11 times Harry & Meghan shamelessly upstaged royals

11 times Harry & Meghan shamelessly upstaged royals after ‘calculated’ American Riviera launch hours before Diana awards

THE gulf between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and the rest of the Royal Family seems to widen every week.

And it wasn’t helped yesterday by the Duchess of Sussex unveiling her new home, food, garden and lifestyle brand American Riviera Orchard shortly before Prince William was due to speak at his late mother’s Legacy Award event in London.

Prince William paid tribute to the winners of the Legacy Awards last night

Prince William paid tribute to the winners of the Legacy Awards last nightCredit: Andrew Parsons / Kensington Pala

Meghan's brand logo appeared online shortly before Wills' speech

Meghan’s brand logo appeared online shortly before Wills’ speechCredit: Instgram/americanrivieraorchard
The move was slammed by royal experts as yet another attempt to steal the limelight, with one branding it “calculated” and another claiming it would have “saddened Diana”.

Meghan’s glitzy Instagram post showing off her new crest surfaced an hour before William delivered an emotional speech at the Diana Awards at London’s Science Museum, where Harry later appeared via video link.

Yesterday, Meghan and Harry also chose to announce the winner of their $100,000 (£78,500) NAACP – Archewell Foundation Digital Civil Rights Award.

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams criticised the timing, saying there was “nothing accidental” about it.

He said: “The announcement of the new brand is totally consistent with the timing of all the Sussexes’ announcements.”

Here we take a look at all the times the couple have shamelessly stolen the royals’ thunder.

Spare bombshell interviews

Ahead of the publication of Prince Harry’s controversial memoir Spare, he sat down for long interviews with ITV’s Tom Bradby and Anderson Cooper, for US channel CBS, in January last year – the day before the Princess of Wales’ 41st birthday.

In a series of shocking accusations against his family, he claimed royals sought to protect their own reputation “to the detriment” of the Sussexes and that they were “complicit” in their “pain and suffering”.

He also detailed the alleged tense relationship between Kate and Meghan in the interviews.

Prince Harry gave the bombshell interview on the eve of Kate's birthday


Prince Harry gave the bombshell interview on the eve of Kate’s birthdayCredit: ITV

Everything we know about Meghan’s new business

MEGHAN Markle has launched a new Instagram brand called American Riviera Orchard.

Industry insiders said the site will focus on home, food, garden and lifestyle goods.

A source told the Mail: “It’s a lifestyle and cooking brand called American Riviera Orchard.

“The brand is meant to coincide with the launch of a new cookery show for Netflix.

“Meghan will be making, and selling, products such as jams. And at some point there will be a book and blog etc.”

As the interviews made global headlines, the official Royal Family’s social media channels posted a simple birthday wish for Kate, writing: “Wishing the Princess of Wales a very happy birthday.”

But the timing didn’t escape the attention of royal fans, with one tweeting: “I can’t believe Harry is doing this to Kate on the eve of her birthday…”

Meghan Markle is using Princess Diana’s legacy to promote her new business – it’s opportunism at its worst
Another wrote: “Prince Harry: I love Kate! Also Harry: I’m releasing this book on your birthday darling.”

Netflix trailer

Harry and Meghan's Netflix trailer dropped as William and Kate took on engagements in Boston

Harry and Meghan’s Netflix trailer dropped as William and Kate took on engagements in BostonCredit: Netflix

William and Kate ignored the issue on their US trip

William and Kate ignored the issue on their US tripCredit: Splash
The promo for Harry and Meghan, the six-part documentary, was released in December 2022, just as Prince William and Princess Kate touched down in the US for their first visit since the Queen’s death.

Royal experts believe Harry and Meghan deliberately timed the trailer – which teased more damaging accusations against The Firm – to overshadow his brother’s momentous visit.

Angela Levin told The Sun: “I think that the day seems chosen to ruin Kate and William’s trip – to take away everything from that.

“To pile it on. There was no need to do it that day. It was done deliberately to spoil their visit.”

‘Pregnancy announcement’ at wedding

Meghan and Harry told family members they were expecting Archie

Meghan and Harry told family members they were expecting ArchieCredit: AFP

Eugenie was not impressed by Meghan's news on her big day

Eugenie was not impressed by Meghan’s news on her big dayCredit: PA
Princess Eugenie walked down the aisle with Jack Brooksbank in October 2018, just months after Harry and Meghan tied the knot.

But when news of Meghan’s pregnancy broke days later, it was claimed the couple had upstaged the bride by breaking the happy news to the Queen, Prince Charles and the rest of the family at the wedding reception.

Pictures showed Harry speaking to the late Queen, fuelling speculation that this was the moment he broke the news.

A source later claimed the Queen already knew, but had not seen her grandson in person to congratulate him, and that the bride and groom had also been told in advance.

