Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Trying to Show Up Prince William and Kate Middleton?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been under intense public scrutiny, and some think Prince William and Kate Middleton are trying to use this to their advantage. There has been much competition between the royal families lately with one making a mistake and the other immediately trying to do the opposite.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle looking royal
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Andrew Milligan – WPA Pool/Getty Images

This fall, the Sussexes began their trip to Africa. But are they there because they want to help the community and embrace a high work ethic or are they trying to show the world they do more than William and Middleton? Can they do both?

Are the Cambridges trying to compete with the Sussexes for public favor?

When Harry and Markle were criticized for taking four private jets over an eleven-day time span, William and Middleton immediately took their next flight with commercial airlines. There’s some debate over whether they did this to show the Sussexes up or if they just didn’t want to be criticized as well. 

Harry and Markle then tried to mend their image by having lunch in a local pub. Many believe the message they were trying to send was that they are just normal people. In contrast, William and Kate have been called out of touch in the past. 

The Sussexes begin their trip to Africa with high hopes

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Today, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended engagements in South Africa as they continue their #RoyalVisitAfrica. They visited “Waves for Change” – a mental health service which supports young people, a Marine Unit which works to combat poaching and the oldest mosque in South Africa. The Duke and Duchess also attended a Youth Reception at the British High Commission and marked Heritage Day – a celebration of the diversity of cultures in the country. At Monwabisi Beach, TRHs learned about the UK’s Commonwealth Litter Programme which funds research and action to tackle plastic waste. They also found out about the “Surf Mentor” project which supports vulnerable young people in under-resourced communities. The Duke of Sussex, as Captain General of The Royal Marines, visited "Seal Island" with the City of Cape Town Marine Unit (MPU). The Royal Marines provide training to the MPU and The Duke heard more about their work in combatting the poaching of Abalone (sea snail), one of South Africa's illegal wildlife trade concerns. TRHs visited Auwal Mosque where they talked to faith groups and viewed the first known Qu’ran in the country. Finally, at The British High Commissioner’s Residence The Duke and Duchess met young inspirational people and celebrated the UK’s modern partnership with South Africa. Their Royal Highnesses were hosted by the British High Commissioner to South Africa, Mr Nigel. Find out more about the Royal Visit to South Africa @sussexroyal PA

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This month, when Harry and Markle landed in Africa, they skipped the traditional red-carpet welcome. Instead, they got right to work, traveling to a women’s shelter in Cape Cod right after landing. Vanity Fair reports that royal aides have been clear about the Sussex’s message for this trip, “We are here to work, this is not a holiday.”

During their time in Africa, Harry and Markle have a busy schedule which includes 86 official engagements. They’ve requested that the meetings be as casual as possible. Security will still be tight, but the Sussexes would like a relaxed environment, where they can really connect with the people they’re meeting. 

“It’s very much how they want things done,” a royal source said. “There is no protocol that says you have to bow or curtsy when you meet them, it’s really up to the individual.”

Is the Africa trip about showing the world they have better work ethic than the Cambridges?

William and Middleton have been criticized in the past for their work ethic. With the Sussexes clearly emphasizing hard work, it’s not a leap to assume they’re trying to prove they’re more dedicated to the public than the Cambridges.

When Middleton joined the royal family, she had a very slow introduction to public life. According to Phil Dampier, a royal expert, “The Queen once remarked Kate doesn’t do very much so I think she had a fairly long entrance to the royal family.”

In contrast, Markle jumped right in after becoming involved with Harry. Could the busy itinerary during the Africa trip be Markle’s way of showing that she’s a better worker than Middleton?

It makes sense that Markle would be jealous of all the love Middleton receives from the British people. When Markle first joined the family, she was very popular as well, maybe even more so than Middleton. But since that time, Markle’s behavior has caused her to lose a lot of the support that she once had. She may be hoping that this trip to Africa will put her back into the good graces of the British people. 

The feud before the Sussexes and Cambridges is generally not healthy. But if it leads to both families making positive actions with the British people, maybe it’s not so bad in the long run. Although, we all hope that one day we could have these positive actions without the feud.