Sunday, 23 June 2019

We Need to Talk About The Sussexes' "Global Brand"

Amidst a flurry of Saturday morning tasks, I caught up with my sister on the phone yesterday. We mulled over several topics before she inquired about the blogs and reports concerning the Royal Foundation: "Why do they blame Meghan for everything? What exactly is she supposed to have done that's not in line with the way the royals operate professionally?"


I've thought about these questions quite a bit since. It led me to carefully consider the reaction to news the Sussexes will leave the Royal Foundation and start their own charitable arm later this year. Surely, this is positive news? Well, apparently not. For this announcement has been met with....you guessed it....more criticism levelled at Meghan. Never mind it's been widely acknowledged the Sussexes did not push for the split, although all four are said to be pleased with the outcome. Headlines and furious social media posts appeared recently with such titles as "This is all Meghan's fault", "The Sussexes don't know their place", "They are not happy with their place within the family", "All they care about is creating a 'global brand'". You get the gist of it...

The term "Global Brand" has been bandied about along with outlandish speculation. Harry and Meghan have been accused of attempting to profit personally, running amok from Buckingham Palace with their own agenda and using this platform to break the royal mould. In the eyes of some the Sussexes are the downfall of the monarchy. What with their solid work ethic, proven successful projects, worldwide popularity and desire to use their roles for good, the Queen and her top aides must be positively shaking in their boots (or in Her Majesty's case her black patent Anello & Davide shoes). This is all sounding rather ridiculous isn't it?

Why has this been allowed to continue, escalate and take over the narrative you might ask? It's stemmed from an era of click-bait media where the lay of the land allows online journalists to write first, ask questions later, or better still don't ask them at all. A seething online fan war where misinformation becomes factual and, particularly, a complete lack of understanding, education and knowledge about the monarchy is worn as a badge of honour. I'm going to underline that because this is the crux of the issue and one which badly needs to be addressed before we are to endure months and years of vicious attacks against the Sussexes' foundation and future work. As long as this level of false information circulates on the internet and readers accept this as reality, it's not going anywhere, and I for one find it outrageous.

So, back to my sister's questions... "Why do they blame Meghan for everything? What exactly is she supposed to have done that's not in line with the way the royals operate professionally?" Step by step, I intend to answer that question using facts and senior members of the Royal family.

A 'Global' Royal Family?

As noted above, talk of a global 'Sussex Brand' has been used in the most derogatory sense. Members of the Royal family never focus on global issues, right? Incorrect. The royals' work in the UK is of course their primary job, but it isn't representative of their roles' sum total. Not at all. Representing Her Majesty in the Commonwealth and globally, in addition to supporting their own causes around the world plays a part in the working lives of most of the Royal family. I'm pleased to have learned of, and I'm delighted to share, the extent of those efforts by members of the British Royal family.


Certainly, when one is searching for an exemplary example of charitable work on any scale, we need look no further than the Prince of Wales. I could easily dedicate ten posts to his life's work and only barely scratch the surface. What I will focus on are his efforts and successes outside the UK to demonstrate the reach the Royal family has had for decades. Since Charles founded the Prince's Trust in 1976 (using his navy severance pay) to help vulnerable people get their lives back on track, his interests have grown to the point where he has over 400 patronages. His boundless desire to help others and to maximise the impact of his role has seen him launch, lead and support a number of charities further afield.

Have you heard of the Prince of Wales's Foundation Romania? Established in 2015, to take forward Charles' work in the country, the foundation develops a number of projects to support architectural heritage preservation, farming and sustainable development in Romania. As with much of Charles' work, it's about taking a practical, results-driven, sustainable approach. Relevant skills and practical courses are delivered to small farmers, producers of artisan food as well as Romania's wounded soldiers. Charles fell in love with the country, culture and people following a visit to Transylvania in 2007. During a speech at the Babes-Bolyai University he said: "I have often been asked about what brings me so often to Romania, what makes this place so special. The answer is, to me, very simple: you, my Romanian friends; your cultural and nature patrimony, your traditions, but also your capacity for innovation and change. All that you represent after centuries of history – your identity and your entire potential. All the energy you can expand to change something. These are the things that make you truly special in the entire world."


As with all members of the Royal family, the Commonwealth is an important part of Charles' life. Throughout his visits to member nations, he knew he wanted to make a lasting impact wherever he could. The Prince's Trust Australia delivers social impact by "transforming lives and building sustainable communities in Australia". Promoting enterprise skills, sustainable communities and supporting young people and defence members and their families are the core areas of the trust.


The Prince's Trust Canada is a registered Canadian charity established by Charles in 2011. It provides entrepreneurship training for veterans and transitioning Canadian Armed Forces members, helps young people reach their potential through employability programs, and supports Indigenous communities as they revitalise and protect their languages.


Next, we look at the Prince's Trust International, the definition of an organisation with global reach. Since its launch, the focus has been on delivering pilot programmes in countries around the world. They now have pilot programmes underway and established partners delivering programmes in Australia, Barbados, Canada, Greece, Jordan, Malta, Pakistan and New Zealand. If that's not enough, the plan is to move to a number of others countries in the coming years. Much like the Prince's Trust UK, the goal is to support and enable young people to avail of opportunities and improve their futures.

The Duchess of Cornwall is President of the Brooke, a worldwide organisation providing veterinary treatment for horses and donkeys. They reach over two million working horses, donkeys and mules across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Organisation staff include vets, animal welfare experts, and advocacy and development specialists. Camilla, a lifelong animal lover, is also a joint president of Elephant Family, a charity founded by her late brother Mark Shand in 2002 to save the Asian elephants. Again, supporting causes close to her heart is in addition to her duties on behalf of Her Majesty - it's not a case of running roughshod over the monarchy.


Shortly before the Earl and Countess of Wessex married, the Wessex Youth Trust was established to help, support and advance registered charities which provide opportunities specifically for children and young people. The Trust is proud to support worthy organisations both at home and internationally. "Internationally, funds have been directed to a wide variety of organisations - a Down Syndrome speech therapy centre in Moscow, and an orphanage in Chernobyl; a paediatric ophthalmology unit, training scheme and Flying Eye Hospital in Nepal and the Philippines as well as an HIV/Aids support programme in Uganda. In addition, donations have also been made to disaster relief operations - such as 9/11 and a children's home in Sri Lanka which helped victims of the 2004 tsunami."


Sophie has been a global ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness since 2013. More from the Palace: "In 2013, this role took Her Royal Highness to the Orbis flying hospital programme in India and Qatar where she saw first-hand the many global issues around preventable blindness. Following the Countess' visit to India and Qatar, Her Royal Highness wrote an article for the Telegraph to coincide with World Sight Day. In India, Bangladesh and Nepal the sight-saving organisations are focusing on childhood blindness. In Sudan, Pakistan and Egypt the organisations are focusing on the Trachoma Elimination Programme. Her Royal Highness has drawn much attention to these on-going projects through her visits to the regions and has helped drive the plans forward through working closely with the organisations, and many youth and community events."
More from Buckingham Palace:

'On International Women’s Day 2019, the Countess publicly announced her commitment to champion the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI), at a reception for Women Peacebuilders at Buckingham Palace. WPS both recognises the disproportionate impact of conflict on women and girls and the positive role women play in building peace and stability.
The PSVI aims to prevent conflict-related sexual violence as well as responding to the needs of survivors, tackling stigma and strengthening justice and accountability. As a central pillar of the Countess’s work, HRH has spoken at the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in New York, and attended a Foreign Office conference on PSVI with survivors, government and NGO representatives. The Countess also continues to highlight international efforts towards women’s role in peacebuilding - in India, for example, HRH learnt about the country’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping and heard from women peacekeepers on active deployment.'

A life of service has seen Princess Anne travel all over the world. After serving as President of Save the Children since 1970, Anne officially became Patron in 2016. Most recently, she has travelled to Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. (with many thanks to Helen G for her research on this). In her role Anne has also visited China, Cambodia, Botswana, Madagascar and the Philippines. Save the Children strives tirelessly to protect children and give them the best possible opportunities in life.


The Princess has been involved in the creation of several charities including TransAid, transforming lives through safe and sustainable transport in 23 countries. More from the charity: "In Sub-Saharan Africa, road deaths are the third biggest killer following HIV/AIDS and Malaria (Source: the World Bank) and the problem will only rise with the growing population. Drivers are at risk every time they sit behind the wheel due to a lack of legal enforcement and training, and badly maintained and overloaded vehicles. People living in rural areas of Africa often struggle to access vital services. Around 75% of maternal deaths can be avoided through timely access to vital childbirth-related care. Our work includes an Emergency Transport Scheme to transport pregnant mothers with complications. We also help community health workers reach the families who need them." Anne also works closely with Riders For Health, an international non profit that provides health care to rural African villages.


The Duke of York launched Key to Freedom following his 2012 Diamond Jubilee Visit to Women’s Interlink Foundation (WIF) in India. The aim of the initiative is to empower women who have been victims of abuse by helping them acquire skills to become economically independent. Today, scarves made by women participating in Key to Freedom are sold at the Royal Collection Trust Shop.


The Foundation in the US

The next segment involves the US element. I think it's only natural to assume the Sussex Foundation will have supporters from the US. After all, Meghan is American. She has very well-connected friends in the US and she's going to bring an element of support to the table from across the pond. This has been largely feted as hugely controversial and another example of Meghan not following a traditional royal path. Using facts, this can be disproved as nonsense once again. When the Royal Foundation become operational in 2011, an American wing was established. American Friends of the Royal Foundation donated over $3.6 million since its inception. Prince Harry joined the US arm of the Foundation in 2013 for a major event supporting projects including the Royal Foundation's partnership with Harlem RBI to support Project Coach.


During a visit to New York in 2014, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a private dinner for American friends of the Royal Foundation hosted by long-term supporter, Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of the WPP advertising group.

In fact, Prince Charles set up a charitable foundation in the US: "The Prince of Wales Foundation USA is the affiliate organisation of the Prince’s Trust, enabling tax-efficient giving for US supporters of His Royal Highness’s philanthropic interests. We are fortunate to have a growing base of American supporters who see real value in investing in the lives of disadvantaged and marginalised young people in the UK. The Prince of Wales Foundation was founded by HRH, the Prince of Wales in 1997."

Prince Harry's collaboration with Oprah on a mental health series has been cited as the ultimate example of the Sussexes going rogue. Not so. Prince Charles has collaborated with US entities on several documentaries including the 2012 documentary Harmony: a New Way of Looking at Our World. The piece focused on three decades of Charles' work to combat climate change. The film was based on the book of the same name, which Charles co-authored, about how man has become "dangerously disconnected from nature".


NBC released the following statement at the time of the collaboration:

'NBC is teaming up with Prince Charles for a new TV special about the environment. Harmony, which is slated to air in November, stems from Prince Charles' three decades of work fighting climate change and searching for new solutions to the worldwide environmental crisis.
"The Prince of Wales has such a passion and vision in providing leadership on this crucial climate issue that confronts the world," Paul Telegdy, NBC's executive vice president of alternative programming, said in a statement. "We are honored to partner with him to showcase these issues that are important to American audiences."
The film, which will air during NBC's annual "Green Is Universal" week, features rare footage of Prince Charles' interview with Nobel Peace Prize winner, former Vice President and longtime environmental activist Al Gore, as well as interviews with other government leaders, farmers, environmentalists and entrepreneurs.'

