Hi there! I hope you had a holiday that was whatever you needed it to be (happy, quiet, busy, peaceful, restful, etc.). Personally, I took great joy in watching tiny family members destroy the house while they played with new toys. Then I slept for 10 hours last night. A nice combination of busy and restful.
A few royal stories have popped up in the last few days, and I will tackle most of those probably tomorrow. However, I will say that Meghan and Harry’s #ArchewellAudio podcast on Spotify promised a holiday episode, and as of the evening of December 28, it still hasn’t dropped.
When you say you’re going to drop something “around the holidays”, that would traditionally mean around Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanza, no? It’s not New Year’s yet, but the three minute preview episode of Archewell Audio had those very Christmassy sounding twinkly jingle bells! So I think something must have really gone off the rails and the first promise that H&M’s Spotify podcast empire made has officially been broken. I’ll keep you posted, but I thought it was weird and I want to know what you think! Am I just being Grinchy? Is it going to be totally New Year themed and released on December 31st? We will see.
But the rest of today’s business is answering questions! So let’s get to it.
Christina asked: Are the Sussexes more likely to cash in on a spread in Vogue or People?
Excellent question. I think it’s going to be People, and I think it’s going to happen in the next six months. Here’s why:
Meghan has connections to both Vogue and People. She obviously did the British Vogue Forces for Change September 2019 issue. But MM’s relationship with Vogue is much more about philanthropy, about highlighting others rather than herself. (Hence why she wasn’t on the cover). Also, she put her foot in her mouth by indirectly slighting Kate. For reference: Editor in Chief of British Vogue, Edward Ennuiful, said that Meghan insisted on not being on the cover of the Forces for Change issue because she considered it “boastful”. This was seen as a jab at Kate, who had been on the cover of British Vogue’s 100 year anniversary cover. So to be on the cover of any form of Vogue now would seem to be hypocritical and boastful.
People, however, has been a back channel for Meghan and her friends for years. She and her friends infamously did the “Meghan’s Best Friends Break Their Silence” piece in February 2019. That sort of thing didn’t just happen. It was coordinated (mostly by Jessica Mulroney!) because Meghan has a comfortable personal relationship with the editors of the mag.
If you remember, People was also the only American outlet that got an exclusive excerpt from Finding Freedom. And not to be totally gauche, but People would pay more for a MM exclusive than Vogue would. So it makes more sense for Meghan to go with People.
To add in a third horse to this race, I would also keep an eye on Vanity Fair. They did her only official photoshoot and interview about Harry before the engagement announcement (it came out in October 2017, after the actual engagement but before the announcement) and VF’s royal reporter is Katie Nicholl, who is friendly with the couple.
But who knows! I could be totally wrong. It’ll be interesting to see what it ends up being. Regardless of where it happens, I’m hearing that an exclusive photo spread and interview will happen soon. Likely around Archie’s second birthday in May. As I mentioned in my post about Harry and Meghan’s Christmas card (and first pointed out by Twitter account UK Royal Tea – go follow!), one of the reasons why H&M probably chose to do a “painted” interpretation of their Christmas card photo is so that the first photoshoot with an outlet, likely People but maybe Vogue or Vanity Fair, will be worth more. The most recent actual, clear photographs of Archie will go for a pretty penny, and Harry and Meghan are in neither the position nor the mood to turn down a seven figure payday.
Anonymous asked: Do you know if Harry has obtained a non-immigrant work visa so that he could earn royalties for say selling pictures of himself at a Cemetery to newspapers or signing deals with Netflix?
This is an interesting one!
It’s possible that Harry could have applied for and been granted a nonimmigrant “Alien of extraordinary ability”, or “O-1/EB-1” visa by the United States government. This is informally called the genius visa. Basically it means that your skills are so specialized/specific to you as a person, that you can be granted a working visa based on who you are and your status as being “at the top of your game” or a “thought leader” in your field. It is also given/denied based on a formula that takes into account how much money you could possibly make in America (and therefore have to pay in taxes – the US isn’t giving out these visas purely out of altruistic goodness). If Harry did, in fact, apply for this visa, it’s likely that he would be approved. Being a crown prince of a country and a leading philanthropic voice would count as a specialized ability. And his ability to make a fortune is now proven. The problem is that we don’t know for sure if Harry has applied for this, or any other, visa. It’s also unclear whether President Trump would allow that type of visa to be approved for Harry, as Trump has beef with both of the Sussexes.
