Has one done one’s due diligence?

So Prince Harry intends to marry an actress from a television drama, eh? Somehow I get the impression that this is rather apt, because this has every chance of becoming a reality TV show in short order.

Here’s the piece of Meghan Markle’s biography I find most interesting:

Markle was in a relationship with actor and producer Trevor Engelson from 2004 until 2011. They married on September 10, 2011, and divorced in August 2013.

So we can assume that Markle has a good working relationship with a divorce lawyer she keeps on speed-dial. Being an American celebrity, this is hardly surprising. Looking at those dates, she was in a seven-year relationship before she got married aged 30, and threw in the towel two years later. This is not a good sign, although to be fair with a background like that she’s joining the right family.

I really hope that Harry has done his due-diligence here. At the very least, he ought to have gone for a quiet beer with this Engelson chap and got the straight skinny from him. The last thing he wants to do is listen to Meghan’s version of how the relationship broke down. In my experience, divorced women talk about their ex-husbands as if they were sacrificing children on the living room floor every night. The men are equally bitter, but their anger is normally directed towards the divorce proceedings and her behaviour during this period rather than her conduct during the marriage itself.

I met a woman once who claimed over and over that her marriage failed solely because her husband was a lying alcoholic who mistreated her. But the more I learned, the more I got the impression a portion of the blame lay with her. When I put this to her she went mental, and shouted at me for suggesting she “deserved” her ill-treatment. The idea that she ought take some responsibility for her predicament was met with apoplectic anger.

Later, just out of curiosity, I dropped the ex-husband an email. He was surprisingly receptive and gave me a brief overview of their marriage. He said there was blame on both sides, and admitted fault on his own part. Without any prompting he then described his ex-wife’s behaviour which by then was all-too familiar to me. In fact, he had her down to a T. He said she’d started slandering his name about town as soon as the divorce was initiated, and he was disappointed to hear that she was still doing it. For his part, he said he’d moved on, made peace with himself, and put the whole episode behind him.

Now he could have been bullshitting. But if you have a guy saying there was blame on  both sides and admitting to fault on his part, and saying it’s water under the bridge and he’s moved on; and a woman saying it was 100% his fault and continuing, years later, to portray him as a monster and flying into a rage at the mere suggestion she takes at least some responsibility, who do you believe?

Yeah, me too. If Harry or one of his mates hasn’t sat down with this Engelson fellow and got his view on why and how the marriage fell apart, I fear Meghan’s plan to quit being a star in a TV drama may remain unrealised.

Share

45 thoughts on “Has one done one’s due diligence?

  1. What amuses me is that if she has (dual) signatory authority on any royal accounts, these will have to be declared to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in the US…

    And she’ll have to pay US income tax on whatever income she gets from the Royal List (no deductions possible cos a) not “earned” income since it’s a grant so is considered passive income, and b) no UK tax paid that can be offset).

    Ditto the future sprogs.

  2. Good post. I really hope they are fine and happy. She’ll get bored though. The tedium and limtations of royal life are what scared off Harry’s previous squeezes. They need to find both Harry and Meghan something to DO. A real role. Invictus / disability something or other maybe? Loungeing around Kensington Palace and asking each other where to go for dinner tonight will be the death of it. Get out of the fishbowl and do something proper – then they’ll be fine.

  3. Isn’t it nice, though; Britain’s royal family at last being allowed to marry into America’s?

    I’m with Mr. John Lydon (“Burn, Hollywood! Burn!”) on this one. Baubles, the lot of ’em.

  4. Harry has always been an idiot, though he of course has nothing in this area on his Uncle Andrew.

    And she’ll have to pay US income tax on whatever income she gets from the Royal List

    Not necessarily… I’m sure a good tax lawyer could argue that that’s not personal income, it’s covering the expenses of official duties.

    Income from the Duchy of Cornwall, on the other hand, that will certainly be taxed. Possibly for her children as well; I don’t know how US citizenship is passed down.

    As for the divorce, it seems from what I have read that she and her husband simply did not take marriage as seriously as it ought to be taken, regarding it more as an excuse for a party to mark a certain number of years of living together, rather than a solemn lifelong commitment before God and the community. Which doesn’t, indeed, bode well.

  5. @S,

    Seeing as the US taxes the unemployment benefits of e.g. US-French nationals living in France as passive income, your lawyers there will have a hard time.

    Also, her children are automatically US citizens provided she lived sufficient time in the US, which is appears she did. There’s no “claiming” of it – you either are at birth or you aren’t. It can be horrible to discover this later in life.

