The revelations of the e-mails about the visit that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made in 2021 to Public School 123, one of the poorest in the neighborhood of Harlem, is giving a lot to talk about.
The presence of the Sussexes in this center, where 95% of the children belong to families with economic difficulties, was aimed at Meghan’s reading of her children’s book ‘The Bench’.
The Duke and Duchess’ visit was filmed to later appear in their Netflix docuseries ‘Harry & Meghan’.
Meghan and Harry’s Visit to Public School in Harlem Sparks Controversy
First it was ‘The Sun’ that published just a few days ago the gag order that members of the duke and duchess team moved to the school.
This clause allegedly forbade anyone at the school, including students, to make negative comments about the royal marriage “now or in the future”.
Representatives of the couple’s Archewell Foundation sent the Department of Education an “appearance release” three days before their visit, which was allegedly handled by a New York schools press officer.
The press officer reportedly requested that mention of Meghan Markle’s children’s book be removed from the release to make it “less promotion-ey.”
Now, the Daily Mail has published a series of emails, where the Sussex team would have made a series of requests to make their visit as comfortable and showy as possible.
To achieve this, they put cushions and a new carpet that day to the school. They also placed decorative objects that were taken back at the end of the event.
The list of accredited media for Harry and Markle’s event was also strictly controlled and was restricted to Meghan-friendly publications.
Among the media allowed to attend was for example ‘Vogue’ magazine, but British tabloids were banned.
Documents obtained by the ‘Daily Mail’ also claim that pupils and teachers at the elementary school were asked to sign consent forms for the filming of the images.
Planning for his trip to the Big Apple had begun six months earlier and was led by one of his publicists, Toya Holness, who had also previously worked for the New York Department of Education.
The ‘gag order’ then prohibited participants from discussing the Netflix documentary with others and did not allow them to make negative statements about Meghan and Harry.
“I agree not to make negative, derogatory, or otherwise unfavorable statements about, or otherwise denigrate or disparage, any of the Released Parties,” the document read.
Students were also prohibited from posting information about the visit on social media.
Sources close to the Archewell Foundation have since defended the measure, saying it is “standard practice” when minors are involved.
The most criticized thing about Harry and Meghan’s visit to Harlem’s poorest public school was the styling worn by the Duchess.
Meghan wore a $5,800 Loro Piana cashmere coat and $1,600 matching pants. She complemented her look with around $387,000 in jewelry.
The Duchess of Sussex sat in a soft blue box under a tent in the schoolyard as she read her book.