It seems a lifetime ago now that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would be stepping back from their royal roles. It was January then, and coronavirus had not yet changed our world. But now that Harry and Meghan have officially stepped back from royal duties – even bidding adieu to their Royal Sussex account – we have a glimpse of what the future holds for them. The couple have revealed the name of their new non-profit: Archewell. But what does Archewell mean and what will the new charity do?
What Does Archewell Mean?
Archewell is no doubt inspired by their son, Archie, but also by the Greek word arche, or “source of action.” Speaking to the Telegraph, the couple said they wanted the organisation “to do something of meaning, to do something that matters”.
Harry and Meghan didn’t mean to launch details of the charity just yet, “emphasising that they and the world were rightly focusing on the threat posed by coronavirus,” as per the Telegraph, but trademark requests were made and filed in the United States, thereby making their new endeavour public. "Like you,” the couple said, “our focus is on supporting efforts to tackle the global COVID-19 pandemic but faced with this information coming to light, we felt compelled to share the story of how this came to be.”
"Before SussexRoyal, came the idea of ‘Arche.’ We connected to this concept for the charitable organisation we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name," they said. "Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon. We look forward to launching Archewell when the time is right."
What Will Archewell Do?
Details are scarce, but according to paperwork filed last month, the Sussexes are said to be considering how to create their own charity and volunteering services, wide-ranging website, and sharing “education and training materials” via films, podcasts, and books. Does this spell a return to Markle’s The Tig days, perhaps?
The trademark requests for Archewell have been far more extensive than those for Sussex Royal, covering everything from motion picture films to paperclips, according to reports. Some items they have applied to trademark – like clothing, stationery etc – are understood to be protective measures, preventing third parties from making a profit off their brand. There is however the potential to “self-publish articles, magazines, books, music, podcasts, television shows, and computer software.” Awards, seminars, conferences and workshops for "cultural, sporting, health, mental health and entertainment purposes” are all possible, though.
Will It Be A Non-Profit?
Yes. The documents “give a clear insight into the ambitions of the Sussexes,” notes The Telegraph. “[They] have officially left behind their Foundation [Sussex Royal Foundation] in the UK and its trustees in favour of an American ‘non-profit’.”
When Will Archewell Officially Launch?
Not yet, and not soon. A spokesperson told the Guardian: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will spend the next few months on their family and continuing to do what they can safely and privately, to support and work with their pre-existing charitable commitments while developing their future non-profit organisation.”
The Duke and Duchess have enlisted Catherine St-Laurent, formerly of Melinda Gates’ women and families foundation, Pivotal Ventures, to lead their new charity, as per The Guardian. Their 15-strong team at Buckingham Palace has been dismantled and their PR is now being handled by the Sunshine Sachs in Hollywood, where they couple are believed to have settled down.
Watch this space.