‘I am my mother’s son’: Harry uses a photo of Diana and vows to ‘unleash the power of compassion’ with Meghan on new website for foundation that reveals partnerships with Stanford ‘centre for altruism research’ and ‘humane technology’ charity
Duke and Duchess of Sussex today set out goal to ‘build a better world’ in open letter on their updated website.
Couple use pictures of Harry as a boy with Princess Diana and one of Meghan as a girl with her mother Doria.
They said in a joint statement on Archewell.com website: ‘I am my mother’s son. And I am our son’s mother’.
Couple also announced partnerships between their foundation and several tech and research-focused groups.
Site also plugs their podcasting deal with Spotify said to be worth £30m and their £100m Netflix tie-up.
Prince Harry used a photograph of his late mother Princess Diana and described himself as his ‘mother’s son’ as he and Meghan Markle today launched the website of their non-profit organisation Archewell.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex set out their goal to ‘build a better world’ in an open letter on the newly-updated website this afternoon, saying they wanted to ‘unleash the power of compassion’.
But the site also prominently plugs the couple’s commercial ventures – Archewell Audio, the brand they have chosen for their £30m podcasting deal with Spotify, and Archewell Productions, their chosen name for their Netflix production tie-up said to be worth as much as £100m.
The royal couple used two photographs on the new homepage of Archewell.com – one of Harry as a boy with Diana, taken at Highgrove in July 1986, and one of Meghan as a girl with her mother, Doria Ragland.
Harry and Meghan said in a joint statement on the website: ‘I am my mother’s son. And I am our son’s mother.’ However there was no mention or photo of Harry’s father Prince Charles.
The couple wrote that the name of their organisation is a mixture of the Greek word ‘Arche’, meaning ‘source of action’, and the word ‘Well’, defined as ‘a plentiful source or supply; a place we go to dig deep’.
They also announced partnerships between their foundation and several tech and research-focused groups.
Harry and Meghan wrote: ‘At Archewell, we unleash the power of compassion to drive systemic cultural change.
‘We do this through our non-profit work within Archewell Foundation 501(c)(3), in addition to creative activations through the business verticals of audio and production.’
The website features the picture of Diana with Harry on her shoulders, while in another monochrome image a young Meghan stands as her mother Doria crouches down to hug her daughter.
In a joint statement, called a ‘letter for 2021’ which overlays the pictures, the couple say: ‘I am my mother’s son. And I am our son’s mother. Together we bring you Archewell. 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. In the face of fear, struggle and pain, it can be easy to lose sight of this.
‘Together, we can choose courage, healing, and connection. Together, we can choose to put compassion in action. We invite you to join us. As we work to build a better world. One act of compassion at a time.’
Among the five organisations Harry and Meghan said they have chosen to support include the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, which they say is investigating techniques for ‘developing compassion and promoting altruism within individuals and society’.
Another is the Center for Humane Technology in San Francisco led by former Google ‘design ethicist’ Tristan Harris which aims to ‘create the conditions for safer, more compassionate online communities’.
A third is the Loveland Foundation, which is an organisation providing affordable and accessible mental health resources to black women and girls.
Archewell is also supporting the Center for Critical Internet Inquiry at the University of California in Los Angeles, which aims to champion racial and economic justice in the technology world.
The final organisation is chef José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen, which is building four community relief centres in regions affected by hunger, starting in Dominica and Puerto Rico.
Since stepping down as senior royals in March and moving to the US, Harry and Meghan have been working towards this moment to officially launch, albeit softly, the website and the philosophy behind their organisation Archewell.
Their decision to leave was based as much about financial as personal freedom and the huge sums – thought to be well over £100million – they have earned from deals with Spotify and Netflix, gives them the capital to pursue their new lifestyle and public goals.
The announcement follows their first Spotify podcast on Tuesday which saw their son Archie make his broadcast debut.
Commentators have already speculated that Harry and Meghan will have to draw in large audiences if they are to justify the lucrative contract their production company Archewell Audio signed.
Archewell’s press secretary said today: ‘Founded earlier this year by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archewell uplifts communities through non-profit partnerships and creative activations.
‘It’s a place where compassion matters, communities gather, and storytelling is the engine.
‘The website has been updated to reflect the work Archewell has undertaken throughout 2020 and to create a place for people and communities around the world to share their stories.’
The updated website is Harry and Meghan’s final act of a year which has seen the royal family endure some of their most turbulent problems in recent history – with the messy Megxit saga at the forefront of the issues.
The Duke and Duchess sparked a major royal crisis in January with a bombshell statement saying they intended to stop being senior royals, earn their own money and still support the Queen.
But the dual role was unworkable. The Queen held a summit at Sandringham to deal with the crisis and the outcome was a hard Megxit.
At the end of March, less than two years after they wed, Harry and Meghan quit as working royals completely and stopped using their HRH styles.
They have since settled into a new life in Montecito in California, bought an £11 million house, secured lucrative multimillion-pound deals with Netflix and Spotify, volunteered during the Covid-19 crisis and been working on their Archewell foundation.
Meghan gave an impassioned black lives matter speech to her old high school about the death of George Floyd in the US. But controversy has not been far away.
Harry was criticised for political interference after he urged people in the US to ‘reject hate speech’ and vote in the presidential election.
The duke and duchess were also accused of staging a publicity stunt after they invited a fashion photographer to take pictures of them at a national cemetery in LA to mark Remembrance Sunday.
In August, a new biography, Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, revisited the rift between Harry and William.
The book said Harry was angered by what he perceived as his brother’s ‘snobbish’ attitude to Meghan, and Kate was accused of not reaching out to Meghan and of snubbing her at the Sussexes’ final public engagement at Westminster Abbey.
The Sussexes’ son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor celebrated his first birthday, with Meghan reading the boisterous youngster the children’s book Duck! Rabbit! in a video for Save the Children UK.
But the couple also experienced heartache, with Meghan revealing in an article in November that she had suffered a miscarriage in the summer, writing: ‘I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.’
Earlier this week, Harry and Meghan released their debut Spotify podcast on Tuesday which saw them chat about ‘the power of connection’, ’empathy’ and ‘collective mental health’…
They have also appointed a press secretary. Toya Holness has worked for the celebrity William Morris Endeavor agency. A ‘stellar’ footballer who played for her university team in California, she is described by friends as ‘bold and outgoing’.
The Sussexes had already poached another major figure, Catherine St Laurent, as their chief of staff. She is also the executive director of Archewell, which is expected to launch in the new year after months of delays.
Miss St Laurent had been responsible for Melinda Gates’s profile and communications activities at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Industry experts said the wage bill for the three US appointments alone was unlikely to be any less than £650,000-a-year plus benefits.
PR expert Mark Borkowski said the extent of the new appointments proved the ‘global’ ambitions of the couple.
‘There’s clearly a big operation being set up there. What will be interesting to see is whether these [new] people challenge the way [the couple] go about things,’ he said.
‘The focus on them is pretty relentless and they clearly want to change the established narrative around them now they are trying to launch themselves in America.’