Harry and Meghan are the new royal dupes of Sussex. Apparently the real royals aren't happy about it.

It's the royal tour you have when you're not having a royal tour: Harry and Meghan have arrived in Nigeria, smiling and waving and posing for photos in a way we really only ever see — well, royals — do.

Meghan has worn some cute outfits, which have prompted the expected coverage of who she's wearing and how much it cost, and Harry has talked up his beloved Invictus Games, as well as youth mental health challenges.

It all feels quite a lot like what they did when they were royals, doesn't it?

But don't call it a royal tour. In case you forgot — and can we ever really be allowed to forget? — Harry and Meghan are most definitely not royals. That all ended with Harry's resignation in 2020, and the couple have been living in the US and battling all manner of PR challenges ever since.

As you can imagine, the OG royals aren't exactly thrilled about this 'look at us' tour of Nigeria.

Meghan and Harry reportedly left King Charles and Prince William "absolutely furious", according to a royal expert.

Royal author Tom Quinn told The Mirror: "William is absolutely furious and determined to find a way to stop this happening in future. Charles is said to be angrier than anyone has ever seen him. What's really upset the applecart is the fact that the Nigerians treated Meghan and Harry as if they too thought this was an official tour — all the signs were there as the couple were greeted with dances, receptions, visits to schools and charities."

Watch: The highlights of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal tour in Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

So what's going on? And why should we care?

This is where we're going to get into dupe culture. Like with those outfits Meghan is wearing — which have been said to cost around the same as the average Nigerian annual wage — we all love a good dupe. Why pay for the real thing when you can get something that looks similar — but faster and cheaper?

Isn't that what Mehgan and Harry really are these days: royal dupes?

They look like royals, they act like royals — they probably smell like royals. But they're freelancers, so they come without a whole lot of the red tape and paperwork.

But "going rogue" in Nigeria has likely landed them in hot water yet again with the top dogs back home in the UK, says royal author Quinn.

"Their Nigeria trip is a bold statement that they refuse to accept they are no longer working royals. William and Charles are scratching their heads and thinking, 'How are we going to control this nightmare situation?'

"For Charles and William, it's as if Meghan and Harry are saying, 'We don't need your permission to be working royals — we will do it on our own terms whenever and wherever we like.'"


Naughty Sussex's.

So why exactly did Meghan and Harry leave The Firm again?

Holly, Mia and Jessie made the excellent point on Mamamia Out Loud this week that Harry and Meghan have made the classic millennial move of quitting their full-time jobs, and moving into a more flexible gig economy. It's all care, no responsibility.

Listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud here. Post continues after audio.

They don't want to spend their lives traipsing across the globe and going wherever King Charles tells them to go. They want to do their own thing — which may or may not sometimes include a little bit of royal-adjacent activity.

And it couldn't have come at a better time for the legit royals, really. With Catherine out of action as she is treated for cancer, and Charles only just back at work following his cancer diagnosis, poor William has been doing all the heavy lifting on his own.

William might be thrilled that Harry and Meghan are making an appearance in Nigeria right now to help out — or he could equally be slightly irked that this great fanfare means nobody is talking about his current and probably Very Important visit to the Isles of Scilly.

What temp pool is there for the royals to lean on when their starting team is this depleted? Beatrice and Eugenie have done the hard yards of providing royal weddings and babies, but they don't seem particularly interested in royal life — and who can blame them, when all they're asked about is their problematic dad? Andrew is obviously 'retired', and Edward and his family seem perfectly happy being removed from this level of responsibility.


And so it falls to those employees who quit in the most public of manners, sending an all-staff email telling the boss to go shove it, and flipping the bird on the way out the door. Until their new gig doesn't quite work out and they return to the fold for the easy pay cheque and the familiar office environment.

Prince Harry and Meghan visit Polo Club on May 12, 2024 in Lagos, Nigeria. Image: Getty.


So familiar. So comforting. Many media commentators are saying that this type of PR exercise is exactly what the royal family needs right now.

It's been disaster after disaster for the royal family lately, and they are coming across as more out of touch than ever. So having a pseudo-royal who can mix it with the conquered minions — like Meghan can, after she announced she is 54 per cent Nigerian — must be appealing to the royal PR machine.

It could be a win-win as far as PR goes. Harry and Meghan have been the butt of jokes since pretty much forever, but certainly since Harry's book Spare was published, shining a light on his experience of feeling on the outer with the family business.

Perhaps now they have a new selling point: as the royal dupes. The royals with the 'common' touch (if we're going to use that terminology, we need to remember it's all relative — see comments above about the costs of Meghan's wardrobe). The royals who aren't quite so concerned with protecting the family name.

And let's not forget that at the core of this media circus is a visit to promote work on Invictus Games and for youth mental health challenges. If those worthy causes get a bit of attention, we'll take the dupe.

This article was originally published on May 15, 2024, and has since been updated with new information.

Feature Image: Getty.