Charles' environmental work has not been without its setbacks. He was actually ridiculed for being one of the first to talk about climate change: "I found myself in conflict with the conventional outlook which, as I discovered, is not exactly the most pleasant situation to find yourself." Determined to following in his father's footsteps, Harry declared last year he hopes to continue his work in Australia: "Ladies and gentleman, those words were shared in speeches dating back to 1970 and up until 2002, by my father, the Prince of Wales. And yet now, nearly 50 years later, those sentiments resonate just as much today, if not more, than ever before. My father and others have been speaking about the environment for decades - not basing it on fallacy or new-age hypothesis, but rooted in science and facts, and the sobering awareness of our environmental vulnerability. And while those speeches would sometimes fall on deaf ears, he and others were unrelenting in their commitment to preserve the most valuable resource we have – our planet."

What About Commercial Partnerships? 

Although the Sussexes' foundation does not yet have a name, it has been suggested (with not so thinly-veiled attacks) commercial partnerships may be in its future. Whilst we have absolutely no idea what the plan is at this time, yes it's possible and no it's not unusual. Commercial partnerships have been essential to ensuring the success of Charles' projects. Take Duchy Originals for example. Established almost 30 years ago, the leading organic brand is now stocked on the shelves of Waitrose supermarkets. It's aim is to support local producers and all profits go to charity.


Fundraising

The success or failure of any royal trust or foundation lies with its principles and the team behind it. Harry and Meghan are taking this on with a record of success. Simply look at the Invictus Games, look at Sentebale, the Endeavour Fund, Coach Core and many other projects and initiatives Harry has worked with. Meghan's first project with the Hubb exceeded all goals, and smashed it's target of £250,000, raising over half a million. The ripple effect is heartwarming and inspiring. Today, the women of the Hubb were working with British Red Cross to welcome and feed refugees in Hackney London.


The pair have tangible results behind them and there's every reason to believe this will be a success. Fundraising will be an important element; again they've proven more than adept at this, raising millions for Sentebale with 'Sentebale Nights' and the Sentebale Polo Cup.


Again, fundraising has been key to Charles' success. In 2017 he raised £170 million for charity. He raised more money than anyone else in the UK. In 2013-2014 he raised £143 million for 15 of his charities. It's the year-after-year dedication that has led to these results. It's a case of beating the drum constantly, and loudly.

Overshadowing Senior Royals

The next accusation hurled at Harry, and particularly Meghan, is the suggestion they are somehow trying to overshadow more senior royals, namely the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Was Prince Charles trying to overshadow his parents with the Prince's Trust? Was Anne playing a game of one-upmanship against Charles with her tireless efforts and global work? Of course not. Harry and Meghan are not in competition with William and Kate. They are not setting out to outdo them and derail the course of the monarchy.

The Queen is the monarch. Then it will be Charles, and then William. The monarch is the head of the family, there's no issue there. The monarchy is comprised of working members and their collective efforts up and down the country, across the UK, across the Commonwealth, and across the globe. It's a team effort. That's not going to change. Harry and Meghan want to use their roles to the full, they want to work hard on behalf of Her Majesty and, like the other royals referenced, use their platforms to support causes close to their heart. This is all being done with the full approval of the Queen and Charles. The new Foundation has the full support of the family. The Queen appointed Harry and Meghan to Commonwealth roles; she passed her patronage of the Association of Commonwealth Universities to Meghan almost immediately after the marriage. That sounds to me like a monarch who has faith in her granddaughter-in-law. Not a Queen who fears the newest member is rebelling against the system. The rapturous reception the Sussexes have received in Dublin, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga is further evidence these roles are ideal for the pair. Their popularity and soft power needs to be harnessed to the full. This is all good for Team Windsor as a whole.


Prince Harry has been a global star all his life; his wife was always going to be under the spotlight. It is not the Sussexes' fault the media are obsessed with their every move. They are an asset to the monarchy and have carried out their roles with aplomb. From the day of their engagement, Meghan has thrown herself into her role, and she hasn't put a foot wrong. To chastise and tear her down because she's an intelligent woman who wants to succeed in this role is appalling and frankly sexist. Ambition is not a dirty word, especially when it's being channeled into a life of philanthropic dedication. The royals have a fantastic platform; they are uniquely placed to be in the position to help others and effect change. The fact they are being belittled for doing their jobs is truly baffling to me. We should unreservedly expect the very best from working members of the family.


The reality is the monarchy must modernise to survive and the Sussexes will play an important role in that modernisation. More from Vernon Bogdanor who famously wrote: "Monarchy has to adapt and evolve to survive. It can't be ahead of public opinion, but it can't be too far behind."

'In November 2005, Chris Mullin, the former editor of Tribune and then Labour MP, was invited to Clarence House where he heard the prince [Charles] speak "without notes, with passion and self-deprecating humour, holding our attention for a full 20 minutes. Always he comes back to the same point. How to widen the horizons of the young, especially the disaffected, the unlucky and even the malign … What influence he has he uses, sometimes to great effect, even at the risk of treading on official toes. It isn't just talk. His mentality is can-do – and he has a track record of achievement clearly visible for anyone who cares to look. Let he who has done more cast the first stone.'

So, when my sister asked me: "Why do they blame Meghan for everything? What exactly is she supposed to have done that's not in line with the way the royals operate professionally?" My answer is quite simple. Meghan has done nothing wrong; she's simply following in the footsteps of those who came before her.


*A sincere word of thanks to those who helped with the research, facts, figures and links on this.*

238 comments:

  1. This article should get more coverage! Share it with your friends, everyone.... Thank you so much for saying it Charlotte. It is about time someone put the record straight. Too many people believe all the rubbish that is published by people who should know better.

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    1. Thank you so much Barbara!

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    2. Absolutely brilliant . Let’s hope this post is picked up far and wide.

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    3. Thank you Charlotte for all you do! If ever there was an example of your talent & dedication to the facts, it's this post!! I too wish you had an even bigger platform!! :) xx

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    4. Bravo Charlotte! This should be required reading for all BRF fans. Meghan and Harry are getting Kudos roasted in the press, so thank you for your well-researched perspective. Kudos! -op

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  2. Thank you! Very informative! Facts!!!!

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  3. Royal 👑 Watcher23 June 2019 at 21:32

    Thank you Charlotte.

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  4. Charlotte, when you are on there is no one better. I cant believe the a.ount of work you must have done on this. A really well researched and effective piece.

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    1. Amen to that. Terrific and thoroughly researched.

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    2. Zora from Prague24 June 2019 at 12:37

      Ditto. Thank you so much, Charlotte!!

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  5. This is such a great read. Thank you so much for writing this with so many wonderful facts - I'm so tired of everything I see online smearing Meghan because they just do not like her for whatever reason. I think its important to remember that the Sussex's role is and will continue to be much different than Wills and Kate's because they are the future King and Queen (consort). No one's trying to overthrow anyone. some people will never be happy and there's a lot of pearl clutchers out there who can't fathom the fact an American, nevermind a biracial one, has married into the BRF.

    Its frankly awful and I don't blame Meghan, and Harry for that matter, for doing the work that matters to them and maintaining a strong sense of privacy.

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    1. I could not agree more. Some people want to look at Meghan’s appearance at Trooping and shout about how she’s “hidden” in the back and Harry looks somber because he’s sharing a coach with Kate and “being put in his place.” Isn’t a much more logical answer that they have a newborn at home and this tired couple is simply trying to survive a day, with the loving support of their family and the furthest thing from their mind is the total domination of their loved ones to serve their own egos?! It’s just totally nuts, and then passed off as “obvious fact.” The Sussexes are trying to do something good for the world. They’re trying to navigate a lot, including a new marriage and family relations while they do it. If you can’t give them the benefit of the doubt that says a lot more about you than them.

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  6. Charlotte, you brilliant, fact-bringing, hard truth- telling, marvelous, woman. Thank you. Well done.
    Harry and Meghan will be global ambassadors for a modern monarchy. They are very much in the model of Team Mountbatten-Windsor, and I expect when William is King, he will rise up and call his in-laws blessed, because of all the good things they will have done in their lives of service.

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  7. Very well written and researched. Thank you

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  8. Charlotte, this is a fantastic piece of writing and one that I hope reaches a wide audience. You endeavoured to answer a seemingly simple question which you did, but even more you have educated and informed people and hopefully inspired empathy and compassion for a well-meaning, hard-working woman in a position of great power and one who completely understands that position. Thank you for this eloquently written piece.

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  9. While a good post, I don’t think it does much good. Maybe I am the only one but I mostly read on your blogs and stay clear of obviously gossip magazines. So I never see any of the hateful comments (and I don’t support those papers/sites with my money and clicks to write more garbage like that) and I will say most of the negative news/gossip comes to my knowledge from this blog. Maybe it would be a better solution to do as the royals themselves? Your visitors are no haters and your posts aren’t hateful. There is no need to give all those hateful rumours another space.
    C.

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    1. I agree about the people here, and understand what you are saying but I think that a false narrative can be an insidious thing. If not corrected, it can get into the mainstream and become ingrained into people's minds. I like to get a bit more clarity on what has been happening rather than relying on some people with what is now obvious agendas.

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    2. Sticking your head in the sand doesn't make the problem go away. Good for you for not reading the gossip but that doesn't mean it isn't out there. By sharing Charlotte's extensive research on this post is the way to educate others as to the workings of the BRF and Harry & Meghan in particular, and possibly getting others to see that the lies and half-truths are just that and not to be believed.

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    3. I think Charlotte decided to make this post to shed some light and stand up to the nastiness.

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    4. Very well said. Why helping nourish the ignorance by keeping quiet? Ugh!

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    5. I disagree. People need to be educated & this piece does a great job of educating everyone, not just the haters.

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    6. Becca H in Colorado24 June 2019 at 17:23

      Well said, Helena. As the amount of absolutely ridiculous untruths and slander about this couple continues to grow, some solid facts and education are 100% needed.

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  10. Stunning Charlotte, a brilliant, ground-breaking piece much-needed right now as the rumours continue to swirl and I find my head getting done in. I find all the hiatus makes it harder and harder to follow Meghan when it can seem such an uphill task. This fabulous article is a real breath of fresh air which opens up a truly intelligent way of looking at the whole situation. I can't thank you enough and I can't share this one enough across social media platforms.

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  11. Denise from Virginia23 June 2019 at 22:09

    Brava Charlotte!!! Thank you so much for your expertly researched, well-written response to all the negativity, and thank you for saying out loud what I've been thinking for so long. You're amazing, I always enjoy your posts, again, thank you so much!

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  12. Thank you for your well written article! It’s so disgusting to see too many on social media and biased reporting by some journalists in main stream media abuse and belittle Meghan & Harry. They have both showed compassion & good work ethic to support people and important projects. And as you gave clear examples, Charlotte, the Sussexes are following the example of The Monarch, Prince Charles & others who represent not only the UK, but globally as well.

    It’s not even a year since Meghan announced her Cook Together project, it has had amazing success & it’s heartwarming too see some of the women from the Hubb Kitchen, helping others in the community.

