Meghan Markle and Prince Harry appeared unfazed when they were spotted in Santa Barbara, California after leaving Spotify. Holding hands, the couple smiled and laughed as they left an office building, accompanied by what appeared to be a bodyguard.
However, rumors swirled that there was tension between Harry and Meghan during their outing. Apparently, Meghan had called paparazzi to take some PR photos, which angered Harry due to his well-known dislike of them, stemming from the tragic car accident involving his late mother, Princess Diana.
Reports suggest Harry may have used force against Meghan during the incident. In the photos, Meghan managed to maintain a smile for the camera, while Harry looked visibly annoyed.
The Duchess of Sussex donned a white button-up shirt tucked into brown shorts, completing her look with a white hat, sunglasses and layered bracelets. Meanwhile, Prince Harry opted for a casual outfit, wearing a polo shirt paired with a baseball cap and sunglasses.
The staged appearance comes after Spotify’s decision to end its $20 million deal with the royal couple after just one season of their podcast, ‘Archewell Audio’. Questions have also been raised about the future of their $100 million partnership with Netflix. Some reports suggest that external factors such as COVID-19, economic downturns and the deaths of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth have been blamed for their difficulties establishing themselves in the private sector.
In January 2020, Harry and Meghan announced their decision to step back from royal duties, months before the world went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a year later, they spoke candidly about their dissatisfaction with the royal family in a television interview with Oprah. The following month, Prince Philip died aged 99.
Meghan launched her podcast, ‘Archewell Audio’, in August 2022, but its release was overshadowed by the death of Queen Elizabeth the following month. Despite initially high ratings for the podcast, their deal with Spotify ran into difficulties.
It was reported that the couple had not produced enough content to receive their full $20 million payout. Additionally, Harry’s pitch for podcast ideas, including interviews with Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump about their childhood traumas, left Spotify executives perplexed.
Criticism from industry figures has also emerged, with Spotify executive Bill Simmons calling Meghan and Harry lazy and scammers. UTA agency CEO Jeremy Zimmer, who reportedly expressed interest in signing Meghan, called her talentless.
He said: “Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you’re good at anything.” Meanwhile, Edward Quorum James, the CEO of the Cannes Lions Festival, expressed his belief that the termination of the contract could have repercussions for the couple’s future career opportunities. It remains to be seen how this development will affect their future deals.