Prince Harry and Meghan have reportedly had a tough month
Prince Harry and Meghan were last week hit by claims their marriage is on the brink amid the strain caused by their cancelled Spotify deal. Rumours started circulating on gossip sites but the Prince’s inner circle denied the claims.
An inside, who spoke to Page Six, said: “It’s not true, it’s literally made up”. While Omid Scobie, one of the authors behind the biography Finding Freedom, shot down the rumours on social media.
Even without that though, it has been a tough month for the Sussexes, reports the Mirror. They have reportedly faced everything from cancelled July 4 parties to being banned from a private club.
Here we take a look at all the challenging hurdles the pair have been forced to face.
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The Sussexes have had a tough month
Fallout after Spare
Until the start of the year, the pair’s post-royal projects were done together – until Spare. Harry’s memoir was released in January and included claims about Prince William, King Charles, and the Queen Consort.
Harry promoted the book on his own. He carried out a number of high-profile interviews where he spoke candidly about his life.
But according to The Telegraph, Meghan is understood to have been more wary than him when it came to his memoir project. A source told the publication “media-savvy” Meghan may have voiced gentle concerns about if releasing the memoir was the right move.
Once Harry reportedly decided to press ahead with the project, she is said to have supported him. The source said: “Is this the way she would have approached things? Possibly not. But she will always back him and would never have got involved in promoting such a personal project. This was about his own life, his journey and his own perspective.”
Prince Harry’s memoir Spare
Reports recently suggest the duchess has signed for Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor (WME). It was one of the first indications the couple would be pursuing projects on their own.
Meghan and WME are said to be working on film and TV production, brand partnerships and overall business-building. The agency said at the time: “We are honoured to announce that WME now represents Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex in all areas.
“The agency will be focusing on building out her business ventures across multiple facets of the agency & its broader ecosystem, including film & television production, brand partnerships & more.”
Harry is not included in the deal and one brand expert said he believed the couple may have realised they can “earn more” by working on their own “passion projects”. Speaking to the Mirror, brand expert Andy Barr said: “The romantic in me says that this is the couple splitting their career path in order to fully commit to their passion projects but the commercial cynic in me says that the power couple have realised that they can potentially earn more by dividing and conquering.
“With Harry rumoured to be off to film a series in Africa, it would be no surprise to see Meghan Markle heading off to a region where their brand may have historically struggled to win over fans in order to reinforce their global appeal and make them even more attractive to potential brands wishing to sign them up.”
Prince Harry and Meghan when they wed
Axed from Spotify
Meghan and Harry’s £18million Spotify deal came to an end when it was revealed the duchess would not be having her podcast renewed for another series. Meghan hosted the podcast Archetypes which ran for 12 episodes from August last year.
In it, she spoke to celebrities, historians and experts about the history of stereotypes facing women.
The parting of ways was confirmed by a statement from Archewell Audio, the couple’s content creation label, and Spotify, which read: “Spotify and Archewell Audio have mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together.”
The couple however have a strong relationship with Netflix, even if reports suggested it could have been on the rocks. “The bond with Archewell Productions is one we deeply value. Harry & Meghan launched as Netflix’s most spectacular documentary debut to date,” a Netflix spokesperson said.
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Air Force One ‘snub’
The Duke and Duchess reportedly asked if they could fly in Air Force One – Joe Biden’s official jet. According to the Daily Mail, the pair had asked to fly in the plane to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
However, the President is said to have denied the request citing an impact it could have on relations with the Royal Family. According to the media outlet, Meghan and Harry’s team “reached out to the White House to ask if the couple could get a ride back to the United States on Air Force One,” with them allegedly noting how it would have made for a “grand photo opportunity”.
The publication claimed it was an “immediate no from the Americans, with Biden’s staff recognising it was a no-go”.
‘Avoided’ by Hollywood elite
The Mirror claims the pair have reportedly been snubbed by Hollywood elite over fears it could land them in hot water with Prince William and Princess Kate. According to Newsnation, the couple’s high-profile Montecito neighbours – which include the likes of Steven Spielberg, Julia Louise-Dreyfus and Rob Lowe – are reportedly giving the former senior Royals a wide-birth so as not to alienate Will and Kate.
