On Instagram, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle bid goodbye to followers of @sussexroyal, revealing they will no longer use the account.
Harry and Meghan have also revealed their plans post-royal life: They will continue to focus on charitable endeavors, including Meghan Markle's upcoming spot doing the voiceover for Disney's Elephant documentary. They have also announced changes to their internal staff and team.
A source close to the couple tells OprahMag.com Harry was "torn" about the decision, but has decided to "put family first."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced on Instagram what their future looks like as they begin the process of transitioning their life out of the Royal spotlight. The couple confirmed they will step back as “senior members of the Royal Family”, effective March 31st, and that they will also stop using their Instagram account @sussexroyal.
A spokesperson for the Sussexes tells OprahMag.com: Harry and Meghan intend to spend the next few months “focusing on their family and continuing to do what they can, safely and privately, to support and work with their pre-existing charitable commitments while developing their future non-profit organisation.”
Their final Instagram post on their Sussex Royal account encourages people to be kind—to “take good care of yourselves and each other," before thanking their 11 million followers for their support. “Thank you to this community for the support, the inspiration, and the shared commitment to the good in the world. We look forward to reconnecting with you soon."
As we can all feel, the world at this moment seems extraordinarily fragile. Yet we are confident that every human being has the potential and opportunity to make a difference—as seen now across the globe, in our families, our communities and those on the front line—together we can lift each other up to realise the fullness of that promise. What’s most important right now is the health and wellbeing of everyone across the globe and finding solutions for the many issues that have presented themselves as a result of this pandemic. 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. While you may not see us here, the work continues. Thank you to this community - for the support, the inspiration and the shared commitment to the good in the world. We look forward to reconnecting with you soon. You’ve been great! Until then, please take good care of yourselves, and of one another. Harry and Meghan
A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on Mar 30, 2020 at 9:17am PDT
The Sussex Royal Foundation, which was in the process of being established in the UK, will also not continue. A “winding-up process” has begun, according to a source close to the couple. The primary initiative currently underway as part of Sussex Royal is Travalyst, The Duke’s sustainable tourism initiative, which will be established as an independent non-profit organization, based in the UK, with the goal of better understanding how this non-profit organization can aid in global recovery.
After royal life, Meghan and Harry will continue focus on the issues closest to their hearts, including gender equity and education, mental health, conservation, and support for the military community. Though the couple will will no longer continue as Commonwealth Youth Ambassadors, they will remain actively engaged with their charitable and humanitarian endeavors. Harry will continue his work with Invictus and Sentebale, the charity he set up in his mother, Princess Diana’s name.
Meanwhile, Meghan will continue her work with her four patronages including the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the National Theatre, Smart Works and her animal rescue charity Mayhew. Meghan, meanwhile, recently narrated Disney's Elephant documentary. Instead of accepting payment, Markle asked for a donation to the charity Elephants Without Borders, which works to protect elephants from poaching and other threats.
“The Duke and Duchess remain committed and supportive to their patronages and will continue to work closely with them,” the spokesperson said.
Harry and Meghan recently relocated from their Vancouver Island bolthole in Canada to Los Angeles, where their future business and humanitarian work will be based and Meghan’s mother, Doria, lives. Since announcing their stepback, Harry has also continued working with Oprah on a mental health series for Apple TV+, which is slated for late 2020 or 2021. The Duke of Sussex has been actively engaged in the project, participating in discussions with the directors working on the program.
A source tells OprahMag.com that right now, the couple's number one priority is on family. With Archie just shy of his first birthday, Harry and Meghan have made the decision to step back and “put family first.” Multiple sources tell OprahMag.com that Harry was “torn,” however, he knows this was the right decision for his family and future.
“He loves the Queen and his country, but he’s trying to make his family happy and his wife happy," says a source close to the couple. "He wants to do what he thought would best protect Meghan and Archie. Harry’s whole world is Archie. He’s the most amazing father. He knows his feeding times, he’s there for his bath. He’s absolutely besotted with his son.”
