JEREMY Irons has compared Meghan Markle to Patrizia Reggiani, who rose to infamy after ordering the murder of her estranged husband Marizio Gucci in 1995.
Irons has taken on the role of Maurizio’s misanthropic father, Rodolfo Gucci, in the new Ridley Scott movie House of Gucci.
The film plots the astronomic rise of a fashion empire alongside the even more vertiginous fall of the Patrizia, the fiery Italian woman who married into it.
Speaking to RTÉ, Irons, who lives with his wife in her native Ireland said, "The Guccis and the Murdochs…they're all around us.
“These big concerns that grow and for whatever reason implode. I sometimes think Meghan Markle is a bit of a Patrizia.”
Qualifying his comments, the actor said: "She’s moving into a different way of life, a different class, a different nationality and trying to do her best and it is not working, which I think is a huge shame for our monarchy. That’s a parallel story."
Coming from humble social origins, Patrizia arrives at a Milan disco in the 1970s where she meets the unassuming millionaire-in-waiting, Maurizio.
Trade in Milanese nightclub for London’s Soho House, and the comparison with the Duchess holds water.
By hitting it off as they did, the young Italian sweethearts had unwittingly tipped the first of a series of dominos that would result in Maurizio’s death.
There is a sense of Shakespearian tragedy about the story as from the outset, the Gucci family, and particularly Maurizio’s father, the thinly moustachioed failed actor Rodolfo, are firmly against the new romance.
"I think like every great epic story, whether it’s Macbeth or Oedipus, you have sympathy for the characters and you see yourself in them," Irons told RTÉ.
Rodolfo’s counterpart in the Megxit saga would, presumably, be Prince Charles.
Whether Rodolfo would have walked Reggiani up the isle in the absence of her father, as Charles did for Meghan, we will never know – but it seems unlikely.
Regianni starts off rather innocently, becoming more enraged and cynical as the movie goes on.
Given recent accusations by the Duchess’s former staff about bullying on her part, this part of the comparison may hold up.
But the two are philosophically worlds apart, as it is hard imagine Reggiani espousing the goal of “building compassion around the world”, as Meghan does.
In the film, an entirely unsentimental Regianni says: “I wouldn’t say I don’t consider myself to be a particularly ethical person, but I am fair.”