Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are in the midst of a very difficult year.
Multiple polls indicate that Meghan and Harry are less popular than ever in both the US and the UK.
The media’s coverage of the couple’s PR crises has locked the Sussexes into a vicious cycle in which bad press leads to more bad press.
Was Meghan’s podcast canceled because she’s not as well-liked as she used to be, or was it a response to the constant media coverage about how she’s no longer relevant?
We may never know, but it doesn’t look as though the haters will be letting up anytime soon.
Amid frequent rumors about how this downturn in public opinion is affecting Harry and Meghan’s marriage, a new — slightly more credible — narrative has emerged.
Many are now convinced that amid the “failure” of their Hollywood experiment, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are quietly plotting a return to the UK.
Back in March, Harry and Meghan were evicted from Frogmore Cottage, the estate that had served as their home base during the couple’s visits to the UK.
Now, a new report from OK! magazine claims that the Sussexes have rented rooms in Kensington Palace for use on their trips to Harry’s home country.
Harry and Meghan were reportedly furious when King Charles kicked them out of Frogmore, and insiders say that as a gesture of defiance, they made it clear that they would refuse family lodging and stay in hotels during all future visits.
So many are taking the Kensington rental as a sign that the Sussexes are looking to patch things up.
And some believe the couple may even be considering a permanent return to England.
At the very least, this looks to be a step toward establishing a greater presence in the UK, a move that could help the Sussexes make strides toward repairing their PR and familial problems.
“After losing Frogmore, they need a base in the UK, and it’s likely this will be an occasional home and somewhere for them to stay when they’re here rather than anything permanent,” journalist Duncan Larcombe told Bella magazine this week.
“But this is a clear sign that they are trying to make amends with the rest of the family.”
Like many others who have commented on the situation, Larcombe believes the turning point in the feud between the Sussexes and the rest of the royals was the January publication of Harry’s memoir.
Though it became an instant bestseller, the book received a mixed reaction from readers, many of whom felt that Harry was too harsh in his criticism of his family.
Some have even gone so far as to suggest that the memoir was the impetus behind Charles’ decision to evict the couple.
And now, it seems that Harry and Meghan are in the process of slowly making amends.
“In the months since Harry’s book Spare, which was published in January, we have seen a softening in Harry and Meghan’s attitudes towards the rest of the royals – if nothing else, in keeping their mouths shut,” Larcombe said.
“We’ve had six months of them not saying anything about the royals to fuel the beast, and time heals. That’s a healthy sign because they’ve got a long way to go to be back in the heart of the family with all the bridges they’ve burnt.”
Of course, even if Harry and Meghan are able to find their way back into the king’s good graces, it’ll likely be a very long time before the British public warms to the Sussexes.
So it’s probably for the best that Meghan will not be joining Harry when he returns to London next month for the first anniversary of the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Of course, some critics are already interpreting the duchess’ absence as a major sign of disrespect:
“Apparently she is not gracing London with her presence,” royal expert Tessa Dunlop told the Mirror.
“A rare Sussex double act is being saved for Germany where the duchess will assist Harry with the closing ceremony,” she continued.
“On this occasion, I suspect Meghan’s no-show in London says more about her antipathy towards Britain, than the couple’s relationship. We don’t deserve her, at least so she probably thinks.”
Needless to say, Meghan still has quite a few detractors on the other side of the pond.
But it looks as though she and Harry have decided to begin the long process of restoring their public image to its former glory.