Royal odds and ends as we start the new year!

Happy New Year! I hadn’t written in a couple of days and I wanted to talk about some bits and bobs that I need to put out there/get off my chest. Let’s dig in!

The first paid Sussex photo spread could be in Oprah’s magazine

A few days ago, I said that the most likely publications that would buy and publish photos of Harry, Meghan, and Archie were, in descending order of probability: People Magazine, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. There’s another mag throwing its hat in the ring (allegedly): O, the Oprah Magazine.

This makes oodles of sense, given the personal relationship the Sussexes have with Oprah, as well as the professional connections – Oprah and Prince Harry have been working on an Apple+ documentary on mental health for a couple of years now. Just wanted to keep you in the loop. Nothing official yet, but as I said before, the official cover/photo spread/softball interview is likely to come out around Archie’s second birthday in May.

Also, watch out for any mentions of money for the photo shoot being donated to charity! “Proceeds from these photos were donated directly to the Archewell Foundation” (what percentage?) is not the same language as “100% of proceeds from these photos were donated to Archewell” (Archewell the nonprofit or Archewell the for-profit production companies?), which is not the same language as “Harry and Meghan declined their fee and it was donated to a charity close to the couple” (which charity/how much? Was 100% of their fee given to charity, or just 50%? Or less?) Basically, read lines like this as if you are a lawyer.

There are always loopholes present. Case in point: When Kim Kardashian used to sell her used clothes on Ebay “for charity”, but it turns out that only 10% of the proceeds were being directed to the charity in question (the minimum percentage for Ebay to let you say you’re donating proceeds to charity). Oh, and the charity she was donating to was the “church” that her mom, Kris Jenner, had founded. Which was a scam. So 100% of the money was staying in the Kardashian family, but the media still wrote stories on how charitable Kim was. Fun!

Lin-Manuel Miranda is represented by Sunshine Sachs

About a month ago, I watched the HBO documentary Siempre, Luis. It’s a documentary about the life of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s father, Luis. Most of the documentary is about how the Mirandas brought the Hamilton stage production to Puerto Rico after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria. However, when going through the history of Lin becoming a Broadway darling, it was mentioned that Luis pulled in a favour with his friend, Ken Sunshine. Ken Sunshine of the Sunshine Sachs PR agency. In fact, Sunshine Sachs ran the Tony campaign for Lin-Manuel’s first Broadway musical, In The Heights, in the late 00’s. So it makes a lot of sense that lots of stories came out while Harry and Meghan were still in the BRF about how much they love Hamilton, and how they quietly attended performances. And then, in August of 2018, Harry and Meghan hosted a performance of Hamilton on London’s West End to benefit Harry’s Africa charity Sentebale.

Why is this interesting? Well, it’s interesting because it appears that Meghan and her PR firm from her pre-royal life were still working on upping her profile after she became a member of the royal family. When she married, Meghan kept her agent, accountant and attorney on the books even though she implied by her marrying into The Firm that she wouldn’t need private representation of that kind anymore. She also kept her publicity staff at Sunshine Sachs on the payroll, which is highly unusual. If you’re a member of the royal family, your publicity staff works within Buckingham Palace. Period. You don’t hire out. Which is what makes Meghan keeping her PR reps on so weird, and what makes her and Harry doing public events with other Sunshine Sachs clients (like Lin) so messy. Who’s benefitting from it?

Harry and Meghan with Lin-Manuel Miranda and his wife, Vanessa Nadal, as well as the Hamilton Cast on London’s West End, August 2018.

Yeah, okay, you might say. That could be seen as a conflict, but aren’t these things bound to happen sometimes? Well, as I’ve laid out before, it’s not just a conflict of interests that makes this story so bad. What makes it so bad is that Ken Sunshine is a personal friend and defender of convicted serial rapist Harvey Weinstein.

Meghan talks a big talk about being for women’s empowerment. Kind of in the same way that Lin-Manuel Miranda talks a big talk about diversity and inclusion and kindness. One of his most famous quotes is “Love is love is love.” So why are they both still being represented by a man, and a PR firm, that slut-shamed a Weinstein accuser and defended Weinstein himself?

Here is a Buzzfeed article on Sunshine allegedly leaking information intended to slut-shame a woman who had accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and using his connections to get it on the front page of the New York Post:

Sunshine refused to say on Wednesday what he thought of the coverage and whether he had played any role in it, instead referring BuzzFeed News to a previously prepared statement. He also did not answer questions about whether potential sexual assault victims should be publicly identified and scrutinized before a criminal investigation is concluded, also referring to the statement, which reads: “We are cooperating fully with the authorities, and are confident that we will be fully vindicated. We will have no further comment.”

Cool! How’d that work out?

I get really angry when people preach one thing but do something totally opposite. Which is what makes this Sunshine Sachs business so disheartening/infuriating. Both for Harry and Meghan, who should know better, and Lin, who should know better and who I really like(d)!