    Dena

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  13. Thanks so much for this detailed report. It should be required reading for all royal watchers and journalists.

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  14. Wow!!! Charlotte, you have written such an impressive article, one that I believe should be shared with a wider audience.

    Thank you so much for being a voice of reason and calm in a world where wanting to help others is now looked upon with suspicion and derision. How did we get here?

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  15. This is a fantastic, well researched and very informative article. Thank you for dedicating so much effort and time to set the record straight.

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  16. This is so sad, I’m glad I missed this whole palaver. I’ve known for years that Princess Anne is the hardest working, in terms of number of engagements and I give her credit, however (to be shallow) I don’t love what she wears, ever, so I don’t follow her.
    Words to live by “I don’t have strong opinions about something that I know little about”.

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  17. Shantel (@FashionandFaith)23 June 2019 at 22:30

    Excellent. Excellent, excellent, excellent!! I hope this post goes viral and reaches those who need to read these facts most. As usual, very well done.
    Thank you!
    Shantel
    Minnesota, USA

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  18. Impressed! The best and most deep article I have red on this subject!

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  19. Thank you so much, Charlotte, for such a thoughtful, thoroughly researched post. The Sussexes have done much impressive work so far, and I am sure will continue to do so going forward. Their charities are lucky to have them.

    I completely understand the outrage when the Sussexes are criticized in a mean-spirited or extreme way. It is very upsetting to see. On the other hand, I don't think it really makes sense to jump to the other extreme (even though to some degree that is natural, given how polarized things have become) and not tolerate any criticism at all of the Sussexes' work. The Cambridges have certainly had to deal with their fair share of criticism in years past for lack of worth ethic or commitment to their responsibilities, etc.

    In that vein, the only points I would make are that the phrase "global brand" to me is not so much about the global part, but about the "brand" part--the undertone of marketing, of salesmanship, of selling an image. Speaking for myself, I don't want to see the British Royal Family's work turn into something about building a "brand" (notwithstanding Charles' products from his organic farm). And to me it feels a little like Harry and Meghan aren't trying to build just the British Royal Family brand, but also trying a bit to build the Harry-and-Meghan brand, which doesn't feel right to me.

    How so? Well, things may change over time, for sure, but it seems like Harry and Meghan want to receive recognition as individuals themselves, to be liked and praised, as opposed to receiving recognition for work they do for the British Royal Family, as employees, so to speak, of an entity greater than themselves. And that may just be part of their youth, or finding their feet, or what happens since Duchess Meghan spent most of her life as a Hollywood actress, which virtually requires self-promotion. I don't know how to articulate it well, but I am not sure I understand why the Sussexes are pursuing, so early on, such a strong identity separate from the British Royal Family. Which isn't to say that they aren't doing amazing charitable work. And they are beloved by many people in their own right, separate from the British Royal Family. But I wish there were a way they did not feel such a need for recognition for themselves, at least that is how it feels (for example, when Meghan--I'm assuming it's Meghan--wished Harry a Happy Father's Day on their Instagram. It's a small thing, but it would have been more appropriate it feels to me to just say Happy Father's Day to all fathers, and then, privately, not on Instagram, to wish Harry personally a Happy Father's Day. I know that is a tiny thing, and pales in comparison to the wonderful work they do, but I think it rubs some people--myself included--the wrong way a bit.)

    But overall, they are doing amazing charitable work, and undoubtedly positively affecting the lives of many people across the world, and that is certainly a wonderful thing.

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    1. I frankly think this is all projection on you and others part.You guys have preconceived notions about the Sussexes and what they want to do or are going to do.

      The Sussex account post was "Happy father's day..." then they wished Harry one also so what is the problem here?

      The Royals are all about self promotion even before Meghan came into the picture.They do charity work,the press are invited to cover what they are doing= praise heaped on them for doing so.For example,the press were informed that William will send a letter to the family of a young girl who killed herself due to cyberbullying. Thats self promotion and wanting recognition for oneself,he could have sent a letter privately but the royal's PR chose to inform the press.

      The Sussexes arent doing things any differently from other royals(their approach might be different) but at the end of the day,they go on their engagements and post about it.

      Accusing Meghan(since thats who you are blaming with phrases like "hollywood" "self promotion" ) and Harry only for wanting self recognition and promotion when you have to be honest and accuse ALL of them

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    2. Well said, Christen. I feel the same way. There is a fine line that they need to stay on the correct side of.

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    3. When you hear an opinion and believe it, you make an agreement and it becomes part of your belief system. The only thing that can break this agreement is to make a new one based on truth.

      Thank you for the truth today, Charlotte!

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    4. It should be noted that the Sussexes have never talked about having a so called Global Brand, that narrative comes from the tabloids only, not from Harry and Meghan.

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    5. I agree with you about the use of the word brand. But that's the verbiage these days for image, so I have to get used to it even though it smacks of commercialism to me as well.

      I dont think the sussexes are more about image than anyone else. The cambridges have their carefully crafted.image as a hands on family so I think it's fair to allow harry and Meghan some space to forge their own identity. Mistakes or missteps will be made and hopefully learned from. But I don't get the selfishness, for lack.of a better word, that you seem to feel.

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    6. I don't particulary see how HnM want to advance themselves and want self praise myself. I haven't seen anything to that effect. I am willing to be learn if you have any evidence. It can be said that fans of the DDoS are star struck so help me to see their self promotion. I am not sure how the other royals wished their happy fathers day post but it seems that this is a bit nitpicking if you say it's part of wanting recognition. Is it wrong to wish her husband(assuming as you do that it's the DoS who wrote the post)? Should she have wished her father Thomas a HFD too when he has not cared about her feelings and helped trash her in the media?

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    7. Christen, I was just discussing this very subject with my daughter today. We both have been following H&M etc, but increasingly, something has needled us & we just can't put our fingers on it. I think you may have hit upon it. I think there may be something to the very subtleness of doing something for an entity (like the Monarchy) that is an institution steeped in history & bigger than any one of the parts or persons. I do think branding is a very organic thing for any organization or institution, including the BRF & The Monarchy itself.... but everyone thus far seems (while doing their own things & supporting their own causes) to not be rooted in bringing attention to themselves, but rather to the cause & to the Monarchy. Sometimes it's just in wording or as in the example you gave, The Father's Day Post. We all pick up on subtle messaging & vibes... I think there is a legitimate vibe that they are their own brand & the attention is on them & not inherently on The Crown.... just my 2 cents...

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    8. Christen, I share a lot of your reservations about H&M and their need for individual recognition. But then I ask myself how much is related directly back to them and how much comes via the media and their fans? Do they really go after the recognition or do their fans need them to be “different”?

      In different ways the media and the Sussex fans have both (in different ways) ran with this narrative of them changing things up and being different. But if I look at their work as royals I can’t say if H&M share this idea or not.
      It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

      Delete
    9. Christen, exactly my thoughts about "brand" being the problematic word not "international"... and "Sussex brand" not "BRF brand"... I fail to see why they could not do the great job they do without separating themselves from the family so much and speaking of their "brand"... What i wonder is if they acctualy used the word "brand" or its media interpretation?

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    10. Christen, I agree with you.

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    11. I still think there is a subtle element of prejudice (even when it's not a huge element of prejudice) in our view of Meghan's everyday actions. Just picking some examples: if Meghan had worn that cool hat Sophie wore to Trooping, she would be criticized. If she swung on that rope ball at Kate's garden exhibit, just imagine. The press would compare her with Miley Cyrus! If she wore Eugenie's pretty dress at Ascot, she would be criticized for wearing something sleeveless. Or if she wore a pantsuit like Sophie and Autumn ... the list can be endless. That grouping on the balcony was really full of interesting interactions -- the three children, Charles, Anne, and Andrew, were involved in a truly intense discussion around the Queen. At one point louis seemed to be going for Kate's hat's flower and William was saying something to him, and it looked really amusing. Autumn's kids were doing their thing, and you could barely see the tops of Andrew's children. Harry was talking with Jack. But what's reported? Supposedly -- Harry barked at Meghan, Meghan almost cried, and I just read today that Chelsy flew into London because of the breakdown of H&M's marriage. Unbelievable, but sadly believable. They don't talk about a brand and they seem to be pretty involved with the family. They live with the family. They attend family events. They take photos with the family. It's just that their every move is watched. As someone said, william is friends with Lady Gaga. Perhaps an odd pairing, but why not? The York sisters are friends with a group that includes Jared Kushner's brother. If Meghan was in that group, they would say she wants to run for US president.

      They know people are very interested in them now, and if they give a little, maybe they can hide other aspects. The father's day was personal and it satisfied people who are trying to see more of Archie.

      I have not heard of the Sussexes mention the word "brand," but now they are criticized for speaking of it so often?

      Again, they are not captive. Harry (and probably William) remain part of the RF because of duty to their country and love for the Queen and their father. The Sussexes could have a charmed life outside of the RF.
      The monarchy is tradition but for a long time it was how the country was ruled. With a different form of government, it became tradition, but that history and heritage may continue at some point without the actually family members. As humans, Harry and Meghan, together or separate, have to answer more to helping the world while they are alive rather than to being mere members of the group.

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    12. Thank you Allison in US24 June 2019 at 15:07. People do 'color' their judgement around Meghan based on prejudice even if they can't admit it to themselves. The tabloids spin a term and it attaches itself to them and people act like the Sussex coined the phrase 'branding themselves'.

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    13. Allison, the Sussexes have a charmed life because they are part of the RF not inspite of it.

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    14. All of this is supposition, assumption, and opinion on your part Christen. You choose to think they are focused on a personal brand, rather than seeing their hard work as hard work for the people and therefore the monarchy. That is media spin, hater spin, and what you've chosen to believe.

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    15. Zora from Prague24 June 2019 at 16:59

      Hi Christen, so nice to see you! :) I like the way you expressed your feelings/concerns and at the same time did not forget to give H+M credit for all the good they do. It can't be easy for the Sussexes to be just members of the BRF (probably the most popular + loved ones at the moment) and not "celebrities", especially because lots of people do want them to be celebrities. The last year has been a year of transition; let's see what the future brings.

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    16. Becca H in Colorado24 June 2019 at 17:40

      Clarence House & the Cambridges posted Father's Day photos on Instagram, as well....

      While I agree that it's ok to constructively criticize H&M, I think this is just speculation, and the kind that just adds to the noise.

      How, exactly, are they building their own "brand" rather than just that of the BRF? Have they ever even used that term or spoken about their own image? They post photos on Instagram -- so do the Cambridges and Prince Charles/Camilla. Why are H&M targeted?

      They are working to carve out their own roles within the monarchy -- it is the media (and many trolls) who twist this into "branding" and "separating" from the family and "making themselves look better" than Will & Kate, for example.


      The fact is, they are popular. The world watches their every move. If there wasn't as severe an interest in them, their Instagram posts and their work and their appearances and the comments they make on other royals' Instagram accounts (etc, etc, etc) would seem exactly what it is: normal.

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    17. Christien, that is your opinion based on lies from the media. Nowhere have the Sussexes said they are building a global brand. You are choosing to believe media lies because you want to.

