The Duchess of Sussex has broken her silence to defend the new Sussex.com site following a series of criticisms.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s “provocative” decision to relaunch their Archewell website, the umbrella name for all their philanthropic and business endeavors, with “Sussex.com” had sparked accusations that they are trying to be “more real.”
Royal insiders told MailOnline that the website, created by Canadian agency Article, “made no sense” and created a “blurred line between past and present”, as they told the couple. to abandon their ‘Sussex’ title in 2020 after stopping working royals.
Responding to the criticism, Meghan said in a statement: “There’s a reason I’ve worked with Ryan and the talented team at Article for a decade: their attention to detail, their creativity and care, and thoughtful approach to both design and of the user experience.
‘They are not just designers; They are collaborators who elevate their ideas to visual identities. They are a very special company. Plus, they’re Canadian, so I’m a fan.
It comes as Meghan today announced a new podcast deal with female-founded US podcast network Lemonada Media, which aims to “make life less suck” with shows about sex, grief and LGBTQ issues.
The Duchess of Sussex breaks her silence to defend the new Sussex.com site after an avalanche of criticism
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, attend the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games in September 2023. The photo now appears on the home page of sussex.com
Their “About” page says: “The office of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is shaping the future through business and philanthropy.”
Prince Harry and Meghan unveiled their new Sussex.com website earlier this week, which modestly insists that the couple is “shaping the future through business and philanthropy.”
The website is operated by “The Office of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex” and is a “one stop shop” for all their activities.
But there is no reference in their biographies to any of their links to the Royal Family; Harry, fifth in line to the throne, is described as a “military veteran, humanitarian, mental health advocate and environmental activist.”
Sussex.com has a minimalist design and features a large photograph of the couple on the home page.
It has links to the Archewell Foundation and Archewell Productions, as well as the controversial website sussexroyal.com launched in 2020 to coincide with their decision to step back as working royals.
It is believed that the Duke and Duchess will use the site to share their personal and official updates, keeping people informed through the ‘News’ section.
Their ‘About’ page reads: ‘The Office of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is shaping the future through business and philanthropy.
‘This includes: The Archewell Foundation, Archewell Productions, sponsorships, companies and organizations that receive support from the couple, individually and/or together.’
The new Sussex.com homepage features an image of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at the Invictus Games closing ceremony in September 2023.
The Duchess of Sussex’s coat of arms appears on new Sussex.com website
This is an image issued by Kensington Palace on May 25, 2018 showing the Duchess of Sussex’s new coat of arms which was issued at the time of her marriage to Prince Harry.
A Daily Mail graphic from 2018 showing what each aspect of Meghan’s coat of arms means
There is also a page dedicated to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, detailing their background and achievements.
Prince Harry’s biography references his 10 years of service in the British Armed Forces and as the author of the New York Times bestseller Spare, “a memoir of his life told with compassion, vulnerability and unflinching honesty.”
Meghan’s biography references her advocacy work, her career in the entertainment industry as a lead role on the television series ‘Suits’ and as the author of the NY Times best-selling children’s book ‘The Bench’ and ‘Together: Our Community Kitchen’.
Their bios include the line: “They are committed to their mission: showing up, doing good.” They hold the value that charitable work should not simply be “an alms, but rather a hand up.”
The Archewell Foundation was created by the Duke and Duchess to “build meaningful initiatives” and “drive long-term change”.
Archewell Productions was founded in 2020 and is “dedicated to illuminating diverse and inspiring narratives that underscore our common humanity and celebrate community.”
Many close to the royal household believe it is a flagrant breach of the supposedly strict assurances Harry and Meghan gave the late Queen when they bitterly quit as senior royals in 2020, and comes dangerously close to using their royal status for profit. commercial.
Well-placed sources said the new online website would present a “huge challenge” for the Lord Chamberlain of Buckingham Palace.
The senior royal must decide whether to criticize the Sussexes or “let it go” to maintain the already fragile family peace.
Others described it as a betrayal of the agreement, “if not in letter, certainly in spirit.”
But a source close to the couple dismissed the claims and defended the use of their royal titles for the website.
They said: ‘Prince Harry and Meghan are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. That is a fact. It’s his last name and last name.
The couple’s new website, Sussex.com, has a link at the bottom (enclosed by MailOnline) under the ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ logo directing users back to SussexRoyal.com.
Prince Harry, fifth in line to the throne, is described on the Sussex.com website as a “humanitarian, military veteran, mental health advocate and environmental activist.”
Meghan, whose Spotify podcast, acting career and lifestyle blog The Tig is referenced in her bio, is hailed as a “feminist and advocate for human rights and gender equality.”
Experts have also noted that the website launch comes just a week after it was revealed that King Charles III had been diagnosed with cancer and Kate Middleton continues to recover at home after abdominal surgery.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline: ‘The Sussexes have a curious sense of time.
‘The question is not whether they have the right to launch a new Sussexes.com website bearing their coat of arms and using their royal titles, but the extraordinary timing.
‘Just a week ago, Harry was visiting his father who, as we know, is battling cancer. The Royal Family is therefore very much in the news, as the Princess of Wales recovers from what appears to be a serious illness.
‘As members of the Royal Family, having renounced their royal duties, it would surely be more sensible and sensible to leave their rebranding until later in the year.
“The strange thing about this is that, although this is probably how the world perceives it, they apparently can’t see that this is spectacularly ill-timed.”
Harry, who lives in California with his wife and two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, flew to the UK last Tuesday to join his father following his diagnosis.
He made the visit without Meghan and their children less than 24 hours after Buckingham Palace made the announcement to the nation about Charles’ health.
But there was no meeting with his brother, the Prince of Wales, after Harry spent about 45 minutes at Clarence House watching Charles.
Speaking about how the website claims the couple are “shaping the future through business and philanthropy”, Mr Fitzwilliams added: “We’re hoping for some new ideas that don’t involve monetising their royal connections for profit, such as they did it so brutally with Oprah and in Harry Spare’s memoirs.
‘It’s worth bearing in mind that the Invictus Games, as well as Harry’s WellChild and Sentebale charity engagements, were set up by Harry before his marriage.
He also spoke about how the website links to the SussexRoyal.com domain, despite the couple being told in 2020 that they had to abandon their ‘Sussex Royal’ label after deciding to step down as working royals.
The Daily Mail reported at the time that Queen Elizabeth II and senior officials were believed to have agreed that it was no longer tenable for the couple to keep the word “royal” in their “brand.”
Harry and Meghan first began using the Sussex Royal brand in 2019, after separating their home from that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, known as Kensington Royal.