Prince Harry sent warning to avoid same ’embarrassing’ mistake as his uncle with new role

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The Duke quickly settled into a new life with his wife Meghan Markle and son Archie in the US after dramatically stepping down as a senior royal. The couple has already made a name for themselves by speaking out against issues affecting the world over the last year, including the Black Lives Matter movement. Harry and Meghan are now set to build their new Archewell brand and have already signed multi-million pound deals with Netflix to makes docuseries and podcasts with Spotify.

But Philip Murphy, Director Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London, drew comparisons with Harry’s uncle Prince Edward, who is married to Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.

He also stepped into the business world to set up a television production company called Ardent in the 1990s, but gave it up a few years later.

Mr Murphy warned Harry to avoid “embarrassing” the royals with the couple’s new project after Edward’s company become “a bit of a joke”.

He told “The obvious precedent is Prince Edward who founded his own company, Ardent Productions, in 1993 and ran it until 2002 when he stepped down as its joint managing director.

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“The lesson from Prince Edward’s company is that the Sussexes’ business activities will be under intense media scrutiny, so they need to be very careful that they are run competently and don’t do anything to embarrass the rest of the family.

“Ardent Productions became a bit of a joke.

“It was never financially successful and in 2001 it was even accused over breaking the agreement with the media over royal privacy when a film crew from the company allegedly tried to shoot footage of Prince William at St Andrews University.

“I don’t think it was a coincidence that Edward stepped away from it shortly after that.

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“I suspect Meghan will turn out to be a far more savvy and successful business-woman.”

Edward’s company turned sour when he found himself in a bitter feud with his brother and Harry’s father, Prince Charles, when one of his crews was found filming Prince William while he was studying at university despite a request for media to leave him alone.

The Queen’s oldest grandson Peter Phillips, who is not an HRH and does not carry out royal duties, also hit the headlines when he appeared in an advert for milk in China.

But the Duke and Duchess appeared comfortable in front of the cameras when they revealed their new podcast project in a trailer featuring them both chatting and joking with each other last month.

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Meghan said at the time: “This is also a moment to celebrate kindness and compassion, something we saw in so many places this year, and which will underlie everything you hear from Archewell Audio.

“We’re talking to some amazing people, they’re going to share their memories that have really helped shape this past year which has been, as we know, a difficult one for everyone.”

Harry added: “So many people have been through so much pain this year, experiencing loss, a huge amount of uncertainty, but it feels worth acknowledging that 2020 has connected us in ways we could have never imagined, through endless acts of compassion and kindness.”

Most recently, the couple has turned their attention to issues with social media after previously speaking out about the amount of online backlash they received.

Meghan and Harry sing together in Archewell Audio trailer

Harry has publicly called for tech giants to be held accountable for “misinformation and divisive rhetoric”.

In an interview with US business magazine Fast Company, he said: “To their own degree, everyone has been deeply affected by the current consequences of the digital space.

“It could be as individual as seeing a loved one go down the path of radicalisation or as collective as seeing the science behind the climate crisis denied.

“We are all vulnerable to it, which is why I don’t see it as a tech issue, or a political issue—it’s a humanitarian issue.

“From an early age, the guiding principle in my life has been about the duty to truth, the pursuit of compassion, and the alleviation of suffering.

“My life has always been about trying to do my part to help those who need it most, and right now, we need this change—because it touches nearly every single thing we do or are exposed to.”

Meghan previously spoke about being “the most trolled person in the world” on the Teenager Therapy podcast and added experiencing abuse while pregnant left her feeling “isolated”.

She said: “I’m told that in 2019 I was the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female.

“Now, eight months of that I wasn’t even visible — I was on maternity leave or with a baby … If people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging … That’s so big, you can’t even think of what that feels like.”

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