Yesterday, everyone’s favorite baby royal, Archie, turned 1 year old, and his parents, Harry and Meghan, celebrated by sharing an adorable new video of him.
The video was wildly refreshing for the royal family: Meghan is shown seated with a very excited Archie on her lap. Archie is bouncing around and requesting new books and turning the pages as Meghan patiently reads aloud from Duck! Rabbit! Harry can be heard making duck sounds from behind the camera, and Archie sweetly says “Da da da da” at the end. But somehow, Meghan’s mothering style is now being called into question.
It’s cute, right? We love it. Well … most of us love it.
It turns out that Emily Giffin, who is best known for her 2005 book Something Borrowed, was mightily displeased. The problem? Meghan Markle had the audacity to behave like mothers all over the world. Quelle horreur!
Emily decided to voice her displeasure on a public platform: her Instagram account. Emily has since made her account private and deleted the posts. But as the internet does, someone captured Emily’s thoughts for everyone to see.
Writer Kaitlin Menza took to Twitter to document the peculiar behavior. She simply tweeted, “Man oh man does ‘Something Borrowed’ author Emily Giffin hate Meghan Markle.”
The tweet also includes photos from Emily’s Instagram stories, which were available publicly. Emily shared a text exchange she had with a friend in which Meghan’s parenting style is called “nonmaternal.” Emily also accuses Meghan of trying to take the attention away from her baby.
This is bizarre for a whole host of reasons. As a mom, when I saw the video, I saw another mother and her 1-year-old, doing something that my son and I did when he was that age. It was sweet, it was cute, and ohmygosh did you see Archie’s teeth?! But at no one point did I feel like Meghan was trying to steal Archie’s spotlight.
The video was actually a pretty low-key way to celebrate Archie’s birthday without even making it about him — the couple shared the video as part of a partnership with Save the Children UK.
Emily also went on to deliberately misspell Meghan’s name (we all know there’s an h in there, and anyone who actively dislikes someone else this much definitely knows it) and took issue with the fact that Harry was filming.
“This is the Megan show. Why didn’t she film and let Harry read?”
It’s possible that Harry wanted to film. Many mothers who have children with men recognize a near-universal truth: We are often the people who document the lives of our children, and we aren’t usually in photos and videos as often as our partners are. It’s actually pretty sweet that Harry made a point of taking the video instead of having it be the other way around.
It seems that this isn’t the first time that Emily has gone after Meghan in a public fashion. A Twitter user named Kim replied to Kaitlin’s original tweet, saying, “I’m glad someone is finally bringing attention to this ‘author’. She uses her IG stories to write the nastiest, most offensive crap about a woman she has never met. All she do is attack, attack, and attack Meghan to the point of obsession. She’s the definition of a ‘Karen’.”
“Karen” is a reference to the memes and jokes that have swept the internet in recent months. The Guardian‘s Hadley Freeman explains that “‘Karen’ is commonly used in the US to refer to a strident middle-class white woman who talks down to people of colour, usually in serving-staff positions.”
Another person noted that it’s possible anything Meghan does would set off Emily and other women who don’t like Meghan Markle:
“And if she’d been filming and not holding Archie it would be ‘she’s forcing them to perform and can’t be bothered to hold her own baby’ nothing she does will ever be right bc she has the audacity to be black and married to Harry.”
This echos how Meghan was treated when she was photographed holding a newborn Archie at a polo match last year. While many people were excited just to get a glimpse of the little guy, plenty of others levied claims that Meghan was holding Archie the “wrong” way. Attacks on Meghan’s mothering have been consistent since she and Harry announced her pregnancy.
It happened again in January of this year when Meghan was photographed on a hike with her son. She had Archie securely strapped into a baby carrier, but a strap slid off her shoulder as she was photographed by paparazzi. While a lot us have been in her shoes, particularly as first-time moms, others felt the need to imply that this transgression meant Meghan wasn’t a suitable mom.
The curious case of why Something Borrowed author Emily Giffin doesn’t like Meghan Markle is definitely being looked into by Twitter journalists. It seems that many people are just profoundly disappointed in an author they once enjoyed.
As one reader wrote: “I didnt realize she posted it all directly on her page. She clearly wants all the negative engagement she can get. Shes about to realize the meghan haters dont buy books or donate to charity. Hate is their only currency.”