It’s very possible that Harry and Meghan, with their Netflix documentary, have overplayed their role. Because whoever comes to the royal family of the United Kingdom, still comes to a large number of Britons. So says former correspondent Tim De Wit and British reputation management expert James Brilliant.
“With this series, they are burning all the bridges behind,” said Brilliant, a strategic communications expert. “And that’s not good for their reputation in the UK.”
The series is dubbed the Big Vanity Project. Brilliant says there is a lot of confusion about this in Great Britain. “The British’s biggest frustration is that Harry and Meghan wanted a quiet life, without the spotlight of the tabloids. And now they’re bringing in a series, previously with Meghan’s podcast, and soon with Harry’s biographers.”
As former correspondent Tim De Wit sees the picture in Britain is tilting. “People think they are busy doing damage to the royal family and also making a lot of money from it. And with King Charles not even crowned, not many think it appropriate to talk about the return of the royal family.”
The series is the talk of the town in the UK:
Harry and Meghan featured in Netflix series: ‘I look forward to the gossip’
According to both, the British royal family – despite all the scandals and controversies – is still very popular. Although the younger generation is more open to Harry and Meghan. Britons, and younger Britons with an immigrant background in particular, are more likely to support the two in their fight for the truth, says De Wit.
This fact is the truth about Harry and Meghan, which is why the couple has estranged themselves from the royal family. The couple mention conflict with the British press (gossip), accuse the palace of dirty games with the same press and mention deep-rooted racism in the palace.
De Witt predicts that the impact of the documentary will mean a final break with the British media and the rest of the royal family. “If you still had any illusions that the British royal family would celebrate Christmas together again, with Harry and Meghan and their children, I think that idea is a thing of the past.”
The royals reportedly declined to comment on any accusations. Illustrious calls this a wise decision. “By addressing the accusation directly, they validate it.” De Wit: “Within this family, the following still applies: Don’t complain, don’t explain. Above all, don’t complain, don’t explain.”
De Witt believes Harry has a point when it comes to his life with the tabloids. It’s obvious how hard it is for him and the other royals to live in a world where everything, absolutely everything, is filmed. “That every step you take is followed by an army of paparazzi. His mother, of course, died in part as a result of being stalked by the paparazzi.”
According to the former reporter, Harry and Meghan have thought carefully about how they will portray themselves in the series. He found it disturbing that Megan portrayed herself as someone who had no idea what she was getting herself into. “So you go into the most famous royal family in the world, and then you say you didn’t know who Harry and William were a few years ago.”
Meghan says she had to google the British national anthem. De Witt: “One of the most popular ballads in the world. That seems very naive to me. All to give the impression that she didn’t know what she was joining in and so it happened to her. I don’t find that trustworthy.”
Brilliant says Meghan’s reputation has been damaged in the UK, and she needs better PR. “The documentary also aims to show her as sweet, kind, and a mother. And with her David vs. Goliath, good vs. bad. Harry and Meghan are the good guys, and the bad guys are the media and the royal family as victims.”
According to De Wit and Brilliant, the spouses should not count on a change in British public opinion. Perhaps this is not their goal, because their future lies in the United States for the time being. There could be a strategy to assert its popularity, according to De Wit and Brilliant. “They have to be able to keep doing whatever they want to do out there. And for that audience, this is a good series,” says de Wit.
This is also because there is a lot of interest and charm for the couple in the United States. Glossy: “In the US they say they act like the Kardashians. But that’s what they like in the US: reality TV with celebrities and gossip. Also, the issue of race, which is obviously a big topic for Meghan, is an even bigger problem in the US “.
Brilliant has some advice for Harry and Meghan: “Don’t become a reality TV star.” Although it is clearly seen in the documentary that Harry never really felt comfortable as a prince. “He lost his mother, he suffered. He always wanted to be independent and free, away from the madness of the monarchy. Harry is visibly damaged. That’s why this documentary is, in a way, a therapy session.”
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