This week marks six years since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told the world the news they were engaged to be married.
But their engagement anniversary is set to be eclipsed by the release of their friend Omid Scobie’s explosive book, Endgame. It promises to “pull back the curtain” on the royal family, an institution the book describes as “in turmoil”.
Since announcing their engagement in 2017, life for Harry and Meghan couldn’t be more different. After just over two years of working as senior royals, they controversially left the royal household and have since made a number of damning accusations about members of the royal family in interviews and a docuseries.
Harry’s memoir Spare also had plenty of damaging revelations, including the claim that his older brother Prince William physically attacked him, driving the wedge created between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family even further.
However, hints of a reconciliation with King Charles appeared on the horizon two weeks ago when Harry called him on his 75th birthday to wish him many happy returns. Reportedly, the monarch also received a recorded video message from Harry and Meghan’s children, Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two, and there have been rumours that the couple wouldn’t decline an invite to Christmas at Sandringham Palace if it was offered.
But royal expert Neil Sean, who works for Fox News, tells us that any hope of the families reconciling could be scuppered by Omid’s new tell-all account.
Neil says, “It all started out in such a different way and very promising, but there has been lots of pain and hurt along the way. There’s no doubt the special anniversary this week will be overshadowed by the stuff in Omid’s book. There will be more bombshells and they will be making the headlines for all the wrong reasons.”
Neil, who also fronts Neil Sean’s Daily Headline News on YouTube, adds, “It could be Harry and Meghan’s last chance now to reconcile. If the book doesn’t derail that anyway, they need to tread carefully as the trust has been broken by their interviews and what Harry said in his book. If they break the trust again, there could be no way back.”
Omid’s book is described as “a penetrating investigation into the current state of the British monarchy”. It features chapters about Queen Elizabeth II’s final days, the disgrace and scandal surrounding Prince Andrew and Meghan and Harry’s relationships with them all.
The couple were once friends with the writer, who has been described in the media as “Meghan’s mouthpiece”. Meghan has even publicly confirmed she had authorised an aide to brief Omid for his 2020 bestselling book Finding Freedom, which he co-wrote with Carolyn Durand.
Royal biographer Tom Bower – who wrote 2022 book Revenge: Meghan, Harry And The War Between The Windsors – says the couple are now torn over future career plans after their £18 million Spotify deal was axed in June. There are also reports that their £100 million Netflix contract won’t be extended beyond 2025. Tom claims that Harry is under pressure.
“Harry is probably feeling the heat,” says Tom. “He’s isolated and he has begun to realise he’s on a one-way ticket to some misery. He and Meghan have a very comfortable lifestyle, but they’ve got no future – I think that is the problem.”
He adds, “Everyone realised it would be a short-term burst of success and they haven’t found something new to do yet.”
“Although Harry and Meghan have earned a lot of money, they can’t see what else they’re going to do and their frequent appearances out and about recently are all part of the fact that they need to build up their brand and their image.”
Last month, there was speculation that Meghan would replace the late American Democratic politician Dianne Feinstein as senator of California. Although this didn’t come to fruition, she has shown she’s had her eye on a political role in the past, lobbying on behalf of Paid Leave For All, which campaigns for paid family and medical leave for working people in the US.
Tom claims if Meghan wants to drive forward with any political ambitions, she will have to work hard to get support.
“I think she’d find it terribly difficult, going round in her expensive clothes and jewellery – it won’t go down well with the poor,” he says. “She’s got a terrible conflict the whole time.”
Meghan and Harry were last week spotted smiling at an ice hockey game in Canada to promote Harry’s personal project the Invictus Games. It came after former Suits actress Meghan revealed she and her husband do have “exciting” things coming up as she walked the red carpet of the Power Of Women event in Los Angeles earlier this month.
She told reporters, “We have so many exciting things on the slate. I can’t wait until we can announce them. We’re just really proud of what we’re creating and my husband is loving it too.”
Culture expert Nick Ede says 2024 is a very important year for both of them and their brand.
He tells us, “Harry and Meghan are at a crossroads in their careers as public figures. They’ve not earned their stripes when it comes to becoming a brand. They need to take a step back and understand what their value is and how their brand can support others and themselves in a non controversial way.
“Next year is an important year for them and they will need to establish themselves properly. They have to go back to basics. Meghan needs to concentrate on lifestyle, beauty, fashion and acting and Harry on the Invictus Games and being a father figure and mentor to many. They need to play to their strengths and not be the Jack of all trades and master of none.”
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