There’s that well-known saying of ‘anything you can do, I can do better’. In what can only be an attempt to upstage the official Royal Family’s latest offering, this seems to be the credo of Harry and Meghan as they release a new, wholly vainglorious video showing the ‘impact’ of the Archewell foundation in 2023. If you’ve ever seen a teenager create a flashy ‘what I did on my holidays’ clip that is clearly designed to go viral on social media, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from this entirely immodest offering.
Over a tinkly would-be power anthem that begins with the lyrics ‘Over the hills and far away/Looking out for a better day’ – remind you of anyone else living in a land far, far away? – we see clips of Harry and Meghan laughing and hugging a succession of people who look suitably overawed to be in their presence. (There is a lot of hugging.) The song majors in the kind of all-purpose uplift that Coldplay once specialised in, as the singer exhorts the listener to ‘Keep your head up/Standing strong if you dream and believe you can find a way back home’. Given the much-discussed estrangement of Harry from his family – and his brother in particular – this particular ‘way back home’ seems unlikely to be available to him any time soon.
It is a transparent PR job for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – being filmed looking earnest on World Mental Health Day and gazing lovingly into one another’s eyes. As such, it joins the ranks of similar clips that have been released annually by the Archewell organisation: traditionally something to look forward to in January, along with a Christmas hangover, an income tax bill and cold, miserable weather.