Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Whining Backfire?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially broke the old royal rule of “never complain, never explain,” but will all of their whining about the pressures of living in the spotlight backfire? Some experts believe they may be doing more harm than good.

prince harry meghan markle whining too much
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | PETER NICHOLLS/AFP/Getty Images

Their emotional interviews were revealing

Prince Harry and Markle shared their perspectives in emotional interviews for their documentary Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, with each providing insight about the challenges they’ve experienced.

Prince Harry also shed some light on why he’s so fiercely protective of Markle and son Archie, telling interviewer Tom Bradby: “My mum clearly taught me a certain set of values of which I always try and uphold, despite the role and the job… I think I will always protect my family, and now I have a family to protect.”

He shared: “Everything that she went through and what happened to her is incredibly raw every single day, and that is not being me being paranoid. That’s just me not wanting a repeat of the past.”

“If anybody else knew what I knew, be it a father or be it a husband, be it anyone, you would probably be doing exactly what I am doing as well,” he shared.

Have Prince Harry and Markle made a mistake in airing their concerns?

While the Sussexes have gotten a lot of support from their fans, there are those critics who believe that their emotional interviews are the wrong move.

In an interview with The Guardian, PR expert Mark Borkowski said the couple broke the traditional royal rule of “never complain, never explain.” He shared: “You should just say, ‘that’s off limits.’ But [Harry] made a story,” calling the documentary a “complete and utter disaster.”

He noted: “The royal family are a publicly-funded heritage business, and as anybody that has entered in to [it] has discovered, the rules go out of the window. [Celebrities] don’t have the same responsibility, don’t have the love of the nation to deal with.”

Did they “feed the media machine”?

Royal biographer Penny Junor gave her take on the documentary as well, sharing: “My instinct is it is best not to tell the entire world about your emotional state. I suppose in a way, it is a generational thing, and everyone will have a different view on it.”

Junor further shared that the documentary “just feeds the media machine, and that is the one thing Harry really hates.” She added: “This whole documentary has exposed him. In a way it is the very reverse of what he has said he wants for him and his family, namely, privacy.”

In a piece written for The Sun, Dan Wooton shares the reality that “working with the media is an essential part of being a successful member” of the royal family, acknowledging that “there’ll inevitably be some rough moments but on the whole the coverage will be positive.”

He added that the Sussexes could take a page out of Queen Elizabeth’s playbook, noting: “The Queen continues to prove every day the more committed you are to duty and the less interested you are in publicly moaning about your life the better the results.”

Will their approach backfire?

Many are applauding Prince Harry and Markle for giving their personal insight into what they’re up against, but others think this could backfire on them entirely.

A source close to the royal household told People: “He sees the pain of his wife and the attacks she faces, and he wants to try to sort it out. It is kind of heroic in a way, but also misguided. It would be better to build relationships with the media.”