Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

If You Don't Want to Know What Happens, Meghan, You Might Want to Look Away Now

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

If You Don't Want to Know What Happens, Meghan, You Might Want to Look Away Now

Article excerpt

Byline: Susannah Butter The Viewer

The Royal Wives of Windsor ITV, 9pm MEGHAN Markle should steer clear of this programme. If the princess-to-be has even the faintest creep of cold feet about her impending nuptials, an hour of talking heads pontificating about how marrying into the royal family will transform life as she knows it is sure to put her on the first plane back to California. Prince Harry should avoid it too. He'll only end up feeling guilty about what his new wife is in for. If they're planning a big Monday night in, they should try new series Superstition on Netflix instead it's horror too, but at least it's fictional.

For those with no vested interest in the harsh realities of being a royal WAG, The Royal Wives of Windsor is a comprehensive look at the women who have had the misfortune of becoming romantically involved with The Firm. I say misfortune because, in the 95 years of history it takes in, from the Queen Mother's marriage to the present day, only three royal wives have happy endings (The Queen Mum, Sophie Wessex and the Duchess of Cambridge). This is no Merry Wives of Windsor.

Princess Diana looms large. Her story may be familiar but it's still painful to rewatch footage of her being chased by paparazzi. We see her aged 22, caught like a rabbit in the headlights with no emotional support.

The range of commentators is impressive: there's historian David Starkey with his pocket square and expressive hands; royal biographers Penny Juror and Andrew Morton; and journalist Afua Hirsch to provide the perspective of a mixed-race woman on African American Markle. We even get to hear from a security specialist for some real talk. Jeremy Paxman is the most entertaining.

For some inexplicable reason, he appears inordinately amused to be there and relishes talking about how the virginal Diana looked like someone you'd put on top of a cake. …

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