In Britain, we’ve all spent months bracing ourselves for what our leaders assure us will be a dreadful winter. As the weather turns, we can look forward to ruinous energy bills, runaway inflation, collapsing health services, strikes, blackouts, more strikes, violent crime, and perhaps even — why not? — a nuclear war with Russia.

As if that weren’t bad enough, Meghan and Harry are back, wafting over all the way from Montecito, California, on billowy clouds of bonkers publicity, self-pity and self-help mumbo-jumbo.

On Monday, as the UK announces a new prime minister, Meghan and Harry will...

In Britain, we’ve all spent months bracing ourselves for what our leaders assure us will be a dreadful winter. As the weather turns, we can look forward to ruinous energy bills, runaway inflation, collapsing health services, strikes, blackouts, more strikes, violent crime, and perhaps even — why not? — a nuclear war with Russia.

As if that weren’t bad enough, Meghan and Harry are back, wafting over all the way from Montecito, California, on billowy clouds of bonkers publicity, self-pity and self-help mumbo-jumbo.

On Monday, as the UK announces a new prime minister, Meghan and Harry will attend a “One Young World” summit for youth leaders in Manchester, England, where Meghan will deliver the keynote address. They will also meet “a group of summit delegates doing outstanding work on gender equality.” The couple will then head to Düsseldorf in Germany for a ceremony for the Invictus Games, the international sporting event that Harry founded for injured veterans, before returning to London for the “WellChild Awards” next Thursday.

That itinerary sounds almost too simple: young royals doing what royals do, meeting, greeting and applauding charitable endeavors. Establishment types might dare to hope that Meghan and Harry will end up not attracting too much attention, especially since Britain might be distracted by the news on Downing Street.

Things are never normal or low-key when it comes to Meghan and Harry, however. The couple are widely expected to bring a Netflix camera crew over with them, as well as their own substantial media team. Wherever they go, drama is sure to follow.

There’s the bubbling row between Harry and the Home Office over the provision of security for his family in the UK, for starters. The couple are expected to stay in Frogmore Cottage in Windsor on the Crown Estate, just a short walk from William and Kate’s new home, Adelaide Cottage. But the two brothers are at odds, as everyone knows by now, and royal sources say the families have no intention of meeting. Nor will Prince William see his brother when he flies over to New York later in the month. The blood is bad.

Meghan, for her part, is making it clear that she now directs the Sussex show — and the old “Firm” are just going to have to wince and bear it. Last week, she launched Archetypes, a podcast from the “audio’ division at Archewell, the Sussexes’ new-fangled company — or “start-up,” as she calls it.

In the shiny Spotify promo video, Meghan says people should “expect the real me… unfiltered.” If the early episodes are anything to go by, that means a series in which the Duchess interviews successful women by telling them about herself. In the latest, “The Duality of Diva with Mariah Carey,” Meghan preaches to the award-winning singer: “If there’s any time in my life that there’s been more focus on my race, it’s only when I started dating my husband. Then I started to understand what it is like to be treated as a black woman because until then I had been treated like a mixed woman.”

In the first episode, “The Misconception of Ambition with Serena Williams,” Meghan barely let the greatest female tennis player of all time get a word in for the first ten minutes. Future podcasts will be about women being called “crazy,” “slut” and “bitch.” Stay tuned, girls.

In a strangely lobotomized way, Meghan seems to have been influenced by the theories of Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology and hero to mystical bores everywhere. There will be twelve episodes of Archetypes, just as there are twelve archetypes in Jungian analysis. Meghan’s archetypes, however, turn out to be a mix of esoteric waffle about “growth and dimensionality” and feminist platitudes about patriarchal oppression. Does Meghan even know what the title of her podcast means? By making each episode focus on a different “trope” that “holds women back,” she seems to be talking stereotypes, not archetypes, which is something quite different.

Who cares? Archetypes went straight to number one on Spotify, which must have come as a relief to the streaming service chiefs who struck a reported $25 million deal with the Sussexes all the way back in December 2020.

But the podcast isn’t just about online engagements, mega-rich celebrities or even imparting cod-spiritual wisdoms. It’s about exacting royal revenge on the House of Windsor and the British establishment. According to Harry’s biographer Duncan Larcombe, the start of Archetypes is merely “the opening salvo” in Meghan’s “twelve-week war” on the royal family.

This week, New York magazine’s the Cut published its long and excruciating interview with the Duchess, and Meghan used it to fling even more PR arrows across the Atlantic towards the House of Windsor.

The narcissism has to be read to be believed. Meghan oh-so humbly acknowledges that people still see her as a “real-life princess” even if the monarchy won’t class her as a senior royal. She recounts how a South African actor told her: “I just need you to know: when you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.” Mandela’s grandson Zwelivelile responded on Tuesday, saying that the end of apartheid “cannot be equated” with marrying “a white prince.”

