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How Kate won me over She is a refreshing antidote to modern-day feminism

The Duchess of Cambridge does not draw on bananas (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cambridge does not draw on bananas (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)


April 29, 2021   4 mins

Though generally in favour of any excuse for a knees-up, ten years ago today, as the country was hung with bunting and Prince William prepared to marry Catherine Middleton, I revelled in my role as the wedding’s chief mourner. Why should I get excited about a decorative air-head marrying a balding prince? Where were we? Monaco?

Even two years in I was determined to pour scorn on the harmless young couple: “Prissy
 simpering
 clothes horse
 will only ever be remembered as one of the House of Windsor’s plus-ones
 Diana Lite,” I snarked in the Daily Mail of all places.

To be fair, I have always admitted to being just about the worst judge of character in Christendom; put me in a room with three saints and a sociopath and we all know who I’d be blood brothers with by sunrise. True to form, just a few years after laying into the Duchess of Cambridge, I was bigging up a certain American actress thus: “Meghan Markle has never waited soppily for some prince to rescue her. In fact, it seems far likelier that it is she who will rescue the prince.”

What happened to make me transfer my allegiance from Sussex to Cambridge? Two things: hypocrisy and the pandemic.

The first can largely be blamed on the House of Sussex. There is, after all, something grating about lecturing hoi polloi about carbon footprints when your Louboutins are click-clacking up the steps of Elton John’s private jet for the nth time. Later, while their subjects were being told not to leave their houses, there was something farcical about the speed with which the Sussexes struck out for what one feels was their destination all along: a gated community in La La Land; slipping over the Canadian border like draft-dodgers in reverse.

How different from the home life of our own dear future queen. Kate has had a good pandemic, upbeat and modest, sharing photographs of the children and her thoughts on home-schooling; visiting businesses affected by lockdown and just getting on with it. Her appearance at the Sarah Everard vigil was unexpected and beautifully judged; she looked like a thoughtful, sad student performing a silent and simple act of sisterhood.

I couldn’t help but compare it to Meghan’s scenery-eating style of feminism, which at its worst saw her writing “inspirational messages” for sex workers on bananas. We all know a Meghan. Sitting on her throne of sorrows, she is the moist-eyed paragon of passive-aggressiveness, soldiering bravely on in the hope that someone will find the heart to ask: “Are you ok?” As for those not brave enough to break free from the Firm, especially that stuck-up sister-in-law with her stiff upper lip — well, she’s just trapped and bottling it all up. Far better to let it all hang out and hold a pity party on prime-time TV.

How unlike Kate. She seems refreshingly liberated from the modern notion that mithering on about one’s troubles will in some way solve them; the Markle-isation of mental health, whereby the super-privileged signal that they too are in pain, so please don’t envy them all this lovely stuff. The Heads Together initiative — led by the Cambridges and Harry — may tick the fashionable boxes, but it appears to have far more to do with service than with therapy: supporting young people, veterans and homeless charities.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has made us impatient with the rich and famous lamenting their lives from luxury fortresses, something which led to the all-time low audience for the Oscars on Sunday. In Kate, we see the difference between righteousness and self-righteousness, between stoicism and splattering one’s problems all over the shop.

Everything she did which I judged so ungenerously a decade ago reflects well on her now. “Waity Katie” passed the test which far more aristocratic young women have failed: the ability to stare straight back into a spotlight with perfect self-possession.

Though the likes of me gushed over Meghan for bringing “diversity” to the House of Windsor, we failed to register that the descendant of coal-miners and trolley dollies was equally as ground-breaking, and certainly more mocked by her prince’s inner circle (“Doors to manual!”) than Meghan ever was for her mixed-race heritage. Kate even has an embarrassing relation of her own; frisky Uncle Gary, proud owner of the Ibiza shag-pad known as La Maison de Bang Bang, who was welcomed whole-heartedly to the wedding.

She always gives the impression of having known what she wanted, and to be happy with what she has — an attractive quality in a world where screwing up and then griping about it passes for being “authentic” and where those who wear their troubles lightly are accused of being “in denial”. Much as I adored Diana, and found her expressions of emotion affecting and fresh, such travails are now the norm; everyone has an eating disorder, everyone doesn’t get on with their in-laws.

Similarly, I suspect she knows that another bout of over-privileged marital combat played out at peak viewing time is not something the public wants or needs. No one knows what goes on in any marriage and though the Cambridge’s relationship was subject to the usual tittle-tattle about William’s “affair” and her “rural rival” a few years back, they appear to have come through the rumours even stronger.