  6. As for the divorce, it seems from what I have read that she and her husband simply did not take marriage as seriously as it ought to be taken

    A reasonable excuse for two people aged 21 or 22. Less so for a man aged 35 and a woman aged 30.

  7. Seeing as the US taxes the unemployment benefits of e.g. US-French nationals living in France as passive income, your lawyers there will have a hard time

    Ah, but do they tax business expenses? If a US citizen working for a bank in London is flown to Tokyo for a meeting, does the American taxman demand income tax on the cost of the flight and hotel?

    Maybe they do — it would be unusual, but then. citizenship-based taxation rather than residence-based is already unusual (I think the USA is one of only to countries in the word that does it? Three, maybe?)

    There’s no “claiming” of it – you either are at birth or you aren’t.

    I know that, I just didn’t know what the rules were regarding children born abroad with one US parent (I didn’t know about the ‘lived sufficient time in the US’ thing, for example).

  8. A reasonable excuse for two people aged 21 or 22. Less so for a man aged 35 and a woman aged 30.

    A man and a woman with American arrested development syndrome, remember.

  9. I have a Norwegian colleague who happened to be based in San Diego with his Norwegian wife for a few years, during which time their son was born. He still curses them some 20-30 years later because he is still compelled to complete IRS tax returns, and he finds Norwegian banks unwilling to extend loans to him through fear any slight error could result in massive fines.

  10. They’ll make her a UK citizen pronto so she can renounce her US.

    I doubt her PR people would be happy about her taking that popularity hit.

  11. “Ah, but do they tax business expenses? If a US citizen working for a bank in London is flown to Tokyo for a meeting, does the American taxman demand income tax on the cost of the flight and hotel?”

    I think it would be difficult to claim that the income from the royal list was merely business expenses, since you’re not supposed to personally profit from them.

    And btw the only other country with citizenship-based taxation is Eritrea. The US has criticised Eritrea at the UN for it, which is some chutzpah…

  12. I think it would be difficult to claim that the income from the royal list was merely business expenses, since you’re not supposed to personally profit from them

    The royals aren’t supposed to personally profit from the Grant, either; it’s supposed to (partially) pay for their duties, maintenance on the royal palaces, etc.

    Their personal income comes from, eg, in the caes of the Waleses, the Duchy of Cornwall.

  13. Her file would have been well and truly read by all concerned before she was offered the role. The US factor is an interesting one alright, plus there is the miscegenation on miscegenation aspect as well.

    On US Tax, I was in it and got out of it, it is possible. Plus I never paid them any either. I have been back to the US many time since I opted out and didn’t get my collar felt. Although the first time I returned since after the ignore the IRS bit, I was a bit apprehensive when the Chicano immigration guy looked at me more than once as he rattled on his keyboard at LAX, one more look and then asked me the purposes of my trip followed by a welcome to the USA………phew.

  14. Her file would have been well and truly read by all concerned before she was offered the role.

    Aye, because they’ve done such a great job of that in the past, eh?!

  15. She has a degree in theatre and international studies. Is that even a thing? I bear them no ill will, but if she uses her unearned ‘fame’ to get all preachy her popularity will decline faster than her new father-in-laws did when he started coming over all eco-loon.

  16. I bear them no ill will, but if she uses her unearned ‘fame’ to get all preachy

    Oh, she will. She’s a “humanist” and according to Wiki:

    Following her engagement, Markle announced that after her wedding, she plans to retire from acting[6] and devote her time to humanitarian causes.

  17. “Aye, because they’ve done such a great job of that in the past, eh?!”

    Prince Phillip wasn’t as evil as they have made him out to be and Di had the right bloodline and at least they made sure that Harry’s old boy didn’t have big ears and mix with wrong uns.

  18. I had never heard of this woman before yesterday and my life was no poorer for it.

    She strikes me as being a monumental prig and Prince H will provide her with a platform for promulgating her priggishness but not for long, I imagine.

    It’s not often one can foresee the carcrash before the car is out of the garage.

  19. I’m not sure how well the British public will take to her – the glamour looks good in the papers, the accent will grate on TV (being an actress I’m surprised she didn’t choose to tone it down for British PR).

    But I think it is the verbal content of her speech that might cause most trouble by the end. Like many Americans she speaks in a cross between therapy suite language on emotional issues, and MBA verbiage on practical projects. I find it very hard to listen through.

