Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Time Magazine cover is a "stab in the heart" of Queen Elizabeth's reputation, according to a royal expert. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were ranked among the top 100 most influential people in the world by the magazine this week.
Prince Harry stood behind his 40-year-old wife, his arms on her right shoulder, in glossy photos. The image represents the Sussexes' "strong chemistry as equal partners," according to Dilys Ng, Time's picture editor.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are no strangers to controversy, but their appearance on the cover of TIME magazine has sparked outrage. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were included in TIME's 100 Most Influential People list in the "Icons" section this year.
However, some social media users are criticizing the photograph for seeming stiff and "awkward." Prince Harry, whose birthday was just a few days ago, and his wife Meghan Markle were celebrated in the special issue by their good friend and chef José Andrés for their activism and philanthropy work.
Fans notice Meghan Marle, Prince Harry's body language
According to Yahoo, fans couldn't help but notice that the body language and blank faces on the cover image picked felt odd, considering the warmth they are known for displaying on the field.
Despite the negative reactions to the photo chosen, chef Andrés, who created the World Central Kitchen and worked with Prince Harry and Meghan to help feed underprivileged areas, had nothing but positive things to say about the pair in the accompanying article.
Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, told Newsweek that because of the higher implied credibility it provides them and their prior allegations against the crown, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry receiving a cover place in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People will be viewed as a stab in the heart of the Monarchy's reputation.
The couple's presence on the list comes six months after they made an explosive Oprah interview in which they accused an unidentified member of the Royal Family of racism.
Meghan Markle also told Oprah that she felt suicidal while working as a royal, but that her cries for help were ignored. The couple's appearance in Time magazine was featured under the "Icons" section, with other notable figures who have graced the cover of the publication, including Barack Obama, the first black US president.
TIME 100 named the Sussexes as "most influential" people
It was accompanied by a brief profile that omitted the couple's royal feud, as per The Sun.The Duke and Duchess showed compassion for people they don't know in a world where everyone has an opinion about people they don't know, according to José Andrés, whose food aid group works closely with the Archewell Foundation.
On their website shortly after the news broke, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry expressed their gratitude for being included in this year's TIME 100, writing that they were "humbled to be part of this year's TIME 100" and praising World Trade Organization Director-General Okonjo-Iweala, who was also shortlisted.
In September, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were named two of Time magazine's top 100 "most influential" individuals, and they graced the cover of one of the magazine's issues. Body language expert Judi James, on the other hand, believes the Sussex royals have a "staged look" in one of their Time photos.
Writer José Andrés commended Meghan and Harry for their "compassion" in an accompanying piece. But James was critical of their photograph, calling it unnatural and staged.
In an interview with Fabulous Digital, James revealed that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may be recognized when they are striking a characteristic Hollywood pose. James continued by remarking that the Sussexes' eye contact in the Time shots was rigid.
Per Express.co, it comes after James said the Time photos portray Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in a "completely different light." According to the expert, it accurately depicts the power dynamic between the two, favoring Meghan while Prince Harry is behind.