Most of all, I like Kate for what she doesn’t do as much as for what she does. She will never throw herself down a flight of stairs, have her toes sucked by an ugly American or travel on a plane called the Lolita Express. Not yet forty, she is maturing from a coltish girl to a grande dame; at the funeral of Prince Philip, perfectly coiffed and clothed and masked, I thought she had a look of the actress Claire Bloom, in the way a young Queen Elizabeth did too.

And so the soft spot that even a hardened republican like me has for Queen Elizabeth II appears to be transferring to her granddaughter-in-law, the perfect queen-in-waiting. It’s telling that the only members of the family not to see an upswing in popularity after Prince Philip’s funeral were Harry and Meghan, reflecting as it did a life of service so profound that it was the only time I recall the deceased giving express instructions that they should not be given a eulogy. The fashion for publicly foisting one’s emotions which marked this century’s Troubled Teens is hopefully on the way out, helped along by this young woman of humble origins who appears to believe that “Never complain, never explain” is a pretty good rule to live by.


Julie Burchill is a journalist, playwright and author of Welcome to the Woke Trials, available now. Her latest play, Awful People, co-written with Daniel Raven, comes to Brighton Pier in September 2023.

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Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

I always loved Kate and admire the way she has developed over the past 10 years. She understands the concept of duty. She also understands that turning up and quietly going about your business day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year might be a bit staid and boring but wins you respect long term. Lasting respect.
And, what’s more: she’s an absolute antidote to this awful notion that “being a strong woman” has to mean being loud, spraying your emotions around everywhere, or – worst (and perversely) of all – perpetuating the culture of fragility by whinging in public.
There is nothing more feminist than knowing your job and doing it well. Every. Single. Day. That’s what Kate does and that’s why she’s fabulous.

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Women on the left who beat their chests for liberation unfortunately also display high and untamed levels of neuroticism. Kate is seemingly more mentally stable – a breathe of fresh air.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
3 years ago

As an American, I would apologize to the United Kingdom for Meghan Markle, but you guys did burn down our capital that one time, so let’s call it even.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

It’s a deal. But, going forward, if you could limit your contributions to our Royal Family to one per century or less, that would be SPLENDID. Things never seem to turn out well. Thanking you kindly 🙂

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Actually Peter Phillips was married to Autumn , who was from Canada , so she and Meghan could have become friends. I’m afraid she is like the cliche actress as portrayed by Chekhov and Noel Coward, she is only happy when she is the centre of attention . As her and ‘arry seem to see everything in money terms they surely ‘owed’ her father the privilege of being at her wedding and seeing his grandchildren due to the financial contribution he made ?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Well, it couldn’t really be claimed that British contributions to the Royal family have worked out all that well, can it? A princess Diana, Mark Phillips, Sarah, Duchess of York, Lord Snowden……..

Tim Knight
Tim Knight
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Thanks Cho, genuine belly laugh this morning.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

I think Meghan’s problem was that when she arrived in London, she discovered there was already a queen there.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

You mean the very same building that Ms Ashli Babbitt was killed in by a black Capitol cop on the 9th January last?
And to the eternal disgrace of the Republic is not to be charged but decorated instead.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 years ago

The gov’t won’t even identify the shooter. Justice is not equal in modern day USA.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

“A day of Infamy “ indeed, and in the ‘Holy of Holies’ of US Democracy of all places. The second time since 1814 that the Capitol has been so sullied.

Not a good report, but fortunately captured on film, for eternity, unlike most historical crimes.

Arthur Holty
Arthur Holty
3 years ago

Funny…you saw a crime being committed… I saw an inevitable outcome to a very stupid act. You are upset and I could not care less. At the end of the day no one cares what we think anyway so perhaps the message is just chillout and not take things so seriously… if Ashli Babbit had done that she would be here today.

Bertie B
Bertie B
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Well technically you pinched the city off us before we burned down your capital building. So I think we were already even on that score….
Just friendly banter… The English are allowed to mention the war (any war) we feel no shame.

Nick Pointon
Nick Pointon
3 years ago
Reply to  Bertie B

Don’t mention the War of 1812!! (an honourable draw).

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Pointon

No, a clear cut victory, but we don’t like to “ rub it in “ for some odd reason.*

(*The Challenge” by Andrew Lambert, is a good place to start.)

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Bertie B

I was going to say when do we get compensation for all the fittings and fitments we left you behind? Those cities and roads didn’t build themselves you know-they were paid for by the British taxpayer. However as you say confiscate her passport and we’ll call it even.

Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Very few cities (Washington DC was just a-building at the time of the 1812 war) and less roads — and there was, of course, considerable “taxation without representation”. Call it a draw?

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Liz Walsh

It was certainly more developed than it had been in 1619-however why did you keep all the names of your enemies-Virginia-Queen Elizabeth 1 , Baltimore-Lord Baltimore etc. In fact the only new names are unpronouncable and spellable like Massachusetts.?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Liz Walsh

Not so, by that famous day August 24 th 1814, the White House, Treasury, most of the Capitol and the Navy Yard were ready to be burnt or “torched” as you say.

The entire Congress Library, the newly arrived ‘Luna’ marble Lectern, every stick of furniture in the White House, including the Chamber Pots had been looted*. It was, one American commentator said the “most humiliating day in US History “.

(* many years ago I ‘inherited’ two small pieces of furniture said to have been looted from the White House by a kinsman, a writing desk & a fire screen).

Last edited 3 years ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
qc9rg88c4v
qc9rg88c4v
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

I think we need to do it all over again to make up for Markle

Terry M
Terry M
3 years ago
Reply to  qc9rg88c4v

Many of us Yanks would cheer.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  qc9rg88c4v

William could lead an army to avenge her saying nasty things on television against his wife. A sort of War of the Roses?

Simon Chapman
Simon Chapman
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

I beg to differ, about Meghan that is. I welcomed her as another princess, seeing her as a force for badly needed change in our royal family. Unfortunately a part of our media and its readership didn’t take to her and the royal household failed to make what was bound to be a difficult transition a little easier. I think she and Harry could have been leaders in charting out a different and more rewarding future for the wider royal family and the beginnings of a slimming down of an institution long passed its sell by date. There might for instance have been the opportunity for Charles when he becomes king to pass on some duties not only to Will and Kate but Harry and Meghan too, and that Harry might have helped Will in his duties when eventually becoming king. I’ve no doubt Meghan would have ruffled a few feathers but that isn’t such a bad thing in what is a pretty stuffy and old fashioned institution.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

I think Meghan is not the kind of woman to play second fiddle. As soon as she realised that being married to Harry was cutting ribbons and just getting on with boring royal duties, she wasn’t interested anymore. She saw herself more as the Queen of the Commonwealth with glamorous trips and adoring crowds. She didn’t realise that she always would be a minor royal and there was no place for her to “thrive”.

Simon Chapman
Simon Chapman
3 years ago

That, partially, is my point. That Harry and Meghan could have been the trail blazers of a new and modern branch of the royals. Provided the monarch is always seen as the monarch there is no reason to believe that every other member of the family have to be bland and of no interest. For the short time Meghan was left to her own devices she went about life as a member of the family perfectly. She didn’t seek to be anything else other than what she naturally is, and not unlike Diana. But, it’s all over now, Harry has done the right thing for himself and his wife and child in taking them away from what must be the dullest life on earth as royal and some distance from an appalling media. We are now left with a few more years of a great queen, to followed by an over opinionated king and dull as ditch water prince and princess.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

I can’t think of a more dull life than being part of the “royalty” of the Hollywood set. Their “duties” include getting as many interviews with Oprah as possible: finding the most outlandish and expensive clothes to show off to another appalling media and finding the best trainer and plastic surgeon.
Harry and Meghan are NOT trailblazers in any way. They have slid into and fit beautifully into the Hollywood elite – the most boring group on the planet proven by the dismal ratings at the Oscars. The last member of Hollywood royalty who matter was Audrey Hepburn. Somehow I can’t see Meghan leaving the mansion and running off to Yeman.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

As if Prince Harry is going to distinguish himself on the beaches of Malibu. Oh Please.

D.A. Wilson
D.A. Wilson
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

I wonder whether Harry will think he has done the right thing when Megan tires of him, ditches him and finds herself a billionaire, if there is one daft enough to take her on.

D.A. Wilson
D.A. Wilson
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

Meghan did not go about life as a member of the family perfectly. On their trip to Africa, where is must have seen people living in dire poverty, she went whinging to a TV presenter because nobody was asking if she was ok.

sallylarkin
sallylarkin
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

Meghan. Step away from the keyboard.

She didn’t anyway. She turned up to events with US A-Listers like BeyoncĂ© but packed Harry off on his own to do boring things like opening children’s hospitals up north. She never seemed particularly interested in ordinary people in the UK.

If they want to go I don’t think anybody wanted to force them to stay. But the way they went about it, lying, attacking other people. It wasn’t right.

