If you love The Daily Beast’s royal coverage, then we hope you’ll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get it in your inbox on Sunday.
She may be having a hard time with the media in Britain, but the crowd at the U.S. Open made Meghan Markle feel right at home, cheering her loudly as her face appeared on the jumbotron on Saturday afternoon.
Meghan attended the U.S. Open to watch her friend, sporting icon Serena Williams, make what turned out to be an unsuccessful tilt at a record-breaking 24th grand slam. Meghan sat in Williams’ players’ box with Serena’s husband Alexis Ohanian, Oracene Price, Williams’ mother, Venus Williams, Serena’s sister, Patrick Mouratoglou, Williams’ coach, and Vogue editor-in-chief (and huge tennis fan) Anna Wintour.
The tennis game came after the excitement of Meghan being seen among New Yorkers; she rose early to attend a reportedly favorite West Village yoga class of hers, according to People magazine.
“There were lots of sweet, knowing smiles” among a class of around 60 Modo Yoga patrons when Meghan appeared on Saturday morning, a source told People.
“She has been going to Modo Yoga for many years and tries to do so whenever she is in New York,” the source told the publication. “It was the perfect remedy for jet lag.” At the time of writing, no pictures of Meghan attending the class had leaked to the press.
New York Fashion Week watchers wonder if Meghan will take in a show or two before her flight back to Britain, which is reportedly some time on Sunday.
At Flushing Meadows, while most of us saw a strong woman supporting a buddy, and bringing a welcome splash of glamour to one of America’s most storied sporting occasions, for British tabloid the Daily Mail, it was another chance to mock, criticize and attempt to shame Meghan.
This time, the writer Sarah Vine used the solo trip to accuse her of being a bad mother for having had the temerity to leave her four-month-old son Archie at home with Harry.
Vine, in a piece of writing dripping with venom, compared Meghan to herself, saying that she could never have left her child for a few days at such a young age because she “was still breastfeeding,” because it would have been “a huge emotional wrench,” because she was “completely obsessed with my baby” and because she was “exhausted.”
Vine’s clear inference was that Meghan’s wish to take a quick trip back to the country of her birth to support one of her most inspirational and valued friends showed Meghan was none of these things, and therefore a terrible mother.
She called the appearance a “stunt” and said that Meghan’s willingness to fly to the U.S. to watch a tennis match showed she was a climate hypocrite (yawn), given to “flaunting” her famous friendships.
For good measure, she sought to further suggest that Meghan had offended the queen by going to watch tennis because she and Harry have not gone to the queen’s Scottish residence, Balmoral this year.
For Vine this tirade would usually have been pretty standard another-day-another-dollar-invective.
However, unfortunately for Vine, the internet quickly realized she is in no position to be preaching to anyone about parenting skills: In 2016, it was reported she had left her 11-year-old son alone in a hotel room for six hours while she and her husband (the senior Conservative politician Michael Gove) had a raucous night out.
The child, according to reports, was left alone in a bed and breakfast for six hours while Vine and Gove attended an event hosted to mark the end of the Cheltenham Literary Festival—and their then 11-year-old child was subsequently found wandering the hotel corridors by a night porter at 1.30 a.m., asking where his parents were.
Vine’s accusations of hypocrisy against Meghan also seem to be asking for trouble; most people would agree that traveling on an airplane shouldn’t disbar anyone from being concerned about the environment.
It’s certainly a tame form of hypocrisy when compared to her husband, who was recently forced to admit that he wrote a column for The Times of London (before he was a politician he was a journalist) condemning drug use, and just hours after he hosted a cocaine-fueled party at his apartment.
The party at Gove’s flat took place on Dec. 27, 1999, and the following morning The Times published an article by Gove in which he argued against the legalization of drugs.
“Middle-class professionals may be able to live with, manage and control drug use much as they have grown used to managing adultery,” he harrumphed, “But it is a little less easy to cope with the consequences of illegal drug use, or family breakdown, in South Shields than it is in south Hampstead. If elites, for the comfort of their own consciences, say an activity is fine when the costs for others are much less easy to bear, then what’s virtuous about that?”
Or to put it another way: elite British media professionals with powerful jobs might be able to do one thing and say another, but apparently not Meghan Markle, who has been subjected to relentless criticism in the British media—and who must have welcomed feeling, and hearing, the love on Saturday at the U.S. Open.