Meghan Markle’s ‘I’m just a mom’ routine on Ellen DeGeneres’ show will be a hit with Americans who ‘celebrate’ celebrity, a royal commentator has said.
British journalist Emily Andrews joined the Good Morning Britain team today to discuss the Duchess of Sussex’s first major TV interview since her notorious tell-all with Oprah Winfrey.
Meghan, a former Suits actress who is living in a $14million mansion in California with husband Prince Harry and their children Archie and Lilibet, left a group of Los Angeles street vendors open-mouthed in shock by dancing and singing in front of them while referring to herself as ‘mommy’ as part of a cringe-worthy on-the-street prank with DeGeneres.
The 40-year-old made a clear attempt to distance herself from the royal family’s reserved image during her surprise appearance, when she stepped outside of the studio to pull a prank on a trio of vendors, which saw her forced to do and say whatever the talk show host told her to via a hidden ear piece.
But Ms Andrews suggested many Americans ‘will love’ the duchess’ ‘acting’ and ‘I’m just a mom’ image after she recently caused controversy by cold-calling US senators on their private phones and using her royal title to urge them to vote in favour of compulsory paid family leave.
Meghan Markle (pictured left) ‘needed to reboot her image’ following her political lobbying campaign, a royal commentator has said, and Americans ‘will love’ her appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ show
British journalist Emily Andrews (pictured) joined the Good Morning Britain team today to discuss the Duchess of Sussex’s first major TV interview since her notorious tell-all with Oprah Winfrey
The royal commentator said: ‘We often talk, don’t we, about the fact that you know the British sense of humour, the American sense of humour, the fact that she struggled maybe slightly over here because she is very American.
‘In America celebrity and achievement is celebrated. In the UK… you don’t want to get too big for you boots. We do celebrate but we’re very understated. Which is completely opposite in America.
‘I think she has needed to reboot her image a little bit because some Americans, I’ve been told by friends out there, felt that her politicising, her ringing, cold calling senators, on paid family leave, now look, the Americans fought a war to get rid of the British royal family, over 220 years ago, and now there’s a member of the royal family – yes she’s American and married in – but a member of the royal family campaigning.
‘And so I think many Americans will love this, they’ll love the fact that she sent herself up, they’ll love the acting. It’s sort of very homespun, “I’m just a mom”, I’m helping people, it’s a very important part of her image.’
She added that Meghan was trying hard to build her brand as a philanthropist.
‘What she was doing though [on The Ellen Show], was so royal, that’s what the royals do, they highlight the work of other people, they put the limelight and the spotlight on ordinary people, and of course, Meghan as we know likes the limelight on herself,’ added Ms Andrews.
The Duchess of Sussex during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show at the Warner Bros lot in Burbank
The duchess renewed calls for compulsory paid family leave in the US in her soft-soap interview with close friend Ellen.
She told the host she would do ‘everything’ in her power to change US policy for millions of Americans.
The duchess recently caused controversy by cold-calling US senators on their private phones and using her royal title to urge them to vote in favour of paid leave. Previously she wrote a letter to the US Congress asking them to considering making paid leave law.
Republican Representative Jason Smith of Missouri condemned Meghan for interfering in American politics, and even suggested she should be stripped of her title to stop her using it to gain political leverage.
Meghan told The Ellen Show: ‘I think that people truly forget, or don’t even know that in this country, it’s one of the only six countries in the entire world and the only wealthy nation in the entire world that does not mandate and have a federal paid leave programme.
‘Everybody knows, especially if you have had a child and even if you haven’t, you know how hard it is and how critical it is in those first few weeks if not months to be together as a family.
Meghan and DeGeneres looking at the audience during a taping at the Warner Bros lot in Burbank, California
DeGeneres (right) and Meghan during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show at the Warner Bros lot in California
‘And the fact that we don’t offer that here is something that now as a mom of two, I will do everything that I can to make sure that we can implement that for people.’
Meghan also promoted her children’s book The Bench, which she said she wrote as a poem for Harry on Father’s Day.
Elsewhere, to kick off her prank during the show, DeGeneres asked Meghan to touch her elbow and nose, and then do a squat to confirm that she could hear all of the talk show host’s instructions, while one of the series’ producers approached the vendors to inform them that the duchess wished to browse their stalls.
‘I am executive assistant to Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and she’s here today and would love to just shop normally,’ the producer – using the name Pwamma – told them. ‘She just wants to be treated normally. Don’t try to act any other way, just totally normal. Is that cool?’
