After a very public split from the royal family in early 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle relocated to Los Angeles, California. Since their arrival in the U.S., however, little has been heard about the couple’s future plans or how they’re coping in their new role. But now, an insider has shed some light on the former royals’ life stateside.
Before the couple stepped down from their duties as members of Britain’s royal family, the Duke and Duchess were involved in numerous projects. These included a recent tour of South Africa, where Harry and Meghan met Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Of course, their work took on a far wider role than just representing the Queen abroad.
Besides such international duties, the couple also worked with several charities and lent their faces, voices and talents to a number of worthy causes. Foundations such Smart Works and the Invictus Games became synonymous with the Duke and Duchess. Indeed, the pair personally appeared in support of the organizations on a regular basis.
In addition, Harry himself also supported children’s charities in Africa and sports foundations in the U.K. Having established the Invictus Games foundation following his own military service, many of the charities he’s associated with offer support to veterans as well. He wasn’t the only busy royal in his family, of course.
Indeed, during Meghan’s time as a royal, she also spent a large amount of time supporting charities. As well as Smart Works, which assists women in getting jobs, she also helped write and publish a successful cookbook. In aid of the victims of Britain’s Grenfell Tower disaster, Together: Our Community raised more than $500,000 for those affected by the London fire.
More recently, the couple have done most of their work online. As you may have seen, Meghan gave the graduation address to her old school in Los Angeles, and clips of the touching speech went viral – more on which later. But the couple haven’t just been appearing online for official engagements.
For instance, as a family, the Duke, Duchess and son Archie even marked Prince Philip’s 99th birthday. Philip, the Queen’s husband and grandfather to Harry, possibly made royal history in June 2020 when his family celebrations took place over Zoom. In isolation at Windsor Castle, the monarch and her consort welcomed family members to a party like no other.
A few weeks prior to the Zoom get-together, in May 2020 Harry and Meghan marked the second anniversary of their marriage. And the previous month, they’d announced that the revenues from the coverage of their 2018 wedding will go to a good cause. The organization chosen, Feeding Britain, will receive a whopping $110,000 contribution from the couple. They initially came into contact with the foundation after going to one of its citizens’ supermarkets in 2019.
National director of Feeding Britain, Andrew Forsey, described the donation as “a Godsend.” Talking to Town & Country magazine in May 2020, he explained that the money “will keep breakfast, lunch and dinner, so three square meals, on the tables on many tens of thousands of children.” This news, of course, came out after the couple’s move across the Atlantic.
That relocation to North America, of course, came after the couple stepped down from royal duties in the spring of 2020. As part of the agreement with the Queen, the pair won’t receive money from the British state. In addition, Harry and Meghan are no longer referred to as “Royal Highness.”
That split meant that the couple weren’t “working” members of the Windsor family anymore. As a result, they were free to live anywhere they chose. And at first, Harry and Meghan settled in a Commonwealth country. This association of nations with close political ties has the Queen as its figurehead. And the member state where they originally relocated was Canada.
That move, though, actually took place before the couple had officially stepped down. Having decided to split their time between Britain and North America, Harry, Meghan and Archie took an extended trip to Canada, along with the Duchess’ mom Doria Ragland, before Christmas 2019. However, they never intended to stay there permanently, and the pair then instead opted to settle in California.
At the end of March 2020, an anonymous source told The Sun newspaper, “This move was planned for some time. They realized Canada would not work out for various reasons and they want to be based in the Los Angeles area.” With Meghan’s close ties to the city, from family to work, perhaps it was an obvious choice.
Since the Duke and Duchess’ relocation to California, though, announcements about their plans for the future have been few and far between. Nonetheless, the couple have confirmed their involvement in one particular new project. Harry and Meghan will head their very own non-profit organization, which was originally conceived to help society’s most vulnerable members.
However, the Duke and Duchess hadn’t originally intended to reveal their new endeavor quite so soon. The news, in fact, broke thanks to a request for information made to them by British newspaper The Daily Telegraph. A journalist, it appears, had discovered a trademark registered by the Sussexes. As a result, Harry and Meghan then issued a statement about their involvement.
The press release, sent to news outlets in April 2020, confirmed the couple’s plans for a non-profit foundation. It read, “Faced with this information coming to light, we felt compelled to share the story of how this came to be.” It seems to have all started prior to their son, Archie, being born, back when the couple still used the official moniker SussexRoyal.
Having long-ago decided to start a foundation of some kind, Harry and Meghan hoped to name it SussexRoyal. The couple even began to register a trademark under the moniker. However, they eventually settled on Archewell as their option. And, it appears, that decision was very much influenced by them becoming new parents.
“Before SussexRoyal came the idea of ‘Arche’ – the Greek word meaning ‘source of action,’” the statement continued. “We connected to this concept for the charitable organization we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name.” The announcement didn’t end there, though.
Explaining the thinking behind the organization’s full name, the statement added, “Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon.” While reports indicated that the charity would provide emotional support and education for those in need, it appears that events in the U.S. have shifted that focus.
During a June 2020 Entertainment Tonight interview, Katie Nicholl, a seasoned royal observer, talked about why that shift had occurred. “The Black Lives Matter movement matters to Meghan and it matters to Harry,” she explained. “And I understand that this is going to be an area where we’re going to see the couple doing a lot more work.” Indeed, just a week earlier, the Duchess made mention of the protests in a video that went viral.
