As we’ve previously reported, 2023 has not been an easy year for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Meghan and Harry’s approval ratings are at an all-time low, and multiple polls indicate that young people on both sides of the pond find the Sussexes inauthentic and less likable than Kate Middleton and Prince William.
After months of declining popularity, Harry and Meghan are in the midst of a comeback that kicked off in earnest with the couple’s appearance at the Invictus Games earlier this month.
Meghan delivered a speech to an audience of veterans, and the Sussexes were praised for their enthusiastic participation in every aspect of Harry’s signature event.
Just weeks after their return to the US, however, the couple is dealing with another tidal wave of bad press.
Last week, we reported on the news that Meghan’s former best friend Jessica Mulroney is publishing a tell-all memoir — a development that’s reportedly raising major concerns in the Sussexes’ camp.
Now, Meghan is dealing with another mini-crisis, thanks to a new report from UK tabloid The Sun, which claims that the duchess “tried to gag teachers and pupils as young as five at a school used in their Netflix show.”
“Gag” here refers to a non-disclosure agreement that Meghan’s team circulated ahead of a 2021 appearance at a New York City public school.
The duchess was on hand to promote her children’s book, The Bench, which she read to an audience of first- and second-grade students.
The NDA allegedly included “a clause banning anyone from making negative comments.”
According to The Sun, the ban on negativity also related to any social media posts “now or in the future.”
Such arrangements are not uncommon in cases where a new piece of media is premiering ahead of its release date, but the idea of issuing a moratorium on criticism from first graders is obviously a little laughable.
Of course, details were scarce in The Sun‘s report, so it’s unclear what specific demands were made in the NDA and who was asked to sign it.
Is this just another example of the British tabloid press scraping the bottom of the barrel in search of mud to sling, or is there some legitimacy to the claim that Meghan was much too fussy in her interactions with an audience of children?
We might never have enough information to answer those questions sufficiently, but one thing that’s for certain is the fact that this is not the Sussexes’ only child-related controversy this week.
According to the UK-based BabyCentre, Harry and Meghan’s names have seen a sharp decline in popularity in the past year, as fewer and fewer parents are christening their children in honor of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
“Crashing down from 13th place to number 23, the previously popular name Harry seems to have had a negative reception from parents this year,” the organization’s website reads.
“Meghan and its alternate spelling Megan have also dropped in registrations.”
In contrast, it seems that Kate and William’s names have held steady over the past 12 months.
It’s a small matter, but it might be a perfect microcosm for the state of affairs within the royal family.