Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are said to be surprised by the response they’ve received after back-to-back tell-alls.
Several royal experts claimed the sympathy many have expressed for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has quickly dwindled since the couple chose to speak out on several occasions.
The couple has been airing their grievances against the British monarchy since they stepped down as senior royals in 2020 and moved to California, where they now live with their two young children.
In December, the couple released a six-part Netflix docuseries titled “Harry & Meghan” that detailed their decision to make a new start in the U.S. Then in January, Harry’s explosive memoir “Spare” hit bookshelves, which exposed private emotional turmoil and bitter family resentments.
Harry, 38, has previously spoken about his estrangement from his father, King Charles III, and elder brother Prince William since he departed from the U.K.
“I do think that Harry and Meghan expected more support from Hollywood than they have recently received,” Kinsey Schofield, host of the “To Di For Daily” podcast, told Fox News Digital. “Without a doubt, having Tyler Perry on your side makes you feel like a force to be reckoned with.”
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“I think Harry and Meghan had an amazing opportunity to elevate themselves and actually be Hollywood royalty, but their decorum is making people think twice about the association,” Schofield shared.
TV presenter Nick Ede, who claimed to have had a friendship with Markle years before she met the British prince, recently alleged that the pair didn’t realize they wouldn’t be known as “Hollywood royalty” when they moved to California.
“They’re kind of quite far down really in that pecking order,” Ede told U.K.’s Express. “And I think that’s been an issue with them, in that sense of stepping down. I think the thing is that you forget that in Hollywood, royalty isn’t somebody with a title. It’s JLo, it’s Sharon Stone, it’s Beyoncé, it’s the Kardashians. That’s their royalty.”
However, several royal experts disagree. They noted that as long as the Sussexes are royal titleholders, their luster in Hollywood will continue to shine.
“I doubt very much if Harry and Meghan are wringing their hands, worrying if they’re being overshadowed by the likes of Beyoncé and the Kardashians,” Christopher Andersen, author of “The King,” told Fox News Digital.
“The Duke and Duchess occupy a unique place in the celebrity universe, bringing much-needed touches of class and even history to what is otherwise a translucently superficial place,” he explained. “Not only are we talking about the son and daughter-in-law of the king of England, but one of the heirs to Princess Diana’s mystique and enduring appeal. The ongoing controversies – the split with William and [his wife] Kate, the hubbub over Harry’s memoirs, Charles’ fretting over whether his own son should attend the coronation – these things only make the Sussexes that much more fascinating to the Hollywood crowd.”
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“Believe me, the biggest stars will knock over their own grandmothers to be photographed standing next to Harry and Meghan on the red carpet,” Andersen continued. “I’ve learned from over a half-century of writing about some of our biggest cultural icons that celebrities, in particular, love to bask in the reflected glory of other celebrities. No one is more star-struck than another famous person. The bottom line: unless William and Kate also decide to throw in the towel and move to L.A. with the kids, there’s no chance of Harry and Meghan losing their collective luster.”
“There’s simply no one like them on this side of the Atlantic,” Andersen added.
Still, one royal commentator believes Ede is on the money with his claims. Royal expert Shannon Felton Spence told Fox News Digital that the Sussexes are doomed to follow in the footsteps of Harry’s ancestor, Edward VIII. Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle abdicated the British throne to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson in 1937. Royal expert Hugo Vickers previously said that “both men seemed to radiate sadness after cutting their links with the royal family,” the U.K. Times reported.
“Nick is absolutely right,” said Felton Spence. “They had a huge miscalculation on how important they are to the world and the royal family. COVID also quelled their ‘launch’ plans and essentially froze them in limbo for two years. You think someone who grew up in the industry would have had a better understanding of how it works. Learn from history, or you’re bound to repeat it.”
“With a little research they would have understood they were bound to repeat the journey of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor,” she shared. “They spent their entire lives as vagabonds banking on their royal ‘association’ and the hospitality of rich friends. And he was king! The royal family’s brand is incomparable. It relies on exclusively, mystique and the diplomatic duties of a dignitary. Hollywood is exactly the opposite. They do not translate.”
“Look at the BAFTAs,” she pointed out. “Celebrity seeking the exclusivity of the royal family. Not the other way around. I mean, being rejected by Hollywood is a little stark. They aren’t going to be A-List like they thought they would be.”
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Schofield noted that it’s the couple’s royal titles that give them lasting appeal in Hollywood, to begin with. Markle, who starred in the legal drama “Suits,” became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Harry in 2018.
And Hollywood, she said, won’t give up its fascination for the royal family anytime soon.
“There is still intense love and respect for the royal family throughout Hollywood,” she explained. “Idris Elba (who happened to DJ Harry’s wedding) will tell you that King Charles helped launch his career. Actor David Oyelowo also sings praises for the king’s Prince’s Trust. ‘The Crown’ star Dominic West especially gushes over the sovereign! Miles Teller recently admitted to ‘getting lost in Prince William’s eyes’ at the ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ premiere. Google images of Reese Witherspoon and Kate Middleton at a Los Angeles fundraiser and Reese’s heart is about to pop out of her chest. She is so excited to be there! She later wrote in her memoir, ‘Whiskey in a Teacup’ that she fell under the Princess of Wales’ ‘spell.’”
All eyes are on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for a different reason. It’s currently unknown whether they will attend the coronation of King Charles III in May. Harry’s father and his wife, Camilla, queen consort, are being crowned on May 6 at Westminster Abbey.
Royal experts have wondered if Hollywood will continue to be fascinated by the Sussexes if they don’t make an appearance – and what that would mean for the future of their brand in Hollywood.
“I am sure they are delightful to have at a party,” said Felton Spence. “[Meghan] is smart and beautiful, he is Prince Harry. Again, they can look to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Rich people parties and fashion features in magazines. The question is whether that is enough for them… [The] coronation is the last once-in-a-lifetime event, until William’s which, God willing, is many years away. They lost their cool factor. And if they aren’t pictured at the coronation, it’s gone forever.”
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“By my estimation, they had everything they wanted in mid-December 2022 after the documentary came out,” she shared. “The sympathy of the American public was totally with them, their brand was on the rise again. They finally told ‘their story’ even though they already attempted to with Oprah… [But their popularity] totally tanked three weeks later with the book. I have never seen anything as spectacular as the rise and fall of their popularity in America over a 20-day period.”