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    18. I am not sure it is reasonable to infer the building on a “global brand” based on a couple of Instagram posts. Perhaps they want their feed to have a younger feel, rather than looking like posts made by your parents. Regarding the “Happy Father’s Day” post and why it was to HRH Prince Harry only - the very OBVIOUS reason for this as HRH Duchess Meghan is estranged from her father. She can’t very well go on Insta wishing “all fathers” a happy Father’s Day if she is not on speaking terms with hers - imagine the ridiculous back lash (including if they just had a pic of Charles). So it was an appropriate message and probably the only one available. Their Insta feed is appropriate for their ages and in keeping with their focus on youth across the Commonwealth.

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    19. I think Cristin has articulated my concerns much better than I would have done, and seeing the reactions she has been very brave! Getting answers like : You are choosing to believe media lies because you want to, doesn't encourage debate. And IMO, there is room for debate. Meghan has qualities but even she is not perfect and can make mistakes, so can Harry. I am convinced they could have avoided some of the criticism. IMO they are somewhat tone deaf (see Meghan's designer wardrobe). And this is my rational opinion not what I choose blindly to believe. I hope it is published.

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    20. Helen25 June 2019 at 11:22? What are you talking about? They all have designer wardrobes......Meghan is being picked on for many reasons just like Kate was when she 1st came in...except this time haters have more to focus on

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    21. Just out of curiosity Helen, how is Meghan’s designer wardrobe different than Cathrine’s designer wardrobe?

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    22. I find Christen’s position a bit childish. He lacks a certain amount of good faith for his comment to make sense. Already the cult of self-promotion is human, it is like the instinct of conservation.

      Even Elizabeth II who is the queen is endowed with it, even you Christene is endowed with it even I, even Prince William, Kate etc...it is a natural and human need with degrees in each, which can only be explained by taking several types of criteria into account. Everyone has it and all royalties have it, this cult of self-promotion; the evolution of technological means such as the Internet and social networks make it possible to demonstrate this nowadays. I will give only one example to back up my words: - On instagram that you yourself have chosen to quote, you will find that there is an official and general site on the royal family, which publishes all the official activities and events of interest to all members of the royal family and especially to the members above in the hierarchy. Could you explain to me where the need came from for some, to create a personal or own instagram account that would highlight only their actions and activities independently of those of others? An instagram account where each concerned is more highlighted and has autonomy on account management? Prince Charles and Camilla with Clarencehouse, William and Kate with Kensingtonpalace, Princess Eugénie, the Andrew account etc...Everyone has opened their accounts to put themselves forward. Harry who was first with William and Kate detached to open his account with his wife: logical sequence especially that the Kensingtonpalace account was already perceived more as an account of Will and Kate where surely Prince Harry could not have the last word in case of disagreement on any point, which could be right or wrong, of course, because the monopoly of reason is not Harry’s or William’s. The 2 brothers had already admitted this long before Meghan’s arrival that he often had great disagreements following certain subjects. So it’s really pure bad faith to pretend that self-promotion waited for Sussex or Meghan, to be highlighted.
      Do you think Charles opened his account to hurt his mother? that William opened his instagram account to harm father and his grandmother etc...? No, times change, modernity prevails and everyone has his or her potential. It is not William who will inherit the throne after the death of Elizabeth II; yet William and Kate in the polls are more popular than Charles, and that has not been the subject of time for debate or relentlessness. Now Harry has always been the most popular, moreover, he married a working girl that many people appreciate for her beauty and her work (evidence that displeased her haters...). As Will and Kate are more popular than Charles and Camilla so you just have to be fairplay to accept that these can be as far away popular as X or Y, you have to be fairplay, to accept that Harry and Meghan are more popular than William and Kate, than Charles and Camilla, whether the queen etc...and understand that self-promotion (also found in the queen, Charles, William, Eugénie, Andrew, Sarah) or not self-promotion, all this popularity serves the royal firm and stop this lack of fairplay. In turn, as collateral damage, it is obvious that by serving the royal firm, it also serves their image, it is a normal and obvious consequence.
      There is no objectivity in this war, of which some evil spirits (racists, pro-Kate etc...) only look for Meghan's head. It’s just a war of fanatics. Nature has just given Harry and Meghan more potentials and Aura than others; and it is not by jealous of this force or seeking to harm Harry and Meghan that it will elevate the other royals; the low blows do not help.

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    23. ...the low blows do not help.
      I continue 👇
      And diminishing and tying Meghan to her role as a Hollywood actress like you do, it’s still a great bad faith because everyone knows very well that Meghan since her infancy, has always cultivated and developed, a sense of justice and a spirit of struggle for the causes that are close to her heart, which she continued as an adult, in parallel with her acting career and after marrying Harry why should she stop or why don’t you take into account her entire history to judge her? She wasn’t an actress but she was a very committed actress ...

      Thank you again Charlotte for your wonderful work. I wish with all my heart and pray that your work will gain more ground every day. And we will help you. Noble causes are blessed and pardoned no matter how long it takes. I will conclude by saying that in a monarchy, the most popular royal member is not the king... this is not an established fact; and it is not a given fact since it is the Heart of the population that chooses who it loves very much, moderately, somewhat or not regardless of low blows, defamation attempts.

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    24. To answer your questions,jmccain and Anonymous, I think it was a mistake for Meghan to wear the dress she wore for the engagement photos and to wear Givenchy so much and so soon.
      How it is different from Kate?
      Kate's engagement picture dress was high Street, she was known for wearing very affordable fashion, easily copied, and people went mad buying it. I refer you to DKB 7 years ago and the papers of the time. She was called thrifty, she recycled. The negative press could call her fashion too cheap, or too youghfull, they did, but not extravagant. Now she is indeed wearing a lot of designers. But it has been a gradual progression, and the public remembers the first impression. First impressions are very important and determine how you are perceived. Meghan could have avoided some of the backlash. I truly don't understand how she didn't see how unpopular excessive spending is.

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    25. Caroline in Montana25 June 2019 at 23:32

      I agree with you Helen and christen, funny how now they are after you too!! its ok to have an opinion, doesn't make you a hater. Thank you for being articulate and expressing your opinion. some real nutters on here today:)
      I had no idea that I was an "evil spirit" since I am also pro kate - it is possible to like 2 women for who they are, bad faith indeed. also since there is no king, I will agree with one thing you said Unknown, the most popular royal member is NOT the king:)

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  20. This is amazing. Every word is dead on.

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  21. Nicole from france23 June 2019 at 23:25

    Dear Charlotte ,I have said a few times in your blogs that a lot of well,paid journalists could take lessons from your writing and documentary skills, and I do confirm it to day, your text is absolutely remarquable and I can’t but thank you for such a great work ! Real information in the best professional way possible !
    I have supported Meghan as soon as I have known what sort of woman she is ,and to me , if somebody can help the monarchy beeing appreciated and loved in the coming years, definitely Meghan and Harry will be this somebody . William and Catherine do have to stick to a traditional way of behaving, due to their position and also to their character , Harry and Meghan are not in such position and have a different character . What seems important to me is that , while acting differently, they still show the dignity due to the BRF . And it was only time for Harry to fly with his own wings and not keep beeing his brother’s shadow . Certainly Meghan helped him to think over the situation , and supported him .
    Why not just be happy to see the BRF extend its work and get new patronages which will draw attention and help to more people ? Meghan’s nationality and bi racial background (and former job) are certainly « good «  points for haters and low quality journalists , that kind of trash sells very well, unfortunately , the truth will never stop’them ,neither the good results of the work the Sussexes do ... but I am confident’your article will help some,people to see things more clearly , Charlotte , I so do hope Meghan and Harry know your work !!!!

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    1. Rita in Florida24 June 2019 at 17:45

      I agree 100% Nicole from france. Well said. Charlotte your work here is beyond comprehensive and professional.

      I am still a bit baffled by the timing of the split of The Royal Foundation. It would have been nice for them to have some joint endeavours for at least 5+ years...but I understand the difficulties and complexities of working with family. Perhaps it was not clear to them until they were "in it".

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  22. Charles has outdone himself he's left a legacy for himself and was not just sitting around for a crown, he is nothing short of a great man. I am glad the Sussex are committed in doing their work and i believe they have tuned out the crappy noise of the stupid irresponsible media. Harry and Meghan are definitely on the right track and the Queen and Charles know it. Great write up Charlotte you need to be applauded this piece.

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  23. Well done! Needs wider reach!

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  24. Charlotte we need to talk how utterly brilliant this article is. Bravo.
    You've said what has been festering away in my mind for 18 months. I only wish more people could have the sense to read your blog and take a better perspective and understanding on it all. Thank you so much for tackling this.

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  25. Thank you so much Charlotte. This is an excellent post. You’ve encapsulated the crux of the issue perfectly. I have seen so much criticism of Meghan for things that don’t make sense. And quite often she’s not really doing anything different from other royal family members. As you’ve so eloquently laid out in this well researched post. So unfortunately, when these criticism flair up, I’m left with pondering, well what is different about Meghan. The facts are she is biracial, American, divorced, not of so-called noble heritage, and had a career rooted in image and promotion. I have seen people twist themselves into knots claiming it’s not about race or not about her nationality, or not about her personal history. But I remain unmoved. And this post lays out exactly why. Why is she criticized for a pattern of charitable support and projects and appearances that essentially every other royal engages in? I so hope people can take a deep look inside about what their real criticisms of Meghan are, whether they want to admit it or not. Thank you SO much for this post Charlotte. I hope it is shared widely.

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  26. Great post. Your perspective is pitch perfect. Thank you for writing this.

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  27. Why is it wrong for the Sussex to build a personal brand separate from the monarchy? Times are changing, they must change with the time. People are so quick to say, Cambridges will be King and Queen and they with their children are the future of the monarchy. Thus, why should Meg and Harry not secure the own future outside of the firm. Or they will become like the rest of the Queen's children, forgotten and dependent on others.


    Likewise, Instagram is a big part of the Sussex future, the main source of communication. Why then can they not share what they want and must follow what is deemed "appropriate" to some? It seems now, no matter what they do it's going to rub people the wrong way.

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    1. If they are promoting a Sussex brand independent of the monarchy (which I am not convinced they are doing) then I think it would be a mistake.
      The thing that differentiate royals from other celebrities is that they are part of something bigger than themselves. Something that will exist long after they are gone. Building their own brand will bring them in conflict in the longrun with their royal roles and the firm as a whole. And I think that is something they would want to avoid.

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  28. What a beautifully written and impressively researched piece. Charlotte, you have eloquently and thoroughly debunked much of the ill-informed (and often negative) chatter that is so prominent among the denizens of the internet today.

    Thank you for your thoughtful and keen insights. You are the reason that so many of us come to this site; to get a well rounded and honest view of the amazing efforts that Harry and Meghan are spearheading.

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  29. At last someone who writes based on fact and history. Thank you very much!

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  30. What a wonderful post!

    I’ve been a long time royal watcher, but for the first time it’s lost some of it’s pleasure for me due to the constant attacks, criticism and negative articles about Meghan. The way the media has portrayed her, you’d think she’s going to destroy the monarchy! Your post was so informative and objective and and I wish those who constantly critique Meghan would read this post! :)
    -JF

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  31. Thank you again, Charlotte. As always, well written, factual, informative, compassionate, and a rare voice of reason among the manufactured outrage.

