‘Why do you lot hate Harry and Meghan so much?’ It’s a question the formerly royal couple’s supporters often ask whenever the pair trend on Twitter, as a clip of the Sussexes’ latest pronouncement, or news of their latest corporate deal, goes viral.
They think they already know the answer of course: it is sexism, racism or probably both. Meghan is a woman of colour who dares to speak out about equality and this infuriates gammons and ‘anti-woke’ commentators alike.
But the answer is actually very simple, and has nothing to do with Meghan’s skin colour or sex. Harry and Meghan are profoundly annoying. They are virtue-signalling made flesh. They are poster children for a strange new kind of ‘activism’ that manages to be cringey, preachy, narcissistic, faintly ridiculous and incredibly remunerative at the same time. And that really gets people’s backs up.
Just take the announcement this week of their new deal with Procter & Gamble. Harry and Meghan’s Archewell Foundation has announced it will be going into partnership with the American household products giant to ‘elevate the voices of adolescent girls’ in the fight for ‘gender equity’. Apparently this will ‘focus on gender equality, more inclusive online spaces, and resilience and impact through sport’.
The Archewell Foundation is the non-profit arm of the Sussexes’ burgeoning empire, alongside their ‘creative activations’ – i.e., eye-watering deals with Spotify and Netflix. For the Sussexes, their non-profit and for-profit work is all aimed at ‘unleash[ing] the power of compassion to drive systemic cultural change’.
What this partnership with Procter & Gamble is precisely aiming to do isn’t spelled out. The press release talks of ‘elevat[ing] the voices’ of women and girls and ‘building a better online environment’ alongside more concrete things like backing Paralympic sport.