While the couple still has plenty to be grateful for, there’s no question Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are currently enduring the most difficult year of their marriage, at least from a career standpoint.
Sure, the couple received a tremendous amount of criticism when they first announced their intention to step down as working royals back in 2020.
But that was also a time of great hope and excitement for the Sussexes and their supporters.
More than three years later, Harry and Meghan likely have few regrets about that decision, but it’s safe to say that the transition from British royals to American media icons hasn’t been as smooth as they’d hoped or expected.
Earlier this year, a Newsweek poll indicated that Harry and Meghan were less popular than ever.
Theories about the cause of the dip ranged from the mixed reaction to Harry’s memoir to general fatigue with a couple that may seem to garner a lot of headlines without accomplishing much of anything.
The reversal in public opinion quickly hit the Sussexes in the pocketbook, with Meghan’s Spotify podcast being canceled after just one season.
With the help of Meghan’s new agents at WME, the couple embarked on a campaign to rebrand and rebuild their public image.
The Sussexes attended the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf and hosted a mental health summit in New York City.
Every step of the way, they spoke with the press, glad-handed with the public, and allowed themselves to be photographed much more than usual.
Unfortunately, it seems that those efforts have not paid off — at least not for Meghan.
Newsweek has now conducted a second popularity poll, and it seems that the Duchess of Sussex has reached another all-time low.
According to the outlet, Meghan was “liked by 32 percent and disliked 22 percent in the third quarter of 2023, giving her a net approval rating of +10.”
The previous poll indicated that Meghan enjoyed a net approval rating of +17, meaning she dropped seven points during the summer, despite the work put in by the duchess and her new handlers.
The situation was less dire for Harry, whose approval rating remained steady with at net +24.
That’s still a much lower rating than Harry enjoyed in years past, but it seems he’s weathered the controversies of recent years quite nicely.
He’s actually slightly more popular that Prince William among Americans, but the situation is likely quite different in Harry’s native UK.
Kate Middleton remains the most popular member of the so-called Fab Four, with an approval rating of +34.
Troublingly, those who know Meghan best say that she’s been showing signs of strain and fatigue in recent months, possibly as a result of her recent career troubles.
“Something’s seriously wrong. She’s obviously not taking care of herself and is looking scary skinny,” one insider recently told In Touch.
“Meghan is cracking under all the pressure, and it shows.”
The source went on to claim that Harry thinks Meghan might benefit from a change in location.
“He’s concerned that LA isn’t the best environment for her right now,” the source insider said.
“He thinks New York might be a better fit for them. He misses the hustle and bustle of a big city, and it’s closer to London. He just wants his wife to be happy and healthy.”
A nutrition expert named Dr. Fred Pescatore — who, it should be noted, has never treated Meghan — claims that the duchess looks to weigh about 100 pounds, which would mean that she’s not carrying nearly enough weight on her 5’6″ frame.
Harry, whose mother suffered from bulimia, is said to be quite concerned about the situation.
“He sees she isn’t herself, and that it’s affecting her health,” the source claimed.
“He’s made it clear that he fears his wife will suffer in the same way his mother did, and his experiences have made him hyper-aware of mental health red flags.”
Obviously, these claims should be taken with a grain of salt (especially those made by the doctor who has never even met Meghan, yet somehow felt comfortable commenting on the record about her physical condition).
But the fact is, this has been a trying year for the Sussexes, and it’s likely that the events of the past few months have taken an emotional toll on both of them.
We hope the claims about Meghan’s turmoil are overstated, but sadly, with all that she’s going through, they’re not implausible.
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