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Rob Rinder: Meghan is the smartest royal since Queen Caroline

Rob Rinder
·3-min read
<p>Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey</p> (AP)

Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey


The editor rang. As always when I get her calls, I muttered a prayer for mercy and prepared for the worst.

But she was just phoning with a friendly suggestion … I thought, she said, you might enjoy writing about the Harry and Meghan interview.

You could stay up on Sunday to watch it, dash off your column as the sun comes up, and we’ll rush it - piping hot – into Monday’s paper.

Now, I never want to deny my editor (I’m no fool), but this time I felt obliged to give her my politest “no thanks”. Because not only will I not be staying up to watch it (my night-time viewing is strictly limited to Star Trek and 1980s gymnastics) but I probably won’t ever bother.

On the whole, Harry and Meghan just don’t pickle my herring … I like my royals to be Tudor sociopaths or Princess Anne and they’re neither.

As for this big chat with Oprah, I find the “Me Me Me-ness” of the whole affair incredibly off-putting.

But, in the end, it did get me thinking about the Sussexes, and some of the things I do actually quite like about them.

First, I admire how Meghan – the smartest royal since scholarly Queen Caroline in the eighteenth century – has managed to fill Harry up with her own far more interesting ideas … they may not be your cup of artisanal green tea, but they’re better than the helicopters and rugby they probably replaced.

This’ll have required an arduous programme of gentle brainwashing and, don’t be fooled, it’s not easy to pull off … if I could do it, I’d probably still be married.

So, we need to pay respect to Meghan … not only to her, in fact, but to all the brilliant women who’ve done this: taken the blank canvases of their dull husband’s brains and painted them with their own bright opinions ... they’ve saved a million dinner parties from second-rate chat.

Rob Rinder is a barrister, TV presenter and regular columnist for the Evening StandardNatasha Pszenicki
Rob Rinder is a barrister, TV presenter and regular columnist for the Evening StandardNatasha Pszenicki

Secondly, I like the fact that Harry is officially still hot. Not only that, but he’s also ginger, which comes with a huge advantage in the willy department.

I’ve always thought it’s strong evidence of a compassionate universe that – after childhoods filled with bullying - red-headed boys get this incredible phallic compensation.

My knowledge here is based on a mixture of anecdote, “accidental” online research and inadvertent peeks at Olympic long-jumper Greg Rutherford in the nip (he’s a dear friend from my Strictly days).

When competing, as I understand it, the sheer bulk of Greg’s ginger-stemmed dingle-dongle actually carries him a fair distance all on its own … it has its own momentum, you see (a bit like the hammer throw).

So, kudos to Meghan there too. She’s snagged a hot husband who can probably fill a bathtub just by sitting down in it.

The third thing is Meghan’s interview outfit … which I’ve seen in a handful of photos on Twitter.

Her dress - a black maternity robe with a sort of white splat on the shoulder – immediately put me in mind of something affordable your mum might get from the Per Una range at M&S circa 2010.

I mean, people are always trying to compare Meghan with Wallis Simpson, but when it comes to clothes, it’s obvious that they are galaxies apart.

Wallis picked outfits so aggressively magnificent they’d leave you gasping, whereas Meghan looks very … well … comfy. Given how we’re all feeling at the moment, I’m all for it.

But despite all this, I still won’t watch the interview. At the moment it just seems far more important to concentrate on things beyond the superficial. Rather than watch two rich ex-royals burbling on about themselves under the California sun, I’d sooner focus on friends, community and acts of kindness.

I wish the Sussexes every delight – may they have a happy life together – but we really don’t need to hear about it … even if they think we do.