‘Obsessed!’ Meghan and Harry face US backlash as ‘Californians have no idea who they are’


MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry have faced backlash from a Californian Congressional candidate who claims “most” residents in the state “have no idea who they are”, despite it being the region where the couple settled down after quitting royal duties.

Over the weekend, it was reported that Toya Holness had stepped down from her position as global press secretary less than a year after taking on the role in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s team. Ms Holness’ departure makes her the latest of at least 12 of Harry and Meghan’s top staff to leave since 2018.

Ms Holness joined Harry and Meghan’s company Archewell in October 2020.

She initially worked as part of the couple’s public relations team, before being appointed as global press secretary in March 2021.

She was to utilise her degree in strategic PR from the University of Southern California to oversee their PR on both sides of the Atlantic.

According to royal journalist Roya Nikkhah, the couple and Ms Holness had “recently parted company” but no official explanation was given.

Meghan and Harry

‘Obsessed!’ Meghan and Harry face US backlash as ‘Californians have no idea who they are’ (Image: Getty)

Meghan and Harry

Toya Holness has stepped down as global press secretary within Meghan and Harry’s team (Image: Getty)

Beatrice Cardenas, a Congressional Candidate for California took to Twitter to mock the latest staff departure from the Sussexes team.

Ms Cardenas, a Republican who ran for election in 2020, responded to a user called “Tourre Bakahai” who had written: “‘Global’ press secretary [crying with laughter emoji] Does their fantasy world involve an intergalactic press secretary, too?

“What a couple of clowns. As if no-output showbiz wannabes subsidised by inherited wealth even need staff.”

Ms Cardenas, who ran for election in Meghan’s home state, claims the couple have an obsession with using the word “global” in relation to their brand and image.

However, she claims that most people in California – where the couple settled down after quitting royal duties – are not aware of them.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

In the last four years, the couple have lost staff including a personal protection officer (Image: Getty)

She wrote: “They’re obsessed with the word ‘global’. Meanwhile, most Californians have no idea who they are.”

After quitting their roles as senior royals, the couple eventually settled in Montecito, Santa Barbara.

They live in an £11million seven-acre property with their two children Archie and Lilibet.

Almost two years after moving into the home, Prince Harry has stressed that he has settled in nicely.

He told NBC’s Today Show in a recent interview about the Invictus Games: “Home for me now, for the time being, is in the States.”

He added: “We’ve been welcomed with open arms and have such a great community up in Santa Barbara.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Public sightings of the couple out and about in California have been rare (Image: Getty)

Although Harry took five months’ paternity leave when Lilibet was born, public sightings of the couple in California have been relatively rare.

Richard Mineards, a British journalist who pens a gossip column for the Montecito Journal, said: “Harry and Meghan haven’t become part of the community, and I think a lot of people are bristling about that really.

“It’s such a lovely place to go out and they’ve been a no-show. There is this big question of, ‘Where are they?’”

Since tying the knot in 2018, Meghan and Harry have also been dogged by the departure of top aides.

In the last four years, the couple has lost private secretaries, communications staff and the executive director of Harry’s sustainable tourism initiative Travalyst.

A personal protection officer who had been the top bodyguard for Meghan also stepped down in January 2019.

Meghan Markle Prince Harry

The couple live in California with their two children Archie and Lilibet. (Image: Getty)

The officer, who has not been named for security reasons, had been head of Meghan and Harry’s security for less than a year before leaving the role.

At the time, a Scotland Yard spokesman said: “It’s for personal reasons and absolutely nothing to do with the duke or duchess, who are hugely disappointed at losing her.”

Meghan’s deputy private secretary Amy Pickerill also announced she would be leaving her role following the birth of Archie in May 2019.

Ms Pickerill played a pivotal role during the couple’s royal tour to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, including helping to whisk Meghan to safety during a scare at a market.

Jason Knauf also quit his role as communications secretary for both the Sussexes and the Cambridges.

He went on to become the chief executive of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


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