    What is the divorce rate for people who have already divorced once? What is the divorce rate for people who have previously divorced after two years? What is the divorce rate for actresses? Not sure any of those stats are good!

    (As for nationality… if the royals were going for a strategic choice, it would make much more sense to go for someone from the Commonwealth, particularly Australia or maybe Canada, where the monarchy may need to focus some more PR over the next few decades. But you can’t find love to order – even among royalty, these days.)

  20. But I think it is the verbal content of her speech that might cause most trouble by the end

    But do most people even listen to any member of the royal family other than the current monarch and possibly the heir apparent? I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard a full sentence uttered by the Duke or Duchess of Cambridge, or Harry, and I’ve probably heard more Prince Charles impressions than I have actually Prince Charles.

    I mean, I agree that sort of speech is tiresome, I just don’t think it will matter much because nobody will be paying attention to anything she says.

    Not sure any of those stats are good!

    No — but remember, however bad this choice is, it is nowhere near Fergie-level bad.

  21. “No — but remember, however bad this choice is, it is nowhere near Fergie-level bad.”

    Setting the bar high here, I see 🙂

    You may be right about the number of words we will hear from their mouths, but … since she is used to millions of people hearing her words, and has the kind of activist streak that suggests she wants millions more people to hear her yet, I’m not counting on it.

    I think I might well have heard more words (or at least, complete sentences) spoken by Di before her death than by Charles in total (before plus after). Though that may be my memory selectively misleading me.

  22. since she is used to millions of people hearing her words, and has the kind of activist streak that suggests she wants millions more people to hear her yet, I’m not counting on it

    Yeah, but millions of people watching a TV series or even a movie has nothing to do with how many will bother to tune in when they open their mouths on their own account. How many millions of people have seem Angelina Jolie speak words written for her by proper writers (plus whoever did the script for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) versus how many dozens have heard a single word she’s said in all her humanitarian work?

    Not that her humanitarian works has no impact, of course; it’s just that it’s the fact of her presence which is newsworthy, and which gets reported (with reporters talking over the pictures), not what she actually said.

    I think I might well have heard more words (or at least, complete sentences) spoken by Di before her death than by Charles in total

    Yes, but that was when she went on her PR offensive during and after the divorce. If you’re accusing the heir to the throne of adultery, you will get air-time. But do you remember ever hearing her speak about AIDS or landmines? No, you don’t. You remember the pictures from her visits to hospitals and conflict zones, but nobody bothered to broadcast her speeches and if they did nobody bothered to listen.

    Setting the bar high here, I see

    Some of Harry’s previous escapades did lead one to wonder if whenever they told him, ‘Look, just don’t do anything stupider than Uncle Andrew’ he took it as a challenge.

  23. Via SMFS at Mr Worstall’s:

    As a child, Markle objected to a Procter & Gamble television commercial for a dish soap, which featured the line “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans,” which she believed to be sexist. She took action by writing letters to lawyer Gloria Allred (who often advocates for women’s issues) and the then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. Months later the offending line was changed to “People all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.”

    This is looking worse by the hour.

  24. How do the US IRS find you? If you bugger off to Norway after being born (well your parents carry you, you know what I mean) and never obtain a US passport, all they have is a copy of your birth certificate right? Even if they enter this into a database and cross check against people entering the states, most people could claim ‘no it was the other Sven Olafson’. If you changed your name they would have no chance.

  25. and never obtain a US passport, all they have is a copy of your birth certificate right

    Might work, as long as you never enter the USA. But as soon as you cross the border they’ll have you (or you’ll be in the US illegally having made a false visa declaration and you probably don’t want to do that).

  26. “How do the US IRS find you?”

    Opened a bank account recently? There’s a whole list of questions to determine if you might be a US citizen. Non-US banks are basically acting as agents of the IRS, and if they’ll take a US Person (which includes people with (even expired but not correctly cancelled) green cards) as a customer at all, their financial info is likely to be reported to the IRS under FATCA, particularly if they have over $50k.

    So if your place of birth is in the US, you’re fecked. If you’re born abroad, you can at least just lie.

  27. “Now he could have been bullshitting. But if you have a guy saying there was blame on both sides and admitting to fault on his part, and saying it’s water under the bridge and he’s moved on; and a woman saying it was 100% his fault and continuing, years later, to portray him as a monster and flying into a rage at the mere suggestion she takes at least some responsibility, who do you believe?”

    In a nutshell.

  28. The monarchy, of which I am a fervent supporter, has been going down the pan for years. It’s only survived because Liz and Phil have clung on for so long.

