Well, Samantha Markle made good on her word.
The combative half-sister of Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, arrived in London this week as she and her publicist threatened she would, hell-bent on confronting her estranged sibling over the various grievances she and her father Thomas have routinely aired out in the press and on social media since the poor woman's engagement to Prince Harry was announced last year.
"After making numerous attempts in private to arrange a one on one meeting with The Duchess of Sussex to discuss their 74 year old father's health, Kensington Palace have refused to respond," publicist Rob Cooper tweeted late last month. "I fear Meghan may not be made aware of these discreet attempts and therefore making this public is the only option we have left. I currently have Samantha in Europe with just one short flight away. This DOESN'T need to be public, we would prefer to keep this private. Samantha is coming to the UK this week, like it or not."
Setting aside the absurd fact that Samantha even has a publicist, what happened once she arrived in England has us hoping that maybe, just maybe, this might be an end to the circus that has overshadowed Prince Harry and his bride at every turn.
As expected, her invitation for a tête-à-tête inside Kensington Palace—or anywhere else, for that matter—with Meghan failed to materialize. And as expected, Samantha landed herself yet another televised interview with the British press, sitting down with Channel 5's Jeremy Vine on Monday morning to discuss her failed attempt at communicating with her half-sibling. But it's what she said when cameras were rolling that's given us hope—faint hope, to be sure; a mere glimmer—that the Markles may soon be taking a different tack when it comes to their estranged family member.
"Water under the bridge," she said.
"I wish things could be different," she said.
"Believe it or not, it doesn't mean we love you any less," she said.
It was a stunning about-face from the women who is writing a book, once entitled The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister and now renamed In the Shadows of the Duchess, about the half-sibling who is 17 years her junior; who has, on occasion, referred to said half-sibling as "Cruella de Vil," "arrogant and ignorant," and the "Duchess of Nonsense."
It's hard to discern, exactly, what motive is behind Samantha's latest reversal in attitude when it comes to her sister—aside from an obvious attempt to save face as she faced down a withering line of questioning from Vine. But what a reversal it was.
Her nasty tweets at her sister? "I was really lashing out at media." Right.
The logic behind her book's initially ugly title? "The title of my book was meant to make a mockery of social labels." Uh-huh.
Her decision to blame Meghan for her father's death while he was still, you know, alive? "In the beginning, when we spoke publicly, I thought we were being openhearted and even favorable. That fell on deaf ears, and the media turned it into something that it was not." Sure, OK.
It remains baffling, Samantha's refusal to take any sort of responsibility for the circus that her family has been caught up in all these months. There remains an excuse for everything. What once was the fault of a heartless half-sister and her controlling royal in-laws is now the fault of a cruel media, who've either twisted words or invented them wholesale. It's absurd, really, when you take into account her Twitter account, but it does mark a notable shift in the way in which she's speaking about her sister.
"As long as she's happy, then that's what we've wanted," Samantha told her interviewer, promising that if she and Meghan were to get to speak, she would keep the contents of that conversation private—and yes, that promise seems flimsy at best, all things considered, but we'll take her word for it.
The way that Samantha and her family have conducted themselves in the press has likely damaged their relationship with Meghan beyond repair—provided there was even much of a relationship to begin with. While Thomas' recent scathing commentary regarding his daughter has rocked her, leaving her saddened and unsure she'll ever be able to trust him again, as a source told Us Weekly earlier this summer—though his relative quietude as of late has us hoping that maybe's he's woken up to the damage he's done—there's little proof—aside from Samantha's protestations otherwise—that Meghan and her estranged half-sister ever had much of a connection to speak of.
"Samantha was not a part of that life and in no way shape or form did Samantha raise Meghan until she was 12," a source told E! News last year. "Meghan saw her on occasion at family functions, but never on a regular basis. For about two weeks when Meghan was 12, Samantha moved in with her dad. She has seen her once since then."
It's highly unlikely that Samantha's latest press appearance, however conciliatory it may have been intended, will move Meghan to reach out to those she's become so estranged from, but now that the elder Markle has had her chance to say her piece, speaking directly to the Duchess at times during her interview, apologizing even, it's time she let sleeping dogs lie and move on.
There's little reason to believe that'll actually happen—there is still a book on the way, remember—but there was little reason to believe that Samantha would ever actually apologize to Meghan either. Now that she has, here's to hoping that, for all our sakes, really, this might finally be over, once and for all.