It is very likely that Harry and Meghan, with their documentary on Netflix, have played too much. Because whoever gets to the royal family in the UK, it still gets to a great many Britons. This was stated by former correspondent Tim de Wit and James Brilliant, a British reputation management expert.
“Encountered this series they burn all the bridges behind them,” said Brilliant, a strategic communications expert. “And that’s not good for their reputation in the UK.”
He calls the series a great “vanity project”. There is great confusion about this in Britain, Brilliant says. “The biggest frustration among Brits is that Harry and Meghan wanted a quiet life, without the tabloid spotlight. And now they’re coming up with a series, first with a Meghan podcast, and soon with Harry’s autobiographical book.”
Former correspondent Tim de Wit also sees the picture in Britain tilted. “People think they are 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 see fit to talk about the royal family returning to get.”
The series is the talk of the town in the UK:
Netflix series Harry and Meghan appeared: ‘I can’t wait for the gossip’
According to both, 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. Younger Britons and Britons with a migration background in particular are more inclined to support the two in their fight for truth, says De Wit.
That truth is Harry and Meghan’s truth, which is why the pair have distanced themselves from the royal family. The couple hints at the fight with the British press (gossip), they accuse the palace of dirty games with the same press and hint at a racism rooted in the palace.
The effect of the documentary will mean a permanent break with the British media and the rest of the royal family, predicts De Wit. “If you still have any illusions that this British royal family will ever 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 are said to have declined to comment on any allegations. Brilliant calls it a wise decision. “By addressing an allegation 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.”
Harry is right, thinks De Wit, when it comes to his life with the tabloids. It is clear how difficult it is for him, and for the other members of the royal family, to live in a world where everything, absolutely everything, is photographed. “That your every step is followed by an army of photographers. And his mother, of course, died in part as a result of a paparazzi chase.”
According to the former correspondent, Harry and Meghan have been thinking carefully about how they portray themselves on the series. Disturbing, he finds, is that Megan portrays herself 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 you say you didn’t know who Harry and William were a few years back.”
Meghan says she even had to Google the British national anthem. De Wit: “One of the most famous popular songs in the world. It seems to me very naive. All to give the impression that she didn’t know what she was getting into and therefore it had happened to her. I don’t find that very believable”.
Meghan’s reputation damaged in UK, needs better PR, says Brilliant. “The documentary also aims to show her as a kind, gentle mother. And together it’s David versus Goliath, good versus evil. Harry and Meghan are the good guys, the bad guys are the media and the royal family. All viewed from their position as victims ”.
According to De Wit and Brilliant, the pair shouldn’t count on a turnaround in British public opinion. Maybe that’s not their goal, because for the moment their future is in the United States. There may be a strategy to confirm their popularity, according to De Wit and Brilliant. “They have to be able to keep doing whatever they want to do there. And for that audience, this is a good series,” says De Wit.
Also because in the United States there is much more attention and fascination for the couple. Brilliant: “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. Even the issue of race, which is obviously an important topic for Meghan, is even more important problem in the United States”.
Brilliant has some advice for Harry and Meghan: “Don’t be a reality TV star.” Though she 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.”