Meghan suffers beach PR disaster
Meghan Markle has struggled through the second day of her South African tour and cancelled a beachside PR disaster only to be faced with something she hates doing - and just when the day couldn't get more chaotic, some loser licked her tea cup.
Hmmm, who would do that? All I'll say for now is you and I both know him. He's a sensible professional who dabbles in sneaking into strangers' homes and has stopped returning his editor's annoying phone calls. But more on this potential crime later.
Tuesday began on the west side of Cape Town, where cyclonic winds sprayed white sand across Monwabisi Beach and determined seagulls were whipped around by the gale.
Meghan and Harry were scheduled to walk down the beach, into the gust, and chat with surfers before partaking in an activity that promotes positive thinking. But positive thinking goes in the trash can the second your sleek blow-out is compromised.
It would've been a PR disaster. Did Meghan's stylist pack a chic yet practical linen pant for the coastal hurricane she was set to endure?
She couldn't possibly manage holding down both her hair and a dress at the same time - she's a duchess, not a superhero. And would she attempt the sandy terrain in those strappy wedges she wore yesterday to the city's 'murder capital'?
Negative. Her outfit would've allowed her to army roll out of a moving vehicle without looking dishevelled.
She wore a jean jacket and a white shirt from that clothing line she released for people who don't have jobs, which is a bit of a catch-22. Still, the scenes were unbearable. And at the final second, before the couple was set to run down to the ocean, it was cancelled.
"Too windy!" a minder told disgruntled and chapped-faced media.
Too windy? Seems a bit high maintenance. What is she, a princess? Look, I don't want to add to vicious circles of gossip, but Kate Middleton totally would've done it. Even with the three kids! Then that royal rebel Charlotte probably would've poked her tongue out and gave everyone the finger and Kate just would've laughed like it's a regular day.
Back up on the headland, Meghan and Harry were meeting Waves For Change - a project helping vulnerable youth with their mental health. They entered a shipping container to meet the group. They were out of the wind, but they faced another problem.
"When he came inside, he said, 'Whoo! This container smells like wetsuits!' Annelisse Mhloli, a mentor with the group, told news.com.au.
Outside, after regaining their sense of smell, the couple sat in a circle with the group. Harry had confided to Annelisse he dreaded one thing: dancing in public. They were made do it at their first event yesterday and it was torture. Despite Harry confiding his fear, Annelisse and the gang started singing moments later and Meghan shot Harry a familiar look. It was happening again - dancing.
"He doesn't want to dance! He says he doesn't like dancing - he said he was very scared about going into the circle," Annelisse said. Still, promises are for losers and the group made the couple dance. And then they trolled Harry for his daggy moves. "He kept on loosing the rhythm of the kilo - the appreciation clap," Annelisse laughed.
As the group gathered in a circle with the royal couple to share some meaningful words, media grew annoyed that all the intimacy was blocking the money shot of the couple.
A head needed to roll and it was Marnie's, the palace adviser.
"Marnie! Marnie! Oi! Marnie! Those kids are in the way," one pap screamed as the serenity circle attempted to be ... serene.
"I can't interrupt them," she hissed back. Then everyone basically booed her until she interrupted the serenity circle to move the kids, and then all the kids wondered who the rude lady was interrupting the serenity. Ugh, vintage Marnie.
It all got pretty boring after that so everyone just started yelling at Marnie again.
But Marnie doesn't know what true stress feels like. It's not like she has been forced to dance in public against her will every time she leaves the house. In the afternoon, Harry and Meghan whirled through a mosque in the cultural hub of Bo Kaap near the city centre and met locals in the street who were celebrating Heritage Day. It was colourful and loud. There was music. And with music comes singing. And with singing often comes ... dancing.
Word seems to have echoed around Cape Town and the challenge is on to see who else can make the couple dance. Just as they realised what they stumbled into to, this sassy dancing clown cornered them with his mini marching band.
They ran away and into a nearby house, where they sat with locals and heard about the community over tea and cakes. Moments later, they made a swift exit and ran away down the street as the sassy dancing clown and tuba players chased them. But in their haste, they left the front door ajar. Obviously that was an invitation to enter.
Shaamiela Samodien, 63, is the lady of the house and put on a total spread for the couple. Harry ate an apple tart and Meghan had a spoonful of a koek sister - a spicy baked good - and took a sip of rooibos tea.
The visit was such a whirlwind their plates and leftovers were still on the table - available for anyone to come and pilfer. But who would skip into a stranger's home in South Africa and steal the leftover cake that a visiting duchess nibbled on?
That is a desperate and despicable act. One that blatantly disrespects the royals and thumbs its nose at basic social etiquette. What kind of idiot would do this?
This idiot: with two thumbs, zero shame and an unawareness of how many shirt buttons are appropriate to leave undone.
Look, sometimes an opportunity presents itself and you've just got to jump. If I had a zip-lock bag handy, I would've carefully disposed of the remaining cake and tart and preserved them as if they were forensic evidence ... Forensic evidence you can sell on eBay. But that just would've been taking things too far. Oh, speaking of taking things too far, I also licked Meghan's cup.
Unhygienic? Perhaps. If I develop a cold sore in three-to-five days, Meghan's obviously the one responsible.
Honestly, if Marnie finds out about any of this, she'll have a conniption. I can't wait.
So after tearing through Shaamiela's lovely home, I took a bunch of cakes for the road and set off down the street to find wine. I had the best of intentions to skip the final event, but word started to filter around that damn baby was going to make an appearance. Everyone's getting restless about not seeing him yet.
"Where's Archie?" is being yelled at events in the street.
So we all rolled up to the British High Commissioner's Residence in Bishopcourt to watch Meghan and Harry address a bunch of young people about leadership. Security was tight. Our Corolla wasn't allowed near the residence, and a stranger told us to get in a random Range Rover, so we did. In hindsight, jumping into a stranger's car in South Africa probably isn't the wisest move, but the Corolla was embarrassing and I'm happy to spend my final moments in a Range.
Was Archie there? No.
Honestly, he seems very temperamental and we really don't appreciate the diva behaviour. Someone more gossipy may suggest he's just like his mother, but that would be ridiculous. He's a baby. If anything, he's probably decided to skip all these events because he doesn't want to be made dance in public.
James Weir is in South Africa covering the royal tour. He is a guest of South African Tourism and Cathay Pacific. Talk to him on Twitter and Facebook: @hellojamesweir