Isn’t a good publicity org one that I should know nothing about? And yet I, a normal person, know so many bad things about it! The number one rule of toxic people and groups is that you need to cut yourself off from them. Staunch the bleeding and find a more quiet, stable firm to represent you. Also, even if it was a messy PR firm but still delivered great buzz around the couple, I could understand. But Sunshine Sachs has been awful in dealing with Harry and Meghan! They allowed/encouraged the “please pity us” ITV interviews in Africa! They helped with the Megxit announcement last January! They helped distribute those insane cemetery photo shoot pictures!

But I guess the advisors who would normally be telling Harry and Meghan that Sunshine Sachs are terrible and that they should find a new PR firm…are the people Meghan and Harry are paying at Sunshine Sachs. Maybe this message from me will get to them: Harry, Meghan, please cut and run from Sunshine Sachs. I’m a political strategist. Get the hell out of there. They have done so much damage to your reputation already, and they’re not done! Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest.

Queen Elizabeth said (paraphrasing) absolutely the **** not to Harry laying a wreath at the Cenotaph

This new information was released in a Daily Mail exclusive over the new year holiday. In a very petty and fun article, the Daily Mail’s Rebecca English reported that the Queen took “all of two seconds” to refuse Harry’s request to have a wreath laid on his behalf at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday last year. It had never been confirmed at the time whether or not the Queen was directly involved in refusing Harry’s request, or if it had even made it to her desk. This article states that yes, it was refused quickly and roundly, and it was refused by Harry’s own grandmother. Apparently it was said that “you work for the monarchy, the monarchy does not work for you.” Boom.

She also said that the reason we are hearing about the royal family’s thoughts on it now (and not during the whole debacle in November, when we heard oodles from “sources” close to Harry and Meghan) is that the Queen and other members of the BRF wouldn’t dare put out such comments and take away from the solemnity and importance of the occasion of Remembrance Sunday. This is Google Translate for “Harry and Meghan were messy AF and by doing what they did, it shows they don’t have an ounce of respect for veterans – only themselves.” Also, the royal family/the Daily Mail deciding to publish this just as Harry and Meghan’s website was updated…chef’s kiss. No one does petty like the Brits.

Did any royals travel during the holidays?

I haven’t heard of any British royals travelling outside their tiers/bubbles during the holidays, and I hope that for their own sakes that no one did. If it turns out that anyone hopped a plane to Mustique or St. Bart’s, their reputation will be ruined, and rightly so. I don’t think that Will and Kate, who are extremely risk-averse anyway, would try it. Especially after Will already caught COVID once and had difficulty breathing when he was in the depths of it. There have been scandals here in Canada, where politicians have said that they were following lockdown guidelines when really they were in the Caribbean or Hawaii on a Christmas holiday. I hope for the sake of the royal family that no one did this. Especially Harry and Meghan. Let me know if you’ve heard anything!

Meghan’s half-sister has written a book about Meghan

It’s called “The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister: Part 1” and I’m sure it will be a literary masterpiece. Just kidding, it will be awful. (Also LOL at the “Part 1” in the title – I’m sure it was like pulling teeth for a ghostwriter to get one volume out of her handful of experiences with Meghan. I’m not holding my breath for a “Part 2”.) I don’t think there will be much substance to it, as Meghan and Samantha are half-sisters who didn’t live together as children, are close to 20 years apart in age, and had close to no relationship before Meghan started seeing Harry. I mean, congrats to Samantha. She’ll make a little money and get on Good Morning Britain for the thousandth time, I’m sure. But 1) I don’t think there will be much dirt in the book and 2) It’s a crappy thing for an even tenuously related member of a family to do to another member of that family. Ick.

Thanks for reading. Stay safe and wear a mask.

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One thought on “Royal odds and ends as we start the new year!

  1. Hi, I had no idea about Sunshine Sachs, it’s shocking, and the Harvey Weinstein thing should be well know in Hollywood circles so there is really no “I didn’t know” type of excuse that applies to M at least. I don’t know how the Daily Mail hasn’t made a big deal out of this. As for the wreath thing, I must say I was fooled in November on that one, because I did believe when they said the courtiers made that decision without the Queen even knowing about it (basically because I believe they are capable of such thing), and I repeated it, and now it turns out that she made decision and that nothing ever happens in this event without her knowing about it. So I was a little annoyed about that when I read the news, buy overall I understood the reasons they gave in the article, and with M and H popularity so low in the UK, I don’t think many would have liked if the BRF made an exception for them. I really don’t think any of the BRF travelled during the holidays, the covid restrictions in the UK are quite severe and rumor is that this week the whole country will go into lockdown, plus they probably know what happened with the Netherlands royal family in the autumm when they were heavily critized for using a school vacation period to go to Greece while the country had new restrictions, and at the end they had to go back quickly and later apologize in television. As for Samantha Markle and her book, well is really messy, probably not as revealing as she claims, and the fuss about the book will be greater before it comes out than after. This new year seems like it will be bumpy in royals news in the first months at least, majorly thanks to M and H.

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