The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced last January that they wanted to take a step back from the Royal Family to carve a new independent path for themselves. Since moving to the US in March, they have quickly established themselves as a global power couple by signing multi-million pound deals with Spotify and Netflix. Their new Archewell brand is expected to rocket in popularity around the world as they establish themselves with their new podcasts and docuseries.
But they may see their popularity dip in some Commonwealth nations if they are no longer members of the Royal Family.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams issued caution over the level of interest Commonwealth nations may have in the couple as independent people.
But he added it is too early to see how they will fare alone due to the Covid pandemic raging on.
He said: “There is no sign at all that Harry and Meghan are anything other than content with their independence which also extends to financial self-sufficiency.
“They still retain their roles as President and Vice-President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust but lost their roles as Commonwealth Youth Ambassadors under the Sandringham Agreement with the Queen.
“Their brand has global reach but the actual level of interest in them in the Commonwealth will only be clear when the pandemic is over.”
However, commentator Darren Grimes warned their new “reality TV” route could damage the global reputation of the royals, despite the couple trying to distance themselves from the firm.
He told Express.co.uk: “With a new fly-on-the-wall Netflix reality telly series and a Spotify podcast series, Harry and Meghan risk turning the Windsors into the Kardashians.
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“The potential risk for political activists and movements to be offered a platform by the son of the heir to the throne via this Archewell Audio initiative, similar to a channel created by the Obamas, risks exposing the magic of monarchy that sits above politics to protect the integrity of it.
“Sitting above the political fray explains the Royal Family’s popular support across all four constituent parts of our United Kingdom – they are the unifying force of it.
“This pair ought to be stripped of their royal titles before irreparable harm can be inflicted by them, let them enjoy their deals, platforms, exposure and trinkets in California, but the institution of the British monarchy is much too important to be harmed by reality telly and Spotify.”
Meghan and Harry will face a 12-month review of their new roles with the Queen in March.
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They have still remained members of the Royal Family and have retained their HRH styles, although they do not use them.
In a telling sign they may not be keeping their titles after the review, they have started to introduce themselves simply by their first names over the last year.
In their first Spotify podcast last month, they introduced themselves as just “Harry” and “Meghan”.
But Harry may not be willing to cut himself off as a royal completely yet, as he was said to be devastated when he lost his military titles last year.
Before he stepped down as a senior royal, Harry held the titles: Captain-General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, and Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands’ Small Ships and Diving.
Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote in Finding Freedom: “Harry’s lifelong commitment to the military was why the Mountbatten Festival of Music three days later was a particularly difficult moment; he was set to wear his Captain-General of the Royal Marines uniform for the very last time.
“During a conversation backstage, on arrival, Harry told Major General Matthew Holmes; ‘I’m devastated that I am having to step down.’
“‘It was so unnecessary’, Meghan later told a friend of the decision to strip Harry of his military honours.”
— to www.express.co.uk