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‘What does Sussex mean anyway?’ Meghan and Harry ‘way overestimated appeal’ without royals

On Sunday, streaming giant Netflix axed the planned animated series, ‘Pearl’, which had the Duchess of Sussex as an executive producer. Netflix previously revealed that more than $50 billion was wiped from its market value as its shares tumbled by 35 percent.

The streaming service also hinted it would likely tighten up its subscription model, changing how many viewers access Netflix content.

Netflix’s subscriber figures dropped by 200,000 in the first quarter of 2022, falling far short of the service’s targets.

But the dropping of the partnership with Meghan is “certainly” not a “good sign” for the Duchess nor the platform, royal branding and marketing expert, Professor Cele Otnes, has told Express.co.uk.

The cancellation also casts their future projects in doubt, she added.

She said: “It does beg the question, what does the Sussex brand mean anyway, as a breakaway brand from the British Royal Family brand?”

Professor Otnes, co-author of ‘Royal Fever’, said the recently-published Royal Family reveal-all by Princess Diana’s biographer, Tina Brown, nailed the Duke and Duchess’s mistake in evaluating their brand power.

She said: “I think Tina Brown’s take on this in her new book is right on point — asserting that Meghan and Harry have WAY overestimated their appeal as a brand, once they severed their ties with the mother ship, so to speak.”

Ms Brown has addressed Meghan and Harry’s severance from the Royal Family in interviews surrounding the release of her book, adding that away from the prestige of the Royal Family, the couple lacks coherent branding.

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She told the Washington Post: “I think they both completely underestimated what it was going to be like to be without the — you know — the palace platform.”

She claimed Meghan “doesn’t really have a brand”, and this causes “a certain amount of flailing” in how the Sussexes navigate partnerships and their external image.

But some have wondered how the Sussexes can continue their work with the high-profile giants that are Netflix and Spotify, and whether their involvement could help or hinder the streaming giants in their time of need.

Professor Otnes previously told Express.co.uk that the Duke and Duchess could be “contributing to the disinterest” in Netflix through the format of their remaining project, the documentary series ‘Heart of Invictus’.

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Camera crews followed the Duke and Duchess as they filmed for ‘Heart Of Invictus’ during their visit to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games last month.

But Professor Otnes said she was “perplexed” by the filming of well-reported events, to be rehashed in new documentaries.

She questioned the “content value” of such snippets, and the “inherent value” of the production for viewers already familiar with the action.

She said: “I’m perplexed why we are seeing the events in real life (eg, at the Invictus ceremonies last year), and why there is any ‘content value’ to seeing these edited again in Netflix shows.

“For example, we often don’t view the fights or content on the Kardashian programmes prior to them airing; we only hear about them.

“I’m not sure how much inherent value Harry and Meghan are bringing to Netflix.”



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