During a speech to the graduating class at LA’s Immaculate Heart High School, Meghan voiced her feelings about the recent protests. “I wasn’t sure what I could say to you,” she admitted. “I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that it would get picked apart. And I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.”
“George Floyd’s life mattered and Breonna Taylor’s life mattered and Philando Castile’s life mattered and Tamir Rice’s life mattered,” the Duchess continued. “And so did so many other people whose names we know and whose names we do not know.” The speech subsequently set social media on fire, going viral almost immediately.
Sources close to the couple later confirmed the strength of feeling they have for the Black Lives Matter movement. Talking to the Daily Express in June 2020, Omid Scobie, royal editor for Harper’s Bazaar magazine, explained, “This is something that is incredibly personal to Meghan, especially given everything she has experienced. And as a couple, it is, of course, very important. They are both feeling it, just like the rest of us.”
In talks with community representatives, the couple are yet to fully define exactly what form the work of Archewell will take. But chances are Harry and Meghan’s activities will continue at a reduced rate now that they’ve stepped back from royal duties. This won’t be the only difference in their new lives, either.
In order to move to America and start afresh, the couple had to give up several positions. For Harry, this included having to step down from three major military appointments in the British Armed Forces. In a revealing interview not long after his new role had been agreed, the prince implied that he had no idea he’d lose those commissions. It’s an outcome that he said left him disappointed.
Harry has a close association with the military in the U.K. and not just because of his royal appointments. The prince spent a decade in the forces, in fact, including a couple of stints in Afghanistan. He’s since become a vocal advocate of service personnel and veterans. And despite his new pared-down royalty, he’s still the patron of the aforementioned Invictus charity.
In addition to losing the military appointments, Harry has also had to step back from all but one of the charities he supports, as has Meghan. But despite no longer being working royals, the couple were allowed to keep their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles. And Harry himself will still be known as a prince, thanks to him being part of the line of succession in the British monarchy.
All in all, then, even with the Archewell organization, the couple’s move to LA seems to represent a massive reduction in workload for the couple. Although Meghan recently lent her vocal talents to Disney for Elephant in 2020, the pair definitely have a lot more free time. One upside, of course, is that they get to see Archie as much they want. It appears, however, that there are some downsides as well.
Where Harry is concerned, though, it appears that being thousands of miles from home has left him feeling somewhat lonely. According to an anonymous insider, he’s missing the pals he left behind, particularly those in the armed forces. Talking to Vanity Fair magazine, the unnamed source said, “He has a lot of friends in the military community in the UK and of course he misses them.”
According to the insider, friends aren’t the only thing on that Harry is pining for. They added, “This is a very strange time for us all, but I think Harry is missing having a structure to his life right now.” It appears that a life of rigid etiquette and endless royal visits has left the prince rather used to being incredibly busy.
All of which, the anonymous source went on, has led to the prince feeling somewhat at sea in his new home. During the interview with Vanity Fair magazine, the source claimed that Harry “doesn’t have friends” in the area. And this situation is, reportedly, contributing to his present state of mind.
“So, at the moment [Harry is] a bit rudderless,” the insider continued. Not used to having time to himself, perhaps the prince is suffering the same way many people have recently. Being isolated and away from his wider family, as well as locked-down in unfamiliar surroundings, may have started to take its toll.
But perhaps some of that loneliness is understandable. If you’ve ever moved to another country, or even city, you’ll know it can take a while to become acclimated to the rhythms of your new home. And let’s not forget that the couple are also relatively new parents, which can be a testing time, whoever you are. But the prince, it appears, realizes that all things are temporary.
At the end of the Vanity Fair interview, the source stated that Harry “knows that it won’t always be like this.” Indeed, many new things become normal eventually, and it’s likely that the prince will soon become accustomed to his new surroundings. Until then, the Sussexes have much to keep them busy, including their new charity. At least, they will eventually.
Having made the Archewell announcement a tad earlier than planned, it nonetheless seems that the couple are in no rush to begin the organization’s work. In addition, the Duke and Duchess have put off all public announcements for now. And in March 2020 they explained their reasoning in the press release relating to their trademark.
In the statement, the couple said, “Like you, our focus is on supporting efforts to tackle the global Covid-19 pandemic.” Indeed, having moved to California, the pair went into lockdown along with the rest of the state in mid-March. Effectively putting an end to much of their work, the Sussexes then confirmed that their new venture has been pushed back.
“We look forward to launching Archewell when the time is right,” the statement continued. But just because the couple are currently unable to continue their work doesn’t mean they’ve been silent. In fact, on the day they stepped back from royal duties in March 2020, the Sussexes posted a message to that very effect.
The message, posted to the couple’s Instagram account, began, “As we all find the part we are to play in this global shift and changing of habits, we are focusing this new chapter to understand how we can best contribute.”
The Sussexes added, “While you may not see us [on Instagram], the work continues.” From there, the couple showed their appreciation for their social media followers and everyone backing them all over the globe. “Thank you to this community – for the support, the inspiration and the shared commitment to the good in the world.”
The post then concluded, “We look forward to reconnecting with you soon. You’ve been great! Until then, please take good care of yourselves, and of one another.” With the latest news about the prince’s loneliness, then, let’s hope the couple are taking their own very sound advice.