Fashion royalty has weighed in on British royalty, with Anna Wintour giving besieged Meghan Markle her coveted seal of chic approval and telling her to keep being “difficult”.
The iconic Vogue editor-in-chief – seen supporting friends Serena Williams and Roger Federer at the Australian Open this week – praised the new duchess as “fantastic” and an “independent” woman.
“I think she’s amazing,’ said Wintour, 69, who added that Meghan and Kate Middleton, both 37, are “going to keep the royal family afloat, quite frankly”.
In a Vogue video series called Go Ask Anna that debuted on Wednesday, the British-born style dictator was asked for her take on Meghan’s simple Givenchy wedding dress, designed by Claire Waight Keller.
“The royal wedding had the whole world watching,” Wintour said.
“I think that her choice was brilliant. It was sophisticated, it was chic, it was grown up.”
She added that Meghan’s choice of an English designer – admittedly from a French house – said, “Yes, I’m from somewhere else, but I belong’.”
On Thursday, Wintour will speak at an invitation-only event at the National Gallery of Victoria.
She reportedly came armed with a gift to donate to the NGV during her week-long Melbourne visit: one of her famous Met Gala gowns.
Since late last year, the pregnant Duchess of Sussex has been the subject of global media stories claiming she is feuding with Kate and has put palace staff offside with her “difficult” behaviour and habits.
In November, the British Sun reported Meghan “ripped up the rulebook” about life as a royal and said she had disrupted Kensington Palace’s regimented world by rising at 5am and “bombarding” staff with texts.
Big deal, said Wintour, whose own daily schedule includes a tennis game before work and a lunch of one perfectly cooked steak delivered from a top New York restaurant.
“I read somewhere that there were members of the royal household who were confused and upset that she woke up so early.
“She’s a normal California girl who gets up early and does yoga and meditates,” Wintour said.
“And also sent a lot of text messages. I mean, what did they expect – that she was going to send message via pigeon?”
Meghan scored a second recruit to her camp when RuPaul’s Drag Race host RuPaul dished out strongly-worded support about navigating the spotlight.
“The truth is, all these people spreading all these rumours about her, they’re the problem,” RuPaul said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Sunday.
His advice to Meghan? “If they ain’t paying your bills, pay them bitches no mind!”
While the duchess probably appreciates the shout outs, she seems unruffled by her recent bad press.
On January 16, Meghan – expecting her first baby with husband Prince Harry in April – beamed throughout two public appearances in one day.
She wore a $45 H&M dress to visit a London animal welfare charity, and that night cradled her baby bump in a navy sequinned Roland Mouret gown for a night out with Harry, 34, at a Cirque du Soleil premiere.
The next day, she was casual in ripped denim boyfriend jeans and heels for a private lunch in Notting Hill, reportedly with her new communications adviser.
She found time to host her wedding makeup artist Daniel Martin, who posted to Instagram a shot of afternoon tea, thanking Meghan for being “the consummate hostess” and the “avocado toast whisperer.”