The Telegraph wonders: Can the Sussexes really make a comeback?

The British papers just can’t let go of their Sussex obsession, so we’re getting “end of year” summaries of Prince Harry and Meghan’s ups and downs in 2023, with an overemphasis on sh-t like “South Park” and the Hollywood Reporter’s recent nastiness. The same emphasis is not given to Spare selling millions of copies, nor another successful Invictus Games, nor Harry winning his lawsuit against the Mirror. Well, here’s some sh-t from Hannah Furness at the Telegraph, from a piece called “Can the Sussexes really make a comeback?” Why is it any of the Telegraph’s business what two people do in California? They really refuse to ask themselves that question.

Meghan’s recent appearance at the Variety event: “Is that what this was all for?” one former palace source said incredulously at the time. “All this drama, leaving the Royal family for a life of service, just to be back on the showbiz circuit again?”

Omid Scobie’s Endgame: Widely considered as a Sussex sympathiser, despite regularly defending himself against accusations of being “Meghan’s mouthpiece”, Scobie’s account echoed much of what Harry and Meghan said in their own interviews but went further to heavily criticise their British family. Prince William was painted as jealous and angry, the Princess of Wales as a cold “Stepford-like” wife, and the King incompetent. No amount of denials about collaboration could separate the Sussexes from the book in the public imagination. “The credibility of the Sussexes now seems somehow linked to the credibility of Omid Scobie,” said one observer. “The more ridiculous the book seems, the more biased it sounds, the more fuss there is about who said what in which translation, the less people will believe the claims in it.”

No one believes the royals are racist, huh? Even the most powerful accusations, including the accidental naming of members of the Royal family with “unconscious bias”, will not work in the Sussexes’ favour, another expert believes. “It takes away the power of their own story,” he says. “If and when they want to talk about it themselves, the public will feel they’ve heard it all before.”

The business fizzle: Shortly after the Hollywood Reporter pronouncement, Forbes, the respected US business magazine, called the Sussexes a “compelling case study for Harvard Business School on the ultimate brand buzz failure”. A columnist advised readers on how to “avoid Harry and Meghan’s all buzz and no buyers strategy when building a brand”. A second article urged the Prince to stop focusing on a “fading career as a bon vivant philanthropist and B-list celebrity”, and choose not to “continue pursuing an increasingly pointless life of serving as an irrelevant hood ornament for good causes”.

[From The Telegraph]

The Telegraph also cited the recent People Mag story about the Sussexes going for a “total system reboot.” Y’all know my thoughts on all of this, as I’ve said many times this year: the Sussexes have had some big wins but they have legitimately had some tough moments and sh-tty newscycles. Their biggest problem is a terrible communications strategy. They’ve f–ked up their communications and messaging repeatedly, and I hope their “system reboot” addresses that. The Spotify story would not have been half as bad if they had gone on the record when the contract ended AND clapped back at Bill Simmons. This wasn’t some unhinged royal reporter – this was a Spotify executive and it was about their business. They also made significant mistakes in how they communicated what happened with the paparazzi chase in New York. As for the Scobie stuff – it’s hilarious that the one time Harry & Meghan refuse to complain or explain, that’s when the British media demands that they speak up.

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