Prince Harry & Serena Williams will do a BetterUp seminar on ‘Inner Work’

On February 3rd (Thursday of this week), Prince Harry will do a “public event” in the form of a public conversation/talk with Serena Williams. This is happening as part of Harry’s role as Chief Impact Officer with BetterUp. While so many Sussex-stans wanted to see them befriend the Obamas, what actually happened was that Harry and Meghan became power-couple friends with Serena and her husband Alexis Ohanian. Meghan and Serena have been friends for years, but Alexis and Harry are more recent friends, and Alexis apparently encouraged Harry to work with BetterUp in an official capacity. So now they’re all couple-friends and Serena and Harry are doing this conversation:

The Duke of Sussex will be joined by tennis champion, Serena Williams, for one of his first public appearances of the year. In his role as Chief Impact Officer for professional coaching and mental health firm BetterUp, Prince Harry will join a conversation with the 23-time Grand Slam winner and the firm’s CEO, Alexi Robichaux, on 3 February.

The trio will discuss “cultivating the power of mental fitness through a bold commitment to Inner Work,” as part of the California-based company’s virtual Inner Work Day.

The agenda adds: “From creating companies and foundations designed to inspire others to achieve their best to tackling challenges and finding success both in and outside of work, Serena, Prince Harry and Alexi share their personal stories and unique perspectives.”

[From Hello]

It sounds great and it sounds like a subject both Harry and Serena are quite knowledgeable about. Both of them have been public figures/celebrities for decades and both have struggled with that public-facing life. Serena has spoken/written about how the drama at the 2018 US Open led her to go into therapy, and she’s also spoken about dealing with depression in the public eye when she was younger. Both Serena and Harry have done “the inner work” and it should be a great conversation.

This news came out several days ago and the reason I’m writing about it now is that the British media is trying to, like, make fun of Harry for this? The Sun claimed Harry is “set to give a lecture on the importance of taking a break” and that he’ll “discuss burn-out during a seminar to CEOs.” They’re trying to make him sound lazy because he took parental leave and… you know, got a job with BetterUp. It’s so weird. There’s a desperation to go hyper-negative on even the most mundane mental-health statements. “It’s good to recharge and take a break” and “sometimes you just need to unplug for your own mental health” are not controversial statements and none of this is a “gotcha moment.”

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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31 Responses to “Prince Harry & Serena Williams will do a BetterUp seminar on ‘Inner Work’”

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  1. L84Tea says:

    I’m so looking forward to this!

    • Layla says:

      @l84tea make sure to look out for sudden “engagements” from certain desperadoes too. we all know there’ll be at least one

  2. Amy Bee says:

    I’ve noticed that the new and weird narrative among the British press and royalists is that Harry and Meghan are lazy. Given that royals don’t work for most of year and don’t do actual real work I find that hilarious.

    • L84Tea says:

      Seriously? That’s rich coming from them as they all hide away in their palaces like “don’t make us do stuff!”. Lazy is the last word that comes to mind when I think of the Sussexes.

      • Amy Bee says:

        @L84Tea: Yeah, seriously. They’re pushing that narrative because Harry and Meghan haven’t put out anything for Netflix or Spotify yet. It’s stupid and wrong especially when compared to the rest of the family.

    • Becks1 says:

      I agree that its both weird and hilarious, considering that Kate can disappear for months and the british press barely mentions it.

      But also……they can be as lazy as they want, they’re paying for their own lifestyles now, so the british press can take a hike lol.

      (don’t come for me people, I don’t think they’re lazy, I’m just saying it doesn’t matter if they are.)

    • Aurora says:

      The UK press is upset that the Sussexes are not make red carpet appearances and giving photo ops. The strategy seems to be about shaming them for lack of visibility implying that it means they’re not doing anything. The Sussexes are private citizens and no longer tax payer funded royals who are required to make public appearances.

      Raising two young children is work. Plus non of the production work M & H are doing for Spotify and Netflix necessitates them appearing for photo ops prior to the final product release. The UK press needs to focus on the Tax-payer funded royals and why they work so little.

      • Snuffles says:

        Right. Harry and Meghan’s projects are in the pre-production, production, post-production stages. You know, the WORK part that the Cambridges are unfamiliar with. This the unglamorous part. I have no doubt when projects are ready to be released they will to a full rollout with press and promo.

      • swirlmamad says:

        And yet you know if they WERE doing all that (red carpets and photo ops) they’d be gleefully pegging them as fame-hungry attention seekers. Basically what the rat press thinks means nothing. They are a nonentity in the Sussexes’ non-royal lives. We can say it till we’re blue in the face — just focus on the two boring succubi that are left on the isle, but even they know they’re useless even if they won’t admit it.

      • BabsORIG says:

        Personally, I have no doubt that at this point, the most of the Sussexes’ focus is on Invictus and on production of the Invictus documentary. These are really huge projects given that Invictus has been put off since 2020. With all the mis and disinformation out there, my gut feeling is that the Sussexes and their team are most focused on making sure all competitors are vaccinated to participate in Invictus, that the event is as safe as possible for everyone involved (as opposed to it being a super spreader) and to pull off a very successful event AND documentary for Netflix. Now whether all that is laziness in the BM’s books, I don’t know but I doubt the Sussexes are even paying the BM any attention. I mean, the BM can whinge and whine all they want but the Sussexes aren’t gonna give them any satisfaction; they’re gonna starve them of all attention and pretty much just ignore them, its that simple.

