Harry and Meghan overplay their hand with a ‘therapy session’
It’s very likely that Harry and Meghan, with their Netflix documentary, overplayed their hand. Because whoever comes to the royal family in the UK, always comes to a large number of Britons. So say former correspondent Tim de Wit and British reputation management expert James Brilliant.
“Of these series they’re burning all the bridges behind them,” said Brilliant, a strategic communications expert. “And that’s anything but good for their reputation in the UK.
He calls the series a great “vanity project”. There is great confusion about this in Britain, says Brilliant. “Brits’ biggest frustration is that Harry and Meghan wanted a quiet life, away from the tabloid spotlight. And now they’re coming with a series, previously with a Meghan podcast, and soon with Harry’s autobiographical book.”
Former correspondent Tim de Wit also sees the picture in Britain tipping. “People think they’re busy hurting the Royal Family and also making a lot of money out of it. And with a King Charles who hasn’t even been crowned, many don’t think it’s appropriate to talk from the back of the royal family.”
The series is talked about in the UK:
Netflix series Harry and Meghan appeared: ‘I look forward to the gossip’
According to the two, the British royal family – despite all the scandals and disagreements – is still immensely popular. Although the younger generation is more open to Harry and Meghan. Young Britons and Britons with a migrant background in particular are more likely to support both in their fight for the truth, says De Wit.
This truth is Harry and Meghan’s truth, which is why the couple walked away from the royal family. The couple talk about the struggle with the British press (gossip), they accuse the palace of dirty games with the same press and talk about deep-rooted racism in the palace.
The effect of the documentary will mean a permanent break with the British media and the rest of the royal family, De Wit expects. “If you still have any illusions that this British royal family will celebrate Christmas together again, with Harry and Meghan and their children, then I think that idea is a thing of the past.”
Members of the royal family reportedly declined to comment on the accusations. Brilliant calls it a wise decision. “By addressing an accusation directly, they validate it.” De Wit: “Within this family, the following always applies: don’t complain, don’t explain yourself. Above all, don’t complain, don’t explain yourself.”
Harry is right, De Wit thinks, about his life with the tabloids. We see how difficult it is for him, as well as for the other members of the royal family, to live in a world where everything, absolutely everything, is photographed. “That every step you take is followed by an army of photographers. And her mother, of course, died in part as a result of a paparazzi hunt.
According to the former correspondent, Harry and Meghan have put a lot of thought into how they present themselves on the show. He finds it disturbing that Megan comes across as someone who had no idea what she was getting into. “So you walk into the most famous royal family in the world and then say you didn’t know who Harry and William were a few years ago.”
Meghan says she even had to google the British national anthem. De Wit: “One of the most famous folk songs in the world. It seems very naive to me. All to make it look like she didn’t know what she was getting into and so it happened to her. I don’t find that very believable.”
Meghan’s reputation has been damaged in the UK, she needs better PR, says Brilliant. “The documentary also aims to show her as nice, kind, a mother. And together it’s David versus Goliath, good versus bad. Harry and Meghan are the good guys, the bad guys are the media and the royal family. All watched from their position as victims.
According to De Wit and Brilliant, the couple should not count on a change in British public opinion. That may not be their goal, as their future is in the United States for now. To confirm their popularity, there may be a strategy, according to De Wit and Brilliant. “They have to be able to continue doing whatever they want to do there. And for that audience, it’s a good show,” says De Wit.
It is also because there is much more attention and fascination for the couple in the United States. Awesome: “They say in the US they act like the Kardashians. But that’s what they love in the US: reality TV with celebrities and gossip. Plus, the issue of race , which is obviously a big topic for Meghan, is an even bigger problem in the United States.”
Brilliant has advice for Harry and Meghan: ‘don’t become reality TV stars’. Although he clearly sees in the documentary that Harry never 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 clearly damaged. That’s why this documentary is, in a way, a therapy session. “
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