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  32. I needed something positive today. Thank you for the article and the time to research and provide background info. I also learned that the Prince's Trust has a Canadian arm - who knew? lol I'm in Canada and did not know this tidbit.

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  33. Perfect post but I would just add that there’s an element of racism at work here too. You see the double standards when this woman of color is doing the exact same things as white royals have done. Our white-dominant society isn’t used to seeing minorities in these traditionally white spaces, so when Meghan (or Serena Williams, or the Obamas, etc) do innocuous things that their white counterparts do it takes on a new meaning and is seen as nefarious.

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    1. Those who never want to see the racism at work every second towards Meghan will never see it, fellow anon.

      Delete
    2. I agree. To be clear, I am speaking generally and not criticizing Charlotte, who has written extensively about the racism Meghan faces.

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    3. Caroline in Montana25 June 2019 at 23:35

      every second?! lol - I think its possible to not like people for not liking them. I don't like lots of white people, does that make me a racist? and are you the same person and just replying to yourself?

      Delete
  34. What a beautifully written, well researched and informative piece. Charlotte, you are the reason that so many of us come to this site on a regular basis—because we want an honest and thoughtful appraisal of Harry and Meghan’s accomplishments in support of the wide variety of causes that are important to them.

    You have effectively debunked much of the ill-informed (and often negative) chatter that is too often directed at the royal family by the denizens of the internet today. Thank you for being our keen observer and stalwart royal fan.

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  35. Well said! Thank you for your excellent statement. It needed to be said and you have done it perfectly.

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  36. I was just blown away with your post, both the details, which were so VERY interesting and informative, and the clear and concise emotion. So much so that I couldn't write anything without waiting awhile! I wish this could be run as an editorial, but of course it is directed to the lowly "papers," which would not run it because it criticizes them. Maybe Harry will read this and work it into a later speech. I have had very good thoughts about Charles but did not know the details of his work, and I certainly didn't know about the other members, including Camilla.

    So now, I guess the only thing left is to make sure Meghan completely loses her identity and personality and is seen and not heard? She can work behind the scenes but not be an actual person, full of fun and affection? Sorry -- I'm a bit set off that after all that you have written, a reader STILL says that Meghan is self-promoting. She is being herself, which everyone has a right to be. She is not a robot or a captive. And the more attention she gets, the more useful it will be for her causes. I'm just so tired of her every action being judged. The poor woman has had to learn to wear hats for the sake of her new country! And I can think of about 20 recent things that other family members did or said recently and I didn't think twice about them. If I superimpose Meghan's face onto their faces, I can see criticism coming.

    What is most incredulous to me is that the RF that people claim is horrified by Meghan actually appears to be the most supportive group of people! Thank heavens she has a wonderful mother, a dream team of friends, and a welcoming new family, including the current queen and future king!

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    1. Becca H in Colorado24 June 2019 at 17:43

      Exactly, Allison. I truly do not understand how anyone can look at the work they're doing and accuse them of being self-promoting, simply because most of the globe is watching their every move.

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  37. Charlotte, I wish to show my support on the comments thread as well. I stand with the others who have said that you have summarized what they have been thinking for some time, as well as those applauding you for this excellent analysis of a troubling subject.

    I, too, hope this piece gets a great deal of traction on everyone's social media platforms. I'm not tech savvy enough to do it, but is it possible to link to it via a comment on the sussexroyal instagram account? Does anyone follow people with huge platforms where they might do the same?

    I am so weary of false news and the trash talk online. Like others, I refuse to click on ridiculous headlines or purchase magazines which run that sort of innuendo.

    Bravo, Charlotte, for taking a rational and much needed stand.

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  38. Impeccably written piece with an astounding amount of thoroughly-researched and brilliantly-structured evidence. Thank you for your this Charlotte!

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  39. As said above, great post. Fact will always shine over fiction.

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  40. Do you know how rare and refreshing common sense is? Your post was such a welcome relief, for its factual good sense. The scarily widespread threads blaming Meghan for everything under the sun, with people seemingly trying to hound her out in some way, has been utterly disturbing. That said, I am troubled that there has unquestionably been a falling-out between the brothers, who have seemed so loving all their lives. It's easy to blame Meghan, but may have nothing to do with her. I hope the two couples will get past that, achieve their full potentional in their roles, and live in harmony. Meanwhile, thank you for being a voice of reason in the wilderness, Charlotte!

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  41. Charlotte, this is superb research. This info really needs to reach a larger audience. Is there anyway you can get this info on a mag spin cycle as an article addressing the Royal Foundation split? More and more people really need to hear the TRUTH. This info/research needs circulation. Thank you so very much for this most diligent body of work. Awesome!

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  42. Thank you so much for writing this. I knew some of it, but to see so much breadth and so well organized, it’s a very effective piece. Thank you!
    -Duch

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  43. First and most important - perhaps your best post ever, and that's saying something since I enjoy and learn something new from every post you do on both blogs, Charlotte. As others have stated, I think it's important to have this out there as much as possible. State the facts and then let people make informed decisions!

    You've mentioned the work of all the royal siblings except Andrew and his family. While he personally has not done as much as the others, he does have a foundation and he has contributed. His daughters and Sarah have been very active in causes near and dear to their hearts, something they don't have to do as non working royals (or ex-royals).I especially enjoyed reading about the work the Wessexes do, and now understand why it seems Sophie is often working with blindness issues in India and elsewhere. I find it wonderful that current members of the BRF can openly talk about their issues,be they dyslexia or scoliosis or HG or mental health issues, and then work to help others who suffer.
    Oh how I loved seeing the women of the Hubb giving back to others.Love and true compassion truly do spread ripples throughout society.
    On a superficial note, I adore that opening photo of Harry and Meghan.She is a stunning classy and loving woman, and a wonderful mate for Harry. He has matured into exactly the man his mother would have wanted. I know he feels gratitude to William for giving him some tough love when he needed it and setting him on the path to his true self, and eventually Meghan. The dukes have been partners in grief as well as very fortunate young men. Their father certainly deserves credit for his parenting when he didn't really have the best experience himself. Even as the paths of the brothers diverge as they were inevitably meant to, they will doubtless respect and appreciate each other's strengths in the years to come.
    Again, sincerest thanks,Charlotte. It's wonderful to have a place like this to visit in this crazy world.

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  44. I have to agree with Christen. I appreciate all the hard work that Harry and Meghan have done, but it does seem, at times, that they crave personal attention as much as they are working as part of the BRF. As a former actress, it must be hard for Meghan not to feel that way, and I'm sure it will become easier with time.

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    1. I think we have to examine whether there has been any indication from them that they crave the personal attention. I think it is the media that has been so focused on them personally and set different narratives that people have just absorbed. Also people go into different professions for the profession itself and not for a personal gain. It is a shame that we then see a profession and attach a certain type of personality to it. If we look in her past life, Meghan as always had a very different character than that that is assumed of actors. I am not entirely sure it is fair to think because she was an actor she craves the spotlight.

      I am sure as you say there has been a period of adjusting which will only get easier for her and everyone involved.

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    2. I have yet to see a credible example of Harry and Meghan “craving attention.” If anything, the British press foists upon them unwanted, borderline harassing coverage and they seem to prefer to be left alone when not on public engagements. Meghan was a supporting actress who got along with the entire cast, including the leads, and never courted tabloid attention or controversy during her career. I think people should re-examine why they’re reading into her as being an attention-seeker when all evidence points to the contrary

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    3. This perception of "craving attention" along with the "showing off" and similar language, when examined, is often a cultural divide between Britain and America. It's not an uncommon way for the Brits who have snootily disparaged the Yanks in this manner forever (though they'd happily take the money from wealthy heiresses who married in to save the family seat while trash-talking them).

      More than that, the perception is often a divide between people who are introverts and those who are extraverts. Those who are reticent and those who are at ease and even at their best in a public platform. I see it all the time. For example, my mother cringed and criticized my father for being a "show off" when he was merely a bon vivant with a great sense of humour, irrepressible energy as well as loving kindness.

      The press and the haters take this narrative manipulate and amplify it for click bait. The clicks draw advertisers in a multi-billion dollar industry that feeds on the public in the guise of "freedom of the press". It's too easy for the public now-a-days. Today people don't even have to buy the papers, but can read all the trash in the world for free.

      We need to be very wary of the larger narrative and the insidious ways that we can be manipulated.

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    4. Becca H in Colorado24 June 2019 at 17:47

      Honestly, all this indicates to me is that you've accepted and absorbed the image of Meghan (and even to an extent, Harry) that the media has been pushing.

      She was an actor, yes. That doesn't automatically make one self-serving. I'm an actor and would never want that kind of fame and attention. As Anonymous said, they take great pains to remain private and only put the spotlight on their work?

      I asked this of Christen above and the question still stands: how, exactly, are H&M doing anything differently that shows they're trying to be self-promoting in any way? As I said above, they post on Instagram about their work and, occasionally, personal moments. So does William & Kate and Prince Charles & Camilla.

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    5. I also take issue with the "actress" summation. For starters, I have friends who have worked with her on & in 2 different films & she was delightful & lovely to work with. I think what is very much at the heart of all this is that she is an open American personality. There was always going to be an adjustment to that.... add to it that she's a confident, hard working woman, who isn't afraid to blaze a trail..... & I think that has rubbed British people wrong.. these are noble traits that she has, but they haven't seamlessly played well in her new role & only time will tell how this will smooth out, without her losing herself in the process. It was mentioned above that if Meghan had swung on the rope ball at the Chelsea Flower Show, as Kate did, that she would have been criticized! I agree... but I think what's at play is also the taking into perspective the personalities of the players. Kate is so reserved, that a moment like that was refreshing & welcomed, as we rarely get insight into who she is behind the scenes. While with Meagan (as an American I can relate) she's just right out there with who she is! What you see is what you get & there is no wariness about it. So it's the starting point that I believe is at play. Since Meaghan is already very accessible, with who she is & not a mystery, protecting her private self..... if she went swinging on that rope ball, I don't doubt the British & British Tabloids would have used the word "showing off"! Massive double standard.... but it's also about understanding the audience & where they start with their perspective & where the various Royals start off with personalties.... I don't know if I expressed my thoughts well, but I hope some of this comes across as I intended... :)

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    6. Thank you for your insightful comments. They helped me realise that indeed people do tend to more easily dislike people who appear confident and self-assured. Maybe in part it may be jealousy-most people don't have the ability to be so natural and comfortable and extroverted in public and thus can only interpet people who can as phonies and hypocrites.
      For my part, the only "concern" I have is the big amount of negative stories concerning Meghan. Since I was quite young when Kate married into the family and didn't follow the news, I'm very interested to know, would you say that the same kind of narratives circulated? With my logic, I know that they are fake news,fabricated to sell and to cause hatred and nastiness. But, also, I'm only human and intuitively, emotionally, I can't help but be influenced when I read about Meghan being mean, rude or entitled to employers (nothing would be more damning to me than that if true). How do you guys deal with that? Can they be completely untrue? Can there be smoke WITHOUTA fire?
      I'm sincerely not trying to bash anyone, I'm just interested in how other people deal with such news; the best solution sould be not to read them, but oh, I can't help myself!

