Meghan cannot let go of the Royal family, as much as she claims she wants to

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have rebranded their website
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have rebranded their website - Rolf Vennenbernd/Avalon/Avalon
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What to make of Harry and Meghan’s latest rebrand?

Well, it’s certainly very regal. When they’re in their leisurewear, reading out their WhatsApps from William and Kate on Netflix, they’re “H and Meg”. But when they’re “shaping the future through business and philanthropy” they’re very much Prince Harry & Meghan The Duke and Duchess of Sussex – and don’t you forget it. We’re talking white capital letters in a majestic font on a navy blue background. Serious stuff folks.

Why Harry is “Prince” Harry but Meghan is just plain old “Meghan” rather than “Duchess” Meghan is not explained to us mere mortals. Perhaps the former actress would have preferred “Princess Meghan”? Or maybe Duchess is just a bit too Downton Abbey/Wallis Simpson for the down-to-earth American’s liking.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's website has been given a 'majestic' new look
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's website has been given a 'majestic' new look -

As we learn later, the wholesome mother-of-two went to an all-girls Catholic school “which she continues to support as an alumna”.

Oh, to be in on one of Meghan’s guest assemblies: “Kidnapped by the monarchy: How I spent a summer at Sir Elton John’s Nice mansion without access to my passport.”

Naturally, there is no reference to the dreaded Windsors – beyond the conspicuous use of a Royal coat of arms, which is Meghan’s, not Harry’s, obvs. The purposeful prominence of the crest once again lays bare the contradiction at the heart of the couple’s quest to “find their freedom”.

Harry once accused William and Charles of being “trapped” in the monarchy but as sovereign and heir to the throne, that’s surely an occupational hazard. What’s Harry and Meghan’s excuse?

There is absolutely no reason for these non-working royals to carry on using their titles – not least with an entire website dedicated to telling the world that they are much, much more than mere royalty.

“Humanitarian, military veteran, mental health advocate and environmental campaigner,” Harry, we are told, has “dedicated his adult life to advancing causes that he is passionate about and that advance permanent change for people and places”.

Meghan, meanwhile, is a “feminist and champion of human rights and gender equity” with a “lifelong advocacy for women and girls”. Wow. So while Harry only started his philanthropy in adulthood, Meghan was doing it as a baby. Impressive.

She is also apparently a “major advocate” for “family care”, which may come as a surprise to her estranged father and the rest of the Markle family she doesn’t appear to have cared much about in years.

No mention of ‘racist’ royals

Speaking of clans, the “racist” Royals obviously do not merit a mention, although we are reminded of this unwelcoming horror show of an institution in the reference to “Prince” Archie and “Princess” Lilibet, saddled for life by their parents with an ongoing association to their white supremacist colonialist forebears.

I guess it means they won’t have any problems booking tables at expensive restaurants, although if recent experience is anything to go by – being called Prince or Princess doesn’t seem to guarantee you a front-row seat at the Super Bowl.

And what of the content of “Archewell: The Sequel”, which features a photograph of the gleeful couple smiling and clapping – but with half of Harry’s (balding) head cropped off. (One imagines that Meghan did most of the proof reading as well as picking the pictures).

Charity should not just be a “handout” but “hand held”, we are advised, and by the way it was Meghan, not Harry, who came up with this catchy riff on Oxfam’s “don’t just give them fish but the means to catch it” slogan.

The blurb confirms their status not just as paragons of charitable virtue but “bestselling authors”, with Spare described as a memoir of Harry’s life “told with compassion, vulnerability, and unflinching honesty” which was the publishing industry’s “fastest-selling non-fiction book, selling more than 1.4 million copies on its first day of publication”. Think Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets War and Peace.

Meghan’s description as “one of the most influential women in the world” is rather more lofty. The evidence for this claim appears to be that the author of the children’s picture book, The Bench, featured in Time magazine’s most influential people, the Financial Times’s  25 most influential women, Variety Power of Women, and British Vogue’s Vogue 25 – although not, curiously, the final issue by outgoing editor Edward Enninful, published last week, featuring 40 female “legends”. Ouch.

The summary goes to great lengths (588 words to Harry’s 340) to remind everyone that she is a great deal more than just his wife.

Meghan’s podcast Archetypes is mentioned in its capacity as being Number One in 47 countries – not as a one-hit wonder that was axed after one season. Unsurprisingly, the word “grifter”, which was used to describe the pair by Spotify mogul Bill Simmons, doesn’t feature on the website at all.

Harry and Meghan's previous site, Archewell, now automatically redirects to
Harry and Meghan's previous site, Archewell, now automatically redirects to -

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the rebrand, however, is the tag line on the “Archewell Foundation” page: “Show up, Do good”. While an admirable rallying cry to the masses, visitors to could arguably be forgiven for wondering when exactly, apart from the commendable Invictus Games, Harry and Meghan have shown up and done good since leaving the Royal family.

Meghan cites Smart Works, which supports women to enter the workforce, and the Hubb Community Kitchen at Grenfell – but like Invictus, both initiatives happened when she was in “The Firm”.

Since “Megxit”, what have they done? They’ve shown up and done Oprah; shown up and done Netflix; shown up and gone Spare; shown up and sued The Sun, the Daily Mail and The Mirror.

They’ve shown up at awards ceremonies (but only the ones in which they are recipients) and shown up in “near catastrophic” car chases that the police say never actually happened.

They’ve shown up and self-promoted; shown up and complained about invasion of privacy, while invading their relatives’ privacy.

As a result of their behaviour, they’ve been shown up on South Park and Family Guy.

But with their popularity having tanked both here and in the US, none of it seems to have done them much good, let alone anyone else. It is a shame because these two actually do have the power to make a difference, if only they could get over themselves.

The perception of Harry and Meghan as a couple who do more harm than good has got to change if this rebrand is going to live up to its magisterial pretensions.

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