Royal Family LIVE: Meghan’s has shared bond with PR chief – fight begins to restore image – Express

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have hired Christine Schirmer as their new head of communications. The 42-year-old, who is from New York and has worked with Apple and Pinterest, will lead the couple’s new global PR team and help them launch their Archewell Foundation. But Ms Schirmer already has a connection to Meghan as they both graduated from Northwestern University, in Illinois.

The Duchess studied theatre and international studies from 1999 to 2003, while Ms Shirmer attended between 1996 and 2000 to study journalism.

A source told the Mail on Sunday: “It’s quite possible that she and Christine crossed paths at Northwestern, at the very least the university gives them a shared bond.”

A publicist who knows Ms Schirmer called her the “real deal”.

They said: “She’s widely respected in the industry as one of the best and smartest there is.

Meghan Markle has a secret bond to her new PR guru

Meghan Markle has a secret bond to her new PR guru (Image: PA)

“And through her work with Pinterest and other tech companies she is the perfect person to launch a global brand.”

The Sussexes also hired Toya Holness as their new press secretary.

She has worked for the celebrity agency William Morris Endeavor, as well as the New York City education department and the video creation company Deluxe.

Ms Holness and Ms Schirmer will make up the team of PR representatives that also include the Sunshine Sachs agency in the US and James Holt in the UK.

The pair were hired by the Sussexes after Meghan is believed to have admitted she and Harry were “no longer the golden couple” and wanted to restore their image.

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Prince Charles arrived in Berlin with Camilla to remember those who have died in war

Prince Charles arrived in Berlin with Camilla to remember those who have died in war (Image: CLARENCE HOUSE TWITTER)

12.38pm update: Meghan Markle would be in ‘tailspin of sobbing in bed with wine’ after rejections

Meghan signed a historic production deal with Netflix earlier this year alongside Prince Harry, fuelling speculation that she may return to her acting past.

Meghan was becoming an established actress when she met her husband back in 2016. Her career had taken off after she first joined the US legal drama, Suits, in 2011.

Writing in his newly released biography, ‘Meghan Misunderstood’, author Sean Smith explained how the industry’s rejections started to wear her down just before she secured her gig on Suits.

He explained: ”Meghan was running on empty — tired and miserable as she went from one audition to the next.”

He added: “Meghan would go five straight years making pilots that never amounted to much.”

11.56am update: Kate issues heartfelt thank you to Britons for making lockdown project a success

Kensington Palace has shared an uplifting video of Kate thanking brave members of the public for documenting their unique experiences of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The 38-year-old started the Hold Still project in May in order to capture the “spirit, the mood, the hopes, the fears and the feelings of the nation”.

The project was launched in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery – of which Kate is a patron – and received more than 31,000 entries.

Kate said: “I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who submitted an image to Hold Still.

“I launched the project with the National Portrait Gallery back in May because I wanted to find a way to allow everyone to share their stories and experiences of lockdown.

“We have been thrilled by the response to the project and I couldn’t be more grateful to each and every one of the 31,000 people who submitted an image.”

10.56am update: Prince Charles dons military medals in Berlin as he attends ceremony to remember war dead

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have been officially welcomed to Germany by the country’s president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Budenbender at Berlin’s Bellevue Palace.

The four, who were all wearing face masks, posed for a socially distanced picture outside the 18th century building which is the principal official residence of the Federal President of Germany.

9.47am update: Queen issued warning over Royal Family finances as 2021 could be even more dire for Palace

The Queen and her courtiers are expected to raise money for the crown themselves “in various ways” to avoid taking more from taxpayers, according to a royal commentator.

This comes after the monarchy’s annual expenditure report revealed a major shortfall in Royal Family finances this year.

Richard Fitzwilliams spoke to Express.co.uk about why there had been such a drop in income for the Palace.

He said: “Yes, there will be a very substantial shortfall in the Buckingham Palace accounts.

“The expectation is that that will be met, so far as is possible, by various ‘efforts and efficiencies’, according to their own briefing.

“Broadly speaking, the anticipation is that the Palace will be some £35million short, but they won’t be asking for extra public money.

“Property rentals and facility management are part of the royal accounts that bring in £17.8million.”

8.51am update: Meghan Markle’s relationship with fans ‘influenced’ by Baywatch star after awkward meeting

Her attitude towards her fans can be traced back to a surprising encounter when she was a teenager working at a frozen yoghurt shop, according to Sean Smith’s latest biography, ‘Meghan Misunderstood’.

The author alleged: “Meghan was taking out the bins when she spotted an off-duty Yasmine Bleeth, famous for playing Caroline Holden, one of the swimsuit-wearing babes in Baywatch — not exactly a show at the forefront of female empowerment.

“Meghan, however, was star-struck.”

8.38am update: Prince William told to ‘take a leaf’ from Harry’s book and ‘call off’ Royal Family role

Republic is an organisation that campaigns to abolish the monarchy and to replace Queen Elizabeth II with a democratic, elected head of state.

Graham Smith told Express.co.uk that Prince Charles and Prince William will not have the same level of support as Queen Elizabeth II in the role of head of the monarchy.  

Mr Smith said: “It might be an idea for William to take a leaf out of his brother’s book and walk away, for Prince William to call this whole thing off.

“I am not sure William or Charles are going to carry the support that the Queen has.

“I do not know if they are going to want to do the job in the way the Queen has.”

8.05am update: Meghan Markle made ‘HUGE effort’ at private Remembrance Service with Harry claims expert

Bruce Durham, psychologist and body language expert, spoke about how the Duchess of Sussex’s choice of footwear was inappropriate for the terrain in the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

He also suggested that the trip meant more to Harry due to his military service, and that Meghan did her best to support her husband during the emotional moment.

The couple have been criticised for hiring a private photographer for the event, which led to some experts decrying the service as a “PR stunt”.

Mr Durham told the Daily Mirror Meghan was making a “huge amount of effort” appearing at the cemetery with Harry due to her thin heels.

He said: “If you look at the photo if you look at the two of them standing before the wreath – just look at how thin Meghan’s heels are.

“Then switch to the photo of them in the middle of a huge grass field – you know for a fact those heels are going to be causing chaos the moment she steps on the grass so she has killed herself trying to get into that position so far into the field for that shot. (…)

“You simply could not get into the middle of a grass field without those heels going in the turf so as every other woman globally would know – she has put a huge amount of effort in to get that picture – just look at the amount of grass she has covered to get there.”

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