When you’re Meghan Markle and you make the decision to marry into the royal family, being the subject of an infinite cascade of tabloid covers, questionable headlines, and paparazzi photos comes with the territory. These pitfalls of stardom have existed in some capacity since the dawn of celebrity. However, with the overwhelming presence of social media in every direction you look, it’s scarily easy to forget that the figures that we idolize are not as tangible as they appear.
That became very apparent over the weekend during the Duchess of Sussex’s appearance at Wimbledon to watch one of close friends, Serena Williams, play. According to The Daily Mail, her bodyguards requested tennis fans, among 12,000 in the arena, to not take photos of the Duchess.
A royal source told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s not uncommon for personal protection officers accompanying any members of the Royal Family to ask people not to take pictures so they can engage with people and events rather than camera phones’.
Do you think her request was unrealistic?
However unrealistic, there should be some consideration given to her plea. Despite the public implications of being a celebrity, is it not unreasonable to expect complacency when taking photos of them mere inches away from their face? Whether or not her request was childish and ill-advised, the media backlash against her for it should be examined to find the root of why we demonize those who when we expect so much from them, eventually can’t deliver.
The celebration of celebrity stays relevant because it is something people can connect over. It’s become increasingly popular in the era of smart phones and Instagram. Of course, taking a photo of a celebrity who you happen to see in public is understandable and shouldn’t be condemned. However, the issue becomes expectations. There is an expectation that Meghan Markle must always be available to be the subject of photos when she is in public and it is probable that she in turn, expects to be afforded some privacy in public when she feels she needs it. Not unreasonable to desire that but impossible to enforce.