The Sussexes shuffle up their Archewell Productions, Audio & foundation staff

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, attend a roundtable discussion on gender equality!

Mid-day yesterday, a curious story popped up on Page Six’s feed. The same story popped up on the Twitter accounts of certain royal reporters as well. The story? The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have “lost” another staff member. I could already feel the neo-colonialist fingers twitching to type out 4,000-word screeds about how Meghan is a bully IN AMERICA and that’s why an Archewell staffer left. According to the haters, Catherine St-Laurent is leaving the posts of “chief of staff” and “executive director” of Archewell. As we learned just an hour later though, St-Laurent IS actually leaving those positions… and she’s taking a different position within Archewell.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are making some changes to their team. The couple confirmed Monday that they’ve hired producer Ben Browning as head of content for Archewell Productions and Archewell Audio, the companies they launched with their partnerships with Netflix and Spotify. Browning’s past work includes The Big Sick, Arrival and Room as well as current Academy Award Best Picture nominee Promising Young Woman.

“From the moment they shared their vision for Archewell as a global production company that will spotlight diverse voices and share uplifting stories, I knew I wanted to help with this unique opportunity,” Browning said in a statement. “It’s a thrilling company to be starting.”

Also on Monday, the couple’s office confirmed that Meghan and Harry’s Archewell Foundation director Catherine St-Laurent has transitioned to a senior advisory role.

Further, Invisible Hand, a diverse, female-led team based in N.Y.C. founded by Genevieve Roth as a social impact and culture change agency, was also confirmed as recently coming on board at Archewell.

Longtime Sussex advisor James Holt will now act as Archewell Foundation’s executive director, while global press secretary Toya Holness will take over Holt’s communications duties in the U.K.

“Archewell is incredibly pleased to welcome Ben, Genevieve and the Invisible Hand team to the organization,” Holness said in a statement. “Along with the appointment of James Holt as Executive Director of Archewell Foundation, they join a rapidly expanding team that’s deeply dedicated to advancing systemic cultural change and supporting compassionate communities across the world.”

[From People]

I have a question: how did certain outlets (the predictable ones) get it wrong right off the bat? Was there a leak in the House of Sussex? Or did H&M send out a press release ahead of schedule and certain reporters decided to “spin” St-Laurent’s in-house move as “another bullied staff member quitting because of Mean Meghan!” A question for another time, I suppose. Anyway, these sound like good moves, moves that will ensure that the right people are in the right positions in the months and years to come. And hopefully they’ll have some big projects to announce or launch very soon.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a Women's Empowerment Reception

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a Women's Empowerment Reception

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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53 Responses to “The Sussexes shuffle up their Archewell Productions, Audio & foundation staff”

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  1. Snuffles says:

    It’s the typical let’s spin this into a negative with a click bait headline. I was just reading that the Daily Telegraph is linking part their reporters salaries to the clicks and web traffic their articles get. So expect more and more inflammatory headlines and intentionally negative articles.

    • L84Tea says:

      Richard Palmer and Camilla Tominey are getting called out on Twitter for deliberately trying to frame this story as “Ooh look, a Sussex staffer quit…” when that is a bold face lie. It’s just infuriating to witness.

    • Lorelei says:

      It sounds like a lie of omission? What they reported was technically true, they just left out half the story in an attempt to make the Sussexes look like they’d driven away another employee.

      An asinine strategy considering that it could be (and was) quickly and easily corrected, that she’s not leaving Archewell, just changing positions. But they don’t care; they got their negative H&M story for the day. Morally bankrupt people.

    • Mac says:

      St-Laurents’s transition is pretty typical. She spent the last two years doing the hard work of getting the organization and is ready to turn over the day to day to so one else and focus on big picture, mission work.

  2. Seraphina says:

    If I were college age I would LOVE to intern for free and bust my rear helping them. That is a door worth opening.

  3. Yoyo says:

    Genevieve is starting a consulting firm, in the message she posted.

  4. Topaz says:

    Love that Invisible Hand is coming on board, what an incredible group of women, true powerhouses. But the BM just can’t report on powerful women, only doormats. So stuck in the 1950s.

    • sunny says:

      I thought that was a fantastic appointment! I would also love to see them work with Color of Change in some capacity.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I dont know how Page 6 and the RRs found out about St-Laurent leaving/shifting roles, but it goes back to something we said a few days ago or last week – get the story out there first and then the other team has to play catch up. Here, the story was out there that this person was leaving (feeding into the “Meghan is a bully who cant keep staff” narrative) and then other people had to correct the record. I think at this point the RRs dont care if their information is accurate or not. I mean they never did, LOL, but I think its gotten worse, they just want to be able to write Meghan’s name in a headline.

    I’m excited for these moves, ben browning seems like he’s going to do good things there.

