Talks on future of Harry and Meghan going well, says royal sourceArchive
LONDON: Discussions regarding future plans for Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are progressing well and should conclude within days not weeks, a royal source said on Saturday.
The couple, officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, blindsided the rest of the royal family on Wednesday by unexpectedly announcing they would be stepping back from their roles to spend more time in North America and earn an income.
They did not consult Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, or other members of the royal family before making their surprise announcement on a new website, sussexroyal.com.
Officials spent Friday holding behind-the-scenes meetings about new arrangements for Harry and Meghan and things were progressing well, according to the royal source, who added that the aim was to reach agreement within days.
The source said officials had consulted the British and Canadian governments about the issue of the couple’s future.
Meghan is in Canada with the couple’s baby son, Archie, and she and Harry are reported to be considering basing themselves in that country.
Separately, the London Times newspaper reported that Meghan, a former TV actress, had agreed to record a voiceover for Disney in return for the company making a donation to a charity that works to protect elephants.
The Times gave no details about what Meghan’s voiceover would involve, but said Disney would make a donation to the charity Elephants Without Borders. The newspaper did not say where the information had come from.
An official spokeswoman at Buckingham Palace had no immediate comment on the report.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are formally known, spent six weeks in Canada at the end of last year before returning to Britain. Their first official engagement of 2020 was to visit Canada House to thank consular staff for what they said had been an “unbelievable” welcome.
That has sparked speculation they could make a home in Canada, where Meghan spent several years living as an actress while she filmed the TV show “Suits,” and where the couple’s courtship began in 2016 under relatively subdued public awareness.
The step back from the royal family is partly driven by the intrusive coverage of Meghan and Prince Harry by the British tabloids — something they would not have to deal with to the same degree from Canadian news outlets, according to media experts. “We won’t be nearly as fascinated by them,” said Chris Waddell, a longtime journalist and professor at Ottawa’s Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication.
Canadian media “tend to separate the public life from the private life of public figures,” Waddell said.
Ken Goldstein, a Canadian media economics and trends analyst, said the British press “are much more ‘gotcha’” and should the couple move to Canada, the tabloids would likely hire freelancers in Canada “to do their gotcha thing for them,” he said.
Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2020