Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Break Silence About "Competing" With the Queen's Ceremony

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made a rare statement yesterday after The Sun and Daily Mail alleged that they were planning to create their own awards ceremony that would "compete" with the Queen's honors list.

The British royal family doesn't often respond to salacious tabloid stories about them, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry included. But the couple, who stepped down from their senior royal family roles in the spring, made a rare statement yesterday after The Sun (opens in new tab) and Daily Mail (opens in new tab) (notably, the two tabloids the couple (opens in new tab) are suing (opens in new tab)) alleged that they were planning to create their own "woke" awards ceremony that would "compete" with the Queen's honors list.

The Queen does a birthday honors list each year that awards achievements to people across the UK; she can grant people knighthood or other various titles including MBEs (Member Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire), OBEs (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) and CBEs (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). You can read more about the various honors the Queen can give at the royals' site here (opens in new tab).

The Sun claimed the couple "filed papers" in the U.S., stating they want to celebrate "charitable service, education, science, literature, racial justice, gender equity, environmental stewardship, youth empowerment, health and mental health" through their new Archewell non-profit.

The couple did not let those false reports stand long. A press secretary for Archewell released a statement (opens in new tab) to media outlets, stating, "We look forward to sharing more about Archewell's work in the weeks ahead but any suggestion that it is intended to rival the UK honours list is false. Furthermore, the trademark application has followed the normal course of business for the U.S. Trademark process and any suggestion otherwise is also false."

Meghan and Harry have not formally launched Archewell yet, in part due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But they launched its site in October. A source told ELLE.com (opens in new tab) at the time that "while Archewell hasn’t already had a formal launch, it is still already all of their work—the structure, the events, the research they’re doing, the people that they’re meeting. All of the effort they are putting in is within that umbrella. Over time, it is going to grow and grow.”

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Alyssa Bailey
Alyssa Bailey

Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she's not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.