Meghan Markle: Expert on relationship with Kate and William
Earlier this week Meghan and Harry announced they had signed a multi-year deal with online music service Spotify to produce a series of podcasts. It follows the announcement of a deal with streaming giant Netflix back in September.
The arrangement will see Archewell Audio, the couple’s newly created production company, work with Spotify to produce “programming that uplifts and entertains audiences around the world”.
However not everybody has been impressed by the move with writer Celia Walden arguing the couple have become “Spitting Image-style mannequins of themselves”.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph Ms Walden said: “Just when you thought the Sussexes had reached peak cringe, when the simple sight of their names and faces now prompts a mass involuntary toe-curl across the nation and beyond, they release a trailer for their new Spotify podcast series that turns the lesser-known talent of “self-spoofing” into an art form.
“That no public person, aside perhaps Kim Kardhashian, has shown a greater disconnect with the general public over the past year has, of course, passed over their titled heads.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced a deal with Spotify
Meghan and Harry will “build community through shared experiences” for Spotify
“Gumption has a lot to be said for it, however – especially in the mega-buck world of personal branding – and since they’re lucky enough to be unencumbered by shame or self-awareness, these two should absolutely be allowed to move onwards and upwards and fill their vegan boots.”
Ms Walden argued the Duke and Duchess should be stripped of their HRH titles as a result of their commercial activities.
Back in January Meghan and Harry caused a global sensation by announcing their intention to stand down as senior members of the Royal Family.
The couple said they planned to become “financially independent” whilst splitting their time between North America and Britain.
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Harry and Meghan stood down as senior royals in March
Following talks with other senior royals they agreed to drop their ‘Sussex Royal’ brand and to stop using their HRH titles, though they still possess them.
In a statement welcoming their deal with Spotify the Duke and Duchess said: “What we love about podcasting is that it reminds us all to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction.
“With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.”
Spotify said the couple will “build community through shared experiences, narratives and values” on their podcasts.
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“What we love about podcasting is that it reminds us all to take a moment”
Harry and Meghan with their son Archie
The first podcast episode, a festive special, will be released later this month.
As part of their deal with Netflix Meghan and Harry have agreed to produce films, documentaries and children’s shows for the streaming platform.
Whilst the Duchess is not expected to return to acting there is speculation both royals could make appearances during documentaries.
In her article Ms Walden also argued Harry and Meghan’s commercial interests mean they must lose their HRH titles.
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She wrote: “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the HRH is going to have to go.
“You see, this isn’t Duchy Original shortbread they’re hawking, but the coat of arms, the royal seal and title.
“That’s what Big Tech is doling out the big bucks for, not plain old Meghan and Harry – the likes of them are ten a penny out in LA.
Meghan and Harry have signed a mega deal with streaming giant Netflix
“And as the faux-meaningful commodities being flogged as part of their brand become more and more embarrassing – Eau de Compassion, anyone? – the real meaning of HRH will get dragged down with it.”
Harry and Meghan moved to California back in March shortly before the state went into coronavirus lockdown.
During the shutdown both royals were spotted delivering supplies to vulnerable Los Angeles residents.