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Meghan and Harry launch Archewell compassion project with moving tribute to Princess Diana

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s new Archewell website launches with a message of kindness inspired by Princess Diana and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have unveiled a new website for their non-profit organisation Archewell, marking the occasion with an open letter on the power of compassion and healing

In “a letter for 2021” published today on archewell.com – the foundation named after their toddler son, Archie – the couple pay tributes to their respective mothers for teaching them kindness

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In the message – overlaid with photos of Harry with his late mother, Princess Diana, and a young Meghan with her mother Doria Ragland – the couple make the case for celebrating “the best of humanity”. 

“I am my mother’s son. And I am our son’s mother,” the letter reads. “Together we bring you Archewell. We believe in the best of humanity. Because we have seen the best of humanity. We have experienced compassion and kindness, From our mothers and strangers alike.”

Prince Harry with Diana in 1987
Prince Harry pictured with his mother Diana in 1987

“In the face of fear, struggle and pain, It can be easy to lose sight of this,” the couple continue. “Together, we can choose courage, healing, and connection. Together, we can choose to put compassion in action.

“We invite you to join us. As we work to build a better world, One act of compassion at a time.”

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Meghan and Harry’s new website reveals three different arms to their project. The first is the Archewell Foundation, the non-profit part of their initiative with the core purpose “to uplift and unite communities—local and global, online and offline—one act of compassion at a time”.

As part of this quest, the duo announced new partnerships with a series of prestigious research groups that focus on connection, compassion and racial justice. These include the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research at Stanford University, the Centre for Humane Technology, which deals with the ethics of consumer technology, and the Loveland Foundation, a group that is “committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways”.

The couple have also partnered with the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, which champions racial and economic justice in the tech sector, and the World Central Kitchen, a non-profit that currently centres around Covid-19 food relief.

Meghan and Harry's son Archie makes a cameo on their new podcast

The second part of the Megan and Harry’s new organisation is Archewell Audio, the audio-first production company that saw them pair up with Spotify to offer a new podcast offering “different perspectives from amazing people” in order to “find our common ground”. 

The first episode of the series was released earlier this week, with New Year’s messages from guest stars including Elton John and their son, Archie (who was heard speaking for the first time in public, in a particularly sweet moment at the end of show). 

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The third element of Meghan and Harry’s new website is Archewell Productions, which encompasses their creative partnership with Netflix

As part of their move to step back from royal life at the beginning of this year, Meghan and Harry signed a multiyear deal with the streaming platform for an undisclosed sum, to create TV content that “informs but also gives hope”. A nature docu-series and an animated show that celebrates inspiring women is already reported to be in production as part of the deal.

Meghan and her mother Doria have a close relationship

Both Meghan and Harry are closely tied to their mothers. Meghan’s mother Doria was her daughter’s right-hand woman at their wedding in May 2018, and was also on-hand as the couple welcomed their son, Archie, one year later. 

Similarly, Harry was very close to his mother, the late Princess Diana, describing her death in a car crash aged 36 as “a wound that festers”.

“Everything that I do reminds me of her,” he said in a 2019 ITV documentary, where he walked in his mother’s footsteps in a cleared minefield in Angola – replicating Diana’s mission there 22 years on.

Images: Getty

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.