A new book on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Finding Freedom – has brought fresh allegations of a downturn in relations between members of the royal family.
Earlier this year, Harry and Meghan quit as senior working royals.
The move, dubbed Megxit, took effect on March 31, when the duke and duchess stopped using their HRH titles and bowed out from the royal family.
The Queen’s grandson and the American former actress wanted to step down as senior royals while maintaining a dual role, supporting the monarch and earning their own money.
But their plan was dismissed as unworkable, and would have led to accusations they were cashing in on their royal status.
A crisis summit involving Harry, the Queen, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge concluded a “hard Megxit” was the only way.
Harry and Meghan, who temporarily relocated to Canada, are now based in Meghan’s home city of Los Angeles with their one-year-old son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Here is a look at what they have been up to since their decision:
– March 31 – Harry and Meghan officially step down as senior royals and stop using their HRH styles.
The UK is eight days into lockdown because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
– April 3 – Disneynature’s Elephant, which Meghan narrated, begins streaming.
— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) March 26, 2020
– April 6 – Details emerge of the couple’s plans for a new foundation called Archewell, which will replace their Sussex Royal brand and is named in honour of their son.
– April 12 – Harry and Meghan spend Easter Sunday helping deliver meals to vulnerable and housebound people in Los Angeles through Project Angel Food.
– April 16 – Harry, in his role as patron of WellChild, video calls seriously ill children and their families.
WellChild Patron The Duke of Sussex videocalls families of vulnerable children to learn how they are coping during #COVID19.
“Full respect to every single one of you. This is hard on everyone, but it is especially hard on you."
— WellChild (@WellChild) April 16, 2020
– April 17 – Meghan’s new project to feed Londoners in need is revealed, after she asked the Grenfell supporting women of the Hubb Community Kitchen to start a service providing meals to families struggling in lockdown.
– April 20 – The Sussexes write to the British tabloid press saying they will no longer co-operate with them, after watching people’s lives “pulled apart” because “salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue”.
Court documents in the duchess’s privacy claim against Associated Newspapers over a letter she wrote to her father reveal the couple sent Thomas Markle text messages before their wedding, warning him that contacting the press would “backfire” and offering to help him.
– April 21 – Archie video-calls his great grandmother the Queen with his parents to celebrate her 94th birthday.
– April 27 – Former soldier Harry helps launch a new mental fitness tool for the military called HeadFIT.org.
– April 28 – Harry’s introduction to a special episode of an animated Thomas & Friends show is released.
– April 29 – The charity SmartWorks shares a video of Meghan mentoring a young woman ahead of her interview for an internship.
– May 4 – Details emerge about a new biography of the Sussexes by journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, called Finding Freedom, which the authors have billed as an “accurate version” of Harry and Meghan’s journey.
– May 6 – Archie celebrates his first birthday, with Save The Children posting a video of Meghan reