Reports that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are being wooed to make a cameo in a new series of The Kardashians is a telling sign of how “they have frittered away their reputations in pursuit of money,” a former friend of Harry’s has told The Daily Beast.
The person said they had been left “gobsmacked” at reports that Harry and Meghan are weighing an offer to appear in Hulu’s hit reboot of the legendary reality show.
However, industry insiders told The Daily Beast that it makes sense for Meghan to be “aligned” with the Kardashians, especially if she is planning to relaunch herself as a lifestyle and social media influencer, a space the Kardashians rule, as some reports have suggested.
The rumor first emerged in British gossip magazine Bella before being picked up by other tabloids such as the Mirror, and also appearing in Page Six. A source was cited as saying: “It’s no coincidence that the Kardashians all move in the same circles as Meghan’s new circle… It’s just a slam dunk for the two families to team up, but Kris doesn’t want to push too aggressively, too soon… Even if it’s just a cameo, that’s a huge win for Kris, the business side is now in motion and looking very lucrative.”
While the prospect of the exiled royals appearing on The Kardashians may be being greeted in England with a surge in demand for smelling salts, the producer, asked if an appearance would damage Meghan’s brand, said: “Not if she wants to be famous. Sure, the Kardashians are tacky, but that family are an entertainment juggernaut. Meghan will certainly want to be aligned with them, especially if she wants to make a splash on the social networks.”
Harry and Meghan’s office declined to respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment, and nor did Hulu.
While the initial report may well be based on speculation, the producer, who has decades of experience, told The Daily Beast it would make sense for Meghan and Harry to stage a cameo on the show if they are serious about relaunching Meghan’s career as a Hollywood figure.
“Meghan is having her moment in the sun, but the Kardashians have been going for over 15 years now [Keeping Up With The Kardashians premiered in 2007 on E!]. If Meghan is being seen at events with them in LA then it’s probably not too big a leap before they get her to sign a release and be on camera, even briefly. That is how those shows work.”
“It reinforced what Meghan has felt for a while now—that the Kardashians are a very cool family who have been misjudged and mistreated a lot in the media, just like she and Harry have been.”
— Sussex source
And there is plenty of evidence that Meghan and Harry do appear to be cozying up to the Kardashians.
In August, Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mom, who is fully involved in the couple’s life and helps with the rearing of their children, posed for photos at a charity gala with Kim and Kris.
After that event, The Mirror reported that Meghan was grateful to the Kardashians for making Doria feel welcome, with a source saying, “It meant a lot to Meghan when she heard about it, and it reinforced what she’s felt for a while now—that the Kardashians are a very cool family who have been misjudged and mistreated a lot in the media, just like she and Harry have been.”
The Mirror said Meghan was introduced to Kim by Ellen DeGeneres, and claimed they had been “on Zoom calls to brainstorm on how they can collaborate,” with plans “synced to Meghan’s Instagram return.”
Then, in September, Meghan attended Beyoncé’s birthday concert as part of a celebrity guest list including Kim and other Kardashians. There have also been reports that Meghan has hired Kim’s firm of bodyguards—and her hairdresser, Michael Silver. And we all know what it means when you share a hairdresser.
So while some feel that an appearance by Meghan on The Kardashians is merely a matter of time, among Harry’s old set the notion is still met with astonishment.
One old friend, who was friends with Harry and William at Eton and has maintained a friendship with William despite not being in touch with Harry any more, told The Daily Beast: “I mean, it used to be a joke, ‘Oh, they are going to be the new Kardashians.’ The idea that it could actually happen is insane. I’m gobsmacked. They have frittered away their reputations in pursuit of money, and this is the result. I actually think they ultimately probably will do it, or something very like it. They have done everything else, and they are going to need the money.”
Of course, money has long been a decisive factor for the couple—when they left the royal family they made a big point about wanting financial independence and being free to earn their own money—and it is for this reason that the publicist and brand strategist Mark Borkowski is reluctant to dismiss the idea.
“If the goal is to actually generate money, and I expect it is, then why wouldn’t you go to one of the most successful brands in existence in pursuit of building your own narrative? It’s not a stupid idea.”
— Mark Borkowski
“They defined their brand by spectacular narratives, but the distance between those spectaculars is growing. So they face the biggest danger of all, which is becoming irrelevant. The royal family have done a great job of parking them and ignoring them, and as a result they are running out of line.”
But wouldn’t an appearance on The Kardashians just serve to unspool the line faster?
“If they go down that route, they die a little, they undermine the glamor that went with them when they first burst onto the scene.
“But if the goal is to actually generate money, and I expect it is, then why wouldn’t you go to one of the most successful brands in existence in pursuit of building your own narrative? It’s not a stupid idea. It is, commercially, quite a disruptive idea.”
Norah Lawlor, a brand strategist and CEO of Lawlor Media Group, told The Daily Beast that everything would depend on the overall framing of their appearance: “The key question is context. Without the segment of the show being focused on a mutual interest in a charity situation it risks playing into the hands of elements in the U.K. who see Harry and Meghan as having lost their way in the wilderness of mirrors of the celebrity world.”