Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have the one thing that Kate Middleton and Prince William do not have to enable them to win this popularity battle.
According to Republic CEO Graham Smith, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have Hollywood on their side so they are more popular than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge among the netizens on social media. Smith is the head of an organization that has, for over two decades, campaigned to abolish the monarchy.
Smith believes that Harry and Meghan Markle have more clout than William and Middleton because they have Hollywood and U.S. celebrities backing them up. The couple is also more willing to speak their mind and articulate controversial issues, compared to William and Middleton, since they are not constrained by their future roles and will not be ruling the British monarchy one day.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently appeared in a major Hollywood event, Vax Live, to ask for vaccine donations that will go to impoverished countries that likely do not have access and resources to procure the much-needed medicine. Harry got up on the stage and received a standing ovation from the audience after his speech.
Royal commentator Duncan Larcombe said that William has to be invited to high-profile global events like this to "raise his status above celebrities." However, the royal expert said that most of these groups would rather ask Harry than William.
Larcombe said that whether they like it or not, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are now competing in a "transatlantic popularity contest" with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. He believes that Harry and Markle are showing how modern royalty could survive in the social media age by embracing the "cult of the celebrity."
The royal expert said this was not the way Prince Philip, William and Harry's grandfather, have envisioned their royal work because, for him, it was never about profiles or personalities. However, Larcombe suggested that this is an outdated notion.
He acknowledged that William and Middleton are trying to sell their profiles as a couple by launching their YouTube channel. He believes that this is their "deliberate charm offensive" to win with public perception as the king and queen in the future.
Meanwhile, the "clout" of Harry and Meghan Markle couldn't manage to win in the TV ratings as Vax Live had less than two million viewers. Saturday Night Live with guest host Elon Musk even beat the Sussex couple in the ratings game.