You’ve probably seen the evidence yourself – the sad truth, the grim reality.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex can’t dance.
He can’t cut a rug, shake his groove or get off without looking like a middle-aged plumbing manager on his third Bacardi and Coke, a fact we now know all too well after he joined his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and her mother Doria Ragland for the Los Angeles leg of Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour. (Clearly he decided to stop re-alphabetizing his accessory shelf and read again Oh, the places you’ll go for another day.)
Harry’s shimmy-a-thon is something we could potentially put down to manly love or as a possible birthday treat for Ragland, the only close family member he or Meghan haven’t estranged from.
We could have taken it as a one-off, except Harry was out and about again on Sunday in Los Angeles, you know, happily in front of the cameras when he appeared at a match between Inter Miami at Los Angeles FC.
How come, after months, if not years, of the Duke making only brief public appearances, such as when he and his cousin Princess Eugenie stepped out at the 2022 Super Bowl and he and Megan went to a basketball game in April, are we now got two very prominent Vojvodina trips less than 48 hours apart?
And how is it that, even though no photos of Meghan at last month’s Eras Taylor Swift tour surfaced, the public filmed and photographed Beyoncé’s outing more vigorously and from more angles than the presidential meeting?
Right now, the Sussexes seem happy and ready to serve up a decidedly cheerful and upbeat face to the world.
The only two explanations I can think of: Maybe they’re just high on life and finally found a good babysitter.
Or perhaps this sudden return to the spotlight has something to do with the coming events of this week which will see Team Sussex turn things up a notch, crank all the knobs to 11 and go into overdrive as their careers and brand find themselves at a serious crossroads.
Get ready for a lot more Vojvoda, as the former working Croatian returns to the fore with gusto.
First, Harry and Harry alone will fly to the UK for the WellChild Awards on Thursday (UK time), giving a speech just hours before the first anniversary of his Gan-Gan’s death, giving him the perfect opportunity to honor the royal family post-commemoration .
Then, on Saturday, the duke will be in Dusseldörf for this year’s Invictus Games, the hugely successful sporting competition for wounded, injured and sick servicemen, which he founded almost a decade ago using pens, contacts and the incomparable convening of the royal family. power.
For Harry, who will celebrate his 39th birthday later in the Games, this week is just that – his big, shiny chance to reset after a year in which he also enjoyed incredible commercial success (Spare is the fastest-selling non-fiction book of all time) while simultaneously watching much of the world rage against him and his trademark derogatory targeting of his family.
In the space of just one month, from the beginning of December last year to the beginning of January this year when Spare published, Harry’s approval rating in the US fell 45 points, while Meghan’s fell 36 points, according to a Redfield & Wilson poll and Newsweek.
While the pair’s numbers have improved since then, such a catastrophic fall off the approval cliff says a hell of a lot about how quickly and furiously attitudes towards them have changed.
If things don’t look rosy in America, they are decidedly bleak in Blighty. A YouGov survey this week found that almost two-thirds of Britons (63 percent) now have a negative opinion of Harry. (And Meghan? 68 percent of respondents have an unfavorable opinion of her.)
It would be easy to dismiss the public’s feelings towards the Duke and Duchess as beneath their care, except for the fact that their entire financial future rests on the masses being invested and interested enough in them to subscribe, stream and buy what they have for sale.
Last week saw the release of Aitch’s first solo project, Heart of Invictusa tearful five-parter that, although incredibly moving, is only slightly longer than Anna Karenina.
While the criticism, at least from those select media outlets that bothered to review it anyway, was mostly positive, the public hardly rallied around the project. Again, those mean numbers tell a grim story. In two days after Spare by posting, the testimonial had garnered 970,000 mentions on Xu – formerly known as Twitter.
However, in the same period last week, Heart it had just over 50,000 mentions, according to audience analytics platform Pulsar and Newsweek.
Or to put it another way, Heart generated a little more than five percent of the buzz on social networks Spare.
According to Flix Patrol (official Netflix numbers haven’t been released yet), Heart currently fails to make the top 100 most-watched TV shows on the platform.
This means that out of the three projects Archewell has been involved in – Harry & Meghan, It leads to life and now Heart of Invictus – two failed to land, as far as the audience is concerned.
Meanwhile, based on what is publicly known, the big Sussex story with exciting new projects hardly seems full to bursting.
There have been reports for months suggesting that Harry might return to his beloved Africa and make some kind of documentary for Netflix. Over the weekend though Telegraph reported on this project, “proposals are in the early stages.”
“Early stages”? What do they do all day?
This is where the urge to yell “get your finger out” hits me.
Then there is Let’s meet at the lake, the best-selling novel for which the streaming giant reportedly spent $4.6 million buying the rights for the Sussexes to wear their scripted producer hats. However, with Hollywood currently at a standstill due to the strike, all of this seems a long way off.
So, on the career front, they have failed to prove their remarkable achievements and instead look dangerously like pieces of fizzers as Hollywood power players, so far.
Their reputation is hardly much better.
Events of the last 12 months, thanks Harry & Meghan, Spare and the proliferation of Sussex interviews we’ve survived have only cemented the picture of them as two people who seem content to row forever in the shallows of self-pity, punctuated by insults to his family and the occasional twinge of his and her matching Messiah complex.
After Megxit, the duke and duchess emerged not as powerful, positive and energetic leaders, but as naysayers par excellence, completely oblivious to the fact that two rich and healthy people being paid to throw hand grenades at the monarchy hardly makes them deeply sympathetic or inspirational figures. .
This week’s Invictus Games could change all that; could change the channel and reset the temperature here.
Watching Heart reminds you how great Harry can be when he forgets he got a smaller Balmoral bedroom than big brother Prince William. The Harry you see in his doc is a man who wants to help and cares as much as a person can.
This is the Harry that the Duke and Duchess need to remind the world that exists, to replace the trembling Harry and his petulant filial whining with the image of Harry as a compassionate, dedicated and selfless enforcer.
Ditto Meghan, whose podcast didn’t get a second season and whose big shiny entrepreneurial website looks set to stay in the spotlight forever. The 42-year-old might wear one heck of a pair of white jeans and style a wahzoo, but for some reason her various causes du jour – paid parental leave, dismantling Roe vs Wade – seem to have fallen flat. radar.
Invictus could, especially for Harry, change all this. It could be a new beginning after several years of trying new beginnings.
It’s a crucial time for the Sussexes and based on what we’re seeing, it looks like the Duke and Duchess are about to go all out. It’s time to fight back, one at a time, excuse me, Duke hip-shaking to dance to Run the World (Girls).
Daniela Elser is a writer, editor and royal commentator with over 15 years’ experience working with a range of leading Australian media titles.