Meghan Markle’s Memeable Moment Marred by Meaning

Her new soundbite isn’t quite "Were you silent? Or were you silenced?" status

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrives at the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award G...
my what big teeth you have

In a brand-new trailer (no, not the one from before, but an even newer one) teasing the final three episodes of Harry & Meghan, viewers finally get to see the Fabulous Markle Twins take a “freedom flight” to the land of equal opportunity known as Montecito, California. As the Sussexes explain, a shadowy royal cabal known only as “they” forced the duo into a series of impossible situations: They pulled Harry and Meghan’s security, they were “institutionally gaslighting,” they were actively recruiting people to disseminate disinformation, and they were lying to protect Harry’s brother, rather than telling the truth to protect Heghan.

That all sounds pretty horrifying, and maybe suggests that my beloved Queen was actually evil.

But one thing is missing from this whistleblowing attempt, at least judging from the contents of the trailers so far: a single line so punchy that it crystalizes the entire situation and will guarantee a million screencaps in its wake. Remember when Meghan sat down with Oprah, and Her Maj of Montecito asked the displaced princess, “Were you silent? Or were you silenced?” (Emphasis on the last half of “silenced,” with accompanying finger motions.)

Now that was a freaking royal meme! “WYSoWYSed” was the GIF of the century. The number of times I’ve repeated, “Were you silent? Or were you silenced?” to my computer because I needed to clear my cache like three months ago and videos don’t ever play with sound on Chrome? Innumerable. Daily.

It was always going to be hard for Harry and Meghan to top that legendary usage of anaphora to describe the active occupation of the Frogmore Manor by the British armed forces, but that didn’t stop Ms. Megh from giving it her best try. Ultimately, this is what she came up with:


One more time: “I wasn’t being thrown to the wolves. I was being fed to the wolves.” A good start, hon, but not quite there yet. I hate to point it out, but when it comes to matters of human wolf chum, “being thrown” is equivalent to “being fed,” as wolves will sniff out meat no matter what and they’ll be feasting in a matter of seconds. I know Meghan probably thought she was doing something interesting here syntactically, but maybe she should leave it to the experts like Tyler Perry, who is featured heavily in this trailer, saying, “They just wanted to be free. They wanted to be free to love and be happy. I applauded that.”

But are they free, or were they freed? We’ll find out on Dec. 15.