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    7. Zora from Prague25 June 2019 at 14:23

      Becca, thank you for the example with the rope ball... I think you are very right, the different personalities + starting points need to be taken into account. Plus, the more open American nature vs. more reserved British one is not just a cliché either.

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  45. Great post...it seems to me that the British public can’t stand the fact trust Harry choose an American, bi-racial, divorced actress and not a Kate double.

    No matter what Meghan does it’s not right, breaking protocol, etc. I saw a horrible lampoon hat the BBC did today. I predict they will spend more time overseas or in America, as Harry is probably very angry that his wife is being treated like this.

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    1. Probably correct that a lot of the British people do not like the fact that a member of the British royal family married an American, who is culturally very different to them. It is a common human trait that people like consistency and continuity.
      Perhaps something that needs to be considered is that newspaper columnists are not alone in their opinion and often are reflecting the mood of the countries they write for. Slamming the press for their opinions is often slamming a great part of the society we live in as well.

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    2. Duke of Gloucester married a Danish woman and she hasn't been attacked and hated for decades. It is clear the attacks on Meghan are rooted in racism.

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    3. I think you both are right & have both hit at the core of this story. Nothing to fix about it other than H&M having greater sensitivity to this & the public & press getting used to this new reality! Some graciousness & adjustment on both sides would help. Hopefully these growing pains will eventually abate or lessen for all involved!

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    4. Anon 15:31 I would agree with you. It is not just the press that shares this opinion, from the comments I read on articles in the American press, there is a general consensus that a majority are tired of Meghan being written about daily over trivial items, and literally being shoved down the throats of the public. There is an unhealthy obsession about her here in America and the press is feeding it, creating a negative attitude. It's like she's the next best thing since 'crushed ice', when there are others who have gone before her and done the same, as Charlotte has pointed out. It's like the press is putting her up on a pedestal to tear her down.

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    5. Caroline in Montana25 June 2019 at 23:44

      I bet when the Duke of Gloucester married a Danish woman it was a really big deal *decades ago. these things fade away. this too shall pass.

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  46. Hear, hear :) Well written Charlotte!

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  47. Bravo Charlotte! Your article should be required reading for everyone around the world.

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  48. Thank you for your insightful post. Many ppl don’t realize how much the monarchy’s charitable efforts are also outside of the commonwealth. The late Diana, princess of Wales also championed many causes globally. She was the last royal who ‘broke protocol’ and didn’t receive the support she needed, and since then the monarchy has learned to be a supportive in THRs. The more power you have, the more haters you have. It is an unfortunate result. Personally, I am excited to see what the Sussexes have been cooking up! They will continue to be the light, to carry on.

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  49. Charlotte, thank you for your amazing piece. As many say, some journalists should learn from your skill to be precise but gentle at the same time.
    As you say, Meghan hasn't put a foot wrong in terms of royal work. In terms of PR, I was a sort of surprised that she didn't stop her friends ftom speaking for/about her early on. I don't think they've helped her in any way. For those who saw Meghan's work ethic and passion, it was just an unnecessary confirmation, and for those wanting to criticise Meghan it was just another reason to criticise her. I sincerely doubt that Meghan wished for her friends to speak on her behalf and in no way I think she told them to do so - I am actually really surprised she has even allowed it because she must have known that it would send that "Hollywood behaviour" wave on her. Other than this, I don't think there is much to criticise.
    Ella

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    1. Caroline in Montana25 June 2019 at 23:45

      +1. thank you Ella!

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    2. I think that was a completely human reaction from her. How long should only one side of the narrative allowed to circulate the media and inform the public without there being a counter to it - especially if one of them is being used to slander and spread lies about someone - isn't that propaganda? I don't blame her friends going to a publication to fight back lies with facts - especially the story surrounding her relationship with her father. I fault myself for this, but I believed the stories published out there that said Meghan had completely stopped communicating with her father and that he could not reach out to her, only to later find out via her friends that this was completely fabricated. I know the RF has a "never complain never explain" rule, but being silent all the time is not helpful at all. I found the outrage of her friends going to the media to defend her ridiculous considering other royals have done the same before - e.g. William and Kate's friends went to outlets to defend them after numerous articles regarding "idle throne."

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  50. A well researched piece. Not a fanfiction or biased at all. Well done. But of course, it would be ignored by the "credible" royal reporters and "neutral" fans of monarchy as this piece negates their agenda to oust the Sussexes.

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  51. Thank you for your defense of our "American" princess. I do believe the changes in the way the House of Windsor operates will prove successful. But could it be a simple fear of change creating the criticism. And Meghan is the new element injected into the formula, therefore those who are threatened by change will blame her. Not right, but predictable.

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    1. Are there actually changes happening, or are they all continuing on the road set out for them (which of course does include micro changes, like getting married, becoming full-time royals etc)?
      If I look at the research Charlotte has done then changing this up narrative is faulty.
      Don’t get me wrong the appearance of change can often invoke just a strong fear as actual change itself.
      But I do think we should question what is the actual change that has taken place.

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    2. I think you both are correct that "change" & all that brings with it (whether real or perceived) can be jarring & require the element of time, to achieve as successful an adjustment as possible. There will only be more growing pains when that horrible day comes when 2 very much loved Royals pass... I get upset even thinking about that/those days! :(

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  52. Great op-ed piece. Too bad it's not in the Sunday Times.
    One thing though, it's Down Syndrome, not Down's or Downs. It's an important distinction. Thanks for the excellent piece of writing.

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  53. Fantastic post! Sadly I don't think anything will ever shut the haters up but at least we can read eloquent, intelligent, rational words like yours as an antidote to all the nonsense out there.

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  54. I've read and read and read some more. Thanks Charlotte for this well researched balanced article. You are simply the best!

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  55. I am still mulling over this and will probably for years to come as we watch it play out. One thing I did notice from all the research you have done is that the Royal Foundation and the future Sussex Foundation (possibly) differs from the other royal foundations in one important aspect.

    The other foundations and charitable endevours are created with a specific goal, project or theme in mind and cover a smallish section of that royal’s philanthropic endevours.
    When the brothers started the Royal Foundation they said that they wanted a new approach, by creating an umbrella organization with all their charitable work falling underneath it.
    I had my reservations about it then and the years since has not convinced me otherwise. The Royal Foundation has shown that there is definitely come advantages to this umbrella idea especially logistically, but I am still not convinced that creating something that focus specifically on conservation and a different vehicle for mental health would not have done these causes more good in the long run. Basically something that can become bigger than their royal patrons and outlive them.

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  56. I have watched this whole drama since begining of the year. You researched so much thank you for that. Thank you for that. I want to be frank English is my second langugage sorry for my spelling grammer errors in advance. The biggest mistake that both couple made is that they didn't announce the splits both foundation and household when the marriage or engagement announced. But I believe they didn't expect this. Of course they do things global as well as in the UK. But for some reason when you search Sussexes there is one sentence includes Global star. I think that is very disrespectful for monarch and future monarchs. It causes overshadowing whether you like it or not.

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  57. How do you get to publish this article in a serious newspaper like the Guardian or the New York Times? It needs more exposure b/c interested people need to be educated in these matters.
    Thank you so much for taking the time. I'm actually tearing up right now.

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  58. Thank you Charlotte for such a wonderfully written piece. I tried to post my comment last night but not sure it worked.

    This post should reassure those who need it that indeed the DDoS are following a path well laid down my senior members of the RF. They will also have the senior royals who have navigated these paths give them good and genuine advice as to how to setup their foundation for success.

    I genuinely believe they 'know their place' and are not only working to support the monarchy but also to achieve as much good as they can. Don't we all even with our very small platform want to do that. Surely all of us strive daily to make the best of our lives in whichever way we define it. What good is a gift one has been given if it cannot be used or shared with others in gratitude.

    I wish them all the best and look forward to the start, growth and longevity of their foundation.

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  59. Lila (from France)24 June 2019 at 11:51

    Thank you Charlotte for your hard but so important work. Thanks to you I still learn a lot about Royal Monarchy in England. Have a beautiful day !

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  60. Well said, Amina @10:43. We don’t know the Duke and Duchess of Sussex PERSONALLY and neither does the media circus. So, to be fair, we can’t make PERSONAL assumptions of which we have no factual evidence. The Duchess of Sussex craves personal attention based on what evidence? She visited the Hubb Community for months “under the radar” before the cookbook was even mentioned by the press. She attended a baby shower that was GIVEN for her NOT by her. Her friends are wealthy but she had those friends before marrying Prince Harry. Should she exclude them from her life. No. Prince William is a friend to Lady Gaga. Is he graving personal attention? No. What Charlotte has brought to us is factual information; no guesses, no lies and no speculations. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which LIES and NEGATIVE SPECULATIONS sell more magazines and gets more attention than the TRUTH. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is the “new kid on the block” so to speak. She is a strong woman and I pray and hope she remains strong, fulfills her purpose in life and be happy with her family.

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  61. Exceptionally well-written, reason and explained. Very good article Charlotte. I hope it reaches at least a few of those people, who criticise them or her with no end.

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  62. Great article. Agree wholeheartedly.This is the defining statement for me: "Meghan has thrown herself into her role, and she hasn't put a foot wrong. To chastise and tear her down because she's an intelligent woman who wants to succeed in this role is appalling and frankly sexist. Ambition is not a dirty word, especially when it's being channeled into a life of philanthropic dedication". Collectively we are very afraid of intelligent women. It's crazy. And honestly, the world would be a better, safer and more sustainable place. Change can not come fast enough. Ps I was researching philanthropic foundations for work today, I wasn't aware of the Prince's Trust in Australia. Super helpful.Thanks Charlotte!

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  63. This is only the second time I have written a comment on this or the sister blog. I have had an interest in the RF that started long before Diana. I enjoy reading about their lives and their fashion,but have no interest in praising or critizing fashion choices. That is such an individual thing each to his own. One of the comments above said she felt the Sussexes seem to be interested in promoting themselves versus the BRF. Somtimes, to me, it seems that way. For example it seems rather strange to put forth a video celebrating their marriage on their anniversary. The Cambridges would never have done that,but that may just be a difference in style. Having said all this I really think we should just let them love their lives.

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    1. I agree with you. I think it's a cultural difference, the British are perhaps less in to talking about themselves or self promotion than Americans. I've heard it described as being less flashy, as well. That's not to say one is better, but it's a clear difference.

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    2. I am not rely sure what you mean Anon, every year the twitter of the cambridges show pictures of their wedding on their marriage anniversary, how is it different? .. the sussex simply chose to accompany their photos with music which I think was really nice and more modern.

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    3. I see nothing self-promoting or different in how they use their social media. You are choosing to assume the negative and believe the tabloids, rather than looking objectively for yourself.

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    4. This is an odd comment considering that the entire point of social media is self-promotion via communication with the public. Every single royal family member has a social media presence and posts media commemorating different occasions. How come they aren’t accused of self-promotion, just the Sussexes?

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    5. Caroline in Montana25 June 2019 at 23:52

      I agree with Anon 13:37. the video seemed weird to me as well. funny how folks are now telling you why you feel the way you do, so negative to "assume". ive seen many hateful comments on here after Charlottes well thought out piece, seems the haters are actually the ones who cant stand even the slightest criticism about Meg.