    • Chelsea says:

      They are doing this in part because they are dying for H&M content and also because the BM kept promising that the Sussexes would fail so they’re trying to make the sad chumps who read their publications feel better by claiming that Netflix and Spotify are upset with H&M. And look I get it; I miss Meghan too and hate when I’m wrong but the more they do this the dumber they look everytime they are shown to be wrong time and time again.

    • ABritGuest says:

      It’s so funny as these are the people who praise Kate for ‘listening & learning’ for a decade only to come up with 5 question survey. Even her research centre has had no follow up articles since it was announced.

      Plus Kate is allowed to take it slow for a decade & it’s no issue when her camp indicates that her schedule will remain light as her kids will be her priority despite fact she’s publicly funded & her kids will be at school. However Meghan who isn’t publicly funded & who has a toddler & a 7 month old baby is extra scrutinised & is supposed have produced a whole film or tv series within 17 months 🤪

      The tabloids etc have really got people addicted to hate so as posters have said- they really want new Harry & Meghan content to scrutinise & hate on. The media eco system around Harry & Meghan actually needs to be studied. You can tell that some trolls are really radicalised.

      I’m looking forward to this Better Up event. They have a Gasol who was in the me you can’t see & DJ nice who has been doing great music sets during the pandemic so wonder what he’s got to say. And of course want to hear Serena’s thoughts on resilience etc as she’s been through some things.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ ABritGuest, it certainly is rich coming from a country that is paying to have CopyKeen sit around all day as she has maintains countless trips to have her hair and face tweaked every few months. Yet CopyKeen has been a royal for over a decade and is “still finding” her voice. There should be a study regarding the radicalized hatred that is fed to the British public as to the never ending excuses given to CopyKeen and her utter refusal to work. If I was living in Britain, I would be protesting at BP everyday as to why I am supporting this do-nothing FFQ! I am beginning to think that the entire country is accepting her decade of do-nothing!!

        As for this announcement, I am loving that Prince Harry will be speaking with Serena, and Alexi, as it will be a spectacular opportunity to hear Serena speak and share her story!!! Serena is a GOAT that we should ALL appreciate and cherish how she navigates motherhood and her professional triumphs. I am so excited to hear Inner Work Day special!!!

        And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t LOVE to be on a double date with these four!!! I would sell my kidney for a chance to be with the FOUR of them!!!!

      • RoyalBlue says:

        And this “research centre” in KP is the sum total of a computer that sits on a desk in her library.

    • MsIam says:

      When Harry and Meghan were in New York for the Veterans Gala (I can’t remember the official name, sorry) one of the Rota rats claimed ” the Sussexes will come to the opening of a door” implying they are publicity hounds. Now that they haven’t been seen for months they are “lazy”. In the spring when they are seen out and about for Invictus Games, they will probably be accused of ” overshadowing” . I’m sick of the Rota and their stupid opinions and I’m sure others are too.

    • cate says:

      I don’t know what exactly the BM want from H&M at this point (well, I do…they want them to be a perpetual punching bag…). They complain that H&M are too thirsty when they get out and do events and highlight important causes….and then they complain that they are lazy b/c they haven’t produced a ton of podcasts. As for this BetterUp seminar, the BM is probably (definitely) a big cause/driver of any mental health challenges Harry has faced and now they want to laugh at him for, you know, being a grown up and dealing with that shit and growing/learning from it. Okay, Harry was born with immense privilege but it also seems to me that he’s been put through the wringer and forced to pay a pretty high price for that privilege, and if he wanted to just hole up in Montecito and never say/do anything publicly again that would be his right. But instead he’s trying to be a positive influence on the world and the BM is just in a tizzy trying to make it fit into their “H&M Suck! W&K 4EVA!” storyline.

  3. WhoElse says:

    The BRF is the laziest influencer house on the planet, so this angle they’re going for is rich.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Isn’t it! Quite disturbing that they are slamming Harry for his hard work and his dedication to the duty of service. Harry, as well as Meghan, continues to hit it out of the park all the while the RR’s are losing their f’ing minds over how impactful and compassionate Harry and Meghan are!! You guys could have had this dynamic duo, but instead your bosses RAN them out of the country!

    • Eurydice says:

      And the royal media industry is incredibly lazy, too. If they’re not handed a ready-made story from one of their royal sources, then they’re just making things up out of thin air.

  4. Chelsea says:

    Harry works for a company based around the idea of helping employees reach their full potential through coaxhing and mental fitness tools; it is literally his job to talk about this stuff. When his role was announced it literally said on BetterUp’s website that part of his job would be to elevate discussions on this topic at a global level. What is so hard to understand about that?

    It’s also so hilarious to see people who praise taxpayer funded royals who show wave at most two times a week call a combat war veteran who set up his first charity at age 20 and currently has multiple jobs lazy.