Plus I think you’re one of very few on the planet who believes she ever had any intention of being a working royal. She didn’t even come back off maternity leave. She worked 72 days. As soon as she had his child she had no interest in even pretending to be interested in being a working royal. She lied from the start.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
3 years ago
Reply to  sallylarkin

You know for a fact they were lying do you? I’d love to have your inside ear into what the royals do and say in private.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

Wow – talk about racist! Not unexpected on this site but still….

Sharon Murphy
Sharon Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

Perfectly? Have you forgotten the debacle and secrecy over Archie’s birth? She had to do everything her way, but she was never satisfied; after that Oprah interview Markle is indefensible

Gail Young
Gail Young
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

Seriously? If one is going to adopt such an extremely contentious opinion about a person, situation, issue , whatever, it really is necessary to acquaint oneself with as many facts as are available. There is a plethora of data concerning the inappropriate and disturbing behaviour evinced by Harry’s wife during her time here in the UK and since re-situating in the USA.
To state as you have merely reveals the astounding ignorance of someone too lazy to check the reliability of their opinion, for such there is no excuse. Hence the number red thumbs down.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

To be fair, that is the reason I’ve left almost every other job too.

steve horsley
steve horsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

i m with you.the media daren t go anywhere near the racist road with meghan so it found other ways to undermine her.how much of the stuff written about her was true and how much was msm nonsense?whatever,it proved that our odious media outlets have learned nothing since diana.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

what is a pretty stuffy and old fashioned institution.

You know what is stuffy and outdated? Markle’s brand of “social justice activism”. Might’ve been a novel trend back when big floppy collars were in vogue and Jeremy Corbyn was a lad, not even parody-worthy in the 21st century.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

Do one.

Chris Bredge
Chris Bredge
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

I agree that it could and should have turned out very differently for M&H. I too welcomed her onto the scene as did the royal family and I believe the majority of the British public, as evidenced by the reaction to their wedding. HOWEVER, ever since Meghan’s feet were safely under the table and she had an heir for the spare on the way, she has shown her true colours and dyed Harry in them too. They have been 100% self obsessed, hypocritical, preachy about their superior morals and at the same time completely oblivious as to the effect of all this on everyone around them. They are a disgrace to the RF and the country and have let us all down.

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

I am likely one of the few on here who will agree with you – Meghan was given a terrible time at the hands of the UK media, more because she was an American than because she was mixed race – although there was certainly some racism going down in the tabloids. Look what happened to Andrew’s wife, Sarah Ferguson, she was instantly disliked by the UK media and hounded so much that her and Andrew split up, even though, as I understand it, they still got on really well. Kate had nowhere near as hard a time with the press as Meghan, and she is English – the combination of the two made it a far easier ride for her. I struggle to see how any American woman could fit into the royal family – I guarantee she had no idea what she was getting herself into, unlike Kate. From what I see of Harry and Meghan, they seem to be deeply in love and I wish them all the best in their new life in the USA.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Nikki Hayes

Numerous Americans have married into the British aristocracy from Jennie Churchill to Candace Owens , as well as various actors and models who have lived here-Jerry Hall, Ava Gardner etc-if anything we love Americans-just not Meghan.Self-centred , whiny, actually cruel to children ( see her behaviour to her neice ) and thats just her good side.

Gail Young
Gail Young
3 years ago
Reply to  Nikki Hayes

Please clarify. You seem to be saying that Sarah Ferguson was”hounded” by the media because she was American. Fergie is English by birth and so are both her parents. Regarding Catherine, you state “had nowhere near as hard a time with the press”. Really? In your opinion., perhaps but “Waity Katie” was a young girl when she started getting flack from the press and endured it for nearly a decade; she but never once publically whinged or complained. She was learning royal protocol, that behaviour which Harry’s wife found beneath her and with which she utterly refused to comply. But none of this really matters. It is the atrocious behaviour of this woman which has earned her the contempt of the majority of the British populace, all of whom are racist, according to those two self-exiled moaners.

Scott Carson
Scott Carson
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

Blimey, 67 downvotes and counting?? While I wouldn’t have expected your remarks to be particularly popular on here, I certainly wouldn’t have predicted a mauling like that.

John MacDonald
John MacDonald
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

But you lot did spill our tea – unforgivable!

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Yes, but you deserved it.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Poor Megs must be chewing the carpet when she saw the pictures of Catherine at Prince Philip’s funeral-I thought a touch of the Margaret Lockwood in Wicked Lady. At the wedding 10 years ago there was not only all her relatives but also the butcher , the baker & the candlestick maker who have all known her since childhood and all seem to agree that like Mary Poppins she is ‘practically perfect’.