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  64. Great post Charlotte! Maybe the criticisms are just growing pains but I do think the media (especially the American media and I am American) is guilty of trying to make trouble where there isn't trouble. They live for it! And as someone who has read quite a bit about the RF (in books! Not just online lol) I can't help noticing that Meghan seems to be getting some of the extremely negative treatment leveled at the Duchess of Windsor in her time. So then I have to wonder if some of this blaming MM for everything is because she is American and divorced and a former actress. I hope she won't regret her decision to marry into that family but I could see how the constant speculation and media backlash could wear you down over the years, to put it mildly. I hope she focuses on Harry, their beautiful son, and her charity work and never reads one thing in the papers about herself! Don't let this stuff get you down either, Charlotte!

    In other news, I hope you will cover what I'm reading elsewhere about the redesign of her e-ring? I think it looks so good on that micropaved band and with the gorgeous new eternity band in the stack. The reports I'm reading seem a bit sexist, like it is some crime that she has a new ring and changed her e-ring. So what?!? I love her new stack. It's modern and glamorous and suits her. She may have wanted a thinner band for her e-ring diamonds to keep the trio of rings as comfortable as possible on her hand. Love that she is a yellow gold gal!

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    1. Caroline in Montana25 June 2019 at 23:53

      talk about dragging someone's name through the mud, who needs the media when you just compared her to the duchess of Windsor!! yikes

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  65. Anonymous @ 13:37. I think you’re right, it IS a difference in style. The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke & Duchess of Sussex are different couples: their personalities and styles are so different. They are not clones. God did not design us to be exactly the same in every way and it is an unrealistic expectation. I hope both couples continue to be who they are individually and as a couple and be happy with each other. After all, we don’t know them and they don’t know us. We simply know OF them based on pictures and articles, bad and good press. Thanks again, Charlotte. Excellent and fair post.

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    1. Regarding Meghan doing things that Kate wouldn't do, while that's fine because they are supposed to be different people, it's not always true. I read that Kate had given William a year-long collection of drawings, etc that their children had done, for Father's Day. It sounds delightful! A terrific gift. And a terrific suggestion for anyone in the world to copy. If this is true, I'm happy to have the image of that great gift, and it's really nice of Kate to share. Well done all around. Like her delight in her garden, it's more than we have seen in the past but I love it!

      If Meghan did this, she would be using her children to promote herself. She would be putting herself forth as a better mother than others. She would be interfering in a holiday when not asked! Can you see how the action is not the issue but rather the actor, forgive the pun? She would be designing a Hollywood style of gift when a simple card would be more appropriate.

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    2. " The action is not the issue but rather the actor" THIS! So well said Allison.

      Elinor UK

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  66. It is such a fantastic article, a delight, in comparison to the level or writing that we get form commercial media…
    There is one point the immediately comes up in my head, and I know it is not going to be very popular and might be misunderstood. With all the data, sources, etc that you are citing here, it becomes somehow obvious that the Cambridges are not as much restricted in their roles as everyone is suggesting all the time. I am not questioning the separation of the two households (it makes sense in many way, and I do not want to speculate on any rift), but I really have trouble to follow the official explanations of the separation.
    Other than that, I also do not understand the super conservative way that the Cambridges are following, considering the amazing possibilities that there obviously are, and that many, if not all other members of the Royal family are purchasing? Or are there examples of such activities for the Cambridges as well, that I am just not aware about?
    I would so much appreciate a similar article like this, over at the Kate site (sorry to invade this site with my comment). I am sure that you Charlotte have the best and a neutral overview of what is going on. And I have the impression that even many of us, lets say, “positive” followers often have trouble to understand certain steps and decisions. And your words are kind of a holy grail to me :)
    Thanks so much!

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    1. I think the “restraints” on the Cambridges are mostly put there by their own cautious nature and not their constitutional position. They are the couple that dated for years before they even considered getting married. They took their time as a couple before they started a family. Kate has been working behind the scenes on her early childhood projects for over a year etc.
      They are the type that think through every possible outcome and scratch all ideas that have a possibility of failure. Before they jump they take their time to make sure everything is in place and have a backup plan.

      Meghan and Harry are completely different personalities, the type to jump and build their wings on the way down. You can see it in their personal life and in the way they jumped into their work.
      I expect over the years we will see many projects from them that will soar beyond expectations but also some that will crash and burn.

      I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to be, just different ways. It also explains why people are naturally attracted to one of the couple’s way of doing things.

      I have a cautious nature so I find it easier to identify with the slow and steady way of the Cambridges, while somebody else might be able to identify better with the boots-on-the-ground way of the Sussexes.

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    2. I actually think it's H&M who are very methodical about their work behind the scenes and only present finished products with tangible results. They do their research and you can see it in their engagements by the types of questions they ask. The "Together" cookbook is a perfect example. Meghan identified the problem, proposed an idea, set measurable and attainable benchmarks to address the problem and blew past her goal with money to spare. That's not building wings on the way down. In fact, it's the exact opposite.

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    3. I agree TresL. I don't think H&M are as impulsive with their work (or personal lives) as some would have others believe.

      Riley

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  67. Zola Mkhwanazi24 June 2019 at 16:05

    So informative, well researched and well wtitten article...Thank you Charlotte!!!

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  68. I really hope Meghan is able filter out all the hate and viciousness out there. Even some of the other Kate bloggers seem inclined to put her down and make up stories. Bravo for putting it all in perspective!

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  69. Fantastic article, Charlotte!
    What Meghan needs is time. Anybody remember "Waity Katie?" We don't hear that anymore, as the DOC has proven herself a valued member of the RF, as well as a doting wife and mother. Unfortunately for Meghan, her background of crazy family and a previous marriage, plus the inevitable comparisons to Kate, give Meghan undeserved criticism. I think in a few years, her continued work ethic, as well as a happy marriage with Harry will endear her to the media.

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    1. Waity Katie was in reference to Kate waiting so many long years to receive her engagement ring, to symbolize a true commitment from William. The name was dropped as soon as plans for the wedding moved forward. It had nothing to do with Kate being accepted as a member of the royal family.

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    2. Thank you! There's absolutely no comparison and while the nickname was not necessarily kind, it was true to a degree. What's said about Meghan is pure fiction, racist and conspiracy theories on steroids.

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    3. Caroline in Montana25 June 2019 at 23:58

      Thank you Abby, I agree with you 100% this too shall pass and they will move on to something else they feel is an injustice. anyone else remember the duchess of pork? but maybe name calling is not as bad as it used to be TresL? dredging a poor girl for waiting to be married, silly.

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  70. Fantastic post Charlotte!! Thank you for your insight and clarity on a problem that seems to have no logical basis at all (Green-eyed monster seems to overcome all rational thought in many!!).

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  71. Thanks, Charlotte, for the well researched post. It was very informative. Whatever criticism there may be of her working style, the Duchess of Sussex's strong work ethic cannot be doubted. What you have shared about the extensive work done by Prince Charles, and over a very broad spectrum of issues no less, makes me wonder what issues Prince Harry and Meghan may possibly wish to champion which are not compatible with the constitutional constraints Prince William supposedly faces as future monarch. It just seems to me that whatever the real cause for the split, this was not it and was a PR spin. What do you think?

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    1. I totally agree with your last paragraph. The palace went with the most obvious narrative, one that the media has already bought into. But when you scrutinize it, it doesn’t hold up. While William will one day be king, it doesn’t actually place many constraints on what he can do now.
      My guess is that the palace did not know how to say that the couples decided to split because W&K have a lot more cautious approach to life and their jobs while H&M have a more ambitious approach, without everybody using it as a way to bash the other couple.
      The fact is that two such different approaches to life makes it difficult to work and plan together.

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  72. So well written and perfectly explained. Love it.

    Wish the Daily Mail could write as good as this! Lol!

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  73. Unfortunately criticism comes with any job and H&M are no exception, though it has felt particularly harsh and some of it unwarranted. I hope that H&M listen to the critics to a point, but at the end of the day they must do what they feel is best for them.

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  74. Thanks for posting about the unjust negative media perception of Harry and Meghan. I love them and I think they make a formidable couple. I do not believe that they are trying to outshine their family members. They are just popular in their own right. The media loves to hate them and make money off of their image at the same time. That's just a part of the game unfortunately. They will probably continue to have a love/hate relationship with the media, just like Will and Kate (they don't always get positive media reviews either). But we all know the real reason why Meghan has been attacked since day 1. Racism is real and unfortunately, it plays a huge role in how Meghan is being portrayed in the media. I think she has handled herself respectfully and with grace. She is a great role model to so many people. I think she's gorgeous and I hope that she continues to be herself and ignore the haters. She has transformed the image of modern day royalty and breathed new life into the Windsor family. I find H&M refreshing! Lastly, keep up the good work Charlotte! Your Kate and Meghan blogs are my favorite blogs about them.

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  75. I love this post. I haven't had time to read all the comments, so I hope I'm not repeating, but I wish your post could get published in all the newspapers and tabloids and click-bait websites so the controversy would stop. Thank you.

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  76. I think that the palace is not handling it well, nobody could have foreseen the media/fan debacle and the negative vibes pitching the two couples against each other. But the palace continues to handle it badly.

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  77. I learned a long time ago that the best way to enjoy the royals is to not read the negative comments. Charlotte always captions each picture with fair and accurate statements. I agree that Harry and Meghan have so much to offer with their own work, there is no need to always follow W and K. By leading their own lives with their little boy, there will be less critical comparisons. I pray that people will be kinder to the Sussex couple and allow them the happiness they deserve.

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  78. Thank you for this wonderful piece l have learnt so much

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  79. In a true and equalizer democracy charity isn’t necessary. Wellfare spread evenly accross society. The cost of a monarchy vastly exceeds the funds raised by the likes of Harry and Meghan and Charles etc. Although I don’t doubt their just intentions this is what it is. The majoriity on this blog being americans won’t understand this as their experience is so different. But in certain European countries monarchy isnt primarily about raising funds because inequality isn’t as widespread as in UK or US. The viel comments on Meghan should be countered by pointing to the racist tendencies in western countries, and less by pointing to all the terrific but undemocratic benefits to society of royal charity work.!

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  80. And Emily Andrews has posted a link so, more will read this.

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  81. Great post!! This also has me thinking about The National Theatre, of which Duchess of Sussex is Patron and its ties to the National Theatre of USA through The American Associates of National Theater a non profit org in New York.

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  82. I would say the following to Harry and Meghan...

    "Never explain yourself to anyone. Because the person that likes you doesn't need it. And the person who dislikes you won't believe it".

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    1. Lauri24 June 2019 at 22:29...thank you

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    2. Caroline in Montana26 June 2019 at 00:02

      amen. my mother always said, you aren't going to like everyone and not everyone is going to like you. Very true!!

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  83. Thank you, Charlotte, for bringing the workings of the royal charities to light. It helps one understand how the royals navigate their interests, time and resources available to them.

    It would be helpful to me, and perhaps others not familiar with U.K. royal terminology and such, if you could explain, perhaps in another post, (1) what it means to be a "working royal" and who currently is one. Also, I've read elsewhere that Charles plans to "thin out" the working royals when he takes the crown. (2) It this hearsay, Charles planning to thin out working royals, or is there anyone credible in the royal circle that has addressed that?

