Hollywood's relief over Prince Harry's Coronation visit
Harry and Meghan’s commercial status is at a ‘turning point’ in America: Hollywood welcomes his attendance at Charles’ Coronation – amid fears in Tinseltown that his celebrity status is starting to wane
- Prince Harry’s A-list friends are ‘relieved’ that he’s headed to the coronation
- Read more: Meghan ‘wouldn’t want to play second fiddle to Kate’ at coronation
Harry and Meghan’s commercial status is at a turning point in America, say Hollywood insiders – who warn that the couple’s celebrity status is starting to wilt.
Prince Harry’s belated announcement that he is coming to his father’s Coronation next month was warmly welcomed in Los Angeles – not least because the Sussexes’ currency depends on him still being seen as an active member of the Royal Family.
‘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 source said.
‘At the end of the day it is all about proximity to the King.’
Harry, fifth in line to the throne, is expected to attend only the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on the morning of May 6 before heading back to California.
Prince Harry is expected to attend only the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on the morning of May 6 (pictured with his wife and father in 2018)
The Sussexes signed a reported £120 million deal with streaming giant Netflix after ‘Megxit’ (pictured last September)
However, The Mail on Sunday has been told that a place will be set for him at the post-Coronation lunch in case he decides to go to that as well.
Harry is expected to attend only the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on the morning of May 6.
Meghan will spend May 6 hosting son Archie’s fourth birthday at the couple’s £11.75 million Montecito mansion, and Harry is determined to return home in order to enjoy the celebrations later in the day – a plan that the time difference of eight hours should make possible.
Meanwhile, there is intense speculation in Hollywood about the couple’s next steps and how they will continue to generate the lucrative financial contracts required to fund their lifestyle.
The Sussexes signed a reported £120 million deal with streaming giant Netflix after ‘Megxit’ and also have multi-million-pound deals with the publishers Penguin Random House and with Spotify. Harry reportedly earns up to £500,000 a time for speaking engagements.
In 2019 the Duke was also famously filmed asking Disney boss Bob Iger at The Lion King’s London premiere, ‘You know she [Meghan] does voice-overs?’ The Duchess later narrated a documentary film about elephants for the company.
A senior executive at Walt Disney Studios told The MoS: ‘What Harry and Meghan do next is the $64,000 question everyone in Hollywood is asking.
Last night a source said that senior Buckingham Palace aides were hoping Harry (right) may still decide to attend the post-Coronation lunch
‘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.
‘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.’
Read more: Meghan ‘wouldn’t want to play second fiddle to Kate’: Duchess ‘would have gone to the coronation only if she was assured of a prominent position’ – and will relaunch her career after the event, royal experts say
The MoS understands that, while it has yet to be announced, Meghan has agreed to make a second series of her award-winning Archetypes podcast on Spotify. She is also reportedly working on a book as part of the couple’s deal with Penguin Random House – the company behind Harry’s controversial memoir Spare.
Public relations expert Eric Schiffer of Reputation Management Consultants, said: ‘Harry going there [to the Coronation] is a wise move on a personal as well as a brand level.
‘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 honourable reasons – but there is definitely a huge benefit to his brand.’
Last night a source said that senior Buckingham Palace aides were hoping Harry may still decide to 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.’
The Netflix source added: ‘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.’
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