Patricia Ewing
Patricia Ewing
3 years ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

I thought she looked liked Vivien Leigh as Scarlett in Gone With The Wind. Gorgeous.

Sean MacSweeney
Sean MacSweeney
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Actually I think you will find we did it twice, our bad, sorry about that

Elizabeth Pienaar
Elizabeth Pienaar
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn
mchulme
mchulme
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Too funny … love it !

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

It was just banter that got a bit out of hand.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Fair enough. Quits it is.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

Harry really should not have been so easy to dupe. Perhaps some of the blame should be shared with Markle who admittedly is pretty awful. But wasn’t he just sort of a fool in waiting? Was it in the cards that he would choose wisely?

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago

Good for Kate, I’ve always liked her.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago

Megan who?

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago

‘Harry’s wife’ as she is increasingly known on social media.

Johanna Barry
Johanna Barry
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I’d have thought more like Me-again Markle and her handbag. Not noticed him having much of a say in any of the antics.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
3 years ago

Very amusing article thank you. I never knew about the maison du bang bang or Sparkle Markle signing bananas. We all need an uncle Gary in our lives!

Bertie B
Bertie B
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

I think we all find our slightly eccentric (possibly criminal) ancestors far more interesting than the ‘normal’ ones..

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Bertie B

A wedding is not a wedding unless you have to separate the feuding relatives-or is that just me?

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago

Kate is an outstanding human being, and English to boot. Congratulations to Prince William for recognising her qualities and taking advantage of them, and also to his grandmother for backing him.

Pushpendra Pandya
Pushpendra Pandya
3 years ago

You perhaps have no idea how much your writing prowess and insights have helped me to understand certain things. I learned some Greek phrase such as hoi polloi. This article is hilarious. Humour is your thing I guess. Thank you Julie Burchill

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago

She’s always been good value, even when wrong (which she’s not here).

Pierre Pendre
Pierre Pendre
3 years ago

 In fact, it seems far likelier that it is she who will rescue the prince.
Or destroy him.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
3 years ago

A column so perceptive, funny, and withering, I read it aloud to my wife. Julie Burchill added to my list of must reads.

Graeme Morrison
Graeme Morrison
3 years ago
Reply to  Jack Coleman

Whoever she’s written for, she’s always been a ‘must read’. She’s a natural. Even back in her more explicitly feminist Guardian days – whether you agreed with her or not! In every article she writes, she’ll come up with at least one knockout turn-of phrase. (Just like AA Gill used to)

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago

If the monarchy survives the Queens death ( absit omen) , it will be largely thanks to the Middleton family.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago

‘To be fair, I have always admitted to being just about the worst judge of character in Christendom; put me in a room with three saints and a sociopath and we all know who I’d be blood brothers with by sunrise.’
Ha ha, brilliant. I’m exactly the same.

Sean MacSweeney
Sean MacSweeney
3 years ago

Unlike most of the self righteous morons of the left persuasion, I knew right from the start that this left wing American liberal (Meghalaya) would be trouble, and the moral is if you meet these left wing Karen’s, run as fast and as far as you possibly can

Last edited 3 years ago by Sean MacSweeney
Nigel H
Nigel H
3 years ago

La Maison de Bang Bang? The first I’ve heard of that one- and more importantly – where’s my ticket?

Ludo Roessen
Ludo Roessen
3 years ago

The problem I always have with Julie Burchill’s writing is that it’s mainly about herself in relation to the subject she supposed to write about…. how many times a sentence is started with ‘I’ ……

Last edited 3 years ago by Ludo Roessen
Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago
Reply to  Ludo Roessen

It depends how well it is done, on how much the personal approach to the subject works at conveying something universal, which people can identify with. Julie Burchill is very good at this I think.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Ludo Roessen

Yes, you may have a point and some people will be more put out than others about it. It doesn’t bother me because Julie Burchill is one of the best writers out there for conveying emotion and quite hefty personal experiences with dignity and humour. I’ll happily read a lorryload of “I”s in exchange.

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

And she should be given credit for openly saying she has changed her mind – not often admitted by journalists. Great piece Julie, thanks!

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

Yes, quite right!

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago
Reply to  Ludo Roessen

That’s because for women it’s all about them. Look at women ‘comedians’.

Mavka Rusalka
Mavka Rusalka
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

Look at men comedians. It’s all about women, too. Funny, how the men are spared humor from both sexes.

