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100 days since Harry and Meghan stepped down as working royals

UK News | Published:

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been trying to forge ahead with their public lives despite the lockdown

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down as working royals 100 days ago. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are 100 days into their new life as financially independent royals and have begun championing new causes from racial equality to combating hate speech.

Meghan and Harry moved to America with son Archie just a few weeks before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the globe, and like everyone else have been living under lockdown.

But as they have emerged as restrictions have lifted the couple have voiced their opinions about issues, especially the renewed focus on equality and race that followed the death of George Floyd in the United States.

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement the couple spoke to young Commonwealth leaders and Harry raised the colonial background of the Commonwealth: “When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past.

“So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do.”

With the United States’ long troubled history with slavery, the legacy of its Civil Rights movement and the recent emergence of the BLM campaign, race is an important topic for many Americans and the couple have held conversations the NAACP, Colour of Change, and Anti-Defamation League to engage with the issue.

Harry’s words came after Meghan, who became the first mixed race person to marry a senior royal, delivered an impassioned speech to her old high school following the death of Mr Floyd, sharing her “absolute devastation” at racial divisions.

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Meghan, Harry and son Archie have made America their home. Toby Melville/PA Wire
Meghan, Harry and son Archie have made America their home (Toby Melville/PA)

Mr Floyd, an African American, died after being detained by a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking days of protest in the US and around the world.

The issue of racial equality is expected to be a cause that forms part of their public work when the couple formally launch their new charitable organisation, Archewell, which replaces their UK based Royal Sussex foundation which is being wound down.

Meghan and Harry have also indicated the problem of hate speech on the internet will be another area they will focus on in the future.

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The couple have been working behind the scenes to urge top executives across the world to stand in solidarity with groups which are calling for a Facebook boycott.

The duke and duchess have spoken with a number of organisations leading the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which is calling on businesses to pause advertising on the platform over the social network’s failure to do more to remove hate speech.

Meghan and Harry have spent much of their time in lockdown, since leaving the monarchy. Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Meghan and Harry have spent much of their time in lockdown since leaving the monarchy (Aaron Chown/PA Wire

A source said: “As we’ve been developing Archewell, one of the areas the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been keen to address is online hate speech, and we’ve been working with civil rights and racial justice groups on it.”

From March 31, Harry and Meghan stopped using their HRH styles and ceased to be senior working royals, in favour of a life of personal and financial freedom and now live in Los Angeles.

While in America the Sussexes wrote to the British tabloid press saying they will no longer co-operate with them after watching people’s lives “pulled apart” because “salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue”.

And Meghan’s legal action against the publisher of The Mail On Sunday and MailOnline, over articles which featured parts of her letter to her estranged father Thomas Markle, continues.

In the latest development leaked court documents claimed the duchess was left “unprotected by the Institution” of the monarchy when attacked by the media and “prohibited from defending herself”.

The couple’s new life in Los Angeles comes at a cost but it is not known how they will pay for their lifestyle although there has been speculation about book deals and lecture circuit contracts the couple may have signed.

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