I have heard rumblings that, at least for the first several months of Harry and Meghan’s new life in California, that everything was put in Meghan’s name, to save the headache of trying to sort out the Harry making money and paying taxes in the States dilemma. I have heard that even the mortgage for their Montecito mansion is entirely in Meghan’s name. (I’ve also heard that Meghan’s doing this/moving the family to California possibly had to do with the state being a 50-50 community property divorce state, but we can talk about that in a later post.) So, it could be deduced that the Netflix and/or Spotify deals could be solely in Meghan’s name in the legal documents. But both of the announcements from the company listed Harry as having made the deal as well, which could lead to lawsuits if Harry tries to claim that he’s not involved in the exchange of money around those deals.
I’ve also read that it could be a real ****show down the line, as Harry is still a member of the royal family in the line of succession, and it’s expected (whether by precedent or law, I haven’t looked into in depth) that the UK taxpayers are able to have a look around royal family members’ finances in the form of financial reports. It’s also unclear whether Harry paying tax in the States would open up other, more senior members of the royal family, to legal challenges to see more of their finances. It could be a massive clusterduck, is what I’m saying.
So the short answer is: I don’t know, but it’s very interesting to think about and could lead to a lot of legal and financial headaches for Harry and Meghan down the road. I also can’t wait to see what next year’s royal financial statements look like/if they mention H&M.
Anonymous asked: If Harry abdicates or his Dukedom or HRH title is rescinded, would he lose his green passport and what would Meghan’s title be – plain Mrs?
Great question that takes up way too much of my waking hours.
I doubt that Harry would abdicate his dukedom. I think that’s a pretty valuable asset to him, and he won’t let go of it willingly. But it’s possible that his HRH and/or title could be rescinded, along with Meghan’s. Personally, I think that it’s much more likely that Harry and Meghan will lose their honorifics (the His/Her Royal Highness style before their names) officially than that they will be stripped of their titles. Even Prince David, who became king, abdicated, and was later found to be a Nazi sympathizer and friend of Hitler, got to keep a title (Duke of Windsor). His wife also got to be Duchess of Windsor, though David got an HRH and his American divorcee wife didn’t (lol). That’s what you get for causing a sitting king’s abdication.
Although Buckingham Palace may want to, there are some things preventing the removal of the titles associated with the dukedom of Sussex right now:
- It would be a huge legal/constitutional headache (do we remove him from the line of succession? do we let him keep his diplomatic passport? do we let them keep the related titles of Earl/Countess of Dumbarton and Baron/Baroness Kilkeel?);
- Generally, a person holds their title until they die. It would look odd to fully strip titles. Even Diana got to keep “Princess of Wales” (she lost the HRH);
- On the same note, it would lead to calls for Andrew to lose his York title, which is legally/constitutionally/precedentally awkward because the Duke of York is always the closest brother in age to the heir to the throne (I mean, take away his titles and put him in the Tower of London, but it might take some time to iron out details, longer than Harry and Meghan’s loss of title);
- It would paint them as villains trying to be petty and be unnecessarily mean to Meghan and Harry; and
- There’s nothing stopping Charles or Will from stripping their titles when either of them ascend the throne. If they wait to do it on their own watches rather than on Queen Elizabeth’s, it looks much better. They could just put out a statement about consolidating the monarchy and being a more efficiently run royal family. In government, we’d call it red tape reduction. Then, instead of it being painted as a hasty slight at Harry and Meghan, removal of titles would be seen as reasoned, well thought out, and as just business.
So, I personally think H&M will either continue to have their current styles and titles, but will not be permitted to use the styles (and maybe the titles, if the royal family is being messy – which, let’s be honest, I would love lol). In all probability, Harry and Meghan will likely keep their titles, though if the royal family really wanted to be messy, they could say that the couple is allowed to keep the titles but not use them. In this event, or in the event that their titles are straight-up rescinded, they would be known as Prince Harry of Wales and Princess Harry of Wales (if they were allowed to use Harry’s title before his marriage), or Mr. Harry Mountbatten-Windsor and Mrs. Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor. No idea about the passports, but I would imagine that they would not be allowed diplomatic passports moving forward. Good question, though!
Thank you so much for reading. I reached 5000 total hits on this blog today. That might not seem like much, but as a person who created this little section of the internet two months ago, it means the world. I really appreciate you reading and commenting and telling me your thoughts! Stay safe and wear a mask. See you soon.