Meghan Markle seems clued up about royal role in a way that Diana never was

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MEGHAN MARKLE was welcomed like a long-lost friend when she visited a hip and cool radio station this week.

She stole everyone’s heart with her enthusiasm, genuine interest and ability to put people at ease.

 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle received a warm welcome as they arrived at a radio station in Brixton, south LondonGetty Images – Getty Prince Harry and Meghan Markle received a warm welcome as they arrived at a radio station in Brixton, south London

She was delightful but, sadly, not everyone has been won over.

Ann Widdecombe, currently perched in the Celebrity Big Brother house with a disapproving face like a cat’s bum, declared Meghan would be “trouble” because of her “background and attitude”.

Presumably the little ray of sunshine means because Meghan is a 36-year-old American divorcee, and not a virginal teenage English rose, she won’t fit in. This is abject nonsense.

Don’t forget that the last wide-eyed, innocent, 20-year-old royal bride was Harry’s poor mum Princess Diana, and we all know how that turned out.

 Princess Diana always struggled to seem at ease with royal protocolGetty – Contributor Princess Diana always struggled to seem at ease with royal protocol

Diana had no idea what she was letting herself in for, but Meghan, is going into this with her eyes wide open.

I find it perplexing that instead of celebrating Harry finding a woman he loves, some cynics are already tutting that this relationship will never last.

Ludicrously, they say the couple are far too touchy-feely, and we should take this as a sign that their passion will soon wear off.

There have also been suggestions that Meghan will feel like a bird trapped in a gilded cage and won’t be able to cope with all the stifling royal rituals and dull duties such as opening fish factories and unveiling plaques.

 Meghan Markle appears completely aware of what she is getting intoGetty Images – Getty Meghan Markle appears completely aware of what she is getting into

I cannot agree. This young woman was born to be a modern princess.

She’s bright, articulate, obviously good in front of the camera and adored by her besotted Prince.

The couple are also genuinely committed to doing good works and want to make a difference.

Skittish Harry has been firmly brought to heel by Meghan, and that’s no bad thing.

 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for their engagement photoshootPA:Press Association Prince Harry and Meghan Markle pose for their engagement photoshoot

He’s always been the most “normal” of the royals but deep down still has that ingrained regal sense of entitlement.

Luckily he now has Meghan to ensure he stays grounded.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was her idea to fly economy to the south of France for their post-Christmas mini-break.

She’s the best thing that could have happened to Harry and the entire Royal Family.

I reckon the same people who mocked Diana for being shy and Kate for being wooden are the ones who are sniffily declaring that Meghan is too pushy, confident and too big for her designer boots.

I’m afraid it’s inevitable there will be a backlash after all the praise heaped on Harry’s wife-to-be.

 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot on May 19, 2018PA Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot on May 19, 2018

Remember Sarah Ferguson, who was hailed as a breath of fresh air when she bounded into the Royal Family as Prince Andrew’s fiancée, but then found herself labelled vulgar and frumpy.

When her marriage broke down and she was photographed having her toes sucked by her then-lover, and later cashing in on her royal connections, there was no going back.

Despite trying to reinvent herself as a TV host and charity worker, Sarah has never regained the public’s affection.

People also forget that before she died, Diana came in for a lot of criticism for spending so much time on holiday and having some post-divorce fun with a series of boyfriends.

 Prince Harry grins at Meghan as she dons a pair of headphones at Reprezent FMAFP Prince Harry grins at Meghan as she dons a pair of headphones at Reprezent FM

It’s tough for royal women, but Meghan has one big weapon in her armoury that should help her cut through the baffling royal protocol.

As we saw this week in London’s Brixton, she is completely and utterly charming, and that will go a long way to winning over even the stuffiest of royal courtiers, as well as the extended family.

The Queen and Prince Charles will just be relieved and delighted that Harry has found someone he wants to settle down with, who genuinely loves him and isn’t just dazzled by the riches and title.

William simply wants his brother to be as happy and contented as he is with family life.

