Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Reveal Their New Charity, Archewell

Caroline Hallemann
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Reveal Their New Charity, Archewell
Photo credit: Pool/Samir Hussein - Getty Images

From Town & Country

  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex split from the Royal Foundation, their formerly joint charity with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, last year
  • Prince Harry established the Royal Foundation with Prince William in 2009.
  • Meghan and Harry plan to launch their own charitable organization, but it will be a non-profit, not a foundation, and it will not be called Sussex Royal.
  • In April of 2020, they confirmed that the new organization will be called Archewell.

Now that the dust has started to settle on the news that Harry and Meghan have transitioned out of their senior roles in the royal family, the Sussexes have been sharing additional details about their future plans. Recently, the couple clarified on their website that they "do not plan to start a 'foundation.'" Rather, the couple "intend to develop a new way to effect change and complement the efforts made by so many excellent foundations globally."

This new organization, a non-profit, "will be in addition to their cause driven work that they remain deeply committed to."

And in early April, they revealed the name of their new organization, Archewell.

It is understood that Harry and Meghan weren't planning to announce Archewell—and aren't planning to launch it now, amid the coronavirus crisis—but responded to the Telegraph when asked for comment on a story about the non-profit.

Here's what else we know about the project know so far:

Last summer, Kensington Palace confirmed the news that Harry and Meghan were leaving the Royal Foundation.

In mid-June 2019, just a few months after Harry and Meghan announced that their household was splitting from that of William and Kate, Kensington Palace confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also planned to leave the Royal Foundation, the charitable organization that they had shared with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The implication was that they intended to start a new, separate foundation.

As of last fall, they still intended to launch a new foundation.

During her speech at the launch of her charitable clothing line for Smart Works in September of 2019, Meghan shared that the fashion project is "the same vein of work my husband and I will continue doing—really strong, community-based projects—and this is something that we'll be excited to be able to share more about next year when we launch our foundation, Sussex Royal 2020."

Watch a clip of her speech here:

Back in early June, Omid Scobie reported that "the plans for 'Project Sussex Foundation' are so beta, preliminary paperwork is only just being filed."

But now it's clear they will be launching a non-profit, not a foundation.

The couple haven't clarified their reasoning for the shift, but there could be a tax reason why, at least if they choose to operate in the US.

The IRS outlines the distinction below:

Public charities generally receive a greater portion of their financial support from the general public or governmental units, and have greater interaction with the public. A private foundation, on the other hand, is typically controlled by members of a family or by a small group of individuals, and derives much of its support from a small number of sources and from investment income. Because they are less open to public scrutiny, private foundations are subject to various operating restrictions and to excise taxes for failure to comply with those restrictions.

It will be called Archewell.

While Meghan previously shared that the organization would be called Sussex Royal, following the Sussexes' announcement that they are stepping back from their senior roles in the royal family, it has becoming clear that will not be the case. As Harry and Meghan outline on their website:

While The Duke and Duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation, given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word ‘Royal’, it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation will not utilise the name ‘Sussex Royal’ or any other iteration of ‘Royal.’

In April, they confirmed the name of the new organization, and shared its meaning.

"Before SussexRoyal, came the idea of 'Arche'—the Greek word meaning 'source of action.' We connected to this concept for the charitable organization we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name. To do something of meaning, to do something that matters. Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon. We look forward to launching Archewell when the time is right."

They had previously filed for a trademark for the organization.

Harry and Meghan filed to register a trademark for "Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex" back in June, but the filing wasn't published until December of 2019. Given the news about the Sussex Royal brand, that trademark request has been removed. The Sussexes explain on their website:

The trademark applications that had been filed as protective measures and that reflected the same standard trademarking requests as done for The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have been removed.

Now, they have filed for new trademark protections regarding the name Archewell.

Harry and Meghan are "very excited" to start their own charitable initiative.

The new organization will "[allow] the Sussexes to do things exactly how they want," a palace source told Scobie in June of 2019. "Their operating style is very different to the Cambridges and so having their own space to think as big as they like, working on a global scale, is perfect for them."

The insider also noted that Harry and Meghan are thinking big with their philanthropic plans. “[The organization] will allow them to do some very ambitious things," said the source. "Their charity will provide them with an opportunity to create something that will be their defining work—and it’s entirely theirs.”

Photo credit: CHRIS JACKSON - Getty Images

It's unclear exactly which issues the organization will focus on.

Both Meghan and Harry have expressed interest in a wide variety of causes in the past ranging from women's rights and empowerment to veteran affairs, conservation, the elimination of landmines, and reducing the stigma of mental health concerns.

And it's also unknown when it will launch.

News broke about the charity amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, and given the current circumstances, the couple does not plan to launch their new charity anytime soon.

"Like you, our focus is on supporting efforts to tackle the global Covid-19 pandemic but faced with this information coming to light, we felt compelled to share the story of how this came to be," reads a statement in reference to the story in the Telegraph.

We'll continue to update this post as additional information is made public.

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