In an absolute win for women and “Archetypes” fans everywhere (the Venn diagram of which is a circle), New York Magazine’s The Cut put Meghan Markle on its September cover. While the barefaced feminist looks chic on her own in the elegant-austere portrait, I wouldn’t be surprised if her twin bro, Fabulous Harry himself, isn’t just out of frame, pulling Meghan’s hair back into a severe ponytail.
The accompanying profile packs in a lot of telling details about Meghan’s image-honing perfectionism in sunny Montecito, although it is wry about how little Meghan is willing to say that isn’t filtered through a “tiny Bachelor producer in her brain.” Overall, though, life under Meghan’s reign at the Montecito farm and beach club, which encompasses both Archie’s chicken coop and the “Lili Bunny Garden + Larder,” seems great. Idyllic, even, bearing literal fruit (like the kind she handed to New York writer Allison P. Davis as a parting gift in a basket, along with other produce and a jar of jam tagged with special labels that she had made on Etsy).
They seem happy, but at least six moments in the story made me concerned about the royal couple's codependency issues. What are they, you ask? Well:
1. Harry and Meghan are a palm tree
On a tour of the Montecito manor, Meghan points out a frond or two:
“One of the first things my husband saw when we walked around the house was those two palm trees,” Meghan told the Cut. “See how they’re connected at the bottom? He goes, ‘My love, it’s us.’ And now every day when Archie goes by us, he says, ‘Hi, Momma. Hi, Papa.’”
This is not good modeling for a three-and-a-half-year-old.
2. Meghan and Harry identify with salt and pepper
In the midst of teaching Archie a lesson about manners, Meghan shores up a repressed memory about the passing of salt and pepper shakers. It’s not only polite, but imperative to the safety of their crown to keep them together at all times:
“‘You never move one without the other.’ That’s me and Harry. We’re like salt and pepper. We always move together.”
This one’s heartbreaking. And under seasoned.
3. Meghan and Harry call each other by their first initials
This is classic toxic couple behavior, forcing an outsider to bear witness to their fragile intimacies:
Meghan’s Harry, or “H,” as she calls him in anecdotes, or “my love,” as she refers to him when he’s standing in front of her, as he is now in navy-blue athletic shorts, a T-shirt, and no shoes, has appeared from somewhere in the house to say hello.
Harry’s initial H is really hard to pronounce in a breathy baby voice, so you know she’s working hard for it.
4. Meghan and Harry share a desk
No matter that the Sussexes work together under the as-of-now-$125 million banner of Archewell, a “catch-all company for their post-royal pursuits” — plenty of power couples own businesses together successfully (for example, Eddie and Tamra Judge ran CUT Fitness into the ground together for a full decade and came out of it only more buffer and devout). What troubles me is the following description of their workspace:
The two run Archewell from their shared home office, specifically from two plush club chairs placed side by side behind a single desk, facing into the room like thrones.
This creeped me out a lot. They need two separate desks and to set up iMessage on their respective work computers to communicate with each other while in the same room, like normal people do.
5. Meghan and Harry share illusions of grandeur
Meghan had been at a 16-hour photoshoot the day before her interview, prompting this response from her ginger half:
“You were gone for, like, ten hours yesterday,” he marvels to his wife. “Tell her the first thing you said when you got back last night,” he says, turning to me. “She said, ‘I’m not a model.’ “I was like, ‘No, you are, of course you can be a model.’ And she’s like, ‘I’m a mom!’ And it’s like, ‘You can be both.’ ”
Not to say Meghan is not drop dead gorgeous, but even Gigi Hadid is having a hard time being a mom and a model. The only one that seems to do both with grace is Chrissy Teigen.
6. Meghan and Harry both have daddy issues
Meghan and Harry admittedly have had quite a rough go with their families in the last few years. Meghan became estranged from her father Thomas in the lead up to her royal wedding, and in the wake of Megxit and 10,000 years of racism, Harry stopped talking to his brood of bad vibes. Meghan recognizes the symmetry:
When I ask about it, Meghan doesn’t stay in her sadness for long; instead, she uses it to discuss how toxic tabloid culture has torn two families apart. “Harry said to me, ‘I lost my dad in this process.’ It doesn’t have to be the same for them as it was for me, but that’s his decision.”
Maybe Tyler Perry could loan them a good couples therapist, too?