Meghan Markle Needs to Build a Brand "We Recognize as Hers," Tina Brown Says

The expert doesn't think she's there yet.

Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Royal expert Tina Brown has some things to say to Meghan Markle—let's call it constructive criticism for the sake of clarity.

The biographer believes that there's a discrepancy between Prince Harry—who has a clear brand based on his upbringing and the causes he has championed for many years—and his wife Meghan, whose various projects Brown believes are based on "grievance" rather than on her interests per se.

"Harry’s always going to be royal," Brown explained at the Cheltenham Literature Festival (via Express).

"He will always have the iconic status that that has. He does have an identity, his Invictus has an authenticity and people relate to that."

By contrast, she continued, "I think Meghan does really need to find the thing she cares about the most and develop her own sort of brand that isn’t just a grievance brand—that is actually something we recognize as hers.

"It's hard to find that and I think she hasn't yet found that, but I think she could if she rows back from the focusing always on what didn't work."

While it's not inaccurate that the Duchess of Sussex uses her platform to talk about her hardships, I also don't quite see why we want her to shut up and bear it—she is, after all, widely criticized online and in the press (often with barely veiled racism and misogyny). If something like Archetypes can help her express any hurt she feels while also helping others to feel more empowered, I for one have no problem with it.

But Brown wasn't necessarily talking about feelings: She was talking about public relations, which is a different kettle of fish altogether.

"The Sussexes didn't realize how hard it was to create a rival platform. You're essentially at the mercy of PRs," she continued.

"The people who achieved it, the George Clooneys and the Oprahs, they are very good at it.

"It's very difficult when you want to be above it. It's much harder than it looks."

She concluded: "Given that they've now staked their livelihoods on product, on entertainment, it's going to be about what they do."

Iris Goldsztajn
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.