What Meghan Markle’s podcast comments about women could really mean, according to Royal experts

Meghan Markle’s latest podcast episode – in which she claims that ‘strong-minded women’ are labeled ‘difficult’ – may have been her way of addressing critics who have accused her of bullying, the Mail on Sunday’s Assistant Editor has said.

In her Archetypes podcast for Spotify, the Duchess of Sussex said that the ‘B-word’ is being used to ‘gaslight’ women who know what they want.

She claimed last week that ‘strong-minded women’ are branded ‘difficult’ because it is a codeword for ‘b**ch’ – and said that while ‘not everyone is going to like you, the goal can be for them to respect you’.

Kate Mansey suggested that the focus on dismissing labels made to negatively portray assertive women could be a way for the Duchess to hit out at detractors.

‘The immediate thing I thought about that podcast was…all the criticism that she’s had at The Palace and the accusations of bullying, which she’s always denied,’ she told Palace Confidential. ‘Maybe this is almost kind of her talking about it…’

Meghan Markle (pictured) last week claimed that ‘strong-minded women’ are branded ‘difficult’ because it is a codeword for ‘b**ch’

Kate Mansey (pictured) suggested that the focus on dismissing labels made to negatively portray assertive women could have been the Duchess of Sussex hitting out at critics

Kate Mansey (pictured) suggested that the focus on dismissing labels made to negatively portray assertive women could have been the Duchess of Sussex hitting out at critics

She added that Meghan may have challenged those who commented on her behavior by discussing that she dislikes being branded ‘pushy’, and pointing out the sexism that can come with branding certain attitudes as bad when women perform them.

‘Having said that, two of the complainants were said to be women,’ she added. ‘So it’s difficult.’

On the episode, Meghan spoke to business leaders and entrepreneurs including Mellody Hobson, the chairwoman of Starbucks who was the first black woman to chair an S&P 500 company. She is married to Star Wars creator George Lucas.

The episode entitled ‘To ‘B’ or not to ‘B” also stars Victoria Jackson, the make-up mogul and a friend of Meghan. Miss Jackson is part of the Sussexes’ ‘close-knit group of friends’ in Montecito, California.

On the podcast, Meghan described disliking the word ‘pushy’ and admitted moderating her behavior to avoid being perceived that way.

Describing what people mean when they say ‘b**ch’, Meghan said: ‘What these people are implying when they use that very charged word, is that this woman, “Oh, she’s difficult”.

‘Which is really just a euphemism or is probably not even a euphemism. It’s really a codeword for the B-word.’

Kate (pictured left with Richard Eden and Jo Elvin) added that Meghan may have challenged those who commented on her behavior by discussing that she dislikes being branded 'pushy'

Kate (pictured left with Richard Eden and Jo Elvin) added that Meghan may have challenged those who commented on her behavior by discussing that she dislikes being branded ‘pushy’

And speaking about the word ‘difficult’ as a way to describe women, she added: ‘My friend said to me, there’s a certain point when you come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to like you, the goal can’ t be for everyone to like you, but the goal can be for them to respect you.’

Meghan said friends are ‘reclaiming’ and ’embracing’ the ‘B-word’ – but she herself refuses to say it on the podcast, calling it the ‘B-word’ throughout or spelling it out for listeners. She said she would never use it except when referring to a female dog.

She said: ‘I remember when I was a kid and people would say “sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you”. Well, that was just a flat-out lie. Of course names hurt. But what happens when we use that pain to fuel purpose, when the B-word is shouted with one intent, but you’re able to let it go and to remind yourself of all the other words with a ‘B’ that better describe you . Beautiful, blessed, brilliant, beguiling, blissful, bedazzling. Take your pick’.

Buckingham Palace announced earlier this year that it would not be releasing details of an internal investigation into the claims of Meghan’s bullying, and this led to accusations of a Royal cover-up.

Meghan said friends are 'reclaiming' and 'embracing' the 'B-word' - but she herself refuses to say it on the podcast

Meghan said friends are ‘reclaiming’ and ’embracing’ the ‘B-word’ – but she herself refuses to say it on the podcast

A spokesman for the Sussexes previously said, in response to The Times who originally reported the allegations, that they were the victims of a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation.

Her representatives also said that the Duchess was ‘saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma’.

Meghan has always strongly denied the bullying allegations.

She and Prince Harry have ‘stepped back’ from Royal duties and now live in Montecito, California, with their two young children.

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