Bertie B
Bertie B
3 years ago
Reply to  Ludo Roessen

Maybe thats why she identified with Meghan and not Kate to begin with. Maybe this should be a lesson..

Tim Knight
Tim Knight
3 years ago
Reply to  Ludo Roessen

Julie is insightful, funny and often uses self reflection, as in this case, to high light the good points of an other.
Also, there is an irony in your comment…

Terry M
Terry M
3 years ago
Reply to  Ludo Roessen

She’s Hunter S Thompson reincarnated.

Hosias Kermode
Hosias Kermode
3 years ago

Might it be worth trying to start a campaign to have Will and Kate take over when the inevitable happens? I feel the country desperately needs to skip a generation. Get the foot of the Babyboomers off the neck of the young. Charles is sullied. He’s expressed too many political opinions, revealed too much of himself, been too tainted by scandal and divorce. If we want to get back to the royalty of Liz and Phil, a head of state and consort who offer an idealised version of the lives we feel we ought to live – not in respect of their wealth but of their constancy, silence and service – then we need to leapfrog to Will and Kate, not leave William hanging round till, like his poor father, he’s too old and too compromised for a role that requires the fairy tale to validate it.

D.A. Wilson
D.A. Wilson
3 years ago
Reply to  Hosias Kermode

No! To all of what you are proposing. Charles is not sullied. He is a human being with frailties, as we all are. And if you would care to look at his record he has done a tremendous amount of good.

Terry M
Terry M
3 years ago
Reply to  D.A. Wilson

He is thick as a brick

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry M

Indeed, and William is just as stupid but is also as bald as a cue ball, with a big nose and gigantic teeth.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Hosias Kermode

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Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Vilde Chaye
Vilde Chaye
3 years ago

Agree about Kate. Stoic is the word that comes to mind. As for the other one, it’s astonishing that people lost their jobs for saying they DIDN’T believing her. I would have thought it should be the other way around.

Tony Hennessy
Tony Hennessy
3 years ago

I suspect that “Red Top” sub-editors are already sharpening up their headlines for the Sussexes’ divorce: “ Meghan solo” ( you read it here first! )

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Hennessy

It’s inevitable. She’s utterly ghastly.

steve horsley
steve horsley
3 years ago

wouldn it be better for all concerned if william and kate stepped into the breach when the queen dies?poor charlie has spent a lifetime waiting but he s now an old man and putting the kids on the throne would work wonders for the country as a whole.imagine if charles took over and lived another twenty odd years, that would make william in his 60s when he got a go.

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago
Reply to  steve horsley

Yes, but do you really think that PC and Camilla would go into early retirement ? He’s been waiting to be king all his life. We’re just going to have to put up with it.

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago
Reply to  steve horsley

A monarchy is not a presidency. Whichever male popped out of the vagina gets the gig – you can’t pick and choose as that would be a democracy.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

Actually I think they have changed it so Charlotte is next in line to George. Couldn’t they just backdate it and give it to Princess Anne, then Zara , then Mia-it would certainly be fun & we seem to prefer Queens to Kings.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  steve horsley

It’s going to be that way for the foreseeable.
Charles is 74. If his mother lives as long as her own mother, and there’s no reason she won’t, she’ll die at say 100. Charles will then be 82. If he then lives as long as his dad, he’ll reign for 18 years, which means William will accede in 24 years’ time aged 63.
He then lives to 100-odd too so George accedes in about 60 years’ time likewise in his mid-60s.
In short, the next three kings will be old gits when they accede and probably so will the fourth.
I say foreseeable advisedly: the house of Windsor may not survive the opening of the Cabinet papers about Andrew’s birth, which are sealed until 1960. That doesn’t mean the end of the throne, though.

J Reffin
J Reffin
3 years ago

The Duchess of Cambridge seems to be a very nice person. It sounds like Julie Burchill’s original articles about her were rather harsh and it’s nice to see her reversing her opinion and saying sorry in public, albeit indirectly. I’m not clear why this has to be accompanied by an assault on the Duchess of Sussex – it’s not a zero sum game. My grandmother always taught me “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing”. This seems to be the approach adopted by Kate Middleton and she justly earns Julie Burchill’s praise for this.