    I can only imagine what the costs are to mount the Invictus Games, emergency transport for pregnant women in Sub-Saharan Africa, vet treatment for donkeys, mules and horses in Africa, sustainable education to farmers in Romania, etc. Fundraising would be number one priority for each foundation and careful attention to monies coming in and out would be more than a few peoples full time job. Each foundation would need to be kept separately, (3) so isn't the financial concerns a big part of why Meghan and Harry would need to form their own entity?

    Without addressing the financial end of all of this I don't think the Palace can be transparent on these issues.

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  84. Anonymous @18:23. I agree, nothing wrong with listening to critics if what they are saying is TRUE. Thanks again, Charlotte.

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  85. Really well written. Interesting and informative. Harry and Meghan are clearly not stupid, they take advice and they make decisions together with the rest of their family. Nobody can keep everyone happy all of the time, but I imagine that all the RF are doing their best most of the time, like the rest of us!

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  86. I think this is a well researched article. In the interest of intellectual debate.... why should the average UK citizen support a family of international philanthropists? What's in it for the UK taxpayer? How do they benefit from this system?

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    1. You raise a very interesting and important question. Somebody mentioned some other international family foundations, but you can’t compare the two because the BRF have this unique relationship with the British Taxpayer.
      I would love to hear the opinions of British readers on this question.

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    2. Moxie, I think you are spot on. This is more than an intellectual debate, I think this is the core of the problem.

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    3. Maybe because the British realize will need help from other countries after Brexit. It's now about soft diplomacy, isn't it?

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    4. Zora from Prague25 June 2019 at 15:07

      I'm not British ... but perhaps it has something to do with the centuries of historical heritage? The institution of a national royal family is a very old and important one. To me, it represents the country, its place in the world, its roots, its values, its continuity. I wish we had one - I would be happy to support it with my taxpayer money, much happier than paying for the "representatives" we have.

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    5. Moxie, RachelZA and Natacha, Charlotte's article just scratches the surface but I'm happy she's scratching! Hopefully, some of the submerged issues, like financial, will come to the surface. I asked 3 questions in my comment above that perhaps Charlotte will address in future posts.

      Anonymous 24 June 2019 at 22:47

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    6. The average UK taxpayer needs food, shelter, clothing, medicine. What materials are missing from the home country that they work to make alliances to meet these needs? The Brexit movement is all about self reliance and rejecting the idea that a "global" economy is a valid way of life. So what does the UK need from other countries? What are you importing and exporting to these alliances?

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  87. Absolutely brilliant in every way—well done! Thank you for your clear, educated, insightful article on this important issue. Your voice matters!!

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  88. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for such an insightful and well-researched article. You've put into words what I've been thinking for a while. Prince Charles and his siblings don't share a charitable foundation...why should William and Harry? It has nothing whatsoever to do with Meghan. Also, with their important positions in the commonwealth, they need a global brand. For those who think a "brand" sounds too slick, it's more of a way to maintain your focus and message than about being commercial.
    I've been at a loss to understand the pure vitriol that is directed at her. One thing I do believe is that Meghan has a very strong energy and a lot of people misread women with her drive as being pushy, attention seeking, etc. It's unfortunate, but nothing she's done wrong, she's just trying to be herself. Hard working, results oriented, compassionate, change maker. Quite frankly, our world needs more women like her.
    I hope this post goes viral! We need to put the truth and positivity out there!
    I've been following your blogs since the early days of Duchess Kate and I must say you've outdone yourself. I mean that as highest praise because you always set the bar high. I make it a point to not read the comments and I've only commented myself once after which I was attacked for my opinion by other commenters and so vowed to myself never to comment here again, but I couldn't not say something as this is such an outstanding piece of writing. Thank you for all you do! S.S. in the U.S.

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  89. Sharyn from AUS25 June 2019 at 03:10

    This very informative piece made it to the instastories of royal addicted Instagram! Whoo! Great article

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  90. Thank you very informative and insightful well written and representative of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I love and respect them for who they are and what they stand for.

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  91. Charlotte, thank you for extending a clear concise and thorough message of facts and explanation. Thanks to all those who have helped put their “heads together” to form this elaborate study and understanding. Well done Charlotte!

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  92. Thank you for such a well researched article Charlotte
    Just one small point if I may...Ireland is not a Commonwealth country so therefore their trip to Dublin was not part of their roles as Commonwealth ambassadors as the article may suggest
    They did indeed receive a rapturous welcome which was wonderful to see

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  93. I think this is a more complicated issue and needs to be addressed on various levels. Here is my take on it, would be curious to hear what you think.

    First of all, there is the constant comparison with William and Kate. I believe it is in the nature of people to compare things and it does not necessarily have to be something bad. In this case, the fake news and the rumours poison the whole discussion. However, generally I believe it is important to point out the differences in their respective roles and it should have been done so from the very beginning on. It would have made sense to break up the foundation at the Cambridges wedding, it would have caused much less of a stir and it would have been comprehensible for everyone, from the media to fans.
    Moreover, when William and Kate married, there was lots of talk that they do things differently than previous generations. Again, I have to relativise: Yes, they did, but they were and are still in the limits of a more traditional royal family. Whereas Meghan and Harry really do things their way and seem to take a more personal approach to their roles (whether it is with their work ethic, their focus on causes or with their son). In my opinion, this is one of biggest the factors that causes a stir with the press and part of their fans. Their way of doing things is bold and new and different from anything else and new, bold approaches always cause some protest and negativity.

    My hypotheses is that there are various reasons for this hatred agains Meghan: She does things differently (she was much more active in her first year and before her wedding than Kate was, in terms of engagements and appointments she conducted), she cares about things that are still new to the royal family and to the British society (women empowerment is still something exotic here) and last but not least, I truly believe that her being American, not British, does play a huge role. With more and more protecionism and in these times, having a Brit marrying Prince Harry would have cause much less of a drama.

    What are your thoughts?

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    1. Agree with all you've stated. I would also add the words bi-racial in front of American. I'm not saying that racism is the only factor, but I know many will deny it even is a factor. Meghan does not have the physical features of a typical English Rose and sadly some people can't stand that whether they admit it or not. Most won't so they create other things to nitpick/slander her with instead.

      Calista UK

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    2. You neglected to mention she's bi-racial and that trumps everything.

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    3. Women empowerment is exotic to the monarchy and British society? Hardly. Just check the history books. And the Queen.

      Sure the reasons are complicated. Bottom line: in tumultuous time, there needs to be a scapegoat, a target to hate or love, and be a distraction or red herring to throw people off.

      Meghan and Harry are easy targets.

      I doubt if the negativity will let up. Too much money and jockeying for powerful placement position are at stake. There’s too much short term gains for too many people. Alas, the short term gains come at a tremendous long term cost to British society, the Commonwealth nations (no longer content as relics of the Empire) and the monarchy.

      History won’t be kind here.

      Finally, a big Thank You to Charlotte and her sister. Many of us have asked the same question. My extended family consists of UK ex-pats along with family from the commonwealth and the US are all disappointed with the British press and sees the monarchy as being neutered and afraid to standby its newest member. The British tabloids are now kingmakers.

      -Martine

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    4. Caroline in Montana26 June 2019 at 00:08

      I agree with almost all you said. I just dont understand when folks say they/she is doing things so bold and new - what's bold and new? getting married, working, dressing up, having a baby, living in your new home? I really don't see them as any different, they are good looking hard workers who are stand up people:)

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    5. I agree. The problem is not that they are setting a new foundation. Had they done so when they got married, nobody would have questioned it. It would have been the natural thing to do and people could have donated to it as a wedding present. Now it is obvious there was a change of plans. Naturally people are going to ask why. Again, if they had not been already doing things differently, and had not talked about doing things their way, nobody would have thought about it as a reason for the split.
      Make up by the press or true, the stories are that the Sussexes wanted to have more scope, to do things their way, to reach to a global audience and so on. I think everyone, even staunch supporters agree about that. Many people will say it is a good thing, others are perfectly entitled to think differently and conclude that the Sussexes are not team players, or that it has something to do with Meghan as Harry seemed quite contented to work with his brother before his marriage. The facts are there is a a split that was unforseen 18 months ago. Impossible to twist those facts. The interpretation of them is were there seems to be conflicting views. How Meghan has presented herself, how she has been portrayed, how people percieve her, what she embodies for them plays a big role.

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  94. Thanks for a well put together piece on modern royalty, Charlotte.

    In my opinion, the challenges M&H faces are not necessarily related to Meghan being American or a former actress, but her being a modern woman. She knows all about setting goals, getting up for work in the morning – about disappointments, successes, about forging a place in the world, fighting for your beliefs. She grew into her own long before she set her foot on the Buckingham Palace lawns.

    I see her current challenges as a consequence of this because royalty is an anachronism; a relic from a time when we were anything but equal and predestined to live according to the social class we were born into. Remember the whispers of “door to manual”?

    What can royals do except fill a social function by building relations on behalf of the monarch and the country, charities, family life and wearing the correct outfit to a social function. Only the Queen has a constitutional role. The rest of them are simply trying to lead meaningful lives or are close enough to the throne to assume they have a future role.

    Meghan is a modern ambassador, she will find her role, they will manage.

    Heidi

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    1. I find your argument incongruous. She married into a family that is ruled by a female. Who got to be Queen by birth. Meghan draws her power from being married to her grandson, Harry. Otherwise, very few folks would be paying any attention to her.

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  95. Wow! Thank you for this retrospective, Charlotte. It is an amazing summary of the far-reaching work of the BRF. This is my favorite line: "Ambition is not a dirty word, especially when it's being channeled into a life of philanthropic dedication."

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  96. Wow great article. I wish I could forward to all media outlets but I don't believe it would change their narrative about Meghan or Harry.

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  97. Thank you for your very informative and well-written post. I make it a point to ignore nasty and vicious comments about the Duchess and her work and I hope she can do the same. There are many of us who admire her and wish her well.

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  98. I have to add an additional angle to this conversation. If it wasn’t for the Queen’s amazing health and longevity, most of these issues probably won’t exist. Not that I am blaming HM for living a long life and being active well into her nineties.
    But if Charles became king around the time William got married, there would have been a generational shift. The Queen’s cousins would have retired as working royals, Charles’s siblings would have taken the supporting roles that the Queen’s cousins now fullfill (although I won’t be the one to tell Anne she needs to retire) and both William and Harry would have more clearly defined jobs. But with three generations of working royals, the younger generation is left without clearly defined jobs.

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  99. Thank you so much, Charlotte. Outstanding post! Daily Mail and others have found a great revenue source in criticizing Meghan. The haters offer endless clicks on every nonsense article about Meghan. There seems an element of the post-truth world in all of this. Many people have their minds made up about many things, and facts cannot penetrate their fantasy/ prejudice/jealousy/projection-based opinions. You do a great service by posting facts for those open to receive them. I think Harry and Meghan are absolutely fabulous for the BRF, the Commonwealth and the world. They will do many great things. I pray they will protect themselves from exposure to all the criticism as much as possible.

    R

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  100. This is no longer fun, honestly. I honestly can't believe the continuous negative coverage about the Duchess of Sussex. I'd mentioned before that Kensington Palace needed to get a grip on this situation and its only gotten worse in just a matter of months. It's disturbing, disgusting and I don't know when it's going to end.

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)