Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Fighting Back, Have Adopted a “To Hell With the Critics” Attitude, Source Says

“They are determined to come through this and overcome the tougher times together.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk side by side
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as Marie Claire reported recently, believe themselves to be “really unlucky” professionally, blaming outside forces like the pandemic and the deaths of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth for their stunted projects. The bad luck seemingly culminated with the collapse of the couple’s $20 million deal with Spotify, which was inked in 2020 and fell through last month. (In those nearly three years, the couple’s only piece of content for Spotify was Meghan’s 12-episode podcast, “Archetypes,” which debuted last year.)

The Sussexes are both in a bit of a rebranding, reimagination of image phase right now, figuring out next steps, which look professionally to likely see the two take separate career paths. The Mirror reports that Meghan is determined to come back “all guns blazing” to fight her way to the top, with the duchess reportedly eyeing more entertainment-focused projects, while her husband will zoom in on humanitarian work for the most part.

“The thinking on Meghan’s part is that they owe it to themselves to fight back and make a success of things, however much that costs and however challenging it may be in some cases,” a source said. “She’s told the team that her new plan simply can’t fail.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stand close to one another on stage

(Image credit: Getty)

Meghan recently signed with William Morris Endeavor (WME), a powerhouse talent agency; her representation will be helmed by veteran Ari Emanuel, widely considered by many to be one of the best in the business.

Meghan, the source continued, is now determined to “prove the haters wrong” and come back swinging: “She feels she’s been backed into a corner,” the insider said. “Her next move will be explosive to say the least.”

Per The Daily Express, “The greatest fear from Meghan and Harry’s perspective is that this latest controversy and criticism could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to what the public thinks of them and how much money they can earn,” a Netflix source said. “Things may have to change as far as joint appearances go, and certainly it seems like bashing the royals together is off the agenda now for the foreseeable future.”

Meghan is bothered by accusations that she’s not working hard enough, a source said. “Meghan is distraught over this Spotify snub and the fallout that has followed. It’s totally knocked her sideways. She can’t believe she’s been attacked so viciously and so publicly by one of their execs, and to be labeled ‘grifters’ is an utterly humiliating and gut-wrenching all-time low—it’s served as a brutal reality check that things really do need to change to save their popularity.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle prepare to embrace

(Image credit: Getty)

Her team apparently feels that she needs to focus on more individual projects, as “they feel that if Meghan does more on her own, she’ll have more opportunities to save her career,” the insider said. “It will give them breathing room and restore confidence—or at least that’s the hope.”

Meghan (and Harry’s) fighting back spirit will be on full display in their next act: “People can call them money hungry and even grifters,” a source said, per OK. “Harry and Meghan think it’s all just jealous and mean people flinging stones.” The insider added “Meghan’s going to be the queen of Hollywood before long, and she and Harry will be raking in millions. To hell with the critics is their attitude.”

For now, Meghan is still “reassessing things from top to bottom,” an insider said, per The Daily Express. “It’s like a perfect storm of stress and challenges and, of course, that’s led to some tense conversations while Meghan and Harry hunker down to navigate this latest crisis. But they are determined to come through this and overcome the tougher times together.” 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.