Meghan and Harry: Political impartiality ‘tested’ says expert
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry departed from their roles as senior royals on March 31 as they set off to the US in pursuit of a more independent life. The couple has now settled down with their son, Archie Harrison, in the affluent Montecito neighbourhood of Santa Barbara, California. Since Meghan and Harry left, they have embarked on a number of projects and plans to secure their financial independence, including a deal with streaming giant Netflix.
But their latest project, this time with Spotify, has had critics urging the couple to renounce their HRH titles after it was dubbed “political”.
In early December, Meghan and Harry announced they had signed a deal with Spotify to host a podcast series, but the recently exposed details of the agreement have ruffled a few feathers back home.
Speaking on Sky News, UK think tank Policy Exchange senior fellow Calvin Robinson weighed in on the podcast project, saying he believes it’s time for Harry and Meghan to give up their HRH titles.
Mr Robinson said: “They’re looking to make a podcast on racial injustice, gender equality, environmental stewardship, youth employment, mental health and commentary on topics of current and general interest.
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“To me, it tells me that we’ve got two of the most privileged individuals in the world looking to lecture the rest of us on how we should be living our lives.”
Mr Robinson said he found the notion “hilarious” given Harry and Meghan’s status.
He added: “At this point, we can no longer say that these two people are no longer political.”
Speaking about their titles, Mr Robinson said: “They need to fully renounce their royal titles.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex previously stated part of their lucrative podcast deal would be to create exclusive audio programming under their newly formed production company, Archewell Audio.
In a press release issued by Spotify, the streaming giant said Harry and Meghan’s podcast venture was an attempt to “build community through shared experience, narratives and values”.
The couple also shared their own joint statement about the deal to explain why podcasting would be the next project they undertake.
Harry and Meghan said: “What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction.
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“With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other and share each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.”
Spotify chief content and advertising business officer Dawn Ostroff said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may live in California, but the power of their voices rests in their status as citizens of the world.
“That they are embracing the extraordinary capacity of podcasts on Spotify while also seeking to elevate underrepresented voices is a testament to their appreciation for the potential of audio storytelling.”
The first complete series from Archewell Audio is expected to be released next year.
It comes as it was revealed Meghan had invested in a California start-up, Clevr Blends, that makes instant oat milk latte.
The Duchess of Sussex has been described as an “adviser” to the female-led company producing the new vegan oat latte, which is based in Montecito where the couple currently resides.
Meghan released a statement she would be investing in CEO Hannah Mendoza’s company but did not reveal her financial stake in the company.
She said the investment was intended to support “a passionate female entrepreneur who prioritises building community alongside her business”.
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