March 30, 2020 5:13:42 PM
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have posted a final farewell message on their Sussex Royal social media account the day before they quit as senior royals.
Harry and Meghan thanked their fans on Instagram for “the support, the inspiration and the shared commitment to the good in the world”, and pledged their work would continue behind the scenes.
Describing the world amid the coronavirus pandemic as “extraordinarily fragile,” they added: “As we all find the part we are to play in this global shift and changing of habits, we are focusing this new chapter to understand how we can best contribute.
“While you may not see us here, the work continues.
“Thank you to this community – for the support, the inspiration and the shared commitment to the good in the world. We look forward to reconnecting with you soon. You’ve been great!
“Until then, please take good care of yourselves, and of one another.”
They signed off as “Harry and Meghan”.
The couple have delayed announcing a new name for their brand, with a spokeswoman saying they wanted the focus to remain on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.
They will now no longer use their Sussex Royal account or update their sussexroyal.com website.
Harry and Meghan, who are now living in Los Angeles in California, will spend the next few months focusing on their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and privately supporting their existing charities and developing their future non-profit venture.
A spokeswoman for the Sussexes said the post marked their transition on Tuesday from working members of the royal family.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex would prefer that in the immediate weeks and months, the focus remains on the global response to Covid-19,” she said.
She added: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will spend the next few months focusing 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 couple, who are breaking away from the monarchy to earn their own money in the US, have had to ditch using Sussex Royal as their brand name.
The Queen and her senior officials were said to have ordered Harry and Meghan to drop the use of the word “Royal” because it could have led to accusations they were cashing in on their royal status.
The Sussexes agreed to the change, but appeared to show their dissatisfaction, with their website previously stating that the monarchy had no jurisdiction over the use of the word “royal” overseas.
From March 31, they will no longer be working royals nor use their HRH styles.
The couple added in their post: “As we can all feel, the world at this moment seems extraordinarily fragile.
“Yet we are confident that every human being has the potential and opportunity to make a difference — as seen now across the globe, in our families, our communities and those on the front line—together we can lift each other up to realise the fullness of that promise.
“What’s most important right now is the health and wellbeing of everyone across the globe and finding solutions for the many issues that have presented themselves as a result of this pandemic.”
The duke’s father, the Prince of Wales, has just come out of isolation after testing positive for the Covid-19 illness.
The couple’s Instagram account and website will remain online for the foreseeable future, but will be inactive.
They have appointed a new chief of staff – Catherine St Laurent – who will start next month and act as executive director of their new non-profit organisation.
Ms St Laurent previously worked as senior communications officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and on global projects at HSBC.
US agency Sunshine Sachs will take over the Sussexes’ media and communications for the interim period, along with former Sussex Royal Foundation press officer James Holt in the UK.
From March 31, the couple will have no media representatives nor an office left at Buckingham Palace.
Meanwhile, the sustainable tourism project called Travalyst which Harry founded together with leading brands Booking.com, Skyscanner, Tripadvisor, Trip.com and Visa, will be established as an independent non-profit organisation, based in the UK.
In light of the coronavirus outbreak, the spokeswoman said: “The duke is working closely with each of the Travalyst partners to better understand how this non-profit organisation can aid in global recovery, especially by supporting communities, wildlife and the environment at the same time.”
The Sussex Royal Foundation, which was due to be set up in the UK, is being wound up, and a new charitable organisation will be launched in the future, as has previously been reported.
The spokeswoman said the couple had also expressed their thanks to their Sussex Royal trustees for their invaluable support and counsel in recent months.
Their trustees have included broadcaster Kirsty Young, coffee tycoon Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor, former Barclays businessman Steven Cooper and Karen Blackett, chairwoman of media agency MediaCom UK.
Sixth in line to the throne Harry and American former actress Meghan sparked a raft of royal troubles when they released a bombshell statement in January, saying they wanted a dual role, earning their own money and supporting the Queen.
But their plan was not possible because of the potential pitfalls of Windsors being accused of cashing in on their royal status.
They are now quitting as working royals completely, for a life mainly in North America, after setting up home in Los Angeles, California.
The couple’s original Sussex Royal Instagram account was launched less than a year ago on April 2 2019 after they split from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Kensington Palace household, which operates on social media as Kensington Royal.
Football fan Kevin Keiley, from Worthing, West Sussex, who was @sussexroyal on Twitter and Instagram said his Instagram handle was given to the Sussexes without his permission. He later quit his Twitter account after receiving constant abuse.
Harry and Meghan used their account to announce the birth and name of their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, to promote their own work and that of charities, and release their so-called Megxit statement.
It is not the first time the duchess has gone offline. She closed her social media accounts ahead of her wedding to Harry.
She also shut down her thetig.com lifestyle blog nine months after she started dating Harry, leaving fans the message: “Don’t ever forget your worth – as I’ve told you time and time again: you, my sweet friend, you are enough.”