'Harry & Meghan' Will Have "Thrown the Royal Family Into a Further State of Crisis," A Publicist Says

They're not responding officially at the moment.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

Although the Royal Family has officially decided not to respond to the release of Harry & Meghan for the moment, that doesn't mean the Netflix docuseries won't be having consequences on what's happening behind closed doors—at least that's one public relations pro's view on the whole affair.

"This latest episodes in the Meghan & Harry docuseries does, undoubtedly, outline some very uncomfortable conversations," Sophie Attwood, director of global PR consultancy at Sophie Attwood Communications, tells Marie Claire.

"However, whatever your opinion, it’s safe to say that from a communications and PR perspective this will have thrown the Royal Family into a further state of crisis."

For Attwood, what's particularly striking in the latest three episodes of the doc is that the Duke of Sussex so directly addresses the PR games he alleges are played by royal communications staff.

"At one point Harry actually speaks openly of the communications team and the Royal family’s relationship with the national press—which he has of course had over 30 years' experience of," the expert explains.

"Whereas historically, the relationship [of royals] with the world’s media was very much one of a formal and very measured releasing of information, it is clear that Meghan and Harry bring a new, fresh perspective to this.

"For example, we hear of Meghan’s best friends publishing an article within People magazine about what their friend was really like—and the subsequent #WeLoveMeghan hashtag that emerged across social media.

"This really shows the complexity of millennial PR and the way in which it has the ability to counterbalance traditional approaches to public relations as we will have seen with the Royal Family historically."

Prince Harry and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge embark on a walkabout ahead of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 18, 2018 in Windsor, England

(Image credit: Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)

For Attwood, the way the Sussexes approach public relations is another marker of how different they are to the Waleses.

"What is searingly obvious from the latest docuseries episode is the dichotomy between the two PR strategies which are at play here," she says.

"The Netflix docuseries itself highlights this, as does the reaction, or lack of reaction, from the Royal Family.

"On one hand you have a very strategic, traditional and very much one-way form of communication, and the stark contrast with that only illustrates further the gap between their communications and relationship."

The teams representing both the King and Queen consort and the Prince and Princess of Wales have officially shared that they will not be responding to the Netflix show.

Taking to Twitter, royal reporter Omid Scobie wrote, "As was the case last week, both Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace say they will not be commenting on today’s final episodes of Netflix’s Harry & Meghan."

Scobie added, "Both households clearly keen to keep focus on this afternoon’s #TogetherAtChristmas at Westminster Abbey (where Charles and Camilla will join William and Kate). Before the service, the King and Queen Consort will visit a London community kitchen supporting low income families."

But how can we interpret this lack of response from senior royals? Attwood has a few ideas.

"One could perhaps argue that the lack of direct response to the Netflix docuseries and the accusations within it simply confirms many of the accusations that are made in the program," she says.

"However, many others would say that this is simply the PR approach that the Royal Family would tend to take and this situation is no different."

Although the criticism of royals on both sides of the Atlantic has been virulent leading up to—and following—the release of Harry & Meghan, Attwood doesn't think it's all bad after all.

"One positive that we can absolutely take from this is the renewed interest in both families," she says.

"As with many successful famous brands, these stories only serve to drive interest further.

"I would suggest that ultimately it doesn’t matter what Harry and Meghan say and do—audiences will keep watching. Because they keep the train moving forward at pace. Everyone—albeit some who disapprove of the docuseries—sits down for the ride and watches with intrigue."

This has only been proven by the series' record-breaking viewership, as well as how many people—famous or not—have chosen to comment on it, on social media and in traditional media alike.

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.