Meghan Markle, already a famous actress before meeting the Duke of Sussex, has her own “brand” in the US. But now Prince Harry, with his upcoming memoir, is trying to create his own “individual identity” separate from the “Sussex brand”, a royal expert has told Express.co.uk.
Pauline Maclaran, professor of marketing and consumer research at Royal Holloway, discussed the couple’s hope of cultivating a particular image in the States, both individually and together.
She said Harry is likely to use his new book in the hopes of transitioning his identity away from the “fortunate prince” image to a more relatable figure.
Ms Maclaran said: “It seems to be me this book will take the reader on a journey through Harry’s past traumas to the man he is today and explain how he’s gone from a highly fortunate prince with a seemingly very lavish lifestyle to becoming the humanitarian he is.
“Presumably, that’s how he is positioning it.
“Harry is trying to make himself really relatable and say to the reader saying, ‘I’m just like you’.
“I imagine he is really trying to make the transition in his identity to his transition of the humanitarian work he claims to do.”
Ms Maclaran, co-author of Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture, says that the Duchess of Sussex has also been developing her brand in the country.
“I think we’ve seen Meghan developing her own identity with recent interviews. I think the book will set Harry up for his own individual identity too,” she added.
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The Duke, who has been involved in various charities and has campaigned for different social issues, hopes to show his “humanitarian brand”, she believes.
She said: “You’ve got the branded Meghan and the branded couple so I think this will set Harry up, or that’s what they’ll be hoping, as the other half of this humanitarian brand”.
Ms Maclaran also suggests he is using the book to “resolve things within himself and work through his identity conflict”, while also working through “his grief” around his mother’s death.
In a press release for the book, Harry’s publisher said it will include Harry’s “story” of Princess Diana’s death and funeral when, at just 12 years old, he walked behind her coffin.
The royal expert said: “I think the book is very much trying to say ‘I’m like everyone else, I’ve been through a lot and have had a lot of challenges. You may think I was born lucky being a prince but this is the other side of it’.
“I think the book will be a crucial part of him creating this relatable image. To make him seem like everyone else”.
Similarly, speaking of Harry’s recent appearance at a UN conference earlier this year, royal expert Eric Schiffer said the Sussexes have been “very creative” in their approach to marketing themselves and their brand in the US.
He said: “They’ve been very creative in how they’ve gone out to build this brand in ways in which there really hasn’t been a clear roadmap unless you’ve got the full power of the overall authority.”
He also claimed that Harry is “having to create this persona of a global, magnanimous, royal figure” in the States.