Weekly Royal Roundup

Meghan and Harry’s PR moves, Charles’s birthday, and Season 4 of The Crown

It’s been a week. Let’s do a quick recap of the royal news from the last seven days. (Obviously I’m only going to talk about the things I find interesting. If you want a full rundown of every single thing every single member of the BRF did, there are places on the internet for that!)

Kate had good hair, finished out Hold Still photography project

Kate thanked everyone who contributed to the Hold Still photography project that she co-presented with the National Gallery. She also had an amazing blowout. It was a dutiful and pitch-perfect video, which makes it not very interesting. Moving on!

Meghan and Harry hired more PR people

It was announced this week that “The Office of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex” has hired two new PR/Comms staff. The first, Christine Schirmer, was formerly head of global communications at Pinterest and will now be heading overall communications for the office of the Duke and Duchess.

This hire sort of fits the bill and sort of doesn’t, in my opinion. Yes, it was savvy to hire someone who has experience leading communications for a global tech/social media company. But Pinterest doesn’t hold the same level of seriousness or clout that Google, Twitter, Apple, or Facebook would. In particular, it would have made a big statement about Harry and Meghan’s seriousness about the cause of combatting online hate speech if they had poached someone big from, say, Facebook or Twitter. Then they could run stories about how the new staff member “realized the error of their ways” and is now “working for the good side”. A less splashy but still respectable hire could have been someone like a PR exec from a large nonprofit. Harry and Meghan already did this – they hired someone with extensive experience at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to head their Archewell charity.

The second hire that was announced this week was that of Toya Holness, whose resume includes the New York Department of Education, the Los Angeles Clippers, William Morris and Deluxe Motion Picture and Film. She has also been teaching as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California for the past four months. Ms. Holness has been hired with the title of Press Secretary to the Duke and Duchess.

It is strange that Harry and Meghan keep telling everyone that they want to be as far from the royal family as possible (physically, emotionally, financially) and then they set up an office for themselves that mimics their royal office, down to the title of the office and the titles that they are giving their staff. Nobody outside the BRF or government officials has a “Press Secretary”. It’s also very odd that they announced this hire for “The Office of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex” rather than specifically for Archewell. It seems like they keep asking to distance themselves from the BRF, until the time when it benefits them, at which point they would definitely like to have an office with their titles in it and call someone a Press Secretary. Just pick a side. I would not care about these two nearly as much if they were just consistent with any aspect of their personal or professional lives. But the flip flopping and hypocrisy keep me coming back for more.

Prince Charles turned 72

Prince Charles turned 72 on November 14. Harry and Meghan did not publicly wish Charles a happy birthday, but Will and Kate’s Instagram did.

The official BRF Instagram also wishes Charles a happy birthday with pictures of Queen Elizabeth and Charles together over the years.

Also yesterday (Charles’s birthday), Harry appeared via video call on the UK dancing program Strictly Come Dancing. He was there to cheer on a veteran friend who had some struggles with depression and anxiety after his service, but is doing much better now.

Up to this point, only Meghan’s PR people have been giving out her name incorrectly (they say Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, it’s really Meghan, Duchess of Sussex). Harry has been immune. Until now!

He was born into the royal family! He must KNOW that this isn’t how to write out his own name! Why on Earth are they doing this to me? Yes, me specifically. Because other than the “grey suits” at Buckingham Palace, literally no one else but me knows or gives a hoot that they are writing out their names incorrectly. And doing it consistently. If it’s a plot to drive me specifically insane, I have to tell them it’s working.

Season 4 of The Crown premiered this weekend

Season 4 of The Crown dropped at midnight tonight (November 15) on Netflix. I’ve heard that this season is incredible and the best one yet. It’s the first season to have Diana (played by Emma Corrin) in it. I’ve watched one episode so far and it was okay but nothing special. I’m sure it will pick up, though.

This is the first season of The Crown in which the main subjects are (mostly) still alive and able to really disagree with their portrayals. It also adds a layer of ickiness because we all know where this story is going. Lots of people watching The Crown also watched Charles and Diana’s wedding live on tv. To know that it was all so sad and unsatisfying behind the scenes is tragic. We have to sit for 10 hours and relive all of the tragic moments we know are coming – Diana’s exodus from the BRF, her death, the grief, the fallout between her sons. It’s going to be a sad season with that in the back of our minds. But it will probably also be very moving and beautifully shot, so.

Last thing: the cast of The Crown did at-home premiere photos with their respective families due to the British COVID-19 second wave lockdown. Behold:

That’s it for now! Stay safe, wear a mask.

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