Sunday, 26 Jan 2020

Serena Williams insists Meghan Markle ‘couldn’t be a better friend’ amid Wimbledon row

The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise visit to the All England Club on to watch the 23-time grand slam winner’s match against Kaja Juvan on Court One. But a privacy storm around Meghan exploded again after she was accused of telling her royal protection officers to stop fans taking pictures of her because she was at the tournament “in a private capacity” – despite being amongst thousands of other fans. She was photographed on Court One with two friends with the rows around them cleared.

One man was told off for taking a picture, but he was actually taking a selfie with the tennis court in the background.

Meghan Markle and Serena Williams are close friends, with the tennis star and her husband Alexis Ohanian Snr attending her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018.

Ms Williams defeated Barbora Strycova in her semi final earlier today, and when asked whether she hopes Meghan would ignore the criticism and continue to attend her matches, she lept to the defence of the Duchess.

She said: “You know, I didn’t know there was negative media out there.

She couldn’t be a better friend to me. Low moments, high moments, she’s always there. That’s all I want to be to her

Serena Williams

“Any time I see her name attached to anything, I don’t read it.

“She couldn’t be a better friend to me. Low moments, high moments, she’s always there.

“That’s all I want to be to her.”

One Wimbledon fan described how she was “gobsmacked” after being cautioned by Meghan’s protection officers for taking photographs of the Royal – before becoming “angry” when it turned out she hadn’t even done so.

Sally Jones confessed to Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain that she “almost burst out laughing” at the peculiarity of the situation.

She told the television presenter a security member had said: “Would you kindly not take photos of the Duchess – she’s here in a private capacity.”

Ms Jones continued: “And I was a bit gobsmacked.

“I thought ‘what, have I upset people?’

“Then, suddenly, I felt a bit angry and a bit bemused.

“I almost burst out laughing.”

Meghan and Harry have also been criticised by royal fans for their decision to keep the christening of their first child Archie Harrison private last weekend.

The couple refused to reveal the names of Archie’s godparents and did not allow the media to record guests arriving, instead releasing two pictures hours after the ceremony.

Graham Smith, CEO of anti-monarchy campaign group, Republic, told “It’s not going to help their public image, they are essentially celebrities.

“Celebrities need exposure and they need to treat their fans well.

“If they continue like this, fans will start to lose interest and that will make the future of the monarch uncertain.”

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