The Duchess of Sussex should stop using her royal title if she wants to succeed in politics, a marketing expert has said.
Speculation has swirled around Meghan Markle over recent days with claims Prince Harry’s wife was thinking of entering the race to replace California senator Dianne Feinstein, who died on September 29.
Pauline Maclaran, Professor of Marketing and Consumer Research at Royal Holloway, University of London, said Meghan could carve out a career in politics, but not right now.
She told Express.co.uk: “I don’t think she has built enough of a trajectory to be taken seriously enough as a person. She has always expressed strong opinions and more recently she has lobbied for parental leave and vaccine equity, but I’m not aware of anything else she has done that is a sign of her intention towards politics. I don’t think she has built enough credibility yet.”
In October 2021, Meghan called on then Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Charles Schumer for paid leave for parents. It came after she and Harry made a series of appearances in New York to coincide with the UN General Assembly and President Joe Biden’s Covid summit, calling for equal access to the coronavirus vaccine.
Professor Maclaran said: “When she was lobbying for parental leave she used her Duchess of Sussex title and I don’t think that was an appropriate move.
“To me that indicates she doesn’t quite know where she is. She wants to use that title as a status symbol but, for a political route in the US, using a title is really rather ridiculous. It shows she wants to keep a foot in both camps.
“She could have said she was co-founder of Archewell or an actress. The royal title still seems to contribute to her sense of self and identity. I think it shows she hasn’t got a clear direction.”
The former Suits star has long been rumoured to harbour political aspirations in the US with the speculation taking a strange turn when a major political activist backed her to run for the White House.
President Biden’s sister Valerie Biden Owens endorsed Meghan as a potential candidate for the highest political office in the United States, according to the Daily Mail.
Professor Maclaran described the idea of Meghan becoming president as “pure speculation”, but pointed to President Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger as former actors who succeeded in politics.
She said: “It just depends how she develops a strategy, learns and adapts. She could probably go far, but she has a lot of tainting to overcome.
“I would have thought the Americans are not over Harry’s book Spare. [The Sussexes] got teased mercilessly for that, particularly with South Park. That was really a significant popular culture moment where they became a huge laughing stock, and still are to an extent.
“I can’t see her going anywhere at the moment. She has to develop a clear image in her own right.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom picked Laphonza Butler for the Senate role, but it would not rule out Meghan pursuing her political ambitions.
An exclusive poll for Daily Express US showed many Democrats think she could beat Donald Trump in the next election.
Writer and broadcaster Esther Krakue suggested Meghan’s past would come under even more intense scrutiny if she were to enter politics.
She told Sky News Australia: “Politics in the US – well, anywhere but particularly in the US – is a blood sport.
“People run campaigns based on a gaffe you made 20 years ago. There’s more than enough content for people that would want to put out negative press coverage about Meghan Markle.”