 William and Kate will be happy to have the spotlight taken awayGetty Images – Getty William and Kate will be happy to have the spotlight taken away

And Kate will be delighted she is off the hook, because Meghan is now the one who has her hairstyle and dress sense forensically scrutinised.

No one is saying it’s going to be easy for Harry and Meghan, and every marriage has its and ups and downs.

Perhaps she won’t be able to hold on to her new-found popularity, but she is a strong-willed and determined woman who won’t be intimidated by the infamous “grey men” in the Palace who made Diana and Sarah’s lives such misery.

I also believe love does conquer all and that these two are the real deal.

The sour-faced carpers and the internet trolls just need to lay off and give them both a break.

Why not give it a dry?

IT’S unlucky for some but 13 days into dry January I’m rather enjoying being off the booze.

I got more than a bit jaded with buckets of wine and tons of turkey vol-au-vents over Christmas and New Year, and there’s only so many Chocolate Oranges even I can guzzle without feeling bloated.

 Ditching the wine has left me feeling healthy after Christmas and New YearGetty – Contributor Ditching the wine has left me feeling healthy after Christmas and New Year

I’m back to my exercise classes on Monday after an enforced absence due to fitness instructor Maxine Jones having a knee op.

I’ve really missed my church hall sessions with all the girls, and I can’t wait to get all hot and sweaty to some classic tunes.

It’s the best way to shake off the January blues and feel better physically and mentally.

For those of you who have already fallen by the wayside and are currently making up excuses to dodge the gym, I recommend you find an exercise you actually enjoy.

It’s best to join a class for encourage- ment and support and also get rid of all those leftover chocolates and half empty bottles of gin.

Good luck.

 Holly Willoughby looked incredible for the launch of Dancing On IceInstagram Holly Willoughby looked incredible for the launch of Dancing On Ice

IT’S good to have Dancing On Ice back on on our screens and I salute the courage of all those celebrities who risk bruised egos and bottoms every Sunday night.

But I most admired the glorious Holly Willoughby, for managing to look effortlessly elegant on that cold ice rink, even with tiny hot water bottles in her cleavage and wearing great big thermal boots.

The woman is an absolute marvel.

 Lorraine has teamed up with comedian Rob Beckett to co-host a new BBC Saturday night primetime show called Wedding Day WinnersDan Jones – The Sun Lorraine has teamed up with comedian Rob Beckett to co-host a new BBC Saturday night primetime show called Wedding Day Winners

THANKS for the feedback on Wedding Day Winners, the bonkers TV show I present with Rob Beckett.

It sees brides and grooms compete to win a fabulous honeymoon and the chance to get married in front of the nation.

Lots of you embraced the fun and were moved to tears by the heartfelt wedding ceremony.

Tonight two very special couples battle it out and there will be some ridiculously OTT games that will give you a right good belly laugh.

  • Wedding Day Winners, BBC1, 7.25pm tonight.

I was an ice pupil

I FELT really sorry for that poor lad from China whose hair froze while he was walking to and from school.

The wee soul, never even had the chance to thaw out because the classroom was also cold.

 Frozen... Wang Fuman's hair turned to ice after trekking to school in the snow Frozen… Wang Fuman’s hair turned to ice after trekking to school in the snow

It reminded me of my own school days, at Claremont secondary in East Kilbride, just outside Glasgow.

I used to have to walk a couple of miles there during the infamous 1974 three-day week, brought in by the Tories to conserve electricity during industrial action by the miners.

This was when we stocked up on candles, the TV shut down at 10.30pm and the pubs all closed.

It was hell on earth.

During the winter East Kilbride is too cold even for polar bears.

 East Kilbride in the snowPressteam Scotland East Kilbride in the snow

And trudging through the snow in the early morning, my hair – and especially my fringe – froze into a solid block of ice.

Due to imposed shutdowns at the time, our classrooms were also absolutely freezing and all of us pupils were given hot orange squash to stop us getting hypothermia.

These days health and safety officials in high-vis jackets would have simply closed all of the schools, but back then we were made of sterner stuff and thought it was all a bit of an adventure.

We were allowed to wear our Duffle coats, scarves and gloves indoors and it was considered character-building.




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