I’m genuinely worried that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are about to go completely dark, media-wise, for months. That fear goes alongside my fear that their big post-royal brand launch got seriously screwed up with the coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps we’ll never know if Harry and Meghan planned to launch their post-royal brand in April and their plans got screwed up. But at least they’re together and far away from the den of vipers in the UK. Small relief. Meanwhile, of course the vipers still want to talk about the Sussexes and their exit. So it is with Katie Nicholl at Vanity Fair, who had an exclusive piece about “the new chapter.” Most of this stuff is information we already knew, but Nicholl does have some sources saying a few new things.
The Sussexes are genuinely excited: According to a source who knows them well, it’s the symbolic end of a difficult period in their lives—and the beginning of something exciting. “They are genuinely excited about the next chapter,” the source revealed. “It hasn’t been an easy time for them but they are looking forward to starting a new chapter and being the couple they want to be. They really want to make a difference on a global level and they are very ambitious about what they want to achieve.”
Their new projects: While the couple are having to put their immediate plans on hold as the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic, they intend to keep busy. Meghan is said to have a number of projects lined up, including a children’s book and a new cookbook, while Disney confirmed last week that she will lend her voice to a wildlife documentary that will air on Disney+ next month. Harry, meanwhile, is focusing on his new eco-travel venture Travalyst, a non- profit organization which will be based in the UK.
They did plan to launch their post-royal brand, but they hit pause: While the source described Harry and Meghan as “upbeat” when they left the U.K. after carrying out their final official engagement on Commonwealth Day, the couple are pressing the pause button on any new announcements given the worldwide health crisis. “Given what is happening in the world it isn’t the right time to be making any major announcements or launching an organization,” the source said. “These things will happen further down the line, but their idea for the organization is already well established and quite far down the line.” The new charitable organization will focus principally on “mental health, women and female empowerment and the environment.”
They already have funding: The charity’s headquarters will be U.S.-based but will operate globally, and Harry and Meghan have already secured a handful of wealthy investors who have agreed to support their non-profit organization.
Why they moved to LA in March: It is thought that Harry and Meghan decided to move to L.A. sooner than expected because of the travel restrictions being imposed on travel between Canada and the United States as a result of the spread of the corona virus. Sources say they decided to move to L.A. after agreeing to leave the UK last year. The couple already have a team of aides in California and will be assisted by PR firm Sunshine Sachs who were initially engaged to do communications support for the Sussex Royal Foundation and will assist Catherine St Laurent, who will have a “key role” in helping to shape the couple’s media image.
They will eventually return to Britain this year: While the couple have put their plans to return to the UK on hold because of the pandemic, a source told Vanity Fair that they do plan to return to Britain “at some point later this year to visit their charities, and of course see their friends and family.”
I do think Harry and Meghan planned to visit the UK in May or June, maybe for Beatrice’s wedding or Trooping the Colour or something. But now all of that stuff has been postponed or cancelled. So… my guess is that the next time the Sussexes return to England, it will be for a funeral or memorial (I’m not trying to be morbid, just realistic) or for Remembrance Day (in November). As for their charity, which is not being launched yet… it does not surprise me in the least that Harry and Meghan already have the money lined up and they already deep into organizing everything. I knew they were not just taking hikes and hanging out in Canada. They were putting together everything about their post-royal lives.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid and WENN.