So, yes, the adage of “it takes two” seems to be accurate in the case of Meghan and Harry. Why, though, did it get so twisted?
Turns out, the myth of the manipulative royal wife is far from a new one.
In 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne to marry Wallis Simpson. During the crisis, and for years after, newspapers cranked out sensational coverage about the ordeal. Much of it focused on Simpson: an American divorcée, who, in their eyes, had swooped in on their beloved public servant. She was called a temptress, a social climber, a nymphomaniac who learned “ancient Chinese skills” at a Shanghai brothel that she then supposedly employed to entrap the King. (It was even rumored that a dossier of such exploits existed. This has been denied by historians.) The public opinion responded in kind. According to Alexander Larman’s book, A Crown in Crisis, Scotland Yard received an anonymous letter that said “if that Yankee harlot does not get out, we will smash her windows and give her a hiding.” That eventually did happen—newspaper editors threw bricks at her London home. “No-one has been more victimized by gossip and scandal,” Winston Churchill once observed.
In reality, it was the Duke who pushed for the two to be officially together. In fact, Simpson said she was “content with the simple way”—simple, meaning, remaining his mistress. Edward, however, pushed for her to become his wife. When it became increasingly clear that the monarchy would not…