Meghan Markle’s fury over new betrayal

The Duchess is devastated after her closest friend drags her into a public race row

Meghan Markle

by Charlotte Oliver |
Updated on

Family fallouts, in-law angst and public criticism: it’s safe to say that Meghan Markle’s had it all.

But over the past nine years, she’s had a secret weapon up her sleeve, giving her support, guidance and a serious leg-up with her starry connections along the way: her very best friend Jessica Mulroney. From the moment Meghan moved from Los Angeles to Toronto in 2011 to film Suits, TV presenter and stylist Jessica took her under her wing, and they never looked back – forming a bond so close that people used to call them twins.

And as Meghan transcended from TV actress to the Duchess of Sussex, Jessica was there to offer loyalty, discretion and even played a massive role in organising her and Prince Harry’s royal wedding.

But last week, Meghan’s best friend became her biggest problem – and their once-unbreakable bond shattered for good – after Jessica, 40, became embroiled in a public race row with US blogger Sasha Exeter.

Meghan Markle

The drama initially kicked off when Sasha accused the TV presenter of “not speaking up” enough in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

A bitter argument ensued behind the scenes, culminating in Sasha publishing an exchange in which Jessica apparently threatened to turn “companies and people” against her – leaving the blogger “paralysed with fear”. Jessica then hastily issued a public mea culpa, and appeared to drag Meghan into it, telling followers, “I have lived a very public and personal experience with my closest friend where race was front and centre.

It was deeply educational.” However, at the same time as publicly apologising, Sasha then revealed Jessica was privately messaging her threatening to sue for defamation.

Check out: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship timeline


Meghan Markle And Prince Harry's Relationship Timeline

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in London in July 2016.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

They were introduced by mutual friend Markus Anderson, who is the director of Soho House.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In October 2016, the Express became the first newspaper to publish news that Prince Harry had a new girlfriend.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

On November 8th 2016, Kensington Palace released an unprecedented statement which referring to Markle as Harry's girlfriend for the first time.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In the statement, Prince Harry condemned the 'wave of abuse and harrassment' faced by Markle, saying that he was 'worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.'

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Prince Harry and Meghan Marklec

'It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,' the statement continued.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple were papped together for the first time in December 2016, shopping for a Christmas tree in London at the Pines and Needles store.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Later that week, they were seen on London's West End, catching a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In February, Prince Harry wore a his 'n' hers bracelet on the cover of Town & Country magazine, just weeks after Markle was pictured wearing the same one on Instagram.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In March 2017, Meghan joined Prince Harry in the Caribbean for the wedding of his friend's Tom 'Skippy' Inskip and Lara Hughes-Young.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

It was the first time that Markle accompanied Harry to a wedding, marking another milestone occasion for the couple.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The first public event attended by the couple was the polo at Coworth Park in May 2017.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Later in May, Markle attended the party portion of Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Middelton.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry was seen driving her to the event after the church ceremony.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple were photographed together the following day at the wheelchair tennis.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple 'broke with royal protocol' by holding hands and appearing affectionate while at the Invictus Games.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan referred to Harry as her boyfriend numerous times, saying: 'We're a couple. We're in love. I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people understand is that this is our time.'

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In early November 2017, it was reported that Meghan Markle was leaving Suits after seven series.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Much was made of Markle's choice of outfit: ripped jeans and a white blouse called 'The Husband'.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Although Prince Harry was sat next to First Lady Melania Trump at the event, rather than his girlfriend, she was only seated a few rows behind him.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple made their first official public appearance in September, when Markle attended the opening of Prince Harry's Invictus Games.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In mid-November 2017, bookies suspending betting on an impending royal engagement, as speculation grew that an announcement was about to be made.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

On November 27th 2017, Prince Charles announced the engagement of his younger son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after 15 months of dating.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple later appeared at a photocall, with Markle wearing a white dress coat by Canadian brand Line The Label. The website has subsequently crashed.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The engagement ring, by Cleave and Company, was reportedly designed by Prince Harry himself, using two stones that belonged to Princess Diana.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

When asked by waiting photographers if the proposal was romantic, Harry joked 'of course!'

