Meghan Markle and Prince Harry mocked by Gutfield on Fox News
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex marked two years since deciding to step back from the Royal Family earlier this month. They announced in a statement at the time that they would be splitting their time between the UK and North America, and would focus on new charitable ventures. They have continued to do an impressive amount of work for charity and were seen delivering food to LA residents in need during the pandemic.
They have also signed deals with streaming giants Netflix and Spotify, carried out a controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey, and Harry has also confirmed he will be releasing his memoir next year.
Royal expert Andrew Morton offered an insight into their departure and events since then, in a November interview with Salon.
Discussing the initial departure, he said the Royal Family “blinked first” and tried to accommodate the Sussexes.
He said: “Whatever they tried to do, they couldn’t accommodate them.”
Ultimately, Mr Morton argued Harry and Meghan’s decision to up sticks did Prince Charles and Prince William “a favour”.
He explained: “I think the irony is that Prince Charles and Prince William saw themselves as being the leaders of the slimmed-down monarchy.
“In a way, Harry and Meghan have done them a favour by jumping ship, rather than being asked to walk the gangplank.
“They would’ve had a supportive role, and their position would’ve been progressively lower down the pecking order, as Louis, and Charlotte, and George, all came into maturity.”
He added: “Meghan and Harry have got a generation to really make an impact. Then afterwards, it’ll be, ‘Oh, Meghan who?’”
The move across the Atlantic, Mr Morton claimed, had been in the works for some time.
He explained: “Harry, six months after their wedding, was in detailed discussions with Oprah in a London hotel and several of the media executives, talking about what eventually became ‘The Me You Can’t See’, and talking about his own struggles with mental health.
“It’s not like he wasn’t going to do an Oprah interview. Whether he was inside or outside of the Royal Family, he was going to do that one.”
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He added: “I think the narrative that they’d like to project is that they arrived in Los Angeles with a couple of suitcases and a cuddly toy and that was it.
“I think the reality is that they’d been planning this move to Hollywood for some time, not necessarily where they were going to live.”
He claimed the first conversations with Oprah Winfrey began in December 2018, while Meghan was in separate talks about the ‘Pearl’ series which she will produce for Netflix.
Mr Morton said: “So whilst the plan wasn’t fully worked out, I wouldn’t suggest that they were babes in the woods.”
He pointed out that there had been “knee-jerk cynicism” from much of British, and American society, despite Meghan’s willingness to accept the peculiarities of the Royal Family.
He said: “She changed. She was becoming a British citizen. She was baptised in the Church of England. She gave up all the social media accounts that she had.”
Despite such cynicism and criticism directed towards the Sussexes, Mr Morton said there are reasons for optimism in the Sussex camp.
He said: “The very fact they can go to New York and have the Mayor and the Governor pay court is a sign of their international prestige. And the fact that they’re known by their first names, like Madonna, is also a sign of their popularity.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see how they carve out a career without mining themselves, which is what they’ve always objected to. And so far, they’ve mined themselves with that Oprah interview, with their only one Spotify conversation.”
He questioned whether they have the “knack” of producing scripts like the Netflix hit Squid Game in their new roles as television and film producers.
He added: “Harry and Meghan were very fortunate to be signed up at a time when these streaming services were eager to sign up big names, because they’ve got the global reach, and these are global institutions.
“It remains to be seen whether they’ll be worth the money they’ll be paid.”
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