The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared in newly released footage of them volunteering with the non-profit organisation, helping to distribute back to school supplies to families in need. Baby2Baby is an LA-based charity that has been at the forefront of COVID-19 relief and has donated more than 30 million critical items to children in recent months. The Sussexes’ visit was reminiscent of the classic royal engagement, similar to what Kate Middleton has been doing with visiting baby banks.
However, their choice of charity has been slammed by a royal commentator who noted that Baby2Baby is a very popular charity, which is “celeb central” in that it has already benefited from exposure from other big names.
Celebrities who have supported Baby2Baby in the past include Blake Lively, Channing Tatum, Chris Hemsworth, Chrissy Teigen, Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gwen Stefani, Kate Hudson, Kristen Bell, Michellle Williams, Mindy Kaling, Reece Witherspoon, Wendy Williams and Zooey Deschanel, among numerous others.
In this way, Meghan and Harry have chosen a charity which is very fashionable, but may not actually need their help compared to other, smaller charities.
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
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Meghan and Harry stepped down as senior royals at the end of March
Meghan and Harry were filmed volunteering with the charity Baby2Baby
Mr Myers said choosing Baby2Baby goes against the couple’s method of supporting small, grassroots organisations.
He argued that it was the antithesis of Meghan’s work with the women from Grenfell Tower, which was a small, grassroots affair with no fanfare, and which Meghan visited behind the scenes.
Indeed, royal engagements are supposed to shine a light on charities that need help and support, so working with a charity like Baby2Baby which is “already up there”, Mr Myers argued, the couple are stepping away from this ethos.
He even suggested that Baby2Baby had thought Meghan and Harry visiting would be a good PR opportunity and that the Sussexes “took the bait”.
Celebrities at the Baby2Baby gala last year
In return, the couple got some publicity of their first public outing since lockdown.
Mr Myers said: “The issue I have with Baby2Baby, what concerns me, is that yes, on the face of it, that looked exactly like a royal engagement, you can imagine any of the other royals doing it ‒ Charles, Camilla, William and Kate, handing out baby supplies, speaking to locals ‒ it looked exactly like a royal visit.
“Now, looking into it, it is literally celeb central, it’s a very popular charity in Los Angeles.
‘And you go onto the website ‒ I had it up earlier ‒ and it’s literally a who’s who of who’s been hot over the last year or so ‒ people like Blake Lively, there’s a lot of celebs on there.
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Actress Kristen Bell promoting Baby2Baby
“And I got the feeling after seeing that and actually looking into Baby2Baby that they were obviously invited, ‘Can you do this, come down, great PR for us’ ‒ as in, for Baby2Baby.
“Because they’re the hot ticket at the moment, Harry and Meghan are stepping out of their royal roles, they have been seen on these Zoom calls, we know that after coronavirus next year they’ll be back up to mega stardom.
“I think this is an issue because if they’re going to work with charities like this it kind of really steps away from what they’ve always been about, and it’s the complete antithesis of Meghan working with the women at Grenfell Tower for example ‒ a very, very small grassroots community-led organisation that doesn’t do anything with fanare, that she had been going to see them without telling cameras and reporters and it could just be slipped out a couple of weeks later.
“So I just got the feeling that they’re operating in a different world and they do need to be careful ‒ and especially Harry ‒ because they don’t want to be seen as the new celebs on the celeb circuit and just turning up somewhere for 10 minutes at this organisation that has had umpteen exposure.”
Ms Gripper argued: “Why can’t they be celebs? They could be celebs! They’re not royals anymore, it’s their life to build.”
Mr Myers replied: “My argument is Baby2Baby or such an organisation like that has benefited massively and it’s got so much exposure for big time celebrities who have done work with it in the past.
“And it kind of goes completely against the notion of being a royal ‒ I suppose they’re not now, I suppose that’s their new path ‒ but the ethos of what I thought they were about is supporting grassroots organisations to get them publicity, to get them off the ground, and Baby2Baby seems like it’s already up there, it’s already got this huge list of celebrity supporters, so why do they need Harry and Meghan?
“The fact is they don’t, but they saw it as a very good PR opportunity and that’s why they invited them down ‒ and they took the bait!”
Baby2Baby shared the video of Harry and Meghan at their event on their instagram account, adding that they were “thrilled” that the couple helped with the back to school distribution.
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