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple indulged in some PDA at the closing ceremony.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Meghan wore a maroon midi dress with a pleated chiffon skirt by one of her favourite Canadian brands Aritzia.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

She teamed it with a matching burgundy biker jacket by Mackage.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry reportedly spent time with Meghan's mother Doria while at the Games too.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry was photographed kissing Meghan.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In late September 2017, it was reported that Meghan had met the Queen, prompting speculation that the relationship was getting serious.

No wonder then that the stylist was quickly dropped from her regular gigs on US and Canadian TV. Canadian network CTV stated that her behaviour “conflicts with our commitment to diversity and equality”; her reality show I Do, Redo was taken off air; and she was fired from her role as fashion and bridal specialist for Canadian department store Hudson’s Bay.

In the aftermath, we’re told a “devastated” Meghan, 38, has been left facing the fact that her once-strongest ally has become a major liability. What’s more, it’s also made her question how much she’s really ever been able to trust Jessica, who’s become more and more famous over the past few years as a result of their closeness.

According to insiders, it’s pretty clear that their friendship is now over “for good” – with one source adding, “How can you have such a close friendship when one person is basically making a career out of it?”

“Until now, Meghan’s relied on Jessica as a counsellor, fashion advisor, fitness coach and more,” says an insider close to the Duchess, who earlier this month spoke out against the “senseless act of racism” that led to the murder of George Floyd.

“That’s all ruined now, and Meghan isn’t just angry, she’s devastated – Jessica was more like a sister to her. They’d run most decisions past one another and trusted each other implicitly. Unsurprisingly, Meghan is feeling extremely lost and isolated, and she knows she needs to look elsewhere for companionship and advice. Replacing someone who knew her inside out is both tricky and heartbreaking. Obviously, she’s got Harry and her mum and she does have other friends to turn to, like her college BFF Lindsay [Roth], designer Mischa [Nonoo] and famous names like Priyanka [Chopra] and Serena [Williams], but she’s in pieces trying to figure it all out.”

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While Meghan’s life has changed massively over the past nine years, her friendship with Jessica has remained constant, and Harry and Meghan even reportedly entrusted Jessica to look after their one-year-old son Archie earlier this year, while they flew from Canada to the UK to make their last official appearances as senior royals. It’s no surprise, then, that as well as being furious at being dragged into the race row, Meghan is sad at the thought of losing her best friend.

And in what was already clearly a very difficult week for the Duchess, things went from bad to worse when she and Harry were told that the application to trademark their new charity Archewell had hit a stumbling block after being rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

According to reports, the Sussexes, who moved from Canada to LA in March, had submitted paperwork to launch their company as a non-profit organisation offering online resources in “philanthropy, monetary giving, volunteer and career opportunities”, but were told that their plans were “too vague”. Apparently, it’s not uncommon for trademark applications to be rejected on the first try – but that made it no less embarrassing for Harry and Meghan, who earlier this year said they were quitting royal life primarily to launch their new charitable entity. While the outbreak of coronavirus first derailed their plans, this has delayed matters further.

Meghan Markle

Still, amid all the doom and gloom of the past week, there was some happy news for Meghan: her beloved mum, Doria Ragland, 63, stepped in to save the day. According to our source, as lockdown restrictions have eased in LA, Doria’s been able to move into the $18m Beverly Hills mansion the family are staying in, and her presence has been nothing short of saintly.

“Doria has been an absolute rock for both Meghan and Harry, who are leaning on her more than ever while they settle into LA life,” we’re told. “They just love watching her bond with Archie and trust her more than any nanny. She’s so practical and wise, she can see a situation and cut right to the chase. She offers her advice when asked but is also careful not to interfere, and she’s helping Meghan get to grips over the situation with Jessica.

“More than anything, she’s just a joy to be around and a wonderful distraction for Harry and Meghan in terms of the day-to-day stresses and worries they each have to deal with. Things were stressful enough for Meghan before the Jessica debacle, and Doria’s understandably worried. She’s constantly at Meghan’s side.”

With a mum like that, who needs friends?

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