Duchess of Sussex: Nickname for Meghan revealed
Wombat. Big Willie. The Basher.*
When it comes to cheeky epithets, the royals are big fans. Why would you ever use someone’s real title (simply ghastly) when you could just take a charming page out of the Sloane Handbook and instead use someone’s cheeky nickname like Bunter or Minty or Honks? Because, what else would you call out when are lolling on a couch at Balmoral and are in desperate need of a relative to top up your drink?
However, there are funny, naughty monikers to be brandished about with glee abandon, such as, say, during licentious hunting weekends or the Queen’s annual Christmas lunch for the extended family when you are seven eggnogs in. And then are those that are designed and deployed for maximum brute force and disdain, such as when Diana used to refer to Princess Michael of Kent as ‘The U-Boat Commander.” (Her father Baron Günther von Reibnitz who was a member of the Nazi party and Hitler’s SS.)
Now, we have another to add that list of cutting nicknames. A new blockbuster story from The Sunday Times has revealed what the paper alleges is the cruel pet name one senior member of the royal family has bestowed upon Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
According to the piece by former Tatler journalist Sophia Money-Coutts, one “very senior member of the royal family” has reportedly taken to calling Meghan “The degree wife”. Why, you might ask? Because, according to this royal source, “she will only last three years.”
This is just one of the gasp-worthy revelations in Money-Coutts’ bombshell story about the alleged feud between Princes Harry and William. In amongst other salacious tidbits (such as the claim that Prince Philip reportedly told Harry “one steps out with actresses, one doesn’t marry them”) is the suggestion that those in the innermost royal circles are sceptical about the longevity of the Sussexes’ union.
This is not the first time that reports have surfaced about the former Suits star being lumped with less-than-flattering sobriquets. Over the last six months, there have been reports that she had been allegedly dubbed ‘Duchess Difficult’ by some palace staffers because of her propensity to, gasp, get up early and send emails to her team. (I know, a woman who wants to work hard and is focused on making a difference – how dare she!) Then were also claims aired in March by society bible Tatler that Kensington Palace staff had taken to referring to the Duchess of Sussex as ‘Me-Gain.’
However, to poorly paraphrase Oscar Wilde, I would argue the only thing worse than being brazenly gossiped about is not being brazenly gossiped about. Because maybe, just maybe, the fact that she is causing those in the most sanctums of the royal family to clutch their pearls and to come up with snide monikers is a sure fire sign that she is doing her job well.
The fact she has attracted such mean nicknames is surely a sign that some in the establishment see her as a threat. I personally would interpret this latest rude nickname as an indication that she is doing a bang up job of using her incredible position to agitate and speak out about more political but important issues such as gender equality and climate change.
If Meghan had pitched up at the front door of Kensington Palace with the plan to meekly abide by the status quo and use her platform to do nothing more consequential than save labradors and open regional regattas or recycling plants then, she would not be getting these downright mean nicknames. Nor would she be the woman that Prince Harry fell in love with.
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It is interesting that this has come out only a week or so after it Donald Trump called Meghan “nasty.” The tangerine President has long made a habit of lobbing misogynistic slurs at women he feels challenged and THREATENED BY. If the same logic applies to the upper classes in the UK, the “The Degree Wife” says more about how the waves Meghan is making, and what a profound effect she is having on Harry and his activist focus, rather than on the quality of their marriage.
So, long live The Degree Wife. I reckon she might be there for a PhD and beyond.
*These are all legitimate nicknames given to Prince William by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales and his wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.