Prince William will be concerned that his brother Harry ‘appears to be exploiting his mother’s iconic status’ after he used a picture with their late mother Princess Diana to help launch his new website with Meghan Markle, a royal expert claimed today.
The updated Archewell website featured a picture of the young prince sitting on the shoulders of Princess Diana, taken at Highgrove in Gloucestershire in July 1986.
An introductory letter introduced Harry as ‘my mother’s son’ and said the couple had both experienced compassion and kindness ‘from our mothers and strangers alike’.
But it made no reference to Harry’s father Prince Charles, or to his brother William – and royal expert Phil Dampier said this will not have gone unnoticed by the family.
He told MailOnline today: ‘I think William will be slightly worried if Harry uses Diana for any of his charitable or commercial ventures without consulting him, and I don’t think he would be happy if Harry appears to be exploiting his mother’s iconic status.
‘It’s also very significant that Harry called himself his “mother’s son” but has made no mention of Prince Charles. William is very much following now in his father’s footsteps with his environmental and conservation work.
‘And although Harry has praised his father in the past, it seems odd not to mention him more and work in conjunction with him, rather than separately.’
The updated Archewell website featured this picture of a young Prince Harry sitting on the shoulders of Princess Diana, taken at Highgrove in Gloucestershire in July 1986
In a joint statement on the new Archewell website, called a ‘letter for 2021’ which overlays the pictures, the Duke and Duchess say: ‘I am my mother’s son. And I am our son’s mother’
Mr Dampier added: ‘I suspect that part of the reason for the emphasis on mothers is that Meghan is so close to her mother and of course is estranged from her father, so perhaps Harry is thinking of her when he concentrates only on Diana.
‘I think that for many years Harry bottled up his feelings about his mother’s tragic death and Meghan encouraged him to dig deep and bring out some of the problems that he has been wrestling with.
‘I think that was a good thing to start with and helped him to know himself better and recover from the demons he’d been wrestling with for many years. But there is a danger that he could become obsessed with his mother’s memory and fail to live in the present.’
He also pointed out that William and Harry will be together this summer for the unveiling of a statue to mark Princess Diana’s 60th birthday at Kensington Palace in London.
Mr Dampier said that, with relations ‘slowly falling’ between the brothers, ‘it will be fascinating to watch the body language between them when they meet up and I’m sure they will put on a united front’.
However, he added: ‘I think it’s going to take a long time until their relationship is back to what it was. It will also be very interesting to see if Meghan returns to the UK for that unveiling and what reaction she gets from members of the public that she meets.
Mr Dampier also pointed out how the Queen, Charles and Camilla have done a ‘magnificent job’ throughout the coronavirus pandemic of ‘inspiring’ the public, with both Charles and William having suffered from Covid-19.
But he continued: ‘Harry something comes across as a remote figure pontificating from the luxury of his mansion in California and I don’t think the British public like that, however popular it is with their fans in America.
‘I’m sure that Charles will sometimes feel that his work is overshadowed by Harry’s pronouncements and he would much prefer it if there work was co-ordin
ated and choreographed, but sadly those days seem to have gone – and Harry and Meghan are determined to strike out on their own, regardless of the effect it has on Charles’s work.
Prince William, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Kate at Wesminster Abbey in November 2018
‘I don’t know what Harry’s relationship with his father is at the moment, but I’m sure Charles is very sad that he sees so little of his son and of course his grandson Archie who is growing up in America, away from the royal family.’
Mr Dampier added that the ‘Megxit’ deal after Harry and Meghan dramatically stepped down as senior royals last year comes to an end this March.
He continued: ‘The Queen will be looking at what Harry and Meghan do in great detail, and if she and Charles think that his projects are incompatible with the royal family’s work, they may have to consider further measures.
‘The ultimate of course would be to strip them of their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles, which I know the Queen would be very reluctant to do as she thinks that will make the situation worse.
‘She will always leave a door open for Harry to return, and won’t want to do anything to make the situation worse, but at the same time she has made it clear that Harry and Meghan can’t be half in and half out of the royal family.’