    • ABritGuest says:

      Apparently St Laurent is setting up her own firm & I’m guessing she will be kept on in an advisory role for Archewell through her firm. so wouldn’t be surprised if page 6 found out through hearing about this new org.

      Apart from the years long smear campaign against Meghan, the Brit press are lashing out about it’s tabloids being called bigoted on Oprah & that being portrayed globally. so they wanted to latch onto St Laurent’s move as proof of Meghan being a bully& therefore their coverage being ‘right’. But in their rush to defame just showed they aren’t credible again & their bias by focusing on Meghan as if Harry isn’t Archewell boss too.

    • Lorelei says:

      I don’t think they ever cared if what they printed was true, as long as they made the Sussexes look bad and got their clicks in.

      In this case it sounds like it was a lie of omission— they purposely left out half the story in order to further their “Meghan is a bully who drives employees away!” nonsense, but the difference now is that the Sussexes have the freedom and ability to swiftly issue the truth and force corrections the same day.

    • Chelsea says:

      The good thing is that post the Oprah interview most mainstream US publications are less likely to taks the shit that the RRs as credible. Page Six deleted their tweet and the majority of articles I’ve seen on this story focus on the fact that they nabbed an Oscar and Emmy nominee whose current film is up for 5 Academy Awards including best picture. That’s a huge freaking get tbh. It’s really impressive that they pulled this off.

  6. Myra says:

    I think the Sussexes sent out a press release and Page 6 misreported it and the BM did what it usually does when it comes to Meghan – obfuscate and be spiteful.

    It seems like Archewell is transitioning into a proper organisation. I’m still trying to understand it honestly. There is a production arm and a charitable arm. Holt oversees the charitable arm and Browning the production one? Does it also mean that they are two separate legal entities?

    • Becks1 says:

      I think, based on the website, that they are different entities – Archewell Foundation, Archewell Productions, Archewell Audio. So I dont think Browning will have anything to do with the foundation really?

      • Myra says:

        It makes sense to have all three as separate entities. It will make the financial implications less complicated. I can’t wait to watch their first content.

  7. Cecilia says:

    I think royal rota’s are stalkers and literally have “sources” everywhere as are they stalking everybody related to the sussexes (staff& friends& family). I think that thats how they found out. As for archewell: i think we just need to be patient. They are not only setting up their foundation but also their production company. And having everybody and everything at the right place can sometimes take years. And lets not forget that meghan is pregnant. That being said, i do think we have some projects to look forward this year. Spotify did say they were looking forward to the full launch this year so we will just have to see.

    • Snuffles says:

      I don’t think anything was leaked. A press release was sent out about Archewell staff updates and British Media deliberately misconstrued it.

  8. Neners says:

    It sounds like they’re surrounding themselves with people who are talented and competent. I can’t wait to see what Archewell is able to accomplish!

  9. Ginger says:

    Camilla Tominey was one of the RR’s that deliberately left out their staff person moved to a different position. Very typical of her.

  10. Sofia says:

    The announcements reminded me of people who went “but they don’t have any experience so this deal is stupid/how will they make content!1!1!1!” or whatever when the deal was first announced.

    And then people said of course they don’t have experience but they’re going to hire people who do and they will handle content creation, writing, production etc etc. No one seriously thought the Sussexes would actually be writing things themselves, directing etc etc. Or at least, I didn’t.

    And what do you know? They hire people who actually have a lot of experience in producing good quality things.

  11. Noki says:

    Why is their staffing being monitored so closely,dont all organisations do this,why should this even be news,but i guess we know why.

    • equality says:

      It’s just the RR continuing their hate campaign. You didn’t see all kinds of nasty headlines when she left the Gates Foundation to work for H&M. There was no, “maybe the Gates are bullies” speculation.

      • JT says:

        Probably because they didn’t want to focus on the fact that H&M have staff from Bill Gates. Bill. Gates. This woman isn’t some random hire because she maybe had a relationship with the comms guy, (cough Jason). She is the real deal. And if Gates hired her, you just know she’s damn good at her job.

  12. JT says:

    It seems every person that they hire are highly skilled and have so much experience. I think they will be really successful in their ventures when they start kicking in. These types of people wouldn’t accept a position at Archewell if it was some busy work job. Well done H&M.

    • L84Tea says:

      There is going to be some serious quality content coming from them. I can’t wait!

      • JT says:

        I’m excited as well. It’s clear that H&M are taking their time building their team. They’ve acquired some amazing hires so far. So for all of the people wandering where the content is, or why it’s taking so long, this is why.

  13. L84Tea says:

    The territorial American in me wants to smack these RR’s hands anytime they mention Archewell. It’s like, you’re a RR, report on the royals. Archewell has nothing to do with any of you, so keep their name out of your mouths.

    • Lorelei says:

      @L84TEA: It’s so funny because it only reinforces that they simply don’t have enough content — and definitely not enough *interesting* content to actually garner clicks — to be able to stick to covering the rest of the family. They NEED the Sussexes.

