get” when his father dies? Hard to say, since he hasn’t really had much experience of that yet.
All of which makes the rest of this week’s tabloid offerings pale in comparison.
The ‘Globe’ devotes its cover to a photo of Bill Clinton with his arm around Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and long-time right-hand-woman of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Just in case you miss the intended guilt-by-association, the headline in giant print screams: “Powerful Men Want Her Silenced! Kept explosive blackmail files.”
For good measure the ‘Globe’ adds that Maxwell is a “Mossad spy” and “on the run from assassins.” Sent by whom? Bill Clinton, one is led to assume.
It’s doubtless as accurate as the ‘Globe’ story that Angelina Jolie is “adopting baby No.7,” Rod Stewart is in a “divorce drama.” Kanye West is “Killing Himself With Junk Food!” and that singer “Meatloaf is a Sex Machine!” As if that was ever in doubt.
Facts don’t fare much better in the ‘Enquirer,’ which tells us that Demi Moore is “Starving Herself to Death!’ and that Jeffrey Epstein’s “Autopsy Photos Expose Murder Cover-Up!” Except they don’t. It’s a repetition of the widely discredited view of the pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother, once again insisting that his injuries were not consistent with suicide, despite numerous veteran pathologists insisting that Epstein’s injuries were quite commonly self-inflicted.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at ‘Us’ mag to tell us that Karlie Kloss wore it best (she’s a supermodel - of course she wore it best), that actress Cheryl Hines is “a licensed cosmetologist,” that Lily Aldridge carries hand sanitizer, Ray-Ban sunglasses and green tea in her Bottega Venata clutch, and that the stars are just like us: they walk the dog, play golf, buy books and shop for bargains. Thrilling, truly.
All sound and fury, signifying nothing.
Onwards and downwards . . .