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The British Public Are "Testing" Meghan Markle to See If She's Really Duchess Material, Says Royal Expert

Prince Harry's wife is getting the public pile-on. But what's really behind the scrutiny Meghan Markle is under?

Meghan Markle

George Clooney is standing up for Meghan Markle, saying the public scrutiny she is under is similar to what the late Princess Diana went through.

“They’re just chasing Meghan Markle everywhere, she’s been pursued and vilified,” Clooney told Australia’s Who magazine. “She’s a woman who is seven months pregnant and she has been pursued and vilified and chased in the same way that Diana was and it’s history repeating itself."

“We’ve seen how that ends,” he added, referencing Princess Diana’s fatal car crash in 1997 in Paris after she was chased by paparazzi.

Since joining the royal family, Markle’s name has been tossed around the rumor mill daily: Rumors say she is difficult to work for, she hates her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, she cut off her father and half-sister after the wedding, she is, well, fill in the blank. 

But her friends say different. Five sources came forward to tell PEOPLE magazine that she is a “selfless friend who writes thank-you notes for reasons big and small and is the best listener." Call it damage control, that Markle is trying to steer the story in a positive direction. Her friends insist their aim was to “stand up against the global bullying we are seeing and speak the truth about our friend.”

“Meg has silently sat back and endured the lies and untruths,” a former costar told the magazine. “With Meghan and Harry, expecting their first child this spring, we worry about what this is doing to her and the baby. It’s wrong to put anyone under this level of emotional trauma, let alone when they’re pregnant.”

Prince Harry is smitten, Markle adores her mom, the Queen has a special fondness she shows toward her daughter-in-law rarely (if ever) seen before outside the royal family. How bad can she be?

We called the U.K.’s biggest royal expert, William Hanson, to explain. Here’s what he had to say:

“In Britain we are, sadly, not as accepting of newcomers as other cultures. We warm up, but our in-built attitude is always to resist change,” he said. “From memory, I do not think that the Brits immediately took to the now Duchess of Cambridge when she and Prince William first started courting, whereas now we adore her.”

He thinks the public is just “testing” Markle and will come around. 

“Sadly, I think what we see now from people is some form of twisted test for our Duchess of Sussex,” he explained. “I hope that she manages to keep her cool and stay it out, showing that she is the better person. Granted, she has made some misjudged fashion choices, which comes from lack of experience, but by and large she is a very good asset for the British monarchy and I hope she is not put off by some of the bile written in the press and published on social media.”


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