    I do think that Charles will actually do a half-decent job, but his idiot and mundane progeny will end it. Marrying in to the Middletons* and now the Markles has set the institution on a steady decline into lower middle-class irrelevance.

    There will be no mystery, no sense of duty and glamour only in the Daily Mail sidebar of shame sense. Just a bunch of entitled dullards who are indistinguishable from the reality TV monkeys.

    Wills and Harry should have had some third cousin from Bavaria picked out for them and been told to either do their duty or get down the job centre. Although they’d probably choose to go on ‘I’m a celebrity’ instead and we’d end up with one of Andrew’s pop-eyed heifers.

    God help us all.

    *never marry a woman who is less attractive than her mother

  29. MC: Charles may be OK if he can stop interfering and become a constitutional monarch. However I think that’s beyond him. The Dutch seem to get on with a monarch who is more ‘of the people’ than ours, so it can work. Personally I think William would be better than Chas at this point.

  30. Watching the saccharine sweet interview after the announcement, her attitude was like the cat that got the cream. She definitely had a “I’ve won the jackpot” smirk. American, entitled, actress, older than him and divorced already, what could possibly go wrong?

    Being an American, she’s probably redundantly familiar with how divorce works in the US and the divorce lawyers plus she will be banking on London as the divorce capital of the world for alimoney payouts. She’d possibly expect to get Buckingham Palace as the house plus half (or more) of the country as the divorce settlement.

    I have my doubts about the longevity of the marriage. I might put a 10 spot on the outcome.

  31. “Andrew’s pop-eyed heifers”

    My god that’s a fitting description. They are the two weirdest-looking human beings that have ever lived, that is for sure. It almost convinces me that they really are David Icke’s reptilians!

  32. And Willy is being heavily promoted as the “don’t become a republic because of Brian, because the next one is OK” royal family salvation candidate.

  33. I have little interest in the house of Windsor. I suspect the woman will make a load of dosh especially through publicity. She looks dubious to me but I guess that the family will go on breeding – a bit like rats.

  34. I feel sorry for the Prince. Poor chap has mummy issues. He has chosen a charming, self-deceiving, narcissist for a wife. (Actress almost equals bat-shit crazy, doesn’t it? If they aren’t acting out a drama, then they are creating their own. No?) When they divorce, she’ll pursue some SJW campaign.

    Additionally…whatever her personal merits, her family sound like scum. Royalty should marry their own, otherwise the mystique tends to be diminished. (See Bagehot)

  35. “whatever her personal merits, her family sound like scum”

    She is pure unadulterated trailer trash. He is the illegitimate son of an army officer, his mother is the distant descendant of a Groom Of The Stool and I wont cast any aspersions on the moral standards of his families household.

    The question is what the fuck would one of their sprogs be with respect to succession to the big throne. She is probably infertile and that is without taking into consideration any complications due to her long term use of pharmaceutical and/or physical contraception methods or any abortions or miscarriages that she may have already had.

    They would have to impregnate her with an alien tadpole on the wedding night if they wanted that one to stack up, unless the deal is no fucking kids.

    The only upside I can see with this most majestic matchmaking is that it would be a huge shot in the arm for the war on culture.

    No Christian courtship of a young beautiful feminine virgin, no cultural purity, nice one Harry lets have another one.

  36. Additionally…whatever her personal merits, her family sound like scum. Royalty should marry their own, otherwise the mystique tends to be diminished.

    Indeed. The Norwegians and Dutch might be okay with their royals being down with the masses, but the Brits are different. The British aristocracy has to appear detached and other-worldly, otherwise we’ll just think they’re plebs. If that ship hasn’t already sailed, everyone below Elizabeth is making her ready.

  37. Heard it said somewhere that in a divorce, the woman wants to get even, the man just wants to get away.

  38. Would anyone like to bed her, knowing that she’s probably been shagged by Harvey Weinstein?

    I don’t want to go there … quite literally.

  39. The question is what the fuck would one of their sprogs be with respect to succession to the big throne

    Not really relevant… with two kids now in the direct line of succession, their children will get no nearer the throne than Andrew’s, the second shot from the previous generation.

  40. “with two kids now in the direct line of succession, their children will get no nearer the throne than Andrew’s”

    Unless they all take the same plane somewhere and then you could have a mixed race monarch. But yes I understand this and I was being tongue in cheek and suggesting that if she is fertile they will not be too concerned about her offspring because they are way down the pecking list for a crack at the title.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *