Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's dream month rapidly descended into an unforgettable nightmare - analysis by Svar Nanan-Sen

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

September was the most active the Sussexes have been in public life this year.

PA
Svar Nanan-Sen

By Svar Nanan-Sen


Published: 02/10/2023

- 11:38

Updated: 02/10/2023

- 14:42

September was the most active the Sussexes have been in public life this year

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's dream month rapidly descended into a nightmare for the couple.

September was the most active we have seen the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2023.


Prince Harry made his first move on the penultimate day of August.

The Duke of Sussex's highly-anticipated documentary following the 2022 Invictus Games was released on Netflix on August 30.

Prince Harry

The Duke of Sussex's highly-anticipated documentary following the 2022 Invictus Games was released on Netflix on August 30.

PA

Despite mainly focusing on the athletes participating in the competition, Heart of Invictus did contain multiple interviews with Prince Harry, where he discussed his mental health and also took a subtle swipe at the Royal Family.

Meghan Markle hardly featured across the five episodes of Heart of Invictus and while the project cannot be directly compared to the Sussexes' first series on Netflix, the self-titled 'Harry & Meghan', the vast difference in viewing numbers will have been seen as disappointing by both the couple and the streaming giant.

Just eight days later Prince Harry was once again in the spotlight as he returned to the UK on September 7 to attend the WellChild Awards.

While his appearance at the charity event was straightforward the Duke of Sussex did suffer a rude awakening when he was denied a room at Windsor Castle by the Royal Family.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry was once again in the spotlight as he returned to the UK on September 7 to attend the WellChild Awards.

PA

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle hardly featured across the five episodes of Heart of Invictus.

PA

Having been evicted from Frogmore Cottage in the summer, Prince Harry does not have a UK base to call home and therefore sought to stay in Windsor.

However, Harry was informed that he would need to give a suitable warning in future before being allowed to stay at Royal Family residences as his request was denied.

While this will have irked the prince, his attention will have quickly turned to Dusseldorf, Germany where the 2023 Invictus Games were held from September 9-16.

The Invictus Games is a project that Prince Harry remains extremely proud of and good coverage of this year's competition could have helped bring more viewers to Heart of Invictus on Netflix.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The Invictus Games is a project that Prince Harry remains extremely proud of.

PA

The Duchess of Sussex chose to accompany Prince Harry at the games, marking their first major public appearance together since Meghan received a Woman of Vision award at a glitzy New York gala in May 2023 where the couple claimed they were involved in a "near catastrophic" car chase with paparazzi on their departure from the event.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's appearances in Germany throughout the Invictus Games were seen as successful for the couple as they looked to be thriving and avoided any embarrassing moments.

However, just days later, the Duchess of Sussex was involved in a toe-curlingly awkward incident that went viral.

Meghan and Harry attended Kevin Costner's One805 Live! which was filled with famous faces including Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry.

Meghan Markle

The Duchess of Sussex chose to accompany Prince Harry at the Invictus Games.

PA

During the embarrassing blunder which was caught on camera, a woman walked towards Meghan with a microphone and the Duchess of Sussex appeared to think it was about to be given to her.

Meghan put her hand on the microphone in an attempt to grab it before realising she was not the intended recipient of it.

While the Duchess of Sussex's blunder was viewed by tens of thousands of people across social media, a momentary state of confusion was a mere blemish on what had been a good month for the Sussexes.

However, it turned out to be the calm before the storm as just days later, it was reported that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had attempted to gag teachers and pupils from speaking negatively about a visit to a school they undertook in September 2021.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's appearances in Germany throughout the Invictus Games were seen as successful.

PA

Worst still for the Sussexes was that emails showing negotiations between their aides and the New York City Department of Education were released following a Freedom of Information request.

One exchange appeared to show Meghan Markle's team pushing to rebrand her book reading to a class of seven-year-olds as a charity event in a press release announcing the appearance.

The initial report of children being asked to sign a gagging order preventing them from saying anything negative about the Sussexes' visit, combined with the release of the emails resulted in the story dominating coverage of the couple for the final week of September.

And to the dismay of Meghan and Harry, turned September, a month that promised so much, into one to forget.

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