Prince Harry's celeb pals hope attending King Charles' coronation will save his fading star status
LONDON, ENGLAND: Harry and Meghan's celebrity status apparently is starting to wane in Hollywood, and so the prince's decision to attend his father's Coronation next month was warmly welcome in Hollywood, insiders say.
The Duke of Sussex's announcement that he's coming to King Charles III's coronation was applauded considering his and his wife Meghan Markle's social clout solely depends on him still being perceived as an active member of the Royal Family. That said, Harry is expected to attend only the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on the morning of May 6 before heading back to California to celebrate his son Archie's birthday. Source, however, say a place will be reserved for him at the post-Coronation lunch should he decide to partake in that as well.
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"Harry is going back for all the right reasons but there was a palpable sigh of relief among those of us involved in the business because Brand Sussex relies on Harry being seen with his family," a Netflix insider told the Daily Mail. "At the end of the day, it is all about proximity to the King." As mentioned, the duke is expected to attend only the Coronation ceremony on the morning of May 6. Meghan will spend that morning hosting their son Archie'a fourth birthday at the couple's Montecito mansion. His father is reportedly determined to return home in time to enjoy the celebrations later in the day.
Speculation is rife in Hollywood about what the Sussexes' next steps will be and how they will continue to generate lucrative deals to fund their lavish lifestyle. The couple notably signed a reported $150 million deal with Netflix and also have multi-million-dollar deals with the publisher Penguin Random House and with Spotify. Meanwhile, Harry is said to be making more than $600,000 per speaking engagement. In 2019, the duke raised eyebrows when he was filmed trying to secure a job for his wife while speaking to Disney boss Bob Iger at The Lion King's London premiere. "You know she [Meghan] does voice-overs?" he was caught saying on camera, shortly before the Duchess narrated a documentary film about elephants for the entertainment giant.
First time I saw this I didn't believe the description of it. Hard to resist now @inklessPW has added subtitles pic.twitter.com/51LsgFDmxF— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) January 12, 2020
"What Harry and Meghan do next is the $64,000 question everyone in Hollywood is asking," a senior executive at Walt Disney Studios told the Daily Mail. "They are at a turning point because they've done the Netflix series and Harry's done his book. You could argue the bloom is starting to fade from the rose. What is their currency? Their main selling point is their link to the Royal Family."
The source continued, "Harry has to be there [at the Coronation]. In America, this is all part of the narrative. Harry has to go back and he's either embraced, which is wonderful, or he's not – which will keep the narrative going. The story has to keep evolving because that is what builds the brand and brings the offers in." The executive added, "The danger Harry and Meghan face is becoming irrelevant. Americans care about the Royal Family. We've always been fascinated by the Royals. Harry is Diana's son, nothing will ever change that. But the American public needs to see he's still part of the family because his family and their drama is what we're interested in."
"Harry going there [to the Coronation] is a wise move on a personal as well as a brand level," public relations expert Eric Schiffer told the newspaper. "He has been masterful at merchandising and marketing his Royal lineage. Being missing in action from a major family event dilutes his brand. Not going isn't going to hurt Meghan's brand. Most people in the US don't really care if she does or not. But for Harry, his whole brand relevance is about proximity to the King. So he's going for all the right and honorable reasons – but there is definitely a huge benefit to his brand."
Meanwhile, the Netflix source spilled that senior Buckingham Palace aides were hoping Harry would also attend the post-Coronation lunch. "A place will be set for him at the table. He is not expected to stay following the Coronation procession but Palace staff are counting him in just in case," they said, adding, "The images from the Coronation will be instantly iconic. Harry will be in those photographs and, from a business perspective, you can't put a price on that."