It’s less than a week since she married Prince Harry, but already Royal fans are in sleuth mode, combing the internet for every trace of our new princess' pre-monarchy life. Now, thanks to all their digging, an interview Meghan Markle did in 2013 with Craig Ferguson has gone viral — but for a less than positive reason. Before you shatter your china cups in horror, allow me to reassure you that it’s not the Duchess of Sussex herself facing criticism, but presenter Craig Ferguson. YouTube users have branded his behaviour "super creepy" and "awkward" (amongst other words that I won't be repeating) after watching the footage. So what did he do to cause such a reaction?
In the viral clip from The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson — which is the CBS franchise that’s now been taken over by James Corden — Markle told Ferguson that she’s one of the few people in the entertainment industry who was actually born and raised in Los Angeles, and joked "pinch me, I’m real." Ferguson then did so — twice — before commenting, "Strangely hairless body you have. You’re quite the dolphin, aren’t you?" When Markle laughed it off, she quipped, "It’s not easy being a lady". But then, Ferguson pushed the topic even further: "You’re absolutely hair free. Are you a competitive swimmer?"
It's notable, too, that Ferguson's first response to Markle was to say, "You look sensational!" When she told him "I got all dolled up for you", he answered, "Well, it's really working." Typical chat show pleasantries though they may be, it's difficult to imagine an interview with a male actor beginning with an assessment of their appearance.
Elsewhere in the interview, the host admitted that he had never seen Suits, despite Markle's appearance on the show being to promote it, and responded suggestively to her mention of her Catholic school uniform. While talking about her constant presence on the set of Fox sitcom Married... with Children when she was growing up (thanks to her dad's role as the show's lighting director), she explained: "It's a very perverse place for a little girl who went to Catholic school, no less, to grow up, because I’m there in my school uniform." Ferguson then interrupted "oh yeah", while grinning at the audience.
YouTube commenters are divided in their takes on the interview. "Totally hitting on her," said one viewer, while another said, "When he talks about her schoolgirl outfit... Cringe." Others have suggested that those reacting negatively simply didn't understand Ferguson's humour. The comments are mostly dominated, however, by adoration for the new Duchess. "How can you not love Meghan, such a sweetheart," said one commenter. "I can TOTALLY see why Harry fell in love with her," another wrote. Bustle has contacted Ferguson for comment, but had not received a response at the point of publishing.
Ferguson's behaviour aside, the interview did offer a fascinating insight into Markle's life before she joined the Royal Family. During the chat, she discussed her college days at Northwestern University. She revealed: "I double majored in theatre and international relations." She then went on to discuss her time working at the U.S. embassy in Argentina, where she learned Spanish. The former actress also revealed that she studied French for eight years but admitted she was far from fluent: "Now it's deplorable. I can't remember anything."
Now that she's the Duchess of Sussex, it's likely that Markle's future media interactions will take a more respectful tone — although it's doubtful she will return to The Late Late Show anytime soon given her new status. But it's worth stressing for the people in the back: whether they're actors, royalty, or not remotely famous in any way, unsolicited comments on women's bodies are never justified.