Barely gone and already tracked down by the paparazzi: for Harry and Meghan, regaining control of their image looks difficult, especially since the couple's financial future depends in large part on their notoriety.
It is in the hope of a more peaceful life that the couple in their thirties, at war against ruthless tabloids for the ex-American actress, wanted to gain independence from the British royal family and took refuge in Canada , for now on Vancouver Island.
Thousands of miles from royal correspondents in the British print media, whom they deem outdated in the digital age and at the origin of distorted information about them, they are not immune to attention media.
They are in the sights of paparazzi around the world, just as Harry's mother, Lady Di, had been pursued by photographers until his death in a car accident in 1997 in Paris.
They were bitten to the heart by the dissemination of photos of the Duchess of Sussex, walking with her eight-month-old baby, Archie, and her two dogs. Furious, Harry and Meghan immediately threatened to prosecute.
At the same time, they do not intend to remain in the shadows. Since her arrival, Meghan has visited charities dealing with women, visits to skillfully orchestrated communication. The couple also posted photos of a recent Duchess' visit to a wildlife refuge on Instagram on Wednesday.
On this social network, their SussexRoyal account has more than 11 million subscribers - more than that of Harry's big brother, William, and his wife Kate ...
"I get the impression that they want their cake and eat it too," said Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Publishers, which defends press freedom. This former journalist considers it "incompatible" to lead "a life of celebrities to defend good causes but also earn money to finance their lifestyle" and at the same time "have the degree of privacy they want".
- "Less respectful" -
Prince Harry's hopes for tranquility are "a bit utopian," says Penny Junor, author of a biography on the youngest of Prince Charles and Lady Di.
According to her, the situation could even get worse now that they will no longer be "active members" of the royal family: "The press risks being less respectful than before".
The 35-year-old prince, sixth in the order of succession to the British throne, has always had a tumultuous relationship with the sensational newspapers, which he holds responsible for the death of his mother.
After the tragic death of Diana, the media left a relative peace to princes William and Harry during their childhood. But towards the end of his adolescence, the cadet quickly became in turn a client of choice for the tabloids, who reveled in his misconduct.
As the prince calmed down as he entered adulthood, his relations with the press became calmer.
"He understood that he could do good things with his title but also that for that he needed publicity and that a good relationship with the media was very important", notes Penny Junor, describing a prince "very polite, funny and charming "with journalists.
Media relations were strained again with the arrival of Meghan in her life. Initially welcomed as a breath of modernity for the monarchy, the ex-actress Métis and divorced was quickly caught in flu by some newspapers, inheriting the nickname of "capricious duchess".
Tensions have escalated to the point that the couple launched a lawsuit last fall against several newspapers for invasion of the private life. He criticizes them in particular for the publication of extracts from a letter from Meghan to his father Thomas Markle.
Now distant, Harry and Meghan "must accept that their lifestyle will continue to be dissected," warns Ian Murray, especially since their presence in Canada is likely to attract the American press: "The United States is just across the border and Meghan is an American princess so there will be interest. "
© 2020 AFP