Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Are Now More Popular Than William & Kate ... Here's How They Did It

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Earlier this week, Time Magazine released its list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The magazine released several editions of this week's issue, each featuring one -- or, in this case, two -- of the movers and shakers who make an appearance on the prestigious list.

But to the surprise of no one, Harry and Meghan's cover has been the most widely-discussed, and the most heavily-scrutinized.

The criticism began before anyone even had a chance to read the short article about the Sussexes contained within the issue.

Harry and Meghan Time Cover

Jokes about the heavily air-brushed photo of Harry and Meghan have been circulating non-stop on social media for several days now.

To be fair, it does look as though the photo has been retouched -- but that's certainly not the fault of the duke and duchess.

Since Twitter and the British tabloid media take no pleasure in criticizing the editors of Time, the dialogue quickly shifted to perceived offenses that could plausibly be blamed on Harry and Meghan.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Clap

And so, we've now entered the stage of the discourse where the UK press is finding fault with an American magazine piece in which the Sussexes are praised for their humanitarian work.

First, the Daily Mail blasted Meghan for allegedly wearing $384,000 worth of jewelry in the cover photo.

As with all things Daily Mail, that report should be taken with several grains of salt.

Meghan's Jewelry

But even if it's true, it's not uncommon for women in the royal family to wear jewelery that's valued in the seven-figure range -- and yet we doubt yoiu'll ever see the Mail criticizing Queen Elizabeth or Kate Middleton for this reason.

Anyway, it seems that it's not just the British media that's weirdly outraged by Harry and Meghan's cover story.

The royal family is said to be furious with what they view as Meghan and Harry's latest publicity stunt.

Fake Meghan and Harry

"Meghan and Harry landing a cover spot of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People will be seen as a stab in the heart of the Monarchy's reputation because of the greater implicit credibility it affords them and their previous claims against the crown," public relations expert Eric Schiffer told Newsweek today.

"The strategy Harry's built is to out gun William and to be seen as the authentic prince on a global stage and it's been beautifully executed."

Yes, Harry and Meghan seem to be well aware that their greatest competition comes from Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Harry and William

No matter how much their paths through life diverge, these two couple will always be compared to one another -- and it looks as though the Sussexes have finally taken the lead in this never-ending contest.

According to a YouGov poll, Meghan and Harry's popularity in the UK crashed following their controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey back in March.

But the couple became more popular in the US, as well as in several commonwealth countries, such as Canada and Australia.

Dukes and Duchesses

And in the months since, the Cambridges' popularity in the UK has declined, while the Sussexes' has risen slightly.

In other words, Harry and Meghan are dominating the contest globally, and they might soon take the lead in the UK.

No polls have been conducted since the Time article was released, but despite the best efforts of the British media to undermine their good works, Harry and Meghan are likely to enjoy another boost as a result of the piece.

Two Princes Photo

"They're very disciplined at it," Schiffer said of Harry and Meghan's PR strategy.

"The combination of the leaks and the framing of themselves in part as victims of certain behaviour and on top of that connecting in such authentic ways with global Gen Z and Millennial audiences and allowing them to actually feel what it's like to interact with a member of the royal family, that on a human level has been powerful."

Yes, it seems that those who look at the two couples as four individual humans prefer Harry and Meghan, while Brits who have politicized the feud continue to favor William and Kate, at least partially due to nationalistic pride.

A Fab Four

Of course, the royal family is less popular than ever these days, so it's unclear how long the Cambridges will remain propped up by patriotism.

At this point, another season of The Crown might be all it takes to sink the Windsor clan for good.

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