In their first outing together since stepping back from their royal duties, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle appeared at an exclusive event in Miami. It could be the new normal for the couple. TODAY’s Sheinelle Jones reports.
She never previously paid much attention to the British monarchy, but Eniola Ladapo remembers vividly how she felt watching American actress Meghan Markle become royalty.
The image of a biracial, foreign woman welcomed into the bosom of white, traditionalist Britain carried colossal symbolism for her — and even a hope that it signaled greater inclusivity and tolerance.
"The history of the royal family is built around the British Empire, so it was almost like it was coming full circle," said Ladapo, 19, who grew up in Nigeria and is now an undergraduate student at the London School of Economics.
That feeling grew when Prince Harry and Meghan announced five months later they were expecting a baby.
"I thought: There's now going to be a child in the monarchy who, no matter how small, has some African heritage in him," Ladapo said. "It was so powerful to me."
What happened next came as a reality check.
Less than two years after their May 19, 2018, wedding, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have quit as full-time royals. According to supporters, they were driven out by toxic coverage in the British media, which often veered into racist harassment and bullying.
The collateral damage extends far beyond the palace walls. For Ladapo and others, Meghan's treatment has sent a damaging message to young British people of color, who perhaps saw her as a sign that racial prejudice might be finally ebbing away.
"This has been a very rude awakening," said Ladapo, who studies economics and is president of her university's African-Caribbean Society. "It reminded us that we shouldn't get too comfortable, and no matter how much we think we are accepted into society, we really aren't."
Prince Harry is reportedly in talks with banking giant Goldman Sachs — the start of what a PR guru predicts could be a billion-dollar empire.
The Duke of Sussex — who is believed to have been paid more than $1 million to attend a recent summit hosted by JP Morgan — first held talks with Goldman Sachs in November, according to the Mirror.
It suggests the 35-year-old prince and his wife, Meghan Markle, 38, were considering their financial futures months before their stunning January announcement that they were quitting the royal family, the paper notes.
Potentially, the talks could be to get Harry as the latest high-profile speaker at the bank’s “Talks at GS” series, the UK paper notes. Speakers are not paid for their appearance, but sources told the Mirror that it will pave the way for a lucrative future relationship. Previous speakers have included stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and business leaders such as Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston.
The duo stopped by Stanford University on Tuesday to meet with professors about the new charitable foundation they’re launching, PEOPLE confirms.
Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, flew commercial from Canada, where they have been staying since stepping down as senior members of the royal family, and were greeted by the university’s president, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, according to Today.com.
The Duchess of Sussex, who attended Northwestern University, has made education one of the key causes she champions. She selected the ACU, which fosters greater links between students and higher education institutions across the Commonwealth of 53 nations, as one of her royal patronages and has spoken about the importance of breaking down barriers to access education.
Meghan also wove the mission into her royal tours, from spending time highlighting the efforts being made to encourage girls into – and stay in – education during their Feb. 2019 visit to Monaco to stopping by the University of Johannesburg during this fall’s trip to Africa.
Staff who work for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are being made redundant as Buckingham Palace prepares to shut down their office. It’s thought around 15 members of the Royal Household, who have been employed to work for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, will have to leave their jobs in the Spring.
Harry and Meghan are axing 15 staff and closing their Buckingham Palace office.
It is the surest sign yet that the couple and their son Archie are unlikely ever to return to the UK to live.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex broke the news to their team in person in January following the announcement that they were stepping down as senior working royals.
While one or two may be absorbed back into the royal household, most are now negotiating redundancy packages.
They are the latest casualties of Harry and Meghan's bombshell decision to move to North America and make their fortunes outside the Royal Family.