Today is Prince Harry’s birthday, he’s 37 years old and his royal family members have posted well-wishes for him on social media.
Today is also conveniently the day TIME chose to release its annual Most Influential People list and accompanying cover subjects which include Billie Eilish, Simone Biles, Kate Winslet, Cathy Park Hong, Jensen Huang, Ngozi Okonio-Iweala, and Harry and Meghan of House Sussex.
This is the first time Harry and Meghan have posed together for the cover of a magazine. Here are some more shots:
I like how they coordinated in olive green. I also like how much volume there is in Meghan’s hair on the cover.
We’ve not seen her in a while during her maternity leave. And, also, from an exposure standpoint, she would know that you create greater impact for a story like this when you’ve kept it low-key.
As is tradition with the TIME 100, the list is divided into categories: Icons, Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders, and Innovators. The Sussexes are in the Icon grouping. And as is tradition with the TIME 100, there are no interviews; subjects are briefly profiled instead by other notable people – in Harry and Meghan’s case, their entry was written by José Andrés. Side note: if you’re unfamiliar with José, you should listen to his episode on Smartless, which is Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett’s podcast. I went into it not thinking it would do much and he ended up being one of my favourite guests that they’ve ever had on. He is hilarious and insightful and engaging. And, clearly, he has a lot of admiration for the people he’s writing about.
This sets up well for Harry and Meghan as far as magazine features go because most of the time, if you’re getting this much real estate in a publication, not only do you have to participate in the pictures, you also have to talk. In this case, they didn’t have to say much of anything at all. And when they do speak, it’s not about themselves. Because while Harry and Meghan were profiled by José, they paid it forward and profiled Ngozi:
These are the kinds of connections and associations that they want to be recognised for, so the TIME 100 fits in exactly with their brand strategy, positioning them in the culture as celebrity changemakers as opposed to just celebrities, full-stop.
So you can imagine what the reaction has been in the British tabloids. To see the Sussexes positioned among all these influential global power players,
Which only means that, well, over in the UK, the British tabloids are furious. According to their wish-narrative, Harry was supposed to move to America and flounder. Flourishing is probably a better word for it.