Late Monday night, the Telegraph (the conservative, mainstream British paper) dropped their big story on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex: the Sussexes, the Telegraph had discovered, have already named their non-profit and grabbed a lot of trademarks for the new name. The news, in my mind, was the fact that the name was confirmed: Archewell. After the Telegraph did their digging, Harry and Meghan confirmed everything with a simple statement and said that further announcements would be coming in a few months, because everyone is rightfully paying attention to the pandemic. Harry and Meghan reacted to the Telegraph’s reporting, they did not decide, on their own, to announce the name. But that hasn’t stopped prissy pearl-clutching royal commentators from casting harsh judgments on how attention-seeking Harry & Meghan totally tried (and failed, of course!) to pull focus from all of the tragedy unfolding.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have today been criticised after revealing some of the details of their plans to launch a new not-for-profit foundation, with one royal watcher describing it as ‘the worst possible timing’. The couple last night said they ‘look forward’ to getting started with the foundation, named Archewell, which will replace their Sussex Royal brand.
But royal biographer Phil Dampier has described the reveal of the details, which came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved into intensive care with coronavirus, as ‘appalling timing’. Details of the Archewell plans emerged on the Telegraph’s website at around 10pm, almost two hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was confirmed to have been taken into intensive care with coronavirus.
Speaking to the MailOnline, Phil Dampier, who has been writing about the Royal family for 33 years, and penned the book ‘Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan in Their Own Words’, said: ‘It’s appalling timing, I would say. It was the worst possible timing. If I were Harry and Meghan I would have laid low until this situation (coronavirus) was over. People everywhere are really concerned with dealing with this and it does not look good, however good the cause is.’
Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator and public relations expert, said: ‘Harry and Meghan, based in Hollywood, have drawn up substantial proposals for Archewell, a non-profit organisation which in effect will be their own charity. At the moment they had obviously not intended for this to be public, The Telegraph unearthed the details. Clearly with the world focused on the devastation the deadly pathogen COVID-19 is having, there is little current relevance in what has been uncovered. Then again it would be ridiculous to expect them to do nothing and these are the sort of plans that might be expected.’
[From The Daily Mail]
I chuckled at the fact that the Daily Mail couldn’t even work up the energy to get really riled up about it, almost as if even the most racist and hateful Mail editors understand that the story release wasn’t their call, that the Telegraph did their own legwork and research.
Perhaps the better criticism, if there is some criticism to make, is that Harry and Meghan could have just allowed the Telegraph to print the story without any statement or confirmation from them. That was what Lainey at LaineyGossip argued – that Harry and Meghan are in a position where they don’t have to answer every single story about them. My take on that is that “being able to respond in a timely manner to negative/breaking news” is one of the big reasons why they left to do their own thing, to run their own operation. Plus, they’ve been planning the Archewell stuff for months (just a guess) and of course they were bummed that they didn’t get to reveal the name the way they wanted, but their version of making lemonades out of lemons is to explain the name and then immediately throw the attention back to the pandemic.
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