With a new home and worldwide admiration for the Sussexes commitment to their humanitarian and charitable goals, Harry and Meghan are excited about their future and all it has to offer.
To all of our Kiwi followers, sending our very best to each of you on Waitangi Day! 🇳🇿 • As a commonwealth country and a realm, today we honour the spirit and diversity of New Zealand, and we feel particularly reminded of the special time we had there during our tour in 2018. • The Duke and Duchess send their best wishes to all the people of New Zealand. I tēnei rā, ka tuku mihi maioha te Tiuka me te Tāhihi ki ngā iwi katoa o Aotearoa. Image © PA / High Commissioner
A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on Feb 5, 2020 at 11:02am PST
The couple is also making some changes to their team. Catherine St Laurent, who was a former senior executive of Melinda Gates staff, has been tapped to become Chief of Staff to the Sussexes and serve as Executive Director of their new non profit organization. St Laurent, formerly the director of Pivotal Ventures, worked closely with Melinda Gates, spearheading the foundation’s work on Women and family planning initiatives guaranteeing contraception and birth control is available to women globally regardless of circumstance.
"We are proud to be joined by Catherine St. Laurent in this next chapter with us," The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said. "Her leadership and proven track record working within two organizations that have tremendous impact in the world—the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Pivotal Ventures—make her an incredible asset and we are excited to have her on our team.”
An emailed leaked earlier this week to St Laurent’s colleagues announced her new role:
“After nearly 9 years alongside Melinda and the Gates Foundation and Pivotal Ventures teams, I am moving on to begin a new chapter and wanted to make sure to share my contact info so we can stay in touch.
Beginning next week I will be acting as Chief of Staff and Executive Director of the new non-profit enterprise for Meghan M and Harry. They are embarking on a new chapter themselves and I am thrilled to be able to play a supporting role in realizing their vision and enabling them to achieve impact on the issues that matter most to them."
St Laurent is excited to be a part of the couple's new transition: “From our very first conversation, Harry and Meghan have expressed a deep commitment to improving lives and having a positive impact on society. Their perspective on the role that empathy, connection, and compassion can play in that mission is both deeply personal and incredibly timely. I am delighted and honored to be able to play a role in realizing their vision as they embark on this journey of learning, listening, and inspiring all of us to act.”
James Holt, a valued member of Harry and Meghan’s staff, will also stay on with the couple in a new role. The highly regarded Holt had served as Communications Director for the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, before moving to the Sussexes household when the Foundation split.
This morning, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was christened in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle at an intimate service officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are so happy to share the joy of this day with members of the public who have been incredibly supportive since the birth of their son. They thank you for your kindness in welcoming their first born and celebrating this special moment. Their Royal Highnesses feel fortunate to have enjoyed this day with family and the godparents of Archie. Their son, Archie, was baptised wearing the handmade replica of the royal christening gown which has been worn by royal infants for the last 11 years. The original Royal Christening Robe, made of fine Honiton lace lined with white satin, was commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1841 and first worn by her eldest daughter. It was subsequently worn for generations of Royal christenings, including The Queen, her children and her grandchildren until 2004, when The Queen commissioned this handmade replica, in order for the fragile historic outfit to be preserved, and for the tradition to continue. Photo credit: Chris Allerton ©️SussexRoyal
A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on Jul 6, 2019 at 8:14am PDT
As was agreed with The Royal Family, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer use the name Sussex Royal for their charitable organization, Instagram, or website. The website will remain in existence although it will be “inactive” according to a spokesperson for the Sussexes.
As outlined in January, after the Sandringham Summit, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain “valued members” of the Royal Family and will retain their titles of “His/Her Royal Highness” but no longer actively use their “HRH”s.
As the grandson of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and second son of The Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex remains sixth in line to the throne of the British Monarchy. The Order of Precedence stays the same.