The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have set out their goal to “build a better world” as they effectively launched the website of their non-profit organisation Archewell.
Harry, describing himself as “my mother’s son”, issued a joint statement with wife Meghan inviting people to join their campaign to make a difference “one act of compassion at a time”.
The duke and duchess have also announced partnerships between their foundation and several tech and research-focused organisations to pursue their aims.
On the homepage of the Archewell website is a picture of Diana, Princess of Wales with son Harry on her shoulders, while in another monochrome image a young Meghan stands as her mother Doria Ragland crouches down to hug her daughter.
In a joint statement, called a “letter for 2021” which overlays the pictures, the couple say: “I am my mother’s son. And I am our son’s mother. 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.
“In the face of fear, struggle and pain, it can be easy to lose sight of this. 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.”
Since stepping down as senior royals in March and moving to the US, the couple have been working towards this moment to officially launch, albeit softly, the website and the philosophy behind their organisation Archewell.
Their decision to leave was based as much about financial as personal freedom and the huge sums – thought to be well over #100 million – they have earned from deals with Spotify and Netflix, gives them the capital to pursue their new lifestyle and public goals.
The announcement follows their first Spotify podcast on Tuesday which saw their son Archie make his broadcast debut – but the show has yet to break into the streaming service’s top ten most popular podcasts, climbing from 32 to 15.
Commentators have already speculated that Harry and Meghan will have to draw in large audiences if they are to justify the lucrative contract their production company Archewell Audio signed.
Archewell’s website was launched as just a “landing page” in October but is now a working site featuring a new logo – a capital letter A above a W.
Archewell’s press secretary said: “Founded earlier this year by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Archewell uplifts communities through non-profit partnerships and creative activations.
“It’s a place where compassion matters, communities gather, and storytelling is the engine.
“The website has been updated to reflect the work Archewell has undertaken throughout 2020 and to create a place for people and communities around the world to share their stories.”
Archewell is expected to focus on the critical issues the couple have been championing during the pandemic and before – racial justice, gender equity, climate change, mental health, online hate speech and empowering diverse voices.
The foundation’s partnership with a range of academic and tech organisations will include financial support.
Harry and Meghan have teamed up with the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), Stanford Medicine, the San Francisco based Centre for Humane Technology, UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Centre For Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2) and the Loveland Foundation.
At the CCARE, Archewell will be supporting its research into techniques for developing compassion and promoting altruism, while the foundation has already been working with the Centre for Humane Technology to create conditions for safer online communities.
The Loveland Foundation, supports a number of communities focusing on black women and girls, while Dr Safiya Noble, co-founder and co-director of the C2i2 said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are deeply committed to using their light to illuminate the problems of inequality and structural racism.
“We have a shared commitment and sense of urgency in making a more compassionate world, much of which is undermined by internet platforms. I know what they stand for, (and) share in their mission.
“We look forward to lending our research expertise and networks to our mutual work on the most pressing issues of internet policy and culture that are accelerating racial, gender, and economic, inequity.”