“Don’t Underestimate Meghan”: Princess Diana’s Confidante Predicts Meghan Markle Will Become Governor of California

If former actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan can become governors of the Golden State, why can’t she?

Meghan Markle in a white suit waving
(Image credit: Getty)

We have made much ado over here at Marie Claire about what Meghan Markle’s next act could be. Fashion and beauty ambassador? Memoirist? Social media influencer? A return to acting? But here’s one we’d be really intrigued to see: Governor of California.

Thanks to comments from Princess Diana’s former butler and confidante Paul Burrell the subject is in the forefront. Burrell, who calls Meghan “ambitious,” says the idea she might run for office is not as “far-fetched” as some might think: “Don’t underestimate Meghan—she’s ambitious,” he said. “And what if she became Governor of California and lords it over Hollywood?”

Meghan Markle in a red suit speaking behind a microphone

(Image credit: Getty)

He shared in an interview with Slingo (and per The Mirror) that “[Prince Harry and Meghan] could become a power couple. It’s not so far-fetched because they have to keep going on, they have to keep reinventing themselves because if they don’t, that brand is going to disappear—the Sussex brand will disappear.”

Of their association with the royal family—which they stepped back from being working members of back in January 2020—“The King has been very kind to Harry and Meghan because he loves Harry,” Burrell says. “He’s his son and he hasn’t taken their titles away. I mean, there are many people that would say their titles should be stripped from them because they’re no longer working royals. I don’t think the King has an appetite for that because that’s negative and he’s attacking them back, and I don’t think the King wants to light the touch paper and watch the fireworks go off.”

Meghan Markle speaking onstage behind a microphone

(Image credit: Getty)

Burrell correctly noted that other famous actors have become governors of the Golden State—Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan—and said of Harry and Meghan that “it’s time” for them to “go and do some public service.” Burrell—still a champion of the late Diana, who died in 1997—said that they have a chance to leave a legacy for Diana’s name, and that charity work could help Harry and Meghan win the public over again. He continued that Meghan endeavoring into politics could be an effort to reinvent themselves, and if they don’t, he said, “the Sussex brand will disappear.”

Meghan Markle speaking into a microphone

(Image credit: Getty)

“I do think there’s a world out there that is still fascinated by it, by them,” he says.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.