Poor Gwyneth Paltrow must be quaking in her Isabel Marant boots. Meghan Markle – that esteemed public figure – has just been given preliminary approval to relaunch her lifestyle blog, The Tig.
According to reports, details filed with the US Trademark and Patent Office show that the website shut down by the 41-year-old in 2017 could make a comeback as early as next week – and go head-to-head with Paltrow’s £200 million lifestyle brand, Goop.
Markle bid her three-year-old blog a soupy farewell when she got engaged to Prince Harry, leaving those who depended on her fashion, travel and beauty tips and rousing one-liners at a loss. How to make that “Aegean-style kale salad” and “beet cheesecake” without her recipes? How to master “winter wellness”, without the Meghan know-how? How to formulate your own coherent thoughts on equality without the Tig there to put it into words rivalling those of our greatest thinkers: “Girls just wanna have fundamental human rights”? Luckily, the spiritual funk we’ve been mired in for six long years may be coming to an end.
The inspiration for the website’s name famously came from Markle’s favourite Tuscan wine, Tignanello. “It was an ah-ha moment at its finest,” Meghan has said of her first sip. “For me, it became a ‘Tig’ moment – a moment of getting it. From that point on, any new awareness, any new discovery or ‘ohhhhh, I get it!’ moment was a ‘Tig’ moment.” I feel duty-bound to point out the notable lack of “Tig” moments since.
Certainly, Markle didn’t “get” royal life, or at any point during that stuffy stint garner “any new awareness” that there was only one star in the room – and that was the Queen. She didn’t “get” how badly her Oprah whingeathon would go down or how tone-deaf that six-hour Netflix documentary would sound to a post-pandemic world beset by social, economic and existential challenges. Last month, Newsweek reported that the Sussexes’ popularity had plummeted to an all-time low in the US, with Prince Harry down 48 points since December and Markle down 40. In fact, The Duke of York has higher US approval ratings than these two. But Markle wouldn’t let a little thing like that prompt a “Tig” moment either.
To be handing out advice from this lowly podium certainly shows consummate (I’m tempted to say delusional) self-belief. Because here’s the thing about Paltrow: you can deride her $15,000 (£14,000) vibrators and “affordable yacht rental” services all you want, query the science behind her “eight-day, mono-diet goat-milk cleanse” and “vagina steaming” witch-doctorisms, but in the eyes of Goop’s eight million plus subscribers, the 50-year-old Oscar-winner is an inspirational human being with a covetable life.