Last edited 3 years ago by J Reffin
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 years ago
Reply to  J Reffin

I don’t disagree re: If you have nothing nice to say, etc. But please be real – Ms. Markle brought this on herself, as she pouted, “Nobody asked me how I am doing” – a la a 5-year-old who just couldn’t figure out how to make nice with the other kids.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  J Reffin

Meg has nothing nice to say. If she said nothing people would find her far less objectionable.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

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Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Wendy Coke-Smyth
Wendy Coke-Smyth
3 years ago

I think Kate is a good example to us all. It can’t be easy!!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Congratulations to the author whose taste and judgement appear much improved.
It’s always been mystifying what anyone saw in Meghan Markle. As an American perhaps I am simply used to this type of woman, they’re not rare. They populate some parts of the US in great numbers, LA being a sort of Mecca for them. It was patently obvious that what she wanted was the title. Not the man, not the crumbling old house, and certainly not appearing at boring events in cold, damp northern English towns. She was never for even a second going to do that.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago

“To be fair, I have always admitted to being just about the worst judge of character in Christendom; put me in a room with three saints and a sociopath and we all know who I’d be blood brothers with by sunrise.”
But so would I and I am a good judge of character. 

Last edited 3 years ago by Terry Needham
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
3 years ago

Searching for information about her book I discovered that Julie belongs to ‘our’ generation, that is, the over 45s who make up the majority of this readership. She certainly writes in a way and about topics that appeal to the women in it unlike others who have contributed recently… I look forward to reading the book!

Chris Eaton
Chris Eaton
3 years ago

To sum up the article…some have ‘it’….some don’t. If you have to ask what ‘it’ is…then, dear reader, you are ignorant.

SUSAN GRAHAM
SUSAN GRAHAM
3 years ago

I am always inclined to skip pieces by this republican feminist, however I have to say well done that she has now woken up and smelt the coffee, and for once admitting that she was wrong. She confesses to being a bad judge of character – for sure – but this then begs the question of her judgement full stop. Julie has finally come to the conclusion about Meghan that the average British female had clocked from day one so before embarking on any further ‘hatchet jobs’ she might be advised to take a step back and think before putting pen to paper – or switching on her computer.

Eloise Burke
Eloise Burke
3 years ago

I come not to bury Julie Burchill, she knows how to write an English sentence, but today I became conscious for the first time of a nagging annoyance with Unherd. Do they have a word requirement? That is, does your piece have to be a certain length, and not a word shorter? This article just takes too long to read, for what it says. I am not a hard-charging, rushing-around American; I am an old, retired, doing-nothing-much American. And I would like to gobble up, not mosey through an original think piece like this. Life’s too short and I just don’t have the time.
If you are writing to a length requirement, nice work, Julie. I’ll bet you could be really pithy, too.

Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
3 years ago
Reply to  Eloise Burke

Goodness what’s your standard – Twitter?

Simon Chapman
Simon Chapman
3 years ago

I must admit to always thinking Kate (and Will) as being just plain boring so seeing the headline thought perhaps I’m wrong. Burchill’s being won over by Kate is as much about Meghan and even Diana, more about what Kate isn’t as what she is. So, I’ve not changed my view, Kate (and Will) are just plain boring.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Chapman

Yes, but they’re boring in a good way, like the Queen.

Simon Chapman
Simon Chapman
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

The Queen was never boring, partially because she didn’t spend years waiting to ascend to the throne as has Charles and so is William. That is part of the problem, these poor people hang around with no real purpose in life other than to wait their turn at being monarch. Had Charles won the confidence of his mother to become King twenty years ago he would have been a better king than he’s ever likely to be, and similarly the same for Will. I feel sorry for them, as I believe Harry did, in spending the greater part of their lives doing nothing but hanging around for their short time as monarch. Harry isn’t the sharpest knife in the draw but he at least had the sense not to end up like his uncle.

Tiny C
Tiny C
3 years ago

I’m a moany, middle class, middle aged Brit who despises woke, Millennial airhead hypocrites and have little time for any of the Royal Family but even I’m getting sick of the lazy attacks on a woman whose main sin has been to be a typical American actress. Lazy, because every anti America trope has been thrown at her, right back to Edward and Mrs Simpson, several generations out of date. She’s been compared unfavourably to any and everyone to the point you’d think she was a child abuser or a mass murderer. While she has her faults, she’s a saint compared to the majority of people, mostly women who are attacking her. You Julie, are a disaster area by comparison, a badge you wear with stupid pride. If I were to meet the two royal wives, I’m sure that I would much prefer Kate to Meghan but then we’re both British and I’m sure that my lack of immediate kinship with Meghan would come across as dislike. That dislike would be racist, not because of her colour but because of the culture and political differences we’d have, but I bet that it wouldn’t feel any different from her perspective to colour racism. We’ve treated Meghan appallingly and continue to do so. Someone who could have been an excellent ambassador for our genuine strides in reducing racism now looks like she was driven out by a massive bunch of self affirming, self congratulatory bigots. Our media has attacked her at every turn bar her initial welcome, where journalists got their column inches based on her engagement and wedding. Even as she was feted, the knives were being sharpened and the first stab was via her seedy father and half sister. Every facial expression, every item of clothing was criticised and compared with Diana or Kate.

