Should Prince Harry and Meghan be on TIME 100 ‘most influential’ list?
- On September 16, 2021, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were featured on TIME magazine’s annual 100 most influential people list. Chef Jose Andrew, partner in their Archewell Foundation, wrote a tribute to the couple saying, “[They] have compassion for the people they don’t know. They don't just opine. They run toward the struggle.”
- The duke and duchess have endured criticism for their decision to be in the spotlight after leaving the royal family. Piers Morgan wrote a scathing opinion piece for the DailyMail UK referencing Meghan as “spectacularly self-serving, shameful, and scandalous” saying she trashed the entire royal family.
- Harry and Meghan had their tell-all interview with Oprah on March 7, 2021. In a two-hour special, the couple detailed their side of royal life, including claims of racism, family tensions, and suicidal leanings.
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married in May 2018, and announced their decision to step down from the Royal Family as senior members in January 2020. In February 2021, the Queen confirmed their departure as working members and their loss of royal titles. The couple moved to North America in March, purchasing a home in Santa Barbara, California later in the year.
Meghan and Harry's split from the royal family shocked everyone and showed the world that prioritizing happiness over family expectations and legacy is sometimes necessary for one's well-being. Despite having little support from the royal family over this decision, particularly in the case of the racism which Meghan brought to light, Meghan and Harry have stayed true to their decision. In addition to influencing the improvement of their own quality of life, the pair have done copious amounts of humanitarian work that has helped thousands of lives.
According to Harper's Bazaar, Meghan has partnered with charities and organizations such as Mayhew, Animal Welfare Charity, and Smart Works, while Harry has been a patron for charities and organizations, such as WellChild, Invictus Games Foundation, and Rhino Conservation Botswana. These selfless and generous actions certainly earn them a place on TIME's list.
It is no secret Meghan has faced plenty of criticism and racism from the royal family, as she revealed in her interview with Oprah Winfrey, and this criticism continued after Meghan opened up. Despite Meghan and Harry receiving praise after this interview, in which they openly discussed their mental health struggles and their decision to prioritize their minds over how they appeared to the press has made them all the more accessible and relatable to the public. This honesty has also helped them build a new future for themselves as they welcomed a new child into the world. Despite the backlash from their decision to depart the royal family, Meghan has brought awareness to racial discrimination and prejudice not just amongst British royalty but in all of Britain. She is doing her part in the fight to achieve equality and equity the world over.
It's ironic that Time praises Harry and Meghan for their 'compassion for the people they don't know' since it appears that they have little compassion for the people they do know. Both Harry and Meghan have abandoned their own families and trashed the institution without which they would be nobodies.
The Sussex's have a new foundation (Archewell) but have taken little concrete action so far towards charity, equality, compassion, and so on. Harry and Meghan's charitable donations are dwarfed by those of William and Kate's foundation. The Sussex's main goal seems to be not actual charity or philanthropy but rather to accumulate money and fame through deals with companies like Netflix, Spotify, and Disney.
Meanwhile, they jump on every bandwagon in a bid to stay relevant, preach about climate change while riding private jets, and are increasingly seen as hypocritical as they speak about various causes from their mansion in California. In some corners, the only interesting thing Harry and Meghan have to trade with is whatever inside drama they can reveal from their days with the royal family. Once they run out of scandal to tell and victimhood to pedal, they will fade from the public eye.
Despite stepping away from public life due to privacy concerns, the Sussex's have found plenty of ways to stay in the limelight, but constantly being in the news doesn't necessarily mean they are influential. Within the UK, Harry and Meghan's popularity is at the same level as scandal-ridden Prince Andrew. Certainly, their negative popularity will not translate to much influence in the UK. Meanwhile, in America, Harry and Meghan's star seems to be fading as well.