But it is thought that the royal get-together was the first time most of the family learned they were expecting their first child.

And in Finding Freedom, the sympathetic biography of the Sussexes, a source reveals Eugenie was “upset” by the couple going public on her big day.

The Princess “told friends she felt the couple should have waited to share the news”, the books claimed, adding that it “did not go down particularly well”.

Meghan’s career relaunch

MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry have been busy since stepping back as senior working royals.

Following the early end of her Spotify deal last year, the Duchess of Sussex is relaunching her podcast career with a new streaming network – but could face a £16million loss.

Meghan has signed with American podcast network Lemonada Media to create new content, and her old 12-episode Archetypes episodes will also be distributed by the firm.

But while her previous Spotify gig was worth around £18million, her new contract could be worth significantly less.

News of the new podcast came hours after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ditched Archewell.com and replaced it with Sussex.com – in a bid to share “personal” updates with fans.

The couple still have their deal with Netflix, where they have created shows like their Harry & Meghan documentary, and the Duke of Sussex’s Heart of Invictus show.

And Meghan has enlisted Beverly Hills talent agency William Morris Endeavour ahead of her long-planned relaunch.

Reports of an acting comeback came after the duchess appeared in a playful Instagram ad for a coffee company, a firm she holds shares in.

The cameo appearance sees the former Suits star doing multiple roles at coffee company Clevr Blends, including packing, working on the digital team, and on the operations team.

Bombshell Oprah interview

Meghan and Harry's bombshell Oprah interview contained sensational claims

Meghan and Harry’s bombshell Oprah interview contained sensational claimsCredit: AP

It was broadcast on the day of the Queen's Commonwealth address

It was broadcast on the day of the Queen’s Commonwealth addressCredit: Getty
A year after leaving the UK, the couple’s damning interview with Oprah Winfrey aired in the States.

The couple used the platform to make bombshell claims against the Royal Family, including a charge of racist comments made about the colour of son Archie’s skin, allegedly made by a senior royal before his birth.

Meghan also claimed she had been “silenced” by the Royal Family and left depressed, with suicidal thoughts, by her treatment.

But the decision to air on March 7, 2021, just hours after the Queen’s annual Commonwealth Day Speech aired on the BBC, was criticised in royal circles.

One expert claimed the clash could have been avoided had the Sussexes forewarned the Palace about the interview, calling the decision to grab the headlines on the day of the Queen’s speech “disrespectful”.

Harry’s job announcement

Harry, once extremely close to cousin Princess Eugenie, risked upsetting her again when he chose her birthday to make a job announcement.

Buckingham Palace released two pictures to celebrate Eugenie’s 31st birthday, on March 23 2021.

Just hours later The Wall Street Journal released news that the Duke – keen to show he could stand on his own two feet – had landed a high-paid job in Silicon Valley as “Chief Impact Officer” at health tech company Better Inc.

Prince Harry ‘pain’ podcast

Kate and William visited various charities for Mental Health Awareness Week

Kate and William visited various charities for Mental Health Awareness WeekCredit: Splash

Harry talked about his 'pain' with Dax Shepherd on a podcast that same week

Harry talked about his ‘pain’ with Dax Shepherd on a podcast that same weekCredit: armchairexpertpod.com
In the pre-split days, when the brothers and their wives were known as the Fab Four, they were joint advocates for mental health awareness, appearing together at a Royal Foundation event on the issue.

But in May 2021, as Kate and William attended numerous charity events for Mental Health Awareness Week, Prince Harry dropped a devastating podcast talking about a “cycle of pain and suffering” – suggesting he was treated badly by his father because “that’s the way he was treated”.

“I don’t think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody, but certainly when it comes to parenting, if I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on,” he said.

At the time, William – whose own tireless work for mental health charities was drowned out by Harry’s complaints – was said to be “very shocked” by his brother’s claims.

Book clash

Meghan's book was announced in May 2021

Meghan’s book was announced in May 2021Credit: Rex

Kate's book came out days later

Kate’s book came out days laterCredit: PA
In the same month, Meghan was accused of “trying to upstage Kate” by announcing the release of her children’s book days before Kate’s photography album was released.

On May 4, 2021, Meghan announced she would be publishing The Bench, an illustrated story inspired by son Archie and husband Harry.

But some pointed out the announcement came just days before publication of a photography book that Kate had been working on for a year.

The book, Hold Still, captured life in the UK under lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic.

One furious Kate fan tweeted: “So now just as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has the HOLD STILL book about to be released on May 7, [Meghan] chooses to release a book she wrote in 2019. Connect the dots, people!”

