Image Source: Getty / Chris Jackson
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are getting ready to speak their truth. Ahead of their highly anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey, we’ve gotten a few peeks of what’s to come, and in the latest teaser, Meghan states that “there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.” So, who exactly is this “Firm,” you ask?
While “The Firm” may be a new phrase to some, those who’ve been keeping up with the British royal family know that it’s commonly used to reference the royal family and their business. “The House of Windsor is a big business, though one with more ups and downs than the stock market,” author Penny Junor wrote in the 2005 book The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor. “Prince Philip calls it ‘The Firm,’ and all the royal executives and their powerful associates are supposed to make every effort to avoid even a hint of scandal that could diminish the reputation of the family business.”
The term apparently dates all the way back to when Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI, ruled from 1936 to 1952. According to Penny, the king “first referred to the House of Windsor as The Firm and the name stuck.” Colin Firth even used the phrase when he played King George VI in 2010’s The King’s Speech and said the British royals are “not a family, we’re a firm.”
The duke and duchess were part of The Firm themselves when they were working royals, but because of their royal exit, they are no longer active members. Meghan and Harry’s first interview since their departure airs on CBS on March 7.
Maroon 5 and Megan Thee Stallion’s highly anticipated collab has finally arrived. On Wednesday, the duo dropped “Beautiful Mistakes,” and if you’re currently healing a broken heart, it may make you a little emotional. In the song, Megan and Adam Levine sing about lost love while reminiscing on past memories. “I fill my nights with the way you was / And still wake up with broken dreams / I make these lies inside my head / Feel like they’re my reality,” Adam sings.
While premiering the track on Apple Music, Adam told Zane Lowe that he’s “absolutely obsessed with the song,” and he called Megan “a superstar.” He added, “The way she built her part was just, it couldn’t have been a more epic kind of climax for the song. I mean, it really is absolutely perfect. So, I mean, what she did was just miraculous, and it brought the song to a whole new level.” And I couldn’t agree more. Megan really did her thing on this collab! Listen to the track above now.
Despite how many books I devoured growing up, it was rare to read stories centered on main characters like myself: an Asian-American girl raised by immigrant parents. All the books I did read about Asian experiences tended to revolve around the narrative that the characters’ struggles were somehow different or extraordinary, told from the perspective that they were “other.” And while those stories are important, I remember thinking that I just wanted to read a book with an Asian character whose struggles were entirely ordinary – just an average person going through completely average things that anybody can experience regardless of race. I wanted confirmation that Asian people could be worthy of relatable experiences, too, and I wanted that normalized in the stories I read.
When I started reading contemporary romance as an adult, Asian-American main characters became even more rare. In fact, I don’t think I read a single book with an AA lead until a few years ago – and I’ve been reading romance for at least 10 years now. The good news is that the romance landscape has been changing, with more representation in authors, books, and characters. Ahead are just some of these books, the ones I’ve read myself, that feature either one or both Asian-American main characters. There’s still a lot of work to be done in portraying Asian love stories as worthy, but this is a start, and I’m excited to see this list grow.
The UK tabloids just can’t seem to leave Meghan Markle alone, can they? After winning her privacy lawsuit against Associated Newspapers and just days before her highly anticipated sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey, a new report from the UK’s The Times has surfaced claiming that the Duchess of Sussex is facing a bullying complaint from one of her former advisers during her time at Kensington Palace. Frankly, I’m tired of these baseless attacks against Meghan, and I can’t even begin to imagine how tired she is.
“Let’s just call this what it is – a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation.”
On Wednesday, Meghan and Prince Harry’s spokesperson released a statement to People addressing the bullying allegations, which reportedly took place in 2018. “The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma,” the statement read. “She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.”
According to the claims, Meghan “drove two personal assistants out of the household and undermined the confidence of a third staff member.” Meghan has denied the claims, and her spokesperson also gave a statement to The Times, saying, “Let’s just call this what it is – a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation. We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of The Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet. It’s no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining The Duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and The Duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years.”
During their interview with Oprah – which airs on CBS on March 7 – Meghan and Harry will discuss a variety of topics, including their marriage, their royal exit, and what’s next for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The interview will mark the couple’s first since officially stepping down as senior British royals.
Behind Her Eyes star Eve Hewson appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show on March 1 and let viewers in on a little secret: she almost gave up acting for good. “I had a funny moment where I was auditioning for a lot of things, and I was just really tired of auditioning to play the girlfriend with boobs to be perfectly honest,” she told Clarkson. “I wasn’t interested in the roles that were out there. I didn’t like it. A lot of the roles were there to serve the man in the story or please a male audience. I just felt like, ‘I love acting, but do I love it enough to really want to put myself in these shoes?'”
She went on to explain the moment in her career that became the turning point for her, a book-to-TV adaptation called The Luminaries. “I almost gave up, and then #MeToo happened, and I read the script for The Luminaries, and it was this incredible female protagonist going through the same themes – she was fighting the same themes that I was fighting in my career,” Hewson said. “It was so interesting and such a wonderful opportunity, and I thought, ‘OK, maybe I shouldn’t quit, maybe I should give this a try and see where it goes.'” She added: “I ended up having this magical sort of romance, falling in love with acting again on this show, so [The Luminaries] means a lot to me for that reason.”
Watch the full interview above.