Meghan Markle and Prince Harry severed ties with the Royal Family as they announced plans to become fully independent from the Crown to diversify their working activities. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex however have faced backlash over a production deal they struck with Netflix in the aftermath of the release of the latest season of hit series The Crown. The criticism prompted Meghan and Harry to launch into a hiring spree to strengthen their communication teams, with some commentators suggesting the pair are now trying to salvage their image.
Royally Obsessed podcast hosts Roberta Fiorito and Rachel Bowie said: “Team Sussex made a couple of key hires.
“Christine Shermer, the former head of communications for Pinterest and former corporate comms manager for Apple, will be Archewell and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s head of communications.
“Looks like she left her post at Pinterest in July. That makes me wonder how long has she been interviewing or on staff before a formal announcement.”
Ms Fiorito said: “Another hire the Sussexes made is Toya Holness who will be their new press secretary. She clearly in New York City had to deal with a lot of things so take make sense. They also have James Holt in the UK.
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“Together, the three of them will oversee a strategy for Archewell but it’s also noted in the articles I’ve read they will be working on future production projects for the Sussexes and personal ventures too.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex however sparked some speculation about the state of their personal relations with both the public and the press after they brought in a 12th PR expert on their communication team.
Royal biographer Angela Levin, who got to know Prince Harry while writing the book ‘Harry: Biography of a Prince’, suggested the pair may be “getting it wrong” with their plan to venture out of the royal fold.
Ms Levin said: “Obviously something is wrong if 12 PR people aren’t getting it right or they’re getting them on in social media enough.
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The pair first relocated to Canada with their son Archie before moving to Los Angeles shortly before the start of the lockdown in March.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have since moved to the Montecito area of Santa Barbara County, where they bought a multi-million mansion.
In addition to announcing their new deal with Netflix, the Duke and Duchess have also continued to volunteer their time to support vulnerable communities in around their new hometown.
While the couple was forced to postpone plans for the launch of their new non-profit organisation Archewell due to the pandemic, they have continued to attend virtual events to discuss topics they want to raise awareness of – including the fight against racism and online bullying.