Meghan Markle breaks silence after criticism of the Sussex’s new website

The royal couple is starting 2024 with a range of new projects. Shortly after rebranding their web page — which makes no reference to the Windsor family — the former actress announced she will be hosting a new podcast

Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during the closing gala of the Invictus Awards, in Düsseldorf (Germany), on September 16, 2023.Chris Jackson (Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation)
El País

Not a day goes by without the Duke and Duchess of Sussex making the news, especially in recent weeks. On February 5, after Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles III was suffering from “a form of cancer,” his son Prince Harry traveled to London to meet with his father. The meeting lasted less than half an hour, and the Duke of Sussex was back in Los Angeles in less than 24 hours. He even made a surprise appearance at an awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

If Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were already under fire for their carbon footprint, they came under further scrutiny after launching their new website — Sussex.com — on Monday. The couple have been criticized for using their title and the royal coat of arms on the website, as the two officially quit being active members of the British royal family in 2020. What’s more, their bios make no mention of the Windsors.

Sources close in the royal household told The Daily Mail that they believe the website is a flagrant violation of the strict agreement the Sussex’s reached after giving up their official royal duties and moving to California. According to the British tabloid, these sources said that “the change veers dangerously close to using their royal status for commercial gain” — an issue that could pose a major challenge for the British crown’s communications office.

In response to the backlash, Meghan released a statement on Wednesday before flying to Canada for an event related to the Invictus Games. “There is a reason I have worked with Ryan and the talented team at Article for a decade: their attention to detail, their creativity and care, and the thoughtful approach to design as well as to the user experience,” she said.

The website claims that “The Office of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, is shaping the future through business and philanthropy.” The new page is described as a “one-stop shop” for all of their activities.

Visitors to their old website (sussexroyal.com) are greeted with the following message: “This site was established in 2020 and sets out the work streams of Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex prior to their move to the United States. To learn more about the Royal couple and their philanthropic endeavors, click here.”

The new website links to Archewell Foundation, the royal couple’s philanthropic organization, and Archewell Productions, their business company. It will provide updates on their latest news and events. The SussexRoyal Instagram account stopped being updated after the two stepped down from their senior royal roles.

A few hours after the launch of the new website, the Duchess of Sussex was once again in the headlines. On Tuesday, it was announced that she would host a new podcast with the network Lemonada Media, whose goal is to “make life suck less” with programs about sex, psychology and LGBTQ+ issues.

The former actress confessed that she is “overjoyed” about the new podcast. “Being able to support a female founded company with a roster of thought provoking and highly entertaining podcasts is a fantastic way to kick off 2024. Our plan is to re-release Archetypes so that more people can now have access to it,” she said in a press release posted on Sussex.com.

The press release included a photo of the Duchess in which she is seen wearing a Cartier watch that belonged to the late Diana of Wales, a new nod to her mother-in-law. The photograph was taken by Meghan’s friend Misan Harriman.

In 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan signed a $24-million contract with Spotify for content creation through their company Archewell Audio. They released Archetypes in mid-2022, but the podcast series did not live up to the company’s expectations, and Spotify ended the partnership in mid-2023. In each of the 12 episodes in the series, Markle interviewed a leading woman in her field, with guests including pop diva Mariah Carey, tennis star Serena Williams and the heiress and businesswoman Paris Hilton.

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