Paris - Provocatively unbuttoning her blouse, stripping off and leaning over a barbecue, this is Meghan Markle years before she ever dreamed that one day her prince would come.
The actress, then in the middle of a divorce from her first husband, flashed her cleavage and sucked a thumb as she took part in a racy assignment for a men’s magazine.
The Grilling Never Looked So Hot With Meghan Markle video, shot in July 2013, remains on YouTube despite her recent marriage to Prince Harry. It begins with Miss Markle, then 31, tossing her hair and unbuttoning her jacket and see-through shirt to reveal her bra.
Then, dressed in a skimpy top, new bra and hot pants, she grills a burger, posing suggestively in a sequence that was subtitled "the ultimate guy’s girl" by Men’s Health magazine. Of course, this was long before Meghan, now Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex, met Harry.
In the past she has often told of the sort of work she had to accept as a jobbing actress. While the royals understand and accept this, others, it seems, are only too keen to try to cash in on a potential source of embarrassment.
French lawyers are said to be intending to use the barbecue video to challenge damages awarded to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge over peeping-Tom photographs of Kate sunbathing topless. In what some are seeing as a deliberate attempt to humiliate the royal family, it is believed barristers may claim the racy images of the new Duchess of Sussex show the younger royals are happy for sexy pictures to be taken.
William and Kate were awarded £92 000 (about R1.6-million) damages last year over the long-lens photos, taken in September 2012 while they relaxed at a Provence chateau owned by the Earl of Snowdon and published in French Closer magazine. They showed Kate wearing only bikini bottoms and having her suncream rubbed in by William.
However, at an appeal hearing in Versailles, it is thought barristers will argue that the Cambridges were not entitled to damages as other royals have taken part in photoshoots featuring "steamy body shots" to promote themselves. They will cite several racy images of Meghan, including the Men’s Health video.
And they will claim that William and Kate received exaggerated compensation solely because they are royal, with payouts in routine French privacy cases often less than £100.
"They are happy with sexy photos of themselves when they are in control, but then claim huge amounts of money when they’re unauthorised," said one legal source involved in the case. "There’s ridiculous hypocrisy involved."Daily Mail