PLATELL'S PEOPLE: What Meghan Markle could learn from Kate Middleton

PLATELL’S PEOPLE: What Meghan Markle could learn from Kate Middleton’s family snaps

Amid all the sadness of the last fortnight after the death of Prince Philip comes a ray of sunshine.

A simple picture of a three-year-old boy with a cheeky grin balancing on his bike and heading for his first day at nursery school. A joyous photo taken by his mum.

Had he not been Prince Louis, son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and fifth in line to the throne, the boy with his smart shorts and backpack could have been any child snapped by a proud parent.

As always with the occasional pictures we see of Kate and William’s children it was fun and uplifting.

Kate has managed with ease to protect her children from the media spotlight, allowing them as much as possible a normal life, while at the same time honouring an unwritten contract with the public to offer us a welcome glimpse into their lives.

A simple picture of a three-year-old boy with a cheeky grin balancing on his bike and heading for his first day at nursery school. A joyous photo taken by his mum

Oh, what her sister-in-law could learn from her! From the very outset, it appeared that Meghan chose to keep Archie from us.

There was no traditional photocall of mum and baby after the birth — although Meghan later said that was because she was not asked to stage one. When we were introduced to Archie a few days later, we didn’t get a proper look at his face. The impression conveyed in comparison to Kate the sharer was Meghan the shielder.

Of course, Harry and Meghan want to guard their family’s privacy. One of the main reasons the Sussexes went to Los Angeles was to escape unwanted intrusion from the media.

Oh, what her sister-in-law could learn from her! From the very outset, it appeared that Meghan chose to keep Archie from us

Kate has managed with ease to protect her children from the media spotlight, allowing them as much as possible a normal life, while at the same time honouring an unwritten contract with the public to offer us a welcome glimpse into their lives

Yet the irony is they have suffered more from the paparazzi over there than would ever have happened had they stayed in the shadow of Windsor Castle at Frogmore Cottage.

Only this week, a paparazzi shot of a heavily pregnant and masked Meghan, casually dressed in jeans and a black T-shirt as she carried Archie, appeared on an American website.

Early last year, Meghan was snapped holding Archie in a park by paparazzi. Before long the couple were filing a lawsuit over invasion of privacy.

In comparison to their life in Britain, the U.S. is paparazzi Wild West.

No doubt the first pictures of the proud parents and their new daughter will be released in due course in America, carefully choreographed and taken by one of Meghan’s photographers in arty black and white.

Perhaps Oprah Winfrey will be there at the birth!

But give me one of Kate’s home-snapped pictures of her children any time.

As the sun shines and we staycationers head for the coastal resorts, news comes that a 17ft great white shark is heading for British shores. Crikey, just when you thought post-lockdown it was safe to go back in the water . . . 

Greta’s talking Ikea meatballs

As world leaders met to declare their carbon emission targets, up popped Greta Thunberg at a U.S. Congressional Committee no less.

‘How long do you honestly believe people in power like you can get away with it?’ she fumed. ‘Young people today will decide how you are remembered, so my advice to you is to choose wisely.’ 

Frankly, I’d rather take lectures on such matters from the experts, not a self-appointed Joan of Arc teenager sitting in her parents’ kitchen.

It is funny that, despite ordering us all to eat less meat to save the world, Greta defends the inalienable right of her native Swedes to consume vast quantities of Ikea meatballs.

Kate is our top of the crops

Millions of us Line Of Duty fans wait with bated breath for tomorrow’s episode to find out if our heroine DI Kate Fleming dies in a shootout with bent copper Ryan Pilkington after being set up by her corrupt boss.

My guess is Kate can’t die, but will be left in a coma so the baddies are free to wreak havoc . . . until she recovers. 

Millions of us Line Of Duty fans wait with bated breath for tomorrow’s episode to find out if our heroine DI Kate Fleming (pictured) dies in a shootout with bent copper Ryan Pilkington after being set up by her corrupt boss

Who knows? But, Mother of God, she has to live — or the thousands of women who flocked to salons when they re-opened to get Kate’s signature cropped hairstyle will all be feeling a bit silly.

In a new mini-series about Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn, co-producer Faye Ward explains why the brilliant black actress Jodie Turner-Smith was cast in the lead role because her heritage ‘accentuates her position as an outsider’. 

But I thought the point of colour-blind casting, as perfectly executed in Bridgerton, is that we don’t notice an actor’s colour, just their character and ability.

I’ve long admired Trevor Phillips, a brave man who has spent years fighting injustice, especially on issues of race. Yet in private he and his family had been fighting a 22-year battle against his daughter Sushila’s anorexia. 

She died this week aged 36. With the number of girls admitted to hospital with eating disorders doubling during lockdown, surely it is time to treat them with the urgency they, and Sushila, deserve. 

Give men a break

If Promising Young Woman wins an Oscar tomorrow it will be a complete travesty.

Carey Mulligan plays an unhinged woman hell-bent on entrapping evil men in revenge for her friend’s rape and death.

It’s Fatal Attraction meets Psycho.

Surely our understanding of the sexes has progressed from the naïve 1970s feminist mantra that all men are rapists and all women victims.

They are not and we are not. Time to move on, ladies, and give some credit to men who, in my not inconsiderable experience, are mostly good guys.

Why are we not surprised that David Cameron bombarded the Bank of England and the Treasury to drum up business for the collapsed company Greensill. 

At least we now know the answer to the oft-asked question: ‘What did Dave do in his £25,000 state-of-the-art shepherd’s hut after he left office?’ Just cross his own palm with silver!

++Westminster wars++ 

  • With hindsight, perhaps it was unwise of Downing Street ‘sources’ to finger the PM’s former adviser Dominic Cummings as the man behind a series of damaging leaked text messages.
  • Rule No 1 in politics? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. For while Dom denies he is the source, there’s no end to the material on Boris he may have stashed away for a rainy day.
  • Odd that the PM did not take advice to change the number on the personal mobile he’d had for the decade that covers his times as London Mayor and PM — years in which he had affairs with both Jennifer Arcuri and his now fiancée Carrie Symonds, while still married to Marina.

Maybe he was worried that his paramours would no longer be able to engage in late-night sexy texting. If so, he’ll be having sleepless nights hoping those messages don’t leak.

It’s basic, Sharon

Not long ago, Sharon Stone lamented being stereotyped as a sex object after her ‘flashing scene’ in Basic Instinct, suggesting it led to her being denied serious acting roles.

Now 63, she poses for Elle magazine on a stool with legs akimbo, a sliver of undies preserving her modesty, and still gorgeous.

Not long ago, Sharon Stone (pictured) lamented being stereotyped as a sex object after her ‘flashing scene’ in Basic Instinct, suggesting it led to her being denied serious acting roles

Now 63, she poses for Elle magazine on a stool with legs akimbo, a sliver of undies preserving her modesty, and still gorgeous

While she believes her career was sabotaged, actresses of a certain age such as Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton and our very own Helen Mirren and Julie Walters thrived.

Just shows you should keep your knickers on!

This week the busy Archbishop of Canterbury announced that a ‘Racial Justice Sunday’ will be added to the Christian calendar, that he was behind the footy fans fighting the European Super League and that he believes politicians need our compassion. 

Surely the Most Rev Justin Welby — who has admitted he was wrong to close our church doors during Covid — should now devote his inexhaustible energy to demanding that the Government ditch the inhumane limit of 30 mourners at funerals. 

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