After what a source has previously described to The Post as a “summer of hell” – including angering the public about private jet travel and a $ 4 million home renovation – Meghan Markle uses her and Prince Harry’s South African tour as an opportunity to shift opinion.
It has been a carefully crafted campaign in which the Duchess of Sussex sat on the floor with fellow mothers, cuddling poor children, wearing “old” clothing – even leaving her $ 140,000 engagement ring at home.
Sources told The Post that she is being advised on image repair by close friends, including friend Keleigh Thomas Morgan and others at Sunshine Sachs, an LA company known for crisis management by celebrities.
“Meghan knew she needed help, [so] she reached out to a few trusted people, including Keleigh,” a close Meghan Markle insider said. “She has some girlfriends in the UK who are very familiar with British media.”
(Sunshine Sachs told The Post that the company was only hired to help with the charitable Sussex Foundation of Harry and Meghan.)
Perhaps most important to giving the audience what they want, Meghan and Harry finally allowed son Archie to be candidly photographed. Previously they had only released a handful of formal photos and were accused of “hiding” the baby.
Sussex Royal’s Instagram account posted a video of the family on their way to see the anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu while Harry told his son, “You’re going to meet Arch, Arch.”
During her first royal tour – through Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga – a year ago, Meghan Markle carried expensive products from Stella McCartney and Oscar de la Renta.
This time she flopped for a Madewell denim jacket – about $ 100 – and pulled outfits from the back of her wardrobe, with Veronica Beard and Martin Grant dresses, both worn during pregnancy. She also sent an environmentally friendly message by wearing brands that apply sustainability.
Not only did the duchess show her compassionate side by embracing and dancing with the locals, she visited a memorial for a murdered South African student as a “personal gesture” after “following the story closely,” a spokeswoman said from Buckingham Palace. She and Harry also wore “justice bracelets” in honor of The Justice Desk, a non-profit initiative that supports female empowerment.
The journey has been a real master class so far and reminded the once adoring audience why they fell for Meghan Markle in the first place.