Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex’s decision to skip the Coronation next month is “yet another misstep in a long line of missteps from the Duchess”, PR expert Edward Coram James claimed.
The reputational management expert told Express.co.uk opting out of King Charles III’s Coronation could be interpreted as the Duchess snubbing attempts to bring the Sussexes back into the royal fold.
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Wednesday Meghan will not be returning to the UK for the service but instead stay at home with her children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.
The Duke of Sussex will however be at Westminster Abbey alongside other senior members of the Royal Family to see Charles III being officially crowned.
Coram James said the optics of Meghan skipping the service could further damage her and Harry’s reputation.
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The GoUp CEO said: “Whereas this is clearly the better outcome for the Royal Family at large, from a personal reputational point of view it is yet another misstep in a long line of missteps from the Duchess.
“There is often a gap between the reality of a decision-making process, and the optics of it. We do not know the reality of her decision.
“Perhaps there is a pressing reason for her to remain home (and this cannot, and should not, be discounted as a possibility). However, the optics are that of snubbing yet another olive branch extended by her father-in-law.”
The couple had already sparked criticism after missing the deadline to respond to King Charles’s invitation until three weeks before the Coronation.
The PR expert argued the Duchess had emerged the “loser” of the ongoing battle for public opinion support after her strategy backfired on the Sussexes.
He continued: “So far, there has been a clear winner and a clear loser in the PR war between the Royals and the Sussexes. And Meghan has come out the loser.
“Her reputation building was based on the premise that the public would empathise with her as a victim, and wag their fingers at the Royal Family, the perpetrators.
“She needed to be able to take the public on this journey with her. However, it has backfired and, for the majority of people, the two opposing crisis management strategies employed by the two sides has led to Megan looking like the perpetrator and the Royal Family looking like the victims.”
Since stepping down from their royal roles in 2020, Harry and Meghan have repeatedly accused the Royal Family of failing to support them as they struggled with growing public pressure.
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The Duchess also lamented she struggled with adapting to her new royal role as she only had her husband to rely on for teaching her how to conduct herself.
Speaking to Oprah Winfrey one year after renouncing her working royal position, Meghan said: “There was no guidance as well, right?”
However, Meghan’s claims were debunked shortly after in the book Finding Freedom, which was penned by two authors considered to be very favourable towards the Sussex camp.
Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Duran claimed the late Queen herself during a joint outing with the newly-minted royal before she even married Harry.
They wrote: “The Queen was wonderful, warm, and generous towards the new Duchess, a source close to Her Majesty said.
“She made sure Meghan knew what was going on and made her feel very much at home because it was her first trip.
“Indeed, before the two stepped off the train, the Queen gifted Meghan with a delicate pair of pearl-and-diamond earrings.
“Meghan, an avid learner studying all she could on royal protocol, was often seen carrying binders full of research so she didn’t put a foot wrong.”
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