Meghan Markle's family make the royals seem normal

Kate Middleton is shaping up to be Princess Diana redux, while Meghan Markle is on track to being portrayed as the next Wallis Simpson.

The narrative of royal romances has been a global hobby since the days of Queen Victoria and Prince Bertie, but the supporting cast involved in the love story of Prince Harry and Markle is beginning to resemble a National Lampoon line-up. If Embarrassing Bodies ever considered a spin-off with more melodrama and less medical issues, Markle's extended family would become stars of something called "Embarrassing Families".

In the space of several weeks, Markle herself has spoken to Vanity Fair about her love for Harry, reportedly quit her job as one of the stars of Suits and had tea with the Queen, which has many royal commentators and Woman's Day editors speculating an engagement may be on the cards before Christmas.

Seventy years ago, Harry and Markle's love affair would be doomed as the actress shares a few too many similarities with Simpson, the woman who essentially changed the course of the Commonwealth's history in 1936 when her lover Edward VIII decided to abdicate in order to marry the American divorcee.

However times change, albeit slowly on Elizabeth II's fob watch, but Harry has, publicly at least, been a driving force in helping bring his grandmother into the zeitgeist in a way she hasn't been since before her coronation. The fact he convinced her to shade Michelle Obama on social media last year is a testament to his charm and impressive negotiation skills.

While William and the artist formerly known as Kate Middleton are popular, poised and the perfect heir-making machine, unlike his ancestors, including his own father, Harry is free to marry just about whoever he wants. Thanks to a number of constitutional tweaks and permissions granted by the Queen, the House of Commons and the Church of England; the idea of Harry being forced to choose between his position as soon-to-be sixth in line to the throne and Markle seems as archaic as Australia's Marriage Act.

However now, after the couple made their first official (yet unofficial) outing together at the Invictus Games last month, Markle's "loved" ones have rushed to fill the vacuum left by Harry and the actress who have since returned to their respective day jobs promoting the monarchy and Lexus cars.

Just like that time Prince William's blue blood mates reportedly sneered at Kate's middle-class upbringing and made lame jokes like "doors to manual" about Carole Middleton's job as a flight attendant (before she went on to become a self-made millionaire), the same tactics are now being used to push the agenda that Markle - a passionate activist, former blogger and lover of yoga, the beach and avocados - is "not worthy" to enter the ranks of The Firm in 2017.

But unlike William and Kate's courtship where maligned Sloane Rangers trash talked "Kate the commoner" to the tabloids, these calls appear to be coming from inside Markle's house, with her step-sister, ex-husband and long-lost nephew all hoping to spin a profit while riding on her coattails.

Instead of offering up dirt and skeletons on the potential princess, these "insiders" are more passive aggressive than The Plastics from Mean Girls. Their actions make Paul Burrell - Diana's former butler who sold more stories about the late princess than most have had hot dinners - appear to be the personification of discretion.

Markle's ex, a television producer she was married to for about two years, is set to make a comedy series, with the producers of Modern Family and New Girl, about being dumped for a British prince.

"Divorce is hard. Sharing custody is harder with an ex-wife marries a British prince. Sharing custody with the British Royal family in the unforgiving spotlight of London's tabloid media is next level," the premise for the green-lit show reads.

Following the announcement of that "fictional" project, Markle's (estranged) family members then came out of the wood work to praise and shade her in equal measure, serving up sound bites for breakfast television and tasty tabloid front page news that would make Tatler's target market tut-tut over their tea and scones.

Her 51-year-old half-sister Samantha this week appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss her upcoming book, The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister, something Jezebelsarcastically yet accurately referred to as "a non-biased and accurate memoir that features Meghan Markle, Princess Pushy".

"I think the British people and the world will be surprised. There's so much the public doesn't know," Samantha said while also telling viewers what a good person Markle is, despite not having any contact with her for more than a decade and publicly nicknaming her "Princess Pushy".

"It has to do with the inter-racial evolution of this country through the lens of my life and my family since the Civil Rights Act until present, and how that intersects with this recent event with my sister, you know, my feelings about it, my family's feelings about it and how sad it was going through it all," Samantha explained.

The voice of reason from the Markle camp appeared to come from her equally estranged nephew with a front page "exclusive" interview with the Mirror, complete with paparazzi photos of him spotted on a supermarket run, dressed casually and pushing a trolley filled solely with several litres of soft drink.

Thomas Dooley was once babysat by Markle, but hasn't had anything to do with her for several years because of a family feud sparked by his father; a man who made headlines earlier this year after he was arrested and charged for holding a gun to his girlfriend's head during an argument.

"My dad and aunt are crazy. I feel terrible for Meghan," Dooley said. "I just want people to know I have nothing to do with it and just apologise to her. It's a shame her own family are making up stories about her."

Was this Markle's "Leave Britney Alone" moment? If so, here's hoping Dooley, who is quoted as being a "Domino's Pizza manager", has had his Chris Crocker moment and the Markle's can air their laundry inside, the media can stop eating itself and the world can just wait patiently for the next royal wedding.

Jenna Clarke is the features director forELLE Australia.

This story Meghan Markle's family make the royals seem normal first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.