Well, this is interesting just from a logistical point of view. Apparently, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex went to Stanford University yesterday for a day trip. So… they spent a few days in Miami late last week, rejected an offer to fly to California to go to the Oscars, flew back to Vancouver Island, then flew – commercial! – to the heart of Silicon Valley on Thursday (or perhaps they flew on Wednesday). What was the purpose of the trip? Something about the foundation:
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, have gone back to college. The royal couple paid a visit to Stanford University on Tuesday to attend a brainstorming session over several hours with professors and academics at the prestigious university in Palo Alto, California, a palace source confirmed to TODAY.
The meeting was to help them with their ongoing work to establish a new charitable organization. The couple indicated on their new website in January that they intended to start a new foundation after shifting their home from England to Canada.
“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity,” they wrote.
Harry and the former Meghan Markle flew commercial from Canada. At Stanford, they were personally greeted by Marc Tessier-Lavigne, the university’s president.
I’ve generally believed that Harry and Meghan could get a meeting with anyone they wanted in the celebrity, media, political and financial worlds. But can also get any meeting they want in academia and tech? Apparently so. Stanford isn’t the kind of college which stops on a dime for a couple of “minor royals/celebrities,” and this wasn’t some unannounced drop-by. They clearly had meetings set up with specific people and I’m curious who, where and why, and how it all relates to their foundation.
Meanwhile, I could have sworn that we already knew that this would eventually happen, but apparently all fifteen staffers in the Sussexes’ Buckingham Palace office are being let go:
[From The Daily Mail]
Harry and Meghan are axing 15 staff and closing their Buckingham Palace office. It is the surest sign yet that the couple and their son Archie are unlikely ever to return to the UK to live. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex broke the news to their team in person in January following the announcement that they were stepping down as senior working royals. While one or two may be absorbed back into the royal household, most are now negotiating redundancy packages.
Last night Buckingham Palace said it did not comment on staffing matters but it is understood senior royals, including the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William are aware of the office closure and redundancies. A source told the Mail: ‘Given their decision to step back, an office at Buckingham Palace is no longer needed. While the details are still being finalised and efforts are being made to redeploy people within the royal household, unfortunately there will be some redundancies.’
Among those to lose their jobs are the couple’s newly appointed private secretary, Fiona Mcilwham – although she is on secondment from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and is likely to be found in a role in Whitehall – and their hugely experienced communications chief Sara Latham.
Didn’t we already know this was going to happen? Part of the Sussexit deal they worked out was that they would no longer have a Buckingham Palace office, correct? Or rather, Charles and the Queen would no longer pay for the office/staff. I think it was left fuzzy on purpose a month ago, but I figured this would happen at some point. Anyway, I feel sorry for those people, many of whom were hand-picked by Meghan and Harry in the past year. I wonder if one or two of those people will end up working for the Sussexes anyway, just in a “private” capacity?
SussexRoyal also posted this “behind the scenes” video from Meghan’s British Vogue guest-editorship, where she’s sitting with Vogue editor in chief Edward Enniful and they’re talking about the issue and then they call some of the women on the cover. It’s cute, and it’s very Meghan. Which is to say, very earnest.