If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that the world is indulging in the ultimate royal distraction this month, what with royal baby news, the memory of Princess Diana, and Meghan Markle’s Vanity Fair feature story.
It was, it seemed, like Markle had finally, royally and loudly entered the building.
She had arrived, stepping out from behind the quiet privacy of her Toronto home and the facade of her Suits character, letting the world glimpse – for the most fleeting of moments – who she is, what she stands for and the nature of her relationship with Prince Harry.
Now, just a few days after her interview with Vanity Fair went live, The Sunday Mail report there is a plan in place for Markle to become Princess, with the Palace bracing for a new member of the royal family to join their ranks.
The paper reports the actress has met her prospective in-laws, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, and that – reportedly – royal solicitors Harbottle & Lewis, the lawyers of Prince Charles, William and Harry, has been asked to represent Markle, too.
On top of this, there’s a possibility for the couple to make themselves home, eventually, in Apartment 9 – a bigger, more family-friendly house than Nottingham Cottage, a small two-bedroom house in the palace grounds where they currently stay.
Listen to Mia Freedman, Holly Wainwright and Jessie Stephens discuss what’s been a big week for the royal family on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues after audio…
So what do we make of it all? How much reported is in the reportedly, and how much can we glean from the gossip to separate rumour from reality?
Well, the couple’s first official public appearance together is expected to be at the Invictus Games in Toronto later this month. And, on the back of Markle’s first ever interview about the Prince, there’s a lot to be made about these sudden rumours and these carefully considered, and very public, decisions to shine a spotlight on a relationship they specifically asked to remain private.
Some royal experts are calling it a “soft launch”. The palace is, it would appear, getting us used to seeing the relationship play out publicly, and warming us up to the possibility that Markle and Prince Harry share a genuine and stable love.
After all, this line from her Vanity Fair piece is telling:
“I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves,” she said, adding, “we’re two people who are really happy and in love”.
According to Mamamia's Holly Wainright, who spent many-a-year in women's magazines, a rumour that a princess plan is in place isn't surprising.
"[Vanity Fair] is a magazine that Princess Diana spoke to, it's the go-to of choice for high-calibre celebrities and is seen as a magazine of integrity," Wainwright explains, adding, "It's strategic, and it's about easing her into an official role and creating a narrative they can manage."
For Christopher Anderson, author of The Day Diana Died, there's a genuine and thoughtful sense that a wedding isn't far away.
“The consensus now in royal circles is that a royal wedding is inevitable, and it will probably take place next spring. There’s no turning back really at this stage," he told The Daily Beast.
But in the context of a royal baby announcement, and the anniversary of his mother's death, perhaps its news that won't actually make the news for a little while.
For more about Meghan Markle:
If Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry, she’ll likely have a completely different name.
For the first time ever, Meghan Markle has spoken about her romance with Prince Harry.