Harry and Meghan: New Hollywood Royalty?

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Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, seen here last week in London, conferred with other members of the royal family on Monday to discuss their status going forward. Photo credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images

The hit TV show The Crown is being upstaged by a real-life drama: the Sussex Royals — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — are stepping back from the Royal Family. Their announcement was a bombshell in Britain, though the Queen has since given her public approval. 

The couple says Canada is their destination, but Los Angeles has a big role to play for them, from shaping their influencer project to perhaps becoming a possible new home.

Bronwyn Cosgrave, a fashion historian who covered the weddings of William and Kate as well as Harry and Meghan for Canadian TV, tells DnA the couple has been working closely with Oprah Winfrey, as well as the documentarians Dawn Porter and Asif Kapadia on an Apple TV series about emotional health. Cosgrave says it’s a sign they were looking to “take a more active life independently of the royal family.”

The couple could become Instagram influencers, along the lines of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. In fact, the royal couple have been spotted house hunting in Calabasas, according to Vanity Fair and L.A.-based interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard is rumored to be involved.

Markle grew up in Woodland Hills and the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles.The Hollywood actress is also a disruptor, with her own lifestyle blog, The Tig, and the couple have launched their new website SussexRoyal.com.

The jury is out, says Cosgrave, on the “brash” commodification of their royal connection in branded tea towels, mugs and teapots, as is expected from the trademarking of the SussexRoyal name.

However, their modernity, their engagement with humanitarian issues, and the perception of racially-based coldness of the Royal family and British media to Markle, leads Cosgrave to conclude: “It does not surprise me at all that they are willing to take the leap away from the kind of cloistered, suffocating culture that permeates Buckingham Palace.”