Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have taken to blaming their faltering commercial success on bad luck, world events and unfortunate timing, including the onset of the coronavirus pandemic just weeks after they quit the royal family.
The couple announced they were leaving the royal family and wanted to be free to earn their own money, in January 2020, just as the first reports of a mysterious respiratory illness were filtering out of the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The couple started their post-royal lives living in Canada but were forced to make a dramatic flight with their dogs on a private jet to Los Angeles in March as they feared the U.S. was about to close its borders as the pandemic gathered pace.
There was much speculation at the time that the couple had hoped to be able to immediately capitalize on their fame with a series of massive deals while they were still hot property, however the pandemic-era disruption to business forced them to wait over a year before ultimately signing deals with Netflix and Spotify.
The Spotify deal has since been canned although the streaming giant is reported to have responded encouragingly to a proposal by Harry to make a new solo film about Africa.
A Netflix insider confirmed to Page Six that a Harry’s Africa show was one of the more warmly received suggestions from the father-of-two, saying: “Obviously, Harry has a lot of roots in Africa and he feels at home there.” The source said it was one of a number of ideas that the royal had been discussing, including a potential interview with Donald Trump and the Pope about childhood trauma.
The Africa show is likely to have an ecological theme given that Harry is president of conservation group African Parks.
Despite claims that relations with Netflix are strained and the Sussex deal is rumored to be unlikely to be renewed, a Netflix source told Page Six, “Things are great,” while the streaming giant’s spokesperson said, “We value our partnership with Archewell Productions.”
The spokesperson added they would “continue to work together on a number of projects,” including “Heart of Invictus,” which follows the Paralympic-style games for wounded veterans that Harry founded.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the couple also feel they were unfortunate that their interview with Oprah Winfrey was shortly followed by the death of Prince Philip, and that Meghan’s much-derided podcast, Archetypes, was overshadowed by the death of the queen.
A source in Los Angeles told the Mail: “The word is that they think they’ve been really unlucky.”
Archewell did not respond to request for comment, but if the couple want evidence of further bad luck dogging them, the Hollywood writers’ strike is, of course, impacting their ability to develop any further program ideas.