What will Harry and Meghan do when they go back to work?

·Royal Correspondent
·6 min read

Watch: Meghan Markle donates thousands of copies of her children's book to schools and libraries

Prince Harry and Meghan have taken time out after the birth of baby Lilibet. But rather than the usual couple of weeks of paternity leave, Harry is taking a full five months off work.

When he does return, though, what exactly will he be up to now he's no longer a working royal - and what is the purpose of the couple's foundation, Archewell? 

It's been nine months since Harry and Meghan began to launch Archewell. That's their organisation through which they take on their charitable work and creative endeavours.

The name comes from the Greek word Arche, which means 'source of action' and 'well', which they define as 'a plentiful source or supply; a place we go to dig deep'. 

Archewell is split into three sections - the foundation, an audio stream and a production stream.

The couple's website says they want to use Archewell to "unleash the power of compassion to drive systemic cultural change".

In April 2020 they told the Daily Telegraph: "Before SussexRoyal, came the idea of ‘Arche’ - the Greek word meaning ‘source of action’.

"We connected to this concept for the charitable organisation we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name. To do something of meaning, to do something that matters.

"Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon."

How does their Archewell organisation work? This is what we know.

Archewell Foundation

The foundation is described by the royal couple as an "impact-driven non-profit" and is how they carry out their charitable work.

So far, they have partnered with organisations including the World Central Kitchen, the Center for Humane Technology, and the Loveland Foundation which provides mental health resources for Black women and girls.

Some of the foundation's work includes funding several World Central Kitchen centres around the world, with the locations of three of the four confirmed already. These centres are designed to operate as relief resources in times of crisis and be a community space year round.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: A illustration of a father and son are seen inside a copy of Meghan Markle's book
Meghan Markle's book, The Bench. They partnered with another non-profit to distribute 2,000 free copies. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Read more: Who's who in Harry and Meghan's Archewell foundation?

Archewell has also announced an Archewell Foundation Fund for the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, which it said will work on "reimagining technology, championing racial and economic justice in the tech sector, and strengthening democracy through culture-making and public policy work".

And in June, after releasing her first children's book, Meghan worked with First Book and her publishers to distribute 2,000 copies of the book, called The Bench, for free. 

One of the places to receive some of the books was the Assistance League of Los Angeles, where Harry and Meghan planted flowers with pre-school children in memory of his mother Diana last summer.

Harry and Meghan also use the foundation to share stories which are important to them, and to advocate for causes like COVID-19 vaccine equity.

The couple asked followers to donate to charities which were distributing the vaccine in nations where access was limited in lieu of presents for their son Archie's second birthday, and confirmed millions of dollars was raised to support the cause.

Another of their partnerships is with P&G, formerly called Procter & Gamble, the company which Meghan wrote to as a girl to urge them to change their sexist advertising.

Archewell and P&G are to work together on issues including gender equality and "building a better online environment that unlocks positive, compassionate, and creative spaces".

Archewell Audio

Harry and Meghan use Archewell Audio to produce their podcasts for Spotify.

The couple has so far made one - a 35 minute holiday special which was released between Christmas and New Year in 2020.

It featured a brief cameo from their son Archie, who was recorded wishing people a Happy New Year.

But there has been nothing since then.

The deal with Spotify has been reported to be worth millions of dollars.

Watch: Archewell to continue while Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on parental leave

According to a source, the couple will be able to share some more details by the end of the year.

The Archewell website explains: "As part of the partnership, The Duke and Duchess will produce podcasts and shows that build community through shared experiences, powerful narratives, and universal values."

The couple said in a statement when they announced the deal: "What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction.

"With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are."

Archewell Productions

Archewell Productions is the branch of the couple's organisation which manages their deal with Netflix, to produce children's programming, documentaries and features.

They have released one programme so far, called Heart of Invictus, which followed some of the athletes involved in the Invictus Games, which the Duke of Sussex set up in 2014.

Harry had already made his Netflix debut in a similar project earlier last summer, when he appeared on camera in Rising Phoenix, a documentary which told the story of the Paralympic Games.

However Harry's most recent on camera appearances have actually been with Apple TV+. He and Oprah Winfrey produced and appeared in a series called The Me You Can't See, which focussed on mental health and therapy.

The couple is to host the virtual conversation about building a digital world. (Matt Sayles)
Outside of the royal fold the couple has transformed how they do their work. (Matt Sayles)

Read more: 'Unlimited holidays', inner-work days and free lunches: The perks Prince Harry's new company offers its staff

The partnership pre-dates not only Harry's deal with Netflix, but him leaving his senior royal role at all, as it was announced while he was still working for the Queen.

However, judging by the subject matter, his sections were filmed much more recently, as they discuss his life in California now.

The couple's website explains they want to make programming which "informs, elevates, and inspires". 

What about Harry's other jobs?

In addition to running a busy foundation, Harry is the chief impact officer for BetterUp, a professional coaching firm based in California.

His working hours and salary have never been confirmed, so it's not known how much of his week is taken up with that job.

He is also on the Aspen Institute's Commission on Information Disorder, which is co-chaired by journalist Katie Couric. 

And he continues to work with Invictus Games Foundation as a patron. Both he and Meghan retained a number of private patronages in the UK when they stepped back from the senior royal roles, but no longer represent the Queen in those.

But Harry and Meghan are leading by example as they take several months parental leave, in line with what they offer their employees at Archewell.

Though the work will continue, they will be seen far less in the coming four and a half months, as they take several weeks leave to start life as a family of four, after welcoming baby Lilibet Diana.

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