Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ‘Fake Royal Tour’ in NYC Had a Different Purpose Than People Think, Expert Says

Ever since they moved to the United States in 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been spending much of their time in California. However, the couple made a high-profile visit to New York City in September. It seemed to be a charity-minded trip, but according to a royal expert, there was more to it than people think.

Meghan Markle waves as she and Prince Harry arrive at One World Observatory in New York City hand-in-hand in September 2021
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited NYC in September

Harry and Meghan traveled to NYC mainly to attend Global Citizen Live, an event to promote vaccine equity. The couple was in the city from Sept. 23 to Sept. 27, and they also took part in other philanthropic efforts.

For example, the Sussexes also stopped by One World Trade Center and met with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Kathy Hochul. Harry and Meghan also visited an underprivileged school in Harlem, where Meghan read her book, The Bench, to students. Then, they went to the United Nations and had a meeting with Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.

Harry and Meghan wrapped up their trip with an appearance at Global Citizen Live, where they gave a speech on stage.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ‘fake royal tour’ reportedly had a different purpose

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According to journalist Jonathan Sacerdoti, who has covered the royal family extensively, Harry and Meghan’s NYC trip was similar to a royal tour. However, it also seemed to have a different purpose.

“I think it is interesting because I think Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have aimed themselves at a US market,” Sacerdoti said, according to Express. “Now they are not part of the working Royal Family it was fascinating to see them engage in that sort of fake royal tour.”

 Sacerdoti added, “It was basically just a holiday in New York and it turns out, from the concealed microphones and the cameraman following them who wasn’t known to most of the other press lot there, it seems it was a working trip. A working trip filming for their Netflix series, potentially. If they were filming a reality show or something similar it couldn’t have been further from a royal tour.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got ‘underwhelming’ reception in NYC

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When royals tour a place, there are often get crowds waiting to see them. However, the number of people who turned out to see Harry and Meghan in NYC was not as high as one expect, according to Sacerdoti.

“There is interest in them naturally, they are celebrities and they get an enormous amount of coverage and they rely on that,” the expert said. “I don’t think it is the same kind of attention though. When there is a royal tour you see streets lined with people and people wanting to see what is happening. I think they had to make do with some lower-level officials meeting them and crowds that were underwhelming.”