But that won’t stop the Duchess. The first rule of Meghan is that everything is always about Meghan. As she showed in that now infamous Oprah interview, she fully believes in her own long walk to freedom — from the gilded cage of royal life in the UK to the floaty la-la-land of Santa Barbara. She also tells the Cut — almost by accident but not quite — that Harry told her he “lost” his father in their fight against the tabloids. Harry lost his mother too, of course. Is it a coincidence that Harry and Meghan’s reappearance in Britain comes just days after the twenty-fifth anniversary of her death?

“It’s interesting,” says Meghan as the Cut interview closes. “I’ve never had to sign anything that restricts me from talking… I can talk about my whole experience and make a choice not to.” Why doesn’t she? “Still healing,” she replies. Is that Meghan the victim speaking her truth? Or Meghan the rebel issuing a not-so-veiled threat to the in-laws she despises?

Where is Harry in all this? The Duke seems to have been relegated to a subservient role in Meghan’s media blitz, which is funny given their shared emphasis on gender equality. In the podcast, he appears for about fifteen seconds. He is allowed to compliment Serena on her hair — “great vibe” — and then shuffles off, not to be heard again. “Thanks, my love,” says Meghan, with the sort of tenderness a Taliban warlord might reserve for his prettiest wife.

In the Cut piece, Harry pops up again in genial handy-hubby mode. “We’re fixing all these things, the pipes,” he says, talking about his massive new house. He then slavishly relates a story about how he reassured his wife, after an exhausting photo-shoot, that she can be “a mom” and “a model.” Later, we learn he fixed a neighbor’s sprinkler.

Maybe Harry is biding his time. After all, he is supposed to be bringing out an “intimate and heartfelt” memoir before Christmas — part of a $20 million deal with Random House. Whispers from the publishing world suggest his reminiscences will make uncomfortable reading for the Windsors. “It’s the book, more than Netflix or Spotify, that is causing a lot of concern,” says one royal source. Will he denounce his father as an abusive patriarch? Will he call his uncle a sex abuser?

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Harry and Meghan at Saint Paul’s Cathedral as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee (Getty)

The text has already been (ghost) written and reportedly signed off by lawyers — though the latest rumor is that the publication date may be pushed back to next year. Harry is apparently worried that his “truth bombs” might prove too explosive. Perhaps the real reason is that Michelle Obama’s second book is out on November 15. Nobody wants to clash with her. The Sussexes clearly want to imitate the Obamas by becoming exemplars of the new globo-royalty. Both couples are signed up to mega-million Netflix, Spotify and publishing deals — because, as Bill Gates said, the real king is content.

Meghan and Harry have so far struggled to make good on their $100 million deal with Netflix, however. There’s Heart of Invictus, a docu-series about the games, which still hasn’t been released. And Netflix has quietly ditched Pearl, a Meghan-inspired cartoon about a girl who “steps into her own power” as she travels through time and meets the greatest women in history.

“There’s not much you can do when a company and a division changes their slate,” Meghan tells the Cut. “And there’s also not much you can do when, even if they think the project is great, the media will report it as though it was only my project.” Life can be so unfair.

Meghan and Harry are cooking up something, though, and Netflix has been tight-lipped about what it is. A spokesman for the couple has said that they will not be “taking part in any reality shows.” But this week Meghan confirmed that she was working with the award-winning director Liz Garbus. “The piece of my life I haven’t been able to share, that people haven’t been able to see, is our love story,” she says. God help us all.

There’s a whiff of sadness emanating from the Sussexes’ output. The couple like to blame Britain’s toxic tabloids for having demonized them — yet that means acknowledging that some of the public holds them in contempt. A recent YouGov poll suggests that while William and Kate are well-liked, a strong majority of Britons have a negative view of Harry and Meghan. The only less popular royal figure is Prince Andrew. The poll also found that women dislike Meghan more than men.

The couple probably have more fans in America. But the bitchy on dit in California is that Harry and Meghan have not achieved the super-sleb status they so obviously crave. It’s said that Hollywood’s most famous stars look down on them as a slightly awkward pair. Meghan and Harry aren’t trusted not to spill celebrity beans to the media, apparently. Hollywood is a nasty place.

After “Megxit” (Harry says that term is misogynistic), Meghan and Harry no doubt intended to conquer Hollywood. They seem to have failed, which might explain in part why they are heading back to Britain determined to reinvent themselves once again.

“Love always wins,” Meghan and Harry are both fond of saying. Yet they seem increasingly spiteful. For them, victory means the monarchy has to lose.

This article was originally published in The Spectator’s UK magazine. Subscribe to the World edition here.