- Last month, news broke that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal exit will be permanent and the couple is now diving into the next stage of their lives, both personally and professionally.
- On the professional front, much of the Sussexes' work will be through their nonprofit, Archewell. The Archewell website was updated this week to include information about the organization's upcoming projects as well as its motto, "Community. Service. Compassion. Action."
- Some royal fans and commentators believe the Archewell update includes a jab at the royal family and the Palace, which released a statement last month confirming that Harry and Meghan will be stripped of their remaining honorary titles and patronages as a result of their royal exit.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are very clearly done staying silent when it comes to their side of the royal exit. Last month, the couple made their step back from royal duties permanent—a decision that was announced about a month before the Sussexes were expected to do a royal exit review with Queen Elizabeth II.
When news broke that Harry and Meghan were officially parting ways with the royal family (professionally, at least), Buckingham Palace released a statement confirming that (as had long been rumored and expected by many royal experts, FWIW) the Sussexes would indeed be stripped of their remaining honorary titles and royal patronages as a result. This was a particular blow to Harry, who was widely-reported to have been working on a way to retain his honorary military titles after the exit, apparently to no avail.
The Buckingham Palace statement about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal exit becoming permanent read:
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.
Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.
While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family."
In a rare move that was surprising from royals (even non-working ones), the Sussexes publicly hit back with a statement of their own that was described as "angry" and "abrasive" by some experts and outlets.
"As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role," a spokesperson for the Sussexes said after Buckingham Palace's statement was released, according to royal author and correspondent (and Sussex biographer) Omid Scobie. "We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."
That's all just background info you need before we get into the latest potential bit of royal family drama. Read for it? Okay, let's go. This week, the Sussexes updated the website for their nonprofit, Archewell. When the couple relaunched the site at the end of last year, they included an open letter and childhood pictures of themselves with their mothers. " I am my mother’s son. And I am our son’s mother. Together we bring you Archewell," the letter read. "We believe in the best of humanity. Because we have seen the best of humanity. We have experienced compassion and kindness, From our mothers and strangers alike."
It's worth noting that even the tribute to Princess Diana and Doria Ragland was rumored to irk some in the royal family, particularly Harry's brother, Prince William. In the new update, Harry and Meghan's tribute to their mothers was taken down and replaced with descriptions of some of the projects the Sussexes are tackling in the months ahead. The revamped version of the website also features the Archewell logo, encircled by the organization's motto, summed up in just four words: "Community. Service. Compassion. Action."The four-word mission statement was a new addition to the website and one that some have interpreted as a jab at the Queen and the royal family in general. Why? It's the second word, "service," which those on Team Harry and Meghan Are Totally Dragging the Queen see as a reference to the dueling statements released by the two camps earlier in February (which is why we needed a refresher on what those statements said before we could talk about the reaction to the Archewell logo).
Who's to say if the inclusion of service was intended as a message for the Palace and the rest of the royal family or not, really. While it's easy to see why some royal fans and commentators interpreted it as a reference to the Sussexes' recent exchange of tense statements with the Palace, it's also important to remember that, well, service has always been really important to Harry and Meghan.
Harry and Meghan also outlined exactly what they hope to accomplish through Archewell, writing on the About Us page, "Welcome to Archewell. Through our non-profit work, as well as creative activations, we drive systemic cultural change across all communities, one act of compassion at a time."
Shade or no shade, Archewell's primary mission is definitely something we can get behind.