  5. SomeChick says:

    I just registered!
    9am, ugh. But it should be good.

    • Wendy says:

      Interesting timing. I browsed the agenda and registered, but I would actually have to take a day off of work to attend — hard to meditate and do yoga in the middle of a work day, but there is a lot of content so I’m hoping to be able to sneak in and listen.

  6. Over it says:

    Oh noooo. Harry is working for the company that hired him. What a scandal. These people should worry about the ones their taxes are paying for that let us know not to expect anything much from them in the next 10-15 years because we don’t want to and we don’t have to because we are white.

  7. ANON says:

    So, the British press is of course spouting irrelevant garbage. This talk looks great and important, and I’m glad Serena and Harry are putting this message out there.

    However, I’m going to drag out my unpopular opinion that this app feels a bit slimy to me. Employer-sponsored wellness apps are not a meaningful solution for *most.* (Not to say they aren’t helpful to some!) This app claims to help with things like nutrition and the struggle of getting back to work as a new parent. It feels hollow when the need for this app exists, in part, due to the lack of a social safety net in the US.

    Again, no hate here. I appreciate that Harry and Meghan have taken stands, as with calling for Paid Family Leave. Just feel uncomfortable seeing so much praise for this particular company.

    • kirk says:

      Yeah, not sure about BetterUp since it seems more targeted to companies. Questioning unknown $ commitment as recently retired, but feel unemployed, not taking SS yet. Will do seminar. Maybe it will be inspiring.

  8. A while back, when Kate and William were on a royal tour of Cornwall, they told schoolkids that it was okay to not be sure what you wanted to do as a grownup. They both talked about how they found it hard to decide themselves (even though by that time, they were adults who had had many years to settle on something). This was presented positively by the BP; meanwhile, Harry’s work with Sentebale and the Invictus Games were dismissed in favour of calling him lazy and spoiled.

    The “Meghan and Harry are lazy” narrative is an old one. After he started dating Meghan, there were commenters here who started calling Harry lazy at every opportunity, and claimed Meghan would be the same once she was a member of the BRF. Not surprisingly, said commenters would handwave it when it was pointed out that Meghan seemed genuinely interested in doing humanitarian work, and that Harry at least seemed involved and active in Sentebale and Invictus while the Cambridges seemed to be more invested in avoiding any kind of royal duties.

    “It’s not a competition” and “why do we need to compare them” were oft-used responses from Cambridge stans and Meghan/Harry detractors who didn’t like their attacks challenged—understandable, considering that the Cambridges came off looking worse in any comparison based on the available facts.

    The tabloids have successfully scapegoated Harry for a while as an acceptable royal to complain about; they did so pre-Meghan, but her entering the picture made the acrimony worse. It’s the “heir vs spare” junk combined with racism and sexism: the feckless, pampered “lesser” prince increasingly led astray by his conniving, fame-and-wealth-thirsty black American wife.

  9. Jane Wilson says:

    Back in April of 2017 Harry was the first guest on Bryony Gordon’s podcast “Mad World” about mental health. (You can find it on youtube.)
    His honesty and openness and humour (and naturalness and genuine caring) and articulate knowledge of the issue are simply outstanding. This actually was what truly interested me in Harry beyond thinking he seemed like a nice young man.
    And of course the reason he was talking was largely the org he had just started up with William and “her indoors” called “Heads Together”.
    He’s brilliant at this because of his own experience and because of his work with veterans.
    Anyway, the British press are so shockingly disingenuous about his amazing abilities.

  10. Wendy says:

    My employer uses a similar app called Virgin Pulse — we are supposed to track sleep and exercise and join “challenges” to drink more water etc.
    It is absolutely useless but we are required to do it and collect so many points per quarter in order to get a discount on our health plan.

    I don’t know who the target audience is for this BetterUp application but it isn’t for lower or middle class Americans. Hopefully the content will be available to access at a more convenient time for the working class because I would love to hear the insights from both.

    • Cate says:

      My work also has Virgin Pulse and I do think it’s useless. My understanding is that BetterUp is more focused on mental than physical health though? My husband used to work at a “wellness” focused company and they also had some mental health focused stuff that employers could offer, like using CBT techniques to work through difficult situations or how to build self-confidence. I did a few with him and they definitely weren’t as good as therapy but they were useful. I think the utility of something like BetterUp is going to depend a lot on employer attitude. If they see employee mental health as a serious issue then they’re going to not just offer a program, they’re also going to offer employees the time/resources to utilize the program fully (e.g. permitting you to complete stuff on work time, or granting adequate sick time for employees to feel they can take a mental health day, or offering decent insurance that covers actual therapy if that’s what’s needed).

    • Apple says:

      Maybe not for the lower income audience as they would be struggling to even put food on the table… But as for the middle income group, maybe. Since BetterUP also ties up with institutions/companies to offer this service to their employees. I’ve personally heard a lot of good reviews from users of the platform and how having a coach guide them through their mental health journey has changed their lives for the better. Anyway, having PH as one of its ambassadors is an added benefit to me! Love to hear his insights on various issues.