Christmas card row

This Christmas image revealed Lilibet for the first time

This Christmas image revealed Lilibet for the first timeCredit: Alexi Lubomirski

The Queen's image was released the same day

The Queen’s image was released the same dayCredit: Getty
Last Christmas, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex caused a sensation when they shared the first glimpse of their daughter Lilibet and the first real look at son Archie’s face on their festive card.

But the post on social media came just hours before Buckingham Palace published an image of the Queen from her annual speech, ahead of its Christmas Day airing.

The much-anticipated speech was the first since the late monarch lost her beloved husband, Prince Philip, in April 2021.

The couple were accused of overshadowing the event, with Kate Garraway suggesting they were trying to “usurp” the Queen.

Queen’s birthday row

Harry talked about the 'pain' of being a royal kid

Harry talked about the ‘pain’ of being a royal kidCredit: NBC
On the eve of the nation’s celebrations for the Queen’s 96th birthday, in April 2022, Harry once again angered the royal circle by giving a cringeworthy interview in which he claimed he was her protector.

In an interview with US news channel NBC, broadcast the night before her birthday, he said: “I’m just making sure that she’s protected and got the right people around her.”

Members of the royal household were said to be shocked and angered by the comments.

Angela Levin called for him to be banned from the Jubilee celebrations later that year, commenting: “Harry’s comment on US TV about him checking the Queen is protected is a gross insult to Prince Charles and William.”

Upstaging Dad

The King's first official family portrait excluded the couple

The King’s first official family portrait excluded the coupleCredit: AP

The new portrait was released days later

The new portrait was released days laterCredit: AFP
On October 1 2022, Buckingham Palace shared the first official snap of the recently ascended King Charles, the Queen Consort and the Prince and Princess of Wales, as the mourning period for the Queen came to an end.

Harry and Meghan, notably absent from the family scene despite being in the UK at the time it was taken, chose to make their own statement two days later, by releasing two new portraits of themselves at the One Young World conference in Manchester.

New Archie pics

Meghan and mum Doria Ragland with Archie

Meghan and mum Doria Ragland with ArchieCredit: Harris_Duchess/Twitter
In November 2022, a new image of rarely-seen Archie, sitting on Meghan’s knee during a Zoom chat, was released as Kate and William touched down in the US.

The image – which sent fans into frenzy over the unrecognisable toddler – was released by Professor Duchess Harris.

Royal fans suggested the timing was a deliberate attempt to divert from the Wales’ Earthshot mission.

One tweeted: “Notice Rachel Markle [Meghan’s birth name] puts this out to try and distract from Prince William and princesses of Wales!”

Markle sparkle: Duchess’ business ventures from wellness blog The Tig to kids’ book The Bench

ALONG with her well-known acting career Meghan Markle has also carved out something of a career in the business world as well.

Before getting engaged to Prince Harry, the Suits actress had her lifestyle blog The Tig but this was closed down when she got engaged in 2017.

The Tig, named after her favourite wine Tignanello, was seen as something as a rival to Gwyneth Paltrow’s £200million Goop, which offers similar wellness and “conscious living” content.

She previously described it as a “passion project” which “evolved into an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun and frivolity”.

Since stepping down as senior royals, the couple have produced a podcast, Netflix documentary and memoir, as well as several high-profile interviews between them.

These are said to have made them millions of dollars.

Speaking in docuseries Harry & Meghan, the mum-of-two said of the blog: “It wasn’t just a hobby, it became a really successful business.

“I’ve never really been the type of person to do only one thing. I guess that’s how my website was born.

“There was fashion, tons of food, and travel – all the things that I loved.”

Rumours emerged in March last year that Meghan was going to relaunch the blog.

Meghan also ventured into the world of children’s books with the launch of The Bench in June 2021.

Inside Meghan’s 34-page book The Bench, the illustrations give a fresh glimpse into the Sussexes’ “authentic” life at their LA home – featuring their then newborn daughter.

The publication was a commerical success with it becoming a number one bestseller on Amazon’s chart.

Meghan dedicated her book to the “man and boy who make my heart go pump-pump” in a sweet note for her husband Prince Harry and son Archie.

The mum was “inspired” to write the book after originally creating a poem for Harry’s first Father’s Day.

The royal couple have also been reported to be planning an Oprah-style media empire after registering a series of new entertainment businesses.

A leading royal commentator says the couple “want to earn loads more money” after they filed 11 companies in tax haven Delaware – seven of which are linked to showbiz ventures.

They appear to have names which are meaningful to the couple, with one – Cloverdale Inc – bearing the same name as the street that the Duchess lived on with her mother in Los Angeles when she was young.

Both Cloverdale and a second company, Riversoul Productions Inc, are set up explicitly in the “entertainment” industry, and join companies Hampshire LLC, Bridgemont LLC and IPHW LLC.

The couple are already using name Archewell Productions for their Netflix and Spotify deals.

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