A year after announcing their plans to split from the royals, hurdles remain for Harry and Meghan

This time last year we received the most unexpected news – Harry and Meghan announcing they wanted to step away from royal life. And what a year it has been. The couple moved from the UK to Canada, and then to California, where they have begun to establish themselves away from the Royal Family.

The pandemic slowed Harry and Meghan’s plans to get their charitable foundation Archewell off the ground.

Image: Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex attending an event in London last March. Pic: Samir Hussein/WireImage

But we’ve now seen the website, and in coming months we’ll no doubt hear more about the foundation itself. We will also see how their new working partnerships play out, with content on Spotify and Netflix on the way.

However, the couple may still have hurdles to overcome this year. David Lesperance, who advises wealthy individuals including some in Silicon Valley, told Sky News that Prince Harry will need to address his immigration status within the next nine months.

More from Meghan Markle

He said: “There has been some relief given by the IRS for people who are effectively trapped in the US (because of COVID-19), but it is something that I’m sure, I hope that he and his advisers have been turning their mind to over this past year, and certainly something that he needs to deal with before the clock kind of runs out, which will be later this summer.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Listen to trailer for new Harry and Meghan podcast

PR expert Nick Ede, who worked with Meghan in London before she met Harry, said the couple need to do more to cement the Sussex brand if they are to continue to be successful.

Mr Ede said: “They’re becoming a global entity. They’ve got the podcast, they’ve got the Netflix deal, they’ve had the warts-and-all autobiography, and it has been a very interesting journey to watch.” But he added: “I feel like Meghan and Harry at the moment are almost clutching at straws at what [their brand is] – is it the politics, is it women’s rights?

“You have to remember that two years ago Meghan was a Hollywood actress in a B-soap, and Harry was a member of the Royal Family, who do great things. “But he’s not a political activist… and she’s not a human rights activist. So, I believe to get authenticity you have to earn your stripes, so hopefully they’re going to be doing that before they do too much more.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

‘Happy…

New… Year’: Archie’s first message

There is one thing that continues to tie the couple to the UK – their ongoing legal battles with the tabloid press. A summary judgment hearing for Meghan’s case against the The Mail on Sunday is scheduled for 19 January.

And in March, it’ll be 12 months since they left the UK. Back then, the Queen said there would be a review into how it was going. Will we find out how both sides feel about the new arrangement?

In the past, I would have said it was unlikely.

But this most public of separations in 2020 showed more than anything that the Sussexes aren’t afraid to tell us how they feel.

You may also like...