'Bells and whistles' NY trip chance for Harry and Meghan to 'aggressively market' brand

Meghan Markle and Harry slammed by host for New York trip

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared in public for the first time together in months as they started their whirlwind visit to New York City. The couple appeared at the Global Citizen Live concert to raise awareness on climate change, vaccine equality and famine.

In a highly political speech, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex hit out at the “ultra-wealthy pharmaceutical companies” for not sharing the details of their vaccines.

On Thursday morning, they visited the One World Trade Centre, where they were joined by New York’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio, and the New York State Governor, Kathy Hochul.

The couple participated in a photocall both inside and outside the building, before visiting the 9/11 museum and laying a wreath of white roses for the victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

In a statement released afterwards, the Sussexes said: “In this room, we had a number of the foremost leaders on public health, pandemic preparedness, scientific progress, and community building.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry (Image: PA)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Image: PA)

“Today’s meeting was a much-appreciated opportunity to learn from some of the most respected experts who are working tirelessly to end this pandemic.

“Building on ongoing conversations we’ve had with global leaders over the past 18 months, today further reinforced our commitment to vaccine equity.”

However, the couple have been accused of using their New York trip for a series of photo ops as it was revealed a videographer followed them for a Netflix documentary about their lives.

In similar charitable campaigns, last week, it was announced Prince William had teamed up with Sir David Attenborough for a new TV series called The Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet.

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Meghan Markle in New York

Meghan Markle in New York (Image: Getty)

Prince Charles is also venturing into TV and launched a new environmental channel on Amazon Prime.

But Australian radio host, Daniela Elser, writing for news.com.au, offered a scathing assessment of Harry and Meghan, accusing them of focussing on their image rather than “real world” issues.

She wrote in news.com.au: “None of this is sexy or cool or made for Instagram.

“But these are all powerful solutions that can make a very tangible impact on the real world.”

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry timeline

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry timeline (Image: Express)

Ms Elser added of the New York trip: “It is hard to escape the impression that the whole thing, all the puffed up bells and whistles, were about aggressively marketing themselves to the US.

“While they might be all bells and whistles, contrast that with Charles and William, two men who generally come across as prosaic plodders sadly lacking in innate charisma.”

Ms Elser went on to say how both William and Charles’ move into TV is not a “woe-is-us doomsaying” but instead aims to energise audiences to “get involved and play their part”.

She added: “These two versions of royal work, one that seems to have such a focus on image, the other unassuming but rooted in real-world actions, might only become more pronounced in the months and years to come.

Prince Charles launches new environmental channel

Prince Charles launches new environmental channel (Image: Getty)

“Harry and Meghan’s New York trip was essentially them firing the starting gun on their US careers after having to wait out pandemic lockdowns followed by the duo taking parental leave after the birth of their daughter Lili in early June.”

Following their trip to New York, Harry and Meghan flew back to Los Angeles via private jet, a move that sparked an outcry of criticism.

Australian radio host, Kyle Sandilands, blasted the couple and said: “There’s the Duchess and Duch-ee of Broke, or whatever they are, over in New York.

“Flying in a private jet over to New York to save the planet, everyone.”

Prince William teams up with Sir David Attenborough

Prince William teams up with Sir David Attenborough (Image: Getty)

Prince Harry came under scrutiny earlier this summer, after he took a two-hour private jet to Aspen, Colorado, to play in a charity polo match.

The couple were also criticised in 2019 after it emerged that they had taken four private jet flights within the space of 11 days.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also came under fire for “behaving like they’re doing a royal visit” despite stepping down as members of the Firm.

In a debate on Jeremy Vine, panellist Nana Akua branded the couple’s behaviour “sickening” as they attended several meetings with leading politicians, despite stepping down from the Royal Family in 2020.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Image: Getty)

When asked about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s recent appearance, panellist Nana Akua said: “To be honest with you, I’m absolutely sick to my back teeth of this couple if I’m totally honest with you.

“I mean why on earth, they don’t want to be royal, they didn’t want the publicity, now here they are once again, having taken private jets again to do this.

“They’ve got all this thing going on, behaving as though they’re doing a royal visit, the very thing that they didn’t want to do in the UK.

“I just find it all a bit sickening.”

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