LIFE

Meghan Markle’s Sister Slams Her For Giving Handwritten Bananas To Sex Workers

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

Meghan Markle is in hot water with her half-sister after writing messages on a bunch of bananas for sex workers.

Confused? OK, let’s rewind!

On February 1, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visited a charity called One25. The organization’s mission is to support women who are trapped in street sex work. As part of that mission, One25 regularly delivers food to street sex workers through a mobile van service.

The Duchess of Sussex asked for a Sharpie to write uplifting messages of affirmation on some of the items of food for delivery. Can you imagine receiving a surprise message of support from the Duchess of Sussex on your banana?!

Pretty exciting.

But the move is receiving some backlash from conservatives. Among the haters is Samantha Markle, Meghan’s estranged half-sister.

“I was hoping my sister would give them each a beautiful bouquet of flowers, words of strength, and enough money to change their lives,” she reportedly wrote on Twitter. “That is what #humanitarians do. Bananas? WTF.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a surprise visit to Bristol, England, to visit One25, a charity that supports women who are trapped in street sex work.

One25 hopes that the couple’s visit will “raise more awareness and extra funding needed to help more women in Bristol,” per royal correspondent Omid Scobie.

For example, One25 runs a kitchen van service that delivers food to vulnerable women five nights a week. The charity is hoping to raise enough donations to increase that service to seven nights a week.

At the One25 office, Meghan asked for a Sharpie to write uplifting messages on some of the food items that would be handed out that night. She was inspired by a school cafeteria manager in Virginia who did the same thing last year, Omid reported.

Meghan wrote her messages on bananas — a nice disposable food item for a Sharpie-written message.

Her messages included “You are special,” “You are strong,” and “You are loved.”

“That really touched me,” One25 CEO Anna Smith said, according to Omid. “She listened and heard that we don’t judge, we just offer our service. She totally got it.”

Though many royal fans were touched by Meghan’s show of support for exploited sex workers, some commentators were scandalized — like Piers Morgan, for example.

“Giving a sex worker a banana is clearly exposing them to potential mockery,” Piers Morgan said.

Except that… the sex workers were going to receive bananas from the charity anyway?!

Piers is not the only one who disagrees with Meghan’s choice here. Her estranged half-sister, Samantha Markle, also took this opportunity to once again be a vocal critic of the duchess.

“The whole world has commented about this. I am not exempt because I’m family,” Samantha wrote on a private Twitter post, per Cosmopolitan.

“I was hoping my sister would give them each a beautiful bouquet of flowers, words of strength, and enough money to change their lives. That is what #humanitarians do. Bananas? WTF #freedomofspeech,” she tweeted.

And she didn’t stop there:

“Maybe when she’s asking for the big spending allowance, Charles should just give her a banana with some writing on it instead of cash.”

Samantha finished by bringing things back to Meghan’s estrangement from their dad Thomas Markle.

“If she can say ‘you are strong, you are brave, you are special’ on a banana to a sex worker, she can say ‘you are strong, you are wonderful, and you are special and I love you’ on a banana… to our father. Just my humble opinion,” she concluded.

Yikes. Many Brits and royal fans have, however, spoken out in defense of Meghan.

“A lot of sex workers say they feel really seen and validated by this,” one commenter, Rebecca Reid, said in response to Piers’ comment.

Other social media users understand why.

These women will undoubtedly take Meghan’s compassion to heart. It was a sweet gesture — why turn it into something foul?