Two Higher-Ups Left Meghan and Harry's Company, Archewell, Within 48 Hours

The couple are in the spotlight ahead of the release of Netflix's 'Harry & Meghan.'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

It would be a big week for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle without this: their highly anticipated six-part docuseries, Harry & Meghan, hits Netflix at last on Thursday, December 8 (the first three parts) and Thursday, December 15 (the remaining three).

But in addition to the bombshell releases of the project’s teaser and trailer—and just days ahead of the show’s full release—the president of their nonprofit organization, Archewell, has left the company, with another key hire, the showrunner for Meghan’s podcast “Archetypes,” doing the same just days later. On Saturday, Archewell President Mandana Dayani stepped down from the nonprofit organization in a mutually planned decision, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex saying of the departure “Ms. Dayani has been an integral part of Archewell, and we are grateful for her passion, commitment, and leadership.”

Harry and Meghan continued that Dayani will not be replaced, and that the Duke and Duchess will “now take full lead of their company.” The statement continued “Ms. Dayani is fully supportive of the Duke and Duchess in their new leadership roles, and they remain friends.”

Dayani joined the company in September 2021 while Harry and Meghan were on parental leave after the birth of daughter Lilibet that June. She was hired to “move the company and its projects forward,” and she “continued to shape its vision and future successfully,” they said.

Then, just 48 hours later, it was announced Rebecca Sananés, Archewell’s head of audio and the producer of Meghan’s “Archetypes” podcast, had also left the company, making it unclear whether a second season of the Spotify show will happen. Sananés had been at Archewell since July 2021, Page Six reports. While Dayani will not be replaced, Sananés’ replacement, Serena Regan, has already been hired; Sananés’ departure is part of a “larger growth plan” for the Sussex brand, the outlet reports, adding it’s unknown whether the couple will continue their Spotify deal. Still, a highly placed industry source tells the publication “I think they would be happy if their contracts with Netflix and Spotify went away, quite honestly. But the question is then, how else will they make money?”

The Sussexes also parted ways with their public relations firm, Sunshine Sachs, to move matters in-house this past October.

Harry and Meghan will be in the public eye this week, not just for their docuseries, but for an appearance at the Ripple of Hope Awards in New York City on Tuesday, where they will be recognized for what Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights president Kerry Kennedy (also a daughter of RFK) calls having the “moral courage” to take a stand against “structural racism” within the monarchy, according to journalist Gustavo Egusquiza.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.