NewsNation’s senior story producer told the outlet’s host Nichole Berlie: “Everyone’s got a movie to sell and a Broadway play they want to debut on screen in London or [London’s] West End and they know that Prince William and Kate — who are the biggest [celebrity] gets over there won’t show if they think someone is friends with Harry and Meghan. My sources tell me it’s all about the money. And the big power players in Hollywood aren’t jeopardising their business for Harry and Meghan.”
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Prince Harry at the Coronation of King Charles III
Meghan and Harry were forced to call off a party they had planned for Independence Day at the last minute. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were said to be struggling following the collapse of their Spotify partnership while rumours circulated about their Netflix deal.
While a spokesperson has since rubbished claims the couple’s deal with the streaming service is at risk, a source has said the news still led to frustration. “They had a huge party planned at their home, which they cancelled just three days out,” the source claimed. They said Meghan was left with “no choice but to cancel” following the fallout.
The source told New magazine that the couple had “erected gazebos” for the party, but they were taken down when Meghan “instructed the planners to call it off”. They claim guests were left shocked by the cancellation. Despite the claims, Meghan and Harry were seen enjoying a July 4 parade with their young son Prince Archie, who was seen clutching a US flag.
The couple were spotted watching the parade in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They were joined by a security team and friends. Pictures of the couple enjoying the trip were shared on social media, although they were later deleted. For the outing, Harry wore a polo shirt and dark trousers while Meghan opted for jeans and a white tank top. Archie was dressed in a red, white and blue cap as he enjoyed a lollipop.
Prince Harry and Meghan at the LA Lakers
‘Banned from private club’
Harry and Meghan moved to Montecito after stepping back from the Royal Family, but it seems they’ve had some trouble in their new neighbourhood. The pair were reportedly been banned from a private members’ club near their Californian home. Lady Victoria Hervey has claimed: “I heard from people in LA that they actually got barred.”
During an appearance on GB News, she claimed her friends in California said Meghan and Harry had been barred after they had allegedly arranged for photographers to wait outside the club for them. The socialite also claimed the Sussexes do “set-up shots” with paparazzi, however, her claims have been disputed.
Journalist Nina Myskow also appeared on the programme and said Lady Victoria’s claims were “tittle tattle”. Photographer Jill Ishkanian, who recently snapped Meghan at a local farmers’ market has also said the actress “absolutely does not” tip her off on her whereabouts.
“No one calls me, trust me. I have absolutely no support, I do everything by myself. It’s a total pain in the butt when you get their picture to be totally honest,” Jill said. The photographer explained she had been trying to get pictures of Katy Perry’s father when she then spotted Meghan at the market.
Speaking to Newsweek about how she managed to get a snap of Meghan, the photographer said she decided to use her phone instead of her long lens camera. The Mirror has approached Meghan’s representatives for comment.
Meghan has previously been accused of setting up paparazzi photoshoots. It’s been claimed she used to leak information to the press before joining the Royal Family. This apparently all changed once she met her future husband Harry.
Finding Freedom, a book written by Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, claimed: “While Meghan, before she met Harry, had occasionally set up a paparazzi photo here and there or let info slip out to the press, she did everything in her power to protect the privacy of her relationship with the prince.
“She knew that keeping things quiet meant that they could get to know each other without pressure of further worries that came from reporters covering and commenting on their burgeoning romance.” The authors claimed Meghan was “relieved” when the media eventually found out about her relationship with Harry after being forced to keep it a secret from her family and friends.
Shutting down split rumours
Numerous friends of Harry and Meghan have come forward to shutdown rumours of marriage troubles, after claims aroused that the pair were taking time apart. A Sussex source close to the couple told Bazaar that the reports are “complete garbage”, echoing that of the Page Six insider that said “it’s literally made up”.
According to body language expert Judi James, although they may not be as tactile as they have been in public previously – some of their rituals are still “alive and well”. She told the Mirror: “Harry and Meghan have been a walking testimony to marital bliss. Their face-gazing looks of mutual adoration and their inability to not touch, hug, stroke or clasp hands with each other for longer than a few moments has always proved that however controversial their comments, their love was an ongoing success story.
“Their two most current appearances together show them snapped on the hoof. The car photos do appear to suggest the hand-holding ritual is still alive and well (although the hands themselves are hidden their arm positioning does suggest the gesture ends in a clasp). Her wide smile when she is with Harry looks like a statement, a social gesture to let fans know her life is still happy and perfect, although his expression is a bit more muted.”