We learned yesterday that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have volunteered twice for Project Angel Food in LA - once on Easter Sunday and again on Wednesday – delivering meals to people who are too sick to shop for food and cook. One of the recipients, Dan Tyrell, talked about meeting them briefly during the drop-off and TMZ acquired security camera footage of Harry and Meghan presumably from his building when it happened. You can see clearly in the video that it’s recorded off a monitor.


This is not the kind of footage we typically see of royals. It’s Harry and Meghan in the wild, dressed like you’d see many others dressed in LA, even with the masks and gloves, and not separated from people with barricades. And it’s going to be reality for them as they acclimate to their new life, not only in America but in Hollywood. So far they’ve managed to avoid been papped, probably because they have been locked down at home. They obviously weren’t papped while volunteering but they can’t circumvent how the gossip ecosystem works in Los Angeles, especially since everybody’s looking for them. No other couple in the world is as much of a heatscore as they are right now.  

That said, because LA in general is a heatscore, certain celebrities have figured out how to be in LA without being tracked. See Beyoncé. As many systems as there are in place to spotlight celebrities, there are also opposing systems and infrastructures set up by celebrities when they don’t want to be spotted. Harry and Meghan will have access to those resource and best practices and may already be implementing them now, given that they’ve been in LA for almost a month and this is the first time they’ve been pictured since they emerged, in a situation that was beyond those protocols. Like Beyoncé’s not making personal deliveries, you know?  


But that too is the challenge – Beyoncé and other megastars are fully leaned into the celebrity life and the divide it assumes between their world and the public. That separation is already built into the branding for people like Beyoncé and Brad Pitt and Taylor Swift and Jennifer Aniston etc. We already understand that for those celebrities, “relatability” is a joke. Harry and Meghan’s brand is about connection, they claim to want to understand us, and to be understood. That despite the fact that he’s a prince and a duke and she’s a duchess and they’re royal, they would still bring groceries to your door.  

That’s why this time of transition for them, while they figure out their next moves and what their new identity is going to be, is so interesting. How are they going to balance all these motivations that can sometimes be in conflict?