And Jonathan Sacerdoti believes the Sussexes’ decision to press world leaders on coronavirus vaccines is motivated by a determination to stay in the limelight.
The Royal couple wrote to world leaders attending the G20 summit in Rome at the weekend urging them to honor a pledge to send COVID-19 vaccines to low-income countries.
Mr. Sacerdoti, a regular commentator on Sky News as well as a contributor to The Spectator, said: “I think it was significant in terms of the timing, in the same way, that everything Meghan and Harry does is significant in terms of the timing.
“Which is to say they won’t let a single opportunity for attention and publicity pass them by and I think COP26 is one of those opportunities.”
He told Express.co.uk: “The Royal Family were meant to be there in force.
“Of course the Queen, unfortunately, had to cancel her appearance and speech at the opening but the fact that the Royal Family dedicated so much effort to the conference shows how important it was not just to them but to the country.
“And I think that Meghan and Harry would have felt very much left out and that’s probably one of the moments when they would most have missed the side of royal duties that comes with being a working Royal.”
While the couple may have felt “liberated” after leaving their lives as working Royals and relocating to California, Mr. Sacerdoti suggested there are elements they miss.
He said: “Presumably being a cause that they want to be seen to be supporting will be one of those opportunities they might miss.
“So they haven’t missed it – they’ve put their names to this letter.” With respect to their appeal to send doses of the jab to low-income countries where just three percent of the population has been vaccinated, Mr. Sacerdoti said: “I did wonder about that letter.
“Sorry to be cynical, but I understand why the head of the World Health Organization [WHO] might be writing about vaccines to world leaders.
But I couldn’t for the life of me figure out under what capacity in what capacity, Meghan and Harry are giving advice about vaccinations to world leaders.”
When for example Tony Blair offered advice on vaccine strategy, he did so as a former Prime Minister, while Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus spoke in his capacity as the director-general of the WHO, Mr. Sacerdoti pointed out.
He added: “With Meghan and Harry, we’re talking about somebody that used to open boxes on Deal or No Deal and to appear in a legal soap opera, and somebody who was born into the British Royal Family and achieved I don’t think very stellar results in his science education as a schoolboy.
“So I can’t understand for the life of me why these two particularly are commenting on these matters.”
Mr. Sacerdoti conceded: “I don’t think many of us necessarily disagree with the cause they’re putting forward – I think the idea of getting as much of the world vaccinated against COVID-19 as possible is, of course, an admirable one.
“And I think standing up for those in countries where they haven’t got a successful vaccination plan as we do here in the UK or in other developed countries is of course a worthy cause and a valuable effort to make.
“But I don’t see how those two people, in particular, making the case is actually going to do anything other than invite ridicule towards them.
“I don’t think it’s going to progress that cause any further than it would have been progressed just by the WHO and other more convincing world leaders who have authority on this matter. They have no authority on this matter.”
To complicate matters, Mr. Sacerdoti also stressed even if they had been invited to attend COP26, it would have been difficult for Meghan and Harry to do so in any case.
He said: “The nature of a climate conference is such that people will have to travel to it from around the world and that will in itself, of course, have a negative carbon effect.
“So perhaps Meghan and Harry will have thought about that. Did they urgently need to be there as much as some other people if they had planned to try to get there in the first place? “And whether or not that would have been part of the calculation I just don’t know.
“But certainly they’ve been criticized for their use of private jets quite so much when they’ve put themselves forwards as eco-warriors and advocates for saving the planet and the environment.”
In their letter to G20 leaders shared via their Archewell website, signed by the pair of them alongside Dr. Ghebreyesus, Meghan and Harry said: “We understand that the pandemic recovery is nuanced and deeply complex, but we have a window of opportunity to come together as a global community and meet our humanitarian promises.
“By delivering already-pledged doses, helping countries manufacture their own vaccines, and prioritizing vaccines for nations in need, the G20 can help ensure the world delivers on these promises.”