On Jan. 8, 2020, no one expected to hear that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would be stepping down as working royals. But fast forward 12 months and the couple is said to be thriving, not just surviving.
The period between their announcement and what would come to be known as the Sandringham Summit in March would be a tense few months. Not only as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex worked out how they wanted their life, but how could go they back to having a relationship with the Royal Family that was once there.
“Harry and Meghan are very much where they want to be right now in terms of what they have achieved professionally since they stepped back as working royals,” Victoria Murphy, royal journalist and author of The Queen: A Life In Pictures, told ET Canada.
Not only will Harry and Meghan be busy with their Netflix and Spotify deals, which they will both produce content for as well as host a podcast, the two also have big plans for their Archewell Foundation.
They recently updated Archewell’s website, where they laid out projects and partnerships they are working with including the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, the Center for Humane Technology, The Loveland Foundation, UCLA Center for Critical Internat Inquiry, World Central Kitchen.
“By looking at the partnerships the Duke and Duchess have named on their website, it is clear their previously announced plans to ‘build more compassionate communities both online and off’ is well underway,” a royal source told us.
Despite not getting everything they hoped for when announcing their exit, “really happy with the life they are now creating.”
Murphy added, “I get the sense that, despite the fact things didn’t turn out exactly how they initially wanted in terms of being able to continue with some royal responsibilities, overall they are really happy with the life they are now creating.”
While the pandemic has put a pause on plans for Harry to return to the U.K. for the one year review of the agreement he made with Queen Elizabeth II, it is likely “that at some point this year if it’s possible they will return.”
Many are looking at Prince Philip’s 100th birthday in June and the unveiling of Princess Diana’s statue on July 1 as probable dates.
“It’s obvious that there have been huge divisions between the Sussexes and the royal family and in part those do remain. The relationship between the brothers is, I sense, still tricky and of course it’s a world away from where it once was when they were previously so close,” Murphy said. “But there is, as far as I am aware, still a good line of communication between Harry and his father and grandmother.”
But since they “are also the Firm” it isn’t like your everyday family and “the decisions that have to be made professionally will inevitably spill over into the personal relationships.”
“Ultimately this is a family and they will always deeply care for each other,” Murphy added.
The Queen: A Life In Pictures will be released on April 6, but can be pre-ordered now.