Meghan Markle stepped out alongside two of her friends to watch pal Serena Williams play at the Wimbledon tennis tournament last week ― an outing that caused a bit of bad publicity for the royal.
During the match, the security detail for the Duchess of Sussex caused a tiff by asking other spectators not to take photos of her, or even photos in her direction.
Sally Jones, a former BBC reporter who was at the match, was among those approached with the request. In an article Jones wrote for The Telegraph, she said a member of Markle’s security team tapped her on the shoulder and said, “Would you not take photographs of the duchess? She’s here in a private capacity.”
Jones was especially upset because, she said, she was actually snapping a photo of Williams ― not the duchess. The incident caused Jones to criticize both Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry.
“No wonder there is a growing tide of resentment against the Sussexes for their secretive, high maintenance attitude and diva-ish demands for privacy when it suits them ― despite the eye-wateringly expensive, taxpayer-funded refit of Frogmore Cottage,” Jones wrote, referring to the couple’s new home.
She added that it was “irrational” to try to enforce a no-photo request “when they appear in a highly public arena amid a substantial press pack and thousands of spectators.”
Below are photos of security stopping a man, who was reportedly taking a selfie, with the court behind him as a backdrop.
The no-photos request also riled up Piers Morgan, who said on his “Good Morning Britain” TV show Tuesday that the royals are “public people.”
“If you want to be private, go back to America and live privately. It’s pretty straightforward,” he said, calling the incident “an absolute joke.”
“If you go to Wimbledon in your free tickets in the Royal Box ― the best seats in the house for nothing, and you take your two [besties] ... in that moment you’re public people,” he said.
Members of the royal family don’t usually take photos with well-wishers during public engagements, and they generally shy away from being in selfies that adoring fans would like. There are also certain photographers that the royals rely on to capture private moments ― like Meghan and Harry’s engagement and the recent christening of their baby, Archie ― with shots that are later released to the public.
So as opposed to “diva-like behavior,” Meghan and her team at Wimbledon were likely trying to maintain the royal family tradition, as well as guard against a mob scene that would distract from the tennis match.
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