Meghan and Harry ‘fuelling’ royalty’s ‘soap opera aspect’ – expert

Meghan Markle 'saved' Harry from royal machine says new book

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have continued “fuelling all the gossip and intrigue” in the media following their exit from the Firm, according to one royal commentator. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down as working members of the Royal Family in the spring of 2020, three months after they released a bombshell statement saying they wished to carve out a new progressive role for themselves within the Royal Family. Their vision included a half-in, half-out solution which would have seen them living between North America and the UK and becoming financially independent from taxpayers while still carrying out official royal duties and visits to represent the late Queen.

Since they stepped down, Meghan and Harry have often repeated they are continuing to live a life of service through their work, carried out both through single initiatives and via their non-profit organisation, the Archewell Foundation.

However, royal commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti claimed the Duke and Duchess are also feeding the “soap opera aspect” naturally linked to royalty.

He told Express.co.uk: “I think soap opera is a very important aspect of royalty for us to consider when we speak about Meghan and Harry.

“There are many aspects to the Royal Family – there is constitutional, there is traditional, there is historical and there is unavoidably a soap opera side too. 

“The British public consume all of these aspects of royalty with some gusto and soap opera is, like it or not, part of the role they represent.”

Meghan and Harry, he added, have been “carried on” the soap opera side even after stepping down as working members of the Firm through their public statements and revelations.

By sharing pieces of information regarding what went on behind the scenes at the Palace, providing details about conversations held with family members or speaking about negotiations regarding their exit, the Duke and Duchess give the idea of being “fine” with fuelling the soap opera side of royalty, Mr Sacerdoti claimed.

He said: “All of these things are effectively part of the gossip and rumour now and they seem really fine fuelling that, to the extent that Harry is due to publish his memoir soon. Which again, is massively interesting to people, mostly because they want the behind-the-scenes look, they want to know who said what to whom, how it was difficult. 

“It’s why [Netflix’s] The Crown is so popular, because it shows a fictionalised version of what went on behind closed doors, these things are popular.”

Almost one year after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex bowed out of the Firm as its working members, the pair sat down for a lengthy interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Speaking with the US chat show queen, Meghan launched allegations of racism and neglect against the Firm, while Harry spoke about feeling “let down” by King Charles III.

The pair also provided details about the behind the scenes of their discussions regarding their potential exit from the Royal Family as senior members, with the Duke denying claims he had “blindsided” Queen Elizabeth II with the announcement they shared in January 2020 regarding their future intentions and new role they desired. 

A few weeks later, Prince Harry spoke publicly again about his family on two occasions – during an episode of the Armchair Expert podcast and in the mental health series he co-created titled The Me You Can’t See.

In both instances, the Duke appeared to criticise the way he had been raised by Prince Charles.

Most recently, Meghan shared a few insights into her life as a senior royal in an interview with New York magazine The Cut, including the fact she and Harry were willing to go live in another Commonwealth nation “because just by existing, we were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy”.

She also revealed she “never had to sign anything that restricts me from talking”, but she is choosing not to speak about her whole experience in the Firm. 

The Duchess also appeared to criticise the Palace in the first episode of her podcast series, Archetypes.

In a conversation with Serena Williams, Meghan revealed that, during the first day of the Sussexes’ tour of South Africa, a fire had broken out in the nursery room where her son Archie Harrison was supposed to be sleeping in.

The Duchess recalled how, after it had been clarified no one had been hurt, she and Harry were asked to carry on with their day of engagements, despite those at the residence being in shock following the incident. 

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