4 times Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shot themselves in the foot in 2021: from their ‘patronising’ and ‘meaningless’ Archewell statement, to throwing shade at Queen Elizabeth
If 2020 was a blockbuster disaster movie, 2021 feels like the painfully predictable sequel that’s dragging on forever. Just us?
Here are four times the pair landed themselves in hot water already (it’s only August, so we’re expecting a few more bloopers before the year is over).
The bizarre world affairs statement
While that all sounds good and well on paper, many royal followers found the message to be “inappropriate” and “condescending”.
The statement read: “The world is exceptionally fragile right now. As we all feel the many layers of pain due to the situation in Afghanistan, we are left speechless.”
They continued: “As we all watch the growing humanitarian disaster in Haiti, and the threat of it worsening after last weekend’s earthquake, we are left heartbroken.
“And as we all witness the continuing global health crisis, exacerbated by new variants and constant misinformation, we are left scared.”
Followers immediately criticised the bizarre message, calling it a “word salad” and “preachy”.
Instead of telling their followers what they were doing specifically to help the international crisis, they concluded: “As an international community, it is the decisions we make now – to alleviate suffering among those we know and those we may never meet – that will prove our humanity.”
Royal author Angela Levin, who penned Harry: A Biography of a Prince, called the open letter “patronising”, adding: “It’s as if we are all small children and now they are going to look after us. It’s meaningless – completely meaningless.”
Sharing a newspaper headline reading “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle break silence on Afghanistan to say they are ‘speechless’”, Morgan replied, “If only they were.”
The whole “Lilibet” drama
At the time, “friends” of the couple told the press that Harry had sought permission from his grandmother to use the name. But soon after, a palace source told the BBC that Meghan and Harry had done no such thing.
The couple hit back and claimed the queen was in fact the very first family member they asked.
“During that conversation, he (Harry) shared their hope of naming their daughter Lilibet in her honour,” biographer Omid Scobie revealed. “Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name.”
The Oprah interview
Days after the interview aired, Reuters reported that the popularity of Harry and Meghan tumbled in Britain and had never been lower. In fact, the interview is now one of the most complained-about broadcasts in British television history, with 6,203 people making official complaints to Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator.
Throwing shade at the queen
It all started when the palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would return their honorary military appointments and royal patronages.
“The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service,” a statement said.
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan responded: “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.”
They added: “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.” Ouch.
And a throwback to 2020: that time Kate’s uncle lashed out
It’s not just the general public that’s getting annoyed with the Sussexes.
In a now-deleted post, he wrote: “With so much stuff going on in the world, still these two muppets are craving attention.
“Please shut the F up and bring up their child and stop talking, let alone demanding.
“Now hush please we are kinda busy saving lives and an economy.”
- Since leaving the royal family, the couple has taken to social media more than ever to push their point of view – so why is it backfiring so spectacularly?
- From that ‘condescending’ statement on Afghanistan and Haiti, to the Lilibet baby name drama and, of course, the Oprah interview that refuses to die