America’s infatuation with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle appears to have hit a rough patch following the release of the their Netflix docuseries and the Duke of Sussex’s bombshell memoir Spare.
They saw their popularity ratings plummet in just over a month and are reportedly receiving fewer invitations to glamorous events as A-listers fear they will become the focus of attention.
The couple, who were previously hugely popular in the US, sunk in the polls after Prince Harry launched a fresh attack on the royal family and revealed a range of intimate details such as how he lost his virginity to Sasha Walpole.
Prior to publication, Harry had a favorability rating of +38, according to a December 5 poll of 2,000 US voters. That plunged to -7 by January 16, pollsters Redfield & Wilton found – while Meghan Markle dropped to -13, compared to +23 on December 5.
Meanwhile the couple are seeing a drop-off in invites to big-ticket events amid rumours that some of their closest celebrity friendships are on the rocks.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s popularity ratings have dropped significantly in America since the release of Harry’s memoir Spare
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, their allegations against the royal family, including that one member of the family made racist comments about their unborn child, shocked the world.
But despite having counted Ms Winfrey as a close friend for some time, there are concerns in Hollywood that the relationship between the neighbours has become fraught, The Times reports.
Fuel was added to this speculation during a 25th anniversary party of beauty brand Anastasia Beverly Hills, which also served as an unofficial 69th birthday party for Ms Winfrey in Los Angeles last week.
Stars such as Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara and Jennifer Lopez all attended the do, but the Duchess of Sussex was noticably absent, leading some to draw the conclusion that she had been snubbed by Ms Winfrey.
However, others pointed out this was not an official party for the singer, rather just happened to coincide with her birthday. It was the beauty brand, and not the singer, who would have sent out invitations.
(L-R) Kim Kardashian, Oprah Winfrey and Sofia Vergara at Anastasia Beverly Hills’ 25th anniversary event
Some speculated that the fact Meghan Markle was not at the party suggested her friendship with Oprah was on the rocks – but others pointed out it was not her official birthday party
More concerning for the couple might be speculation by royal commentators that the couple are not being booked for high-profile events because of their profile.
American royal expert Kinsey Schofield told the Times: ‘I work with several publicists in LA and they say that Harry and Meghan aren’t considered for high-profile events because the fear is that all eyes will be on them and that will take away from the cause.
‘I think people are starting to hesitate in associating with them because they seem to be a dramatic pair that fixates on the negative.’
This focus on ‘the negative’ is something Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have to change if they want to change their backslide in the polls, with revelations within the pages of Spare thought to be a large factor in a drop in support for the whole royal family, in the US and the UK.
Spare became the fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time on the day of its release earlier this month, topping sales charts around the world – including in the US, according to its publisher.
Ellen DeGeneres is surprised by wife Portia at her birthday party with an offer to renew their vows – officiated by Kris Jenner
At private events, Prince Harry and Meghan are still rubbing shoulders with Hollywood’s A-listers
The Sussexes have been a constant presence in U.S. media since moving to the country, beginning with their explosive March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle moved to the United States in 2020, and are two of Montecito’s most notable residents. Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry, Rob Lowe and Larry David also live in the area
The Duke of Sussex revealed more personal details about his life in the breakfast show interview with former NFL player Michael Strahan on January 9
In it Harry made explosive revelations and allegations about members of his family, most noticeably his brother Prince William, rocking the House of Windsor.
It is certain that the focus on the couple ahead of King Charles III’s coronations in a matter of months continues to centre around Prince Harry’s allegations against his family and whether the couple will attend the event.
Although their celebrity friends may want to avoid this focus, it seems they are still keen to extend a hand in private events.
Just days after the Anastasia party, the couple were spotted by keen-eyed royal fans in a video filmed at Ellen DeGeneres’s Montecito home.
Portia de Rossi surprised wife Ellen with an offer to renew their wedding vows, with the moment filmed and later posted online. Among the cheering crowd at the party were Harry and Meghan.
It seems the couple are still loved by some of Hollywood’s greats, even if their public appearances have been somewhat more isolated in recent months.
Harry has been on a media blitz since the book came out, taking part in interviews with Anderson Cooper for 60 Minutes, Michael Strahan for Good Morning America, and Stephen Colbert for his late night comedy show.
Prince Harry’s book, Spare, was released on January 10 and quickly became one of the fastest selling non-fiction books ever, but the fallout from the Duke’s book looks set to linger
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have both seen their approval ratings drop dramatically since the beginning of December
In the memoir, Prince Harry alleged that his brother shoved him into a dog’s bowl during the heated row after he began dating Meghan, leaving it in ‘pieces’.
He claimed he could tell Prince William wanted him to hit him back, but he refused to do so. He added his brother later apologized.
He also revealed personal details such as how he lost his virginity to an older woman in a field behind a pub – whose identity was today revealed by the Mail on Sunday to be digger driver and former royal groomer Sasha Walpole.
Aged 18 at the time, she had a ‘five-minute’ tryst with Prince Harry, 16, behind a pub in Wiltshire, which ended a two-and-a-half year friendship between the two of them.
Harry has been criticized for sharing private conversations in the book, and intimate details about his family members.
However, the prince claimed there are many other details he has chosen not to share because ‘I just don’t want the world to know’, adding his family might not ‘ever forgive’ him if he did so.
Harry has since challenged his family members to speak with him and apologize to Meghan.
Despite it all, it has been reported that the King does want his beloved son to attend the coronation, and that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby may even act as a go-between for the pair.
Representatives of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been contacted for comment.
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