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What is the William, Kate, Harry and Meghan split all about?

UK News | Published:

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are setting up their own charitable foundation.

The Cambridges and the Sussexes

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have gone from being the “Fab Four” royal charity power team to dividing their focus into two separate foundations.

– What is the latest announcement?

Harry and Meghan are leaving their joint charitable foundation with William and Kate to set up one of their own.

Trooping the Colour
Harry and Meghan are going solo with their own charity (Victoria Jones/PA)

– What will it be called?

There is no name yet and there are no details as to what Harry and Meghan will focus on.

But it is likely to include a “global outreach”, the pair are passionate about working in Africa and promoting female empowerment.

– What about William and Kate?

They are staying with the original foundation which will be renamed the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

William and Kate
William and Kate will stay with the original Royal Foundation (Adam Davy/PA)

– When was the Royal Foundation set up?

William and Harry established the body in 2009  to run all their charitable campaigns, Kate joined after her wedding in 2011, and Meghan officially became part of the team after marrying into the Windsors in 2018.

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Campaigns have included Heads Together, the Endeavour Fund and projects with the Invictus Games.

Heads Together
Harry, Kate and William at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London for the launch of Heads Together – their campaign to end mental health stigma (Yui Mok/PA)

– How did Meghan get involved?

When Harry and Meghan’s engagement was revealed in 2017, Kensington Palace announced the former actress was giving up her own charitable interests to begin work with the Foundation.

“The only the role that she will begin with is as patron of the Royal
Foundation. That has been a decision that she has taken,” Harry’s then-communications chief Jason Knauf said.

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– What was the four royals’ first event together?

They were dubbed the Fab Four after taking to the stage together at the first, and so far only, Royal Foundation forum in London in February 2018, three months before Harry and Meghan’s wedding.

Royal Foundation Forum
The ‘Fab Four’ together on stage at the Royal Foundation Forum in February 2018 (Chris Jackson/PA)

It was billed as an annual event.

Harry said it was good to have “four different personalities”, but they had the “same passion to want to make a difference”.

He said “working as family does have its challenges” but insisted “we’re stuck together for the rest of our lives”.

– What has changed since Harry and Meghan married?

There have been reports over the past year of a rift, first between Kate and Meghan, and then between William and his younger brother, Harry.

Royal wedding
Harry and Meghan on their wedding day (jane Barlow/PA)

There were allegations of a dispute between the duchesses, who are said to be “very different people”, over reprimanding staff, and tensions during Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress fitting.

This was followed by reports of a strained relationship and falling out between the dukes.

– Is this the case?

Sources deny there was a feud, saying Thursday’s announcement was “largely about preparing both couples for their future roles, which are obviously on divergent tracks”.

They added that the “Sussexes have a little more freedom and flexibility”.

William is a future king and Kate a future Queen consort, while Harry is sixth in line.

– Haven’t Harry and Meghan already split from William and Kate ?

In March, it was announced Harry and Meghan would be separating from William and Kate’s Kensington Palace office and they have since set up their own household at Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is now home of the Sussexes official household (Nick Ansell/PA)

But royal aides said at the time that the foursome would remain joint patrons of the Royal Foundation.

What are the other recent changes?

Harry and Meghan set up their own SussexRoyal Instagram account, and moved to bring up baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in Windsor, having previously lived at Kensington Palace, home to William and Kate and their children.

View this post on Instagram

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth – a family of 53 countries working together to promote democracy, protect human rights, regenerate the environment, and focus not on what makes us different – but rather what we have in ‘common.’ What unites us versus what divides us. Representing nearly one third of the world’s population, 60% of whom are under the age of 30, the Commonwealth also serves as a champion for youth empowerment, which is a key focus of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Her Majesty The Queen serves as patron of the @queens_commonwealth_trust, which Their Royal Highnesses proudly serve as President and Vice-President of. The Duke is also Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Through The Duke and Duchess’ Commonwealth travels, they have worked with and supported young leaders on mobilizing youth engagement, and working towards a more unified future that spearheads progress, sustainability, optimism, and taking action. With that said, Mozambique, a member state of the Commonwealth, is currently enduring Cyclone Kenneth, the most destructive natural disaster the northern coast has ever experienced. On the heels of Cyclone Idai (where over 1000 people lost their lives) this cyclone will leave the people of Mozambique victim to catastrophic flooding, food insecurity, displacement, and obliteration of their homes and villages. If you’d like to help, please visit DEC.org.uk Photo credit: Chris Jackson & Samir Hussein

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

– Why is the Royal Foundation announcement a big deal?

William, Kate, Harry and Meghan’s joint venture was intended to harness the star power of the four high-profile royals, but it has only lasted 16 months since their first appearance as a foursome.

The move is seen as the final step in the division of the couples’ public duties.

– Will they still work together?

The Royal Foundation said both couples will continue to work together on projects in the future, particularly Heads Together.

– What about the two Foundations being seen as rivals?

Sources said William and Kate’s Royal Foundation would help establish the Sussexes’ new Foundation, and they “anticipate the two organisations will have an incredibly close relationship going forward”.

But in 2018, William actually called on charities to combine forces, rather than establishing more individual organisations.

– What did the duke say?

In a keynote speech to the Charity Commission, William said: “Instead of setting up more individual charities working in the same fields, I wonder if we could do more to explore ways of combining forces, working and innovating together?”

The duke added: “Competition for funds between an ever-growing number of charities, and the confusion it can cause among donors, can lead to the silo-ing of expertise and, at worst, territorial behaviour.”

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