Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reportedly blame outside forces like Her late Majesty and Prince Philip’s deaths and the pandemic for their inability to find their footing professionally after stepping back as working members of the royal family in early 2020, Page Six reports.
“The word is that they think they’ve been really unlucky,” a source in Los Angeles told The Daily Mail.
In truth, much has happened since their decision to step back was announced in January 2020: That year, COVID-19 swept the world; in 2021, the couple appeared in a bombshell special with Oprah Winfrey in March, saw Philip’s passing in April, and welcomed their daughter, Princess Lilibet Diana, in June. In 2022, the late Queen marked her Platinum Jubilee in June and died in September at 96 years old.
Professionally, in 2020 the two inked major deals with Netflix and Spotify. The now-defunct Spotify deal only produced one show, “Archetypes,” hosted by Meghan and debuting in August 2022 (and largely overshadowed by the death of Her late Majesty on September 8). For Netflix, their six-part docuseries Harry & Meghan was a hit in December 2022; Harry’s Heart of Invictus is set to premiere next month. Additionally, Harry’s memoir, Spare, was released to much fanfare this past January.
But the pair allegedly believe that timing has not been on their side the entire time, from their departure in March 2020 and the pandemic hitting that same month to Philip’s death in April 2021 overshadowing their Oprah interview the month prior to the aforementioned “Archetypes” getting put on pause because of the late Queen’s death less than a month later.
While the Spotify deal is over, the Netflix partnership is still in play, with more offerings expected this year and next. According to The Daily Express, royal commentator Alison Boshoff said that the couple are being frozen out in terms of their future career prospects in Hollywood: “Their ambition to become a global humanitarian power couple seems, for the moment at least, to be on ice,” she said.
However, all is not lost for the Sussexes, said public relations expert and GoUp’s chief executive Edward Coram-James. The end of their Spotify deal “does not mean that they will not get future deals,” he said. “What is means is that these deals are likely to be of a much lower value and are potentially less likely to be centered around the Sussexes producing visual or audio content.” Ultimately, Coram-James said, the pair “cannot afford another dud or cancellation.”
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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