      All they’re doing is showing that the Sussexes are the stars here, and the only ones who are newsworthy. Even 99.9% of the articles about the Queen, William, or Charles lately have been about their reactions to Oprah’s interview.

      On their own, all of the rest of the family members combined couldn’t fill an entire page with content that anyone except the most hardcore monarchist cared about, lol.

      The only story that has been even remotely interesting on its own merit recently IMO was Eugenie’s new baby, but there’s not too much to say once the name & photos are revealed.

  14. TheOriginalMia says:

    Camilla Tominey thought she had some scoop until posters called her a liar. She doubled down saying she was right in what she reported because St Laurent was leaving her role. It must really burn to know they’ve got nothing on the Sussexes. They have no in with them so all of their stories can be fact-checked and dismissed easily. It’s a new era, BM.

    • JT says:

      It is both embarrassing and hilarious that they keep trying to pretend that they have a scoop though. H&M are sooo irrelevant that they are always trying to break news about them. Sure Jan. I would respect them more if they just came right out and said that the Sussexes are the real stars of the monarchy and that’s why we continue to cover them. Just say they only cover the Maga 7 when there is nothing else to report.

  15. Jodi says:

    i thought someone was promoted so they simply hired someone in their place for their former role?

  16. Lauren says:

    I think they deliberately painted the wrong picture. Camilla Tominey posted on twitter the telegraph’s article which implied that St. Laurent quit, said article is behind a paywall so people reading her tweet will just think that Harry and Meg are still loosing staff. When this was pointed out to her by another journalist Tominey said that it was written in the article that St. Laurent moved into another position. But how are people supposed to know that if the headline is THAT misleading?

  17. LaraW” says:

    Honestly this just makes me think of some hapless intern tasked with filtering through a thousand google alerts for anything that mentions Archewell and other inane key words, as well as having the thankless task of trawling LinkedIn pages for mentions of Archewell, its subsidiaries, affiliated charities, any individuals who might have a remote connection— I would not be surprised if they made interns look through the Form 990s of Archewell.

  18. Cindy says:

    Ok, so moving into an “advisory role” is semantics. This person is no longer involved in the daily operations of the company. It’s a business decision.

    To me, it’s another absurd instance of the British press attacking Meg’s work.

    • Amy Bee says:

      St. Laurent joined the time as acting Chief of Staff and Executive Director so she was always going to leave at some point. But the tabloids lied to make it look like Meghan and Harry have problems retaining staff.

    • Helen says:

      It seems like St. Laurent’s expertise is in the original set up, so why would she stay long term?
      I have no idea why this came to me, but if we use curling as an example, it sounds like she’s the lead, but now they need the skip team (aka the people with the brooms). She’s still there to yell at them to sweep in this direction or that, but she’s not really doing the work any more.

  19. Amy Bee says:

    It seems like Page Six just misreported the press release because they deleted their initial tweet which was retweeted by the royal reporters.

    If I’m Charles and William, I’m worried that the royal reporters are intent on following the irrelevant non-working royals in California, rather focusing on them in the UK.

    • L84Tea says:

      They need to do something drastic. Kate needs to chop all her hair off to her chin. You’re so dedicated, sacrifice the sausage curls for England, Kate!

  20. equality says:

    Someone on Twitter did a comparison of how many people left Kate and Will’s employ in the same time period as M&H. https://twitter.com/anna_itsonlyme/status/1374333127162802179

    • Lorelei says:

      @Equality I was just coming here to post this! Anna did such a great job compiling the information. I didn’t see it until a few minutes ago, so I’m glad you got it out there earlier.

  21. Chelsea says:

    I can’t explain how happy i am that they no longer have a UK spokesperson. The fact that Toya, a Black Woman with an impressive resume, has been promoted to the Global Spokesperson is the cherry on top

  22. LilyRose says:

    I don’t think it’s a good look that the recent hires for Archwell Productions are white men, considering the content H&M have said they want to produce. It’s actually not ‘current’ with Hollywood’s increasing interest in hiring folks from more diverse backgrounds. Were there no BIPOC folks to hire or did they just go with prestige (Oscars)?

    • L4frimaire says:

      They certainly are putting their organization in place and getting it off the ground. It seems like the production guy is definitely a prestige hire with deep experience. Agree they need more visible diversity, although they are partnering with very diverse organizations, that do better represent women and people of color. Their global spokesperson is a Black woman, but yes, let’s hope there is more diverse representation, especially with so many watching everything they do. It’s very exciting seeing what they want to do but also like watching a tightrope walk. These two are ballsy and are no shrinking violets, that’s for sure.

    • MA says:

      One. One recent hire is a white man. The other has been with them for years. The other people on their team were 3 women, now 2 women with St. Laurent leaving.