Get ready for a new spate of royal books this fall—including one that claims, while on tour with husband Prince Harry in Australia in 2018, Meghan Markle said, while on a walkabout, “I can’t believe I’m not getting paid for this.”
The tour—which saw the then newlyweds visit not just Australia but also New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga—spanned 16 days and seems like a lifetime ago, given all that’s happened since. In his new book Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown (opens in new tab), Valentine Low, a royal correspondent for The Times (opens in new tab), writes that Meghan “failed to understand the point of all those walkabouts” on her first royal tour, per The Mirror.
The couple was popular during the tour, the outlet writes, “with huge crowds turning out to see them as they visited the countries and attended an impressive 76 engagements.” Meghan, writes Low, “enjoyed the attention” and writes that the Duchess of Sussex showed a “refreshingly informal approach to royal visits” which was “a hit with the Australian public.” Low adds that Meghan was seen as “an inspirational role model” during the tour.
“When she turned up at the home of a farming family, she brought some banana bread that she had baked herself,” the book details. “When the couple visited a school to see the work of a program to improve the educational outcomes of young Aboriginals, she was feted as an inspirational role model.”
Yet, Low writes, behind the scenes of the tour, “it was a different story.”
“Although she enjoyed the attention, Meghan failed to understand the point of all those walkabouts, shaking hands with countless strangers,” Low writes. Quoting unnamed members of royal staff, Low claims Meghan said at one point “I can’t believe I’m not getting paid for this.”
The book also quotes someone who was a member of the tour party as saying Meghan wanted to “bring in her people rather than turn to the traditional Buckingham Palace people”—but that proved “very difficult.” Apparently, according to an insider quoted in the book, upon seeing fans waiting outside of the Sydney Opera House, Meghan said to her team “What are they all doing here? It’s silly.”
The team’s response? “They were like ‘They’re here because they admire and support a monarch and an institution that you’re representing.'”
Courtiers hits shelves October 6.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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