Meghan’s movie tour Down Under: How the loved-up Duke and Duchess of Sussex have looked like a hilarious double take of some of our favourite films, says SARAH VINE
- The love story between Harry and Meghan is something out of a Hollywood film
- Every photocall, walkabout, and loving glance could have come from a film set
- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently on their 16-day overseas tour
Since Meghan Markle came on the scene two years ago, there’s been something inescapably Hollywood about the love story between Prince Harry and his bride.
Maybe it’s just that the pair of them are so damn good looking.
He, not only tall and handsome but athletic too, with the physical confidence of a young man at the peak of his powers.
She, fine boned and elegant, with perfect posture and poise. The snappers love those doe eyes, retroussé nose, that perfect heart-shaped face and dark mane.
But, whisper it, are the royal duo in danger of looking a little staged? Hammy, even?
Four Weddings And A Funeral: There has been something inescapably Hollywood about the love story between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
While Harry always seems unaffected in the spotlight, Meghan’s relationship with the camera is almost uncanny.
No need to wait, Mr DeMille: we are always ready for our close-up. And never more so than on their tour of Australia.
Every photocall and walkabout, from rain-lashed barbecue to sun-drenched beach, could have come from a film set.
An Officer And A Gentleman: Like Richard Gere and Debra Winger in the 1982 classic, Meghan can’t resist her man in uniform in Sydney
Take them addressing a rural community in a downpour last week. Loving glances and intimate giggles under a shared umbrella?
You can almost hear the line from Four Weddings And A Funeral: ‘Is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.’
The last time we saw this sort of Hollywood mega-watt beauty offset by puppy-like devotion was in Notting Hill, where a dazzled Hugh Grant does his best to keep up with Julia Roberts.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Wearing garlands on Bondi, just like Mila Kunis and Jason Segel in the 2008 film
Or how about our happy couple descending the steps of the Sydney Opera House, hands intertwined, as our leading lady gazes adoringly at her man?
It’s not a million miles from Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday.
Even their attendance at the opening of the Anzac Memorial had me thinking back to Richard Gere and Debra Winger in An Officer And A Gentleman.
Roman Holiday: As Audrey Hepburn learned in this 1953 classic with Gregory Peck, being a royal on tour can be a bit of a drag. Lucky Meghan has a strapping prince to prance down the step with
Maybe it’s the old-fashioned romance of it all, the prince and the showgirl.
Meghan’s journey from humble, broken home via hard work and self-determination to fame and glory is a perennial human theme.
It’s there in fairy tales, on stage and screen. It speaks to the dreams of a million little girls down the ages: one day my prince will come.
Notting Hill: Harry and Meghan pull of Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts’ look of love from the famous 1999 movie
And her oddball relatives — the clearly troubled father, the attention-seeking half-sister — far from detracting from her appeal, only add authenticity to the story.
Cinematic also is the way her presence seems to have acted as a healing salve for the bruised and battered heart of Harry, the youngest and most wounded of Princess Diana’s sons, the prince who, for many, will always be that sweet, forlorn little boy trailing sadly behind his mother’s coffin.
He too has been on a ‘journey’.
Evita Peron: The royals went all Eva and Juan Peron as they waved to crowds from a balcony in Suva, Fiji…just like a scene played by Faye Dunaway and James Farentino in the 1981 movie version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage hit, Evita
And to have such unalloyed joy stem from such tragedy is a scriptwriter’s dream.
Whatever misgivings the British public may have had initially about Meghan — and hard as we can be on our royals, we are also very protective of them — the fact she clearly makes him so deliriously happy means we will forgive her practically anything.
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It is the stuff of Hollywood fairy tale, of sweeping, big-screen drama.
You can almost hear the orchestra tuning their instruments in anticipation each time the pair of them appear in front of the cameras.
Brief encounter: Face nuzzle, dreamy gaze,…the royals are pure Sophie Loren and Richard Burton from the 1974 film
And the way he responds, not with awkward embarrassment as his father did when his mother behaved similarly, but with awe, is pure Hollywood.
He treats her as if she were the only woman who ever mattered to any man, a goddess above all others.
The look he gives her is the kind that rarely happens in real life but which never fails to captivate on screen.
They have that elusive on/off screen chemistry of old, and it’s captivating.
Fifty Shades Freed: Meghan’s pulled down shades echo Dakota Johnson’s glamour in this year’s saucy film
They are Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
Wherever they go, the adoring crowds follow, seduced by the romance, the fairy tale, the sheer glamour of it all.
Now, with her pregnancy, the dramatic stakes are raised.
With every millimetre that bump grows, the audience grows, holding its breath for the ultimate denouement, no doubt to be played out on the steps of the Lindo Wing.
But that is just the start of it. Soon Meghan will be tackling the biggest and hardest role of her life: that of mother.
Lights, Camera, Action!
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