I’m sure that many here will rush to your defence of yet another attack on a woman whose main sin seems to be a refusal to welcome the media into any and every part of her life. This is what your ugliness is about, protecting your right to publish any thought that goes through your limited heads (a shortage of ideas has been obvious over the pandemic), no matter how much like bullying it gets. So here’s an idea about racism – how does it look for our best known, mostly white journalists and presenters, lecturing a black American woman on the nature of life long service to our mostly white kingdom? I’ve no time for BLM but if you keep using this woman as your handy punch bag, you will find it hard to deny that it’s racism. I’ll be generous and say it’s probably just a natural nastiness that you’d extend to anyone you don’t like and the Royal Family always have scapegoats whom they can throw to the press pack. Diana had her turn at the whipping post (after you drove out Sarah Ferguson), until she died, at which point she was reborn as the Queen of our Hearts. Any sudden fondness for Kate is merely to emphasise how much you dislike the upstart foreigner by comparison. What is it with our journalists that they feel compelled to destroy royal wives? Jealousy? Or just basic cruel gossip?

I really don’t want to be on team Meghan but I can’t be on the side that can’t see its own behaviour as the pure bullying it has become.

Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson
3 years ago
Reply to  Tiny C

I’ve read my fair share of unadulterated mince on the internet, but this is right up there.

Tiny C
Tiny C
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Anderson

I’ve tried to square the rightful outrage at the Left trying to silence the Right with the Right using much the same tactics to drive out anyone on the Left. I’m annoyed that both sides are resorting to bullying. I don’t have to like Meghan to see that she’s become a lazy figure of hate.
Julie could have written about Kate’s virtues without mentioning Meghan but it was an easy goal.

Terry M
Terry M
3 years ago
Reply to  Tiny C

Julie changed her views on both women, so there is a link.
No one is driving out Meghan, she and Harry have opted out. It’s probably best for all.
Meghan’s transparent attempt to trash other royals, and pout and lie to the insufferable Winfrey, reveal her true character to be exactly as portrayed by her detractors.

Simon Flynn
Simon Flynn
3 years ago
Reply to  Tiny C

Feeling better having got that blinkered whinge off your chest?
.

Tiny C
Tiny C
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Flynn

Julie’s book blurb read that she had been “pursued by the outrage mob”. I see no difference here other that there is a different outrage mob. The determination to cancel the victim is the same.

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago
Reply to  Tiny C

I think you are right that the British press can be absolutely ruthless when they attack someone, it’s a long tradition going back at least 300 years, it has a good side and a bad side.

BUT I do not think they are “racist”, that is just woke nonsense. As you yourself point out by referencing both Diana and Sarah Ferguson as going through what Meghan M has gone through, skin colour has nothing to do with it, it’s about behaving with dignity, avoiding using the media one minute then abusing them the next, and playing the game. You have to be tough, and grounded, with strong support.
I don’t deny it’s an ug ly business.

I hope you put your money where your mouth is and never buy the newspapers or magazines that print the unpleasant stories and photos, because that is the only way to stop it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Claire D
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Tiny C

I’d expect it in Burchill’s DT column but thought she might try a bit harder here.

Margie Murphy
Margie Murphy
3 years ago
Reply to  Tiny C

Not a word (among a staggering wordcount) to consider exactly why Meghan brings opprobrium upon herself. Appalling extravagance, hypocrisy (extreme environmentalism for thee but not for me) a heartless rejection of her father who didn’t do as he was told. And to be clear she was gushing about him on Instagram not long before, the best father ever kind of gush. So one transgression and compassionate Meg casts you out of her life completely and perpetually. Which might explain why she invited no family at all to her wedding bar her mother. They all all sinned against St. Meg. There is nothing to recommend this woman. Heartless and selfish, greedy and hypocritical,.controlling and unabashedly self promoting and attention seeking. The Royal family was too small for MM.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago
Reply to  Tiny C

I agree with my fellow American. We old retired non-charging about Americans know that life is too short to read more than 20 words at a time> I haven’t picked up Dickens in years.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Tiny C

She tells us how intelligent she is but didn’t Google Harry or research her new role? Pur-lease!