Meghan then approached the first vendor and began inspecting the crystals on their stall, before DeGeneres instructed her to hold one to her head and begin groaning and moaning.
‘I’m going to hold this against my head,’ the mother-of-two told the perplexed salesperson, before closing her eyes and mumbling, adding: ‘That is wonderful.’
Moving on to the next vendor, who was showcasing different varieties of hot sauce, Meghan began ‘bouncing up and down’ in excitement at DeGeneres’s request, asking the man: ‘What do we have here? What have you got, what have you got, what have you got?’
Inspecting the bottles of hot sauce lined up on the table, Meghan then told the baffled vendor: ‘Let mommy have a taste,’ before telling him, ‘My boo loves hot sauce.’
After being presented with a hot sauce covered chip, the duchess proceeded to chomp down on it ‘like a chipmunk’ and DeGeneres’s behest, nibbling on the snack while holding it to her mouth with both hands, before telling the salesman: ‘That’s not spicy! Let me try something real hot, mommy wants some heat.
‘Let’s get the spiciest, let’s get the hottest.’
Seizing another chip from the man, Meghan was then instructed to ‘shove the whole thing in her mouth’ – and then begin furiously fanning at her face while saying: ‘Oh lordy, lordy, lordy.
‘I’m feeling hot, hot, hot,’ she then sang to the tune of the hit song by The Merrymen. ‘Mommy needs some milk.’
The duchess went on to pull out a baby bottle from her purse and vigorously swig milk from it, all while the vendor looked on open-mouthed, unable to hide his bewilderment over her behaviour.
Meghan Markle’s appearance on The Ellen Show: The highlights
PAID FAMILY LEAVE
I think that people truly forget, or don’t even know that in this country, it’s one of the only six countries in the entire world and the only wealthy nation in the entire world that does not mandate and have a federal paid leave programme.
Everybody knows, especially if you have had a child and even if you haven’t, you know how hard it is and how critical it is in those first few weeks if not months to be together as a family.
And the fact that we don’t offer that here is something that now as a mom of two, I will do everything that I can to make sure that we can implement that for people.
We wanted to do something fun for the kids and then the kids were not into it at all. Archie was a dinosaur for maybe five minutes. Still not even five minutes, Harry talked him into putting the head on.
But Lilibet was a skunk and it was so cute. She was the flower from Bambi.
HARRY IN CALIFORNIA
He loves it (living in California).
We moved here during lockdown so everything was shut down, so we have been able to spend a lot of time at home and creating our home, but it’s a lifestyle and the weather is pretty great. We’re just happy.
ON LILIBET TEETHING
She is a good sleeper, but the teeth are coming in, so any mom will understand where you go they may be the best in the world, but the moment that is happening you have so much sympathy, so yes, I am up most of the night.
ON HER BOOK ‘THE BENCH’
It was about my observation of him (Harry) and him being a dad, which was the most beautiful thing to watch.
Once it was shared with a couple of friends and people that we were close with, they said, ‘No this resonates for me too because it feels really inclusive and there’s representation and it’s just like a sweet love story between a family’, and so I said, ‘OK let’s turn it into a children’s book’.
ON HER NIGHT OUT WITH PRINCESS EUGENIE
He (Harry) came to see me in Toronto and our friends and his cousin Eugenie and now her husband Jack, they came as well, and the four of us snuck out in Halloween costumes to just have one fun night on the town before it was out in the world that we were a couple.
It was a post-apocalypse theme, so we had all this very bizarre costuming on, and we were able to just have one fun final night out.
ON AUDITIONING AT WARNER BROS LOT
So I had this very old Ford Explore Sport and at a certain point the key stopped working on the driver’s side, so you couldn’t get yourself in through the door so after auditions I would park at the back of the parking lot and I would open the trunk and climb in, pull the door shut behind me and crawl all over my seats to get out. That’s how I would come to and fro.
I would park on gate three and I would scoot on over and the security guards here would always say ‘break a leg, I hope you get it’. So driving today was very different.
ON SELLING SCRUNCHIES AT SCHOOL
My mom would take me down to downtown LA where all the fabrics are, you can buy them really affordably and I would get some of the remnants and I would buy the elastic and tied the knot and I had a sewing machine, and I made scrunchies and sold them at school, this is when I was at elementary school.
It was a thing at the time and I guess they are back now, people are wearing scrunchies again.