Sunday 21 July 2019

Meghan and Harry to set up own charity after officially severing all work ties with William and Kate

(left to right) Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge during the first Royal Foundation Forum in central London
(left to right) Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge during the first Royal Foundation Forum in central London
(L-R) Britain's Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum on February 28, 2018 in London. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Chris Jackson
Expecting: Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry during a recent tour of Australia. Photo: PA
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, (R) and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (C) meet guests pre-ceremony reception as they attend the annual Endeavour Fund Awards at Drapers' Hall on February 7, 2019 in London, England
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, attend the Coach Core Awards at Loughborough University in Loughborough, central England on September 24, 2018
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry depart after attending the official opening of The Global Academy in support of Heads Together at The Global Academy on April 20, 2017 in Hayes, England.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge and Prince Harry seen leaving after a briefing to announce plans for Heads Together ahead of the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon at ICA on January 17, 2017 in London, England.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex promote their Heads Together campaign (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry arrive to attend the launch of Heads Together Campaign at Olympic Park on May 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Laura Elston

Britain's Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to set up their own new foundation after splitting from their joint charity with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, it has been announced.

Seen as the final step in the division of the couples' public duties, Harry and Meghan are to break away from the Royal Foundation.

It follows reports over the past year of a rift, first between Kate and Meghan, and then between future king William and his younger brother Harry.

William and Kate will remain with the original charity, which will be renamed the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

(L-R) Britain's Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum on February 28, 2018 in London. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Chris Jackson
(L-R) Britain's Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the first annual Royal Foundation Forum on February 28, 2018 in London. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Chris Jackson

The Royal Foundation said the decision was made following the conclusion of a review into its structure.

It said both couples will continue to work together in the future, including on the Heads Together mental health campaign.

The decision was taken to "better align" their charitable activities, it said.

Harry and Meghan have already split from the Cambridges' Kensington Palace household, setting up their own at Buckingham Palace in the spring, with a separate head of communications and SussexRoyal Instagram account.

Royal aides previously said that the foursome were to remain joint patrons of the Royal Foundation.

The duke and duchess, who have recently welcomed baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, also moved from London's Kensington Palace - home to William and Kate and their children - to live at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry arrive to attend the launch of Heads Together Campaign at Olympic Park on May 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry arrive to attend the launch of Heads Together Campaign at Olympic Park on May 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Thursday's announcement followed William and Harry's meeting with trustees of the Royal Foundation at Kensington Palace on Wednesday to finalise the arrangements.

William, Kate, Harry and Meghan's joint Royal Foundation venture was intended to harness the star power of the four high-profile royals, but it lasted just 16 months after their first appearance as a foursome.

They were dubbed the Fab Four after taking to the stage together at the first - and so far only - Royal Foundation forum in London in February 2018.

The inaugural event was billed as an annual affair.

During the Q&A, they were quizzed on whether there were disagreements, with William replying "Oh yes", while Harry said "healthy disagreements" adding he couldn't remember if they'd all been resolved as they "come so thick and fast".

Meghan said: "Thank goodness (there are) such differing personalities and everyone's very communicative because that's how you can really see bigger change."

The Royal Foundation was set up by William and Harry in 2009 to run all their charitable campaigns and ventures, and joined by Kate when she became Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

Meghan joined in May 2018 after becoming an HRH, with the charity's title later officially changing to The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The body set up successful charity campaigns including Heads Together, the Endeavour Fund and projects with the Invictus Games.

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