Not easy to break into Hollywood… Even for Harry and Meghan! When Prince Harry and his wife moved to California in search of a new life away from the British royal family , they probably never imagined they would spend the whole year cloistered at home.
The princely couple arrived in Los Angeles in March 2020, just before the border closures triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, and immediately set to work to develop their “brand” mixing people and royalty in Hollywood. Among the many studios attracted, it was Netflix that won, signing an exclusive contract with them, the amount confidential but probably amazing. Meghan Markle has shown no desire to revive her acting career, but the agreement provides for her and her husband to produce films and series for the video-on-demand platform.
The health restrictions imposed in California, however, dampened the hopes of Meghan and Harry to be able to walk the red carpets of the many events usually organized in Los Angeles, and to rub shoulders with the greats of the entertainment world.
Very discreet neighbors
To the point, even, that Prince Harry was barely able to discover life in LA “It was confinement. This is the first opportunity I have to see ”the city, he affirmed – certainly exaggerating a little – during an interview which took place on the open roof of a double decker bus circulating in the cities. palm-lined streets of the city with British host James Corden last week.
The couple’s brief stay in a Beverly Hills villa, on loan from entertainment mogul Tyler Perry, did not necessarily leave a good memory: Meghan and Harry filed a lawsuit against paparazzi for stolen photos of their son Archie in the garden of the residence.
Last July, they ended up moving to Montecito, a chic little town next to Santa Barbara (about 150 km from Los Angeles), where they bought a nine-bedroom mansion and “slipped into the peaceful privacy of their community ”, as one spokesperson described it. Their neighbors include stars like Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.
But even for the Hollywood gratin, the couple’s daily life seems shrouded in mystery. Harry and Meghan would be “very secret” according to American actor Rob Lowe. Eric Schiffer, a public relations expert based in Los Angeles, considers it very unlikely that the prince and his wife “spend a lot of time with celebrities” in Montecito. “It’s not really the usual hangout for celebrities, it’s Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Malibu and West Hollywood. Not Montecito, ”he says.
Almost absent from social networks
For Jeetendr Sehdev, a specialist in people marketing, the discretion of the couple, who only made a few appearances by video, is not a choice, but results from the constraints “linked to the pandemic”. “I have no doubt that we will see them in the future in many events, on the red carpets”, assures the author of the book “The Kim Kardashian Principle”. “They have chosen to remain resolutely in the world of media and entertainment,” he analyzes.
For Eric Schiffer, the couple’s absence on Twitter and Instagram sends a disturbing message to young Americans, always hungry for content. “I think a lot of Americans are wondering why they have this aversion to social media… Are they trying to have an American adventure like these elites who are above all else? “.
The two celebrities have occasionally been seen participating in charities, such as the distribution of meals to the sick last spring in Los Angeles, or the traditional wreath laying at the cemetery on November 11. But these carefully orchestrated outings did not really help to forget the “chaotic beginnings” of the couple’s career in California, experts say. “The danger of this kind of charity work is that people will see it as a pretext for a photo shoot […] It could have negative repercussions on their brand,” Jeetendr Sehdev thinks.
Bad time for the interview
The interview given by Meghan and Harry to their neighbor Oprah Winfrey, which will be broadcast on Sunday, will certainly boost their image. If Eric Schiffer does not expect any revelation on the private life of the couple, the interview still promises to be explosive … especially for the British royal family. How the former Suits actress was treated by both her in-laws and the English media will be central to the interview.
Excerpts already broadcast show the Duchess of Sussex accusing Buckingham Palace of having “peddled lies” about the couple’s decision in early 2020 to withdraw from the royal family to settle in California. The interview “will almost certainly cause embarrassment for the royal family,” predicts British royalty expert Richard Fitzwilliams, for whom Harry and Meghan were “not very farsighted” by not informing the monarchy.
But there again, the prince and the duchess could encounter some pitfalls, because the broadcast of this interview, scheduled for Sunday, falls badly. The same day, an interview with the Queen is to be broadcast. And, above all, the health of Prince Philip, Harry’s grandfather, is at the heart of British concerns since at 99, he is just recovering from a cardiac “intervention”.