Thursday, 2 Feb 2023

Harry and Meghan ‘lost supporters’ after ‘self-indulgent’ docuseries

Harry and Meghan ‘never take responsibility’ says Wootton

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s

Christopher Anderson, author of The King: The Life of Charles III, was a guest on a recent episode of the To Di For Daily podcast. He and host Kinsey Schofield discussed Harry’s memoir and speculated what may be next for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The author commended the Prince for his honesty, saying: “I was afraid, frankly, it was going to be a little bit like the documentary this book, because the documentary was really tame.”

He described the content as “treacly,” before adding: “I think they lost a lot of supporters there with that kind of self-indulgent whining.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex saw their popularity plummet in the UK as their Netflix series was released, according to a YouGov poll.

It found that just one-third of Britons — 33 per cent — held a positive opinion of Harry, while 59 per cent held a negative one. It represented a 13-point drop since November and his joint lowest score since YouGov started tracking royal favourability in 2011.

Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of the public held a negative opinion of Meghan, representing a seven-point drop since November.

However, following the release series, several US-based supporters spoke up in defence of the Sussexes.

Writing in The New York Times, Salamishah Tillet, Pulitzer prize-winning professor at Rutgers University, shared her experience of watching the documentary, recounting a scene in which Meghan talked about how hard she tried as a member of the Royal Family.

“For women, especially women of colour, ‘I tried so hard’ is a frustratingly familiar refrain, particularly when paired with ‘it still wasn’t good enough, and you still don’t fit in,’” she said.

Ayesha Hazarika, a former UK political advisor, told American broadcaster CBS: “Meghan and Harry have become a bit of a lightning conductor for a lot of anger from a lot of these people who are clinging to the past.”

While Sunny Hostin, co-host on the US talk show The View spoke about how the Duke and Duchess “are suffering,” adding, “they took over their narrative, and they have every single right to do that”.

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Harry and Meghan’s documentary started with an onscreen message stressing its authenticity: “This is a firsthand account of Harry and Meghan’s story, told with never before seen personal archive.”

The couple told their love story, detailing their first date during the summer of 2016, the first few months of enjoying a secret romance, and their luxurious wedding in May 2018.

They also delved into the negative aspects of being members of the Royal Family, criticising the British press, describing the Firm’s formality behind the scenes and indicating that Meghan — a former Hollywood actress — was different from the get-go.

At one point, Harry recalled his family’s first meeting with Meghan, revealing that they were “incredibly impressed”.

“Some of them didn’t quite know what to do with themselves,” the Prince said. “I think they were surprised. They were surprised that a ginger could land such a beautiful woman and such an intelligent woman. But the fact that I was dating an American actress was probably what clouded their judgment more than anything else at the beginning, ‘oh she’s an American actress; this won’t last’.”

Meghan added: “The actress thing was the biggest problem, funnily enough. There is a big idea of what that looks like from the UK standpoint — Hollywood — and it’s just very easy for them to typecast that.”

Later in the series, Meghan described her first meeting with Kate, Princess of Wales, recalling a casual dinner held at Kensington Palace. “When Will and Kate came over, and I met her for the first time, they came over for dinner, I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot,” she said. “I was a hugger. I’ve always been a hugger, I didn’t realise that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits. I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside.”

The Duchess continued: “There is a forward-facing way of being, and then you close the door and go, ‘You can relax now’, but that formality carries over on both sides. And that was surprising to me.”

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