Mr Dampier, who has been writing about the Royal Family for 28 years, released his latest book Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan in Their Own Words in 2018.
Also on the homepage of the new Archewell website was a monochrome image of a young Meghan standing as her mother Doria Ragland crouches down to hug her daughter.
Yesterday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex set out their goal to ‘build a better world’ as they effectively launched the website of their non-profit organisation Archewell.
Harry issued a joint statement with Meghan inviting people to join their campaign to make a difference ‘one act of compassion at a time’.
The couple have also announced partnerships between their foundation and several tech and research-focused organisations to pursue their aims.
In a joint statement on the website, 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.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana with sons Prince William (right, and Prince Harry (left) as they prepare for a cycling trip in Tresco during their holiday in the Scilly Isles in June 1989
‘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.’
Since stepping down as senior royals in March and moving to the US, the couple 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 Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their son Archie while in Cape Town in September 2019
The announcement follows their first Spotify podcast on Tuesday which saw their son Archie make his broadcast debut – but the show has yet to break into the streaming service’s top ten most popular podcasts, climbing from 32 to 15.
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 website was launched as just a ‘landing page’ in October but is now a working site featuring a new logo – a capital letter A above a W.
Archewell’s press secretary said yesterday: ‘Founded earlier this year by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archewell uplifts communities through non-profit partnerships and creative activations.
The website is divided into three sections – their Archewell Foundation, Audio (for Spotify) and Productions (for Netflix)
‘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.’
Archewell is expected to focus on the issues the couple have been championing during the pandemic and before – racial justice, gender equity, climate change, mental health, online hate speech and empowering diverse voices.
The foundation’s partnership with a range of academic and tech organisations will include financial support.
Harry and Meghan 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’
Harry and Meghan have teamed up with the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), Stanford Medicine, the San Francisco based Centre for Humane Technology, UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Centre For Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2) and the Loveland Foundation.
At the CCARE, Archewell will be supporting its research into techniques for developing compassion and promoting altruism, while the foundation has already been working with the Centre for Humane Technology to create conditions for safer online communities.
The Loveland Foundation, supports a number of communities focusing on black women and girls, while Dr Safiya Noble, co-founder and co-director of the C2i2 said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are deeply committed to using their light to illuminate the problems of inequality and structural racism.
‘We have a shared commitment and sense of urgency in making a more compassionate world, much of which is undermined by internet platforms. I know what they stand for, (and) share in their mission.
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’. This is featured on the newly-updated Archewell website
‘We look forward to lending our research expertise and networks to our mutual work on the most pressing issues of internet policy and culture that are accelerating racial, gender, and economic, inequity.’ < /p>
The new website set out the couple’s manifesto for their life outside the Royal Family, following the acrimony of ‘Megxit’.
They said they had chosen the name Archewell as Arche meant ‘source of action’ in Ancient Greek and well meant ‘a plentiful source or supply; a place we go to dig deep’.
‘At Archewell, we unleash the power of compassion to drive systemic cultural change,’ they wrote. ‘Archewell, through its non-profit work as well as creative activations, drives systemic cultural change across communities.’
The couple have secured lucrative multimillion-pound deals with Spotify and Netflix, the latter of which is mentioned above
Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, named five causes they would help via the Archewell Foundation.
They include the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University.
The Sussexes announced partnerships with other tech research groups, and gave their support to The Loveland Foundation, which provides mental health help for black women and girls.
Harry and Meghan also vowed to fund four community relief centres run by the World Central Kitchen in crisis-hit areas.
The couple have signed lucrative commercial deals with Netflix and Spotify to fund their foundation.
The royal couple also announced partnerships between their foundation and several tech and research-focused groups, including the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University
Under the terms of ‘Megxit’, Buckingham Palace said they would no longer receive public funds for royal duties, although Prince Charles was thought to have continued to give cash to his youngest son.
Harry and Meghan’s deal with Netflix was said to be worth £75million and the link-up with Spotify has made them around £18million.
The pair will make podcasts as Archewell Audio and released their first earlier this week, featuring a cameo appearance from their 19-month-old son Archie.
Marketing executives have predicted Archewell will become a ‘billion-dollar brand’.