Prince Harry’s loyalty to King Charles III at the coronation will “stabilize” the “spiraling effect” of his book Spare, but the event also showed the royal pecking order, a PR expert told Newsweek.
The Duke of Sussex’s flying visit to London saw him join his family at Westminster Abbey for the moment his father was crowned alongside his stepmother Queen Camilla.
It must have been an emotional day for the prince as, once upon a time, it was his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who was on course to be crowned queen one day.
Harry left so quickly that he was photographed at London’s Heathrow Airport less than an hour after the service finished. This was before Charles and Camilla stepped onto the Buckingham Palace balcony to view the crowds gathered in London.
Eric Schiffer, chair of Reputation Management Consultants, told Newsweek that the historic occasion would boost Charles’ reputation in America but had not had the same impact for Harry.
Schiffer said: “The king further elevated himself and also tied himself to the dreamlike, fantasy elements of monarchy in a way that will only benefit him as he moves forward.
“It was a smooth transition and one where he has a way about him that is always prepared and ready, and his popularity will increase in America.
“His son, Harry, was not served by it in full,” Schiffer added. “On the positive side, he showed loyalty, which he needed to sure up given Spare and how that hurt his brand. But it also showed the pecking order and how he’s been relegated to the out house in terms of how the Crown views him.
“It must be difficult on a personal level and, from a brand perspective, it hurts the cachet,” Schiffer said.
Prince Harry’s memoir accused his brother Prince William of launching a physical attack during an argument about Meghan Markle. The elder royal also ordered Harry to shave off his beard for the couple’s 2018 royal wedding, among other swipes.
There was also a broadside against Camilla in Spare. She was painted as a schemer who sacrificed Harry to the media as part of a campaign to be accepted as a future Queen Consort.
However, polling conducted for Newsweek by Redfield & Wilton in the days after Spare‘s publication in January found that Harry and Meghan experienced more reputational damage than the royals themselves.
There was at one stage speculation that Harry would not be invited to the coronation. Even once an invite was sent, the duke still did not confirm his attendance straightaway.
In the end, Harry made the journey to Britain but entered the abbey after Prince Andrew and his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. He was positioned in the third row back, behind Princess Anne.
“I think this helps to stabilize what was a spiraling effect to Harry’s reputation after Spare,” Schiffer said, “and Meghan, I think, was served by not showing. It certainly didn’t damage her.
“I think you’re going to see them go back to the basics now and further focus on what assisted them the best, which was to put their efforts toward helping others and the causes that young people believe in.”
Meghan has two awards galas coming up in Los Angeles and New York, on May 23 and May 16 respectively, after winning a Gracie for her podcast Archetypes and a Women in Vision award.
Schiffer said: “Among audiences, certainly pro-feminist audiences, that’ll help her brand, but most are not going to pay attention to that. The podcast awards are largely focused on the industry. I think they’re trying to bring some stardust perhaps to the event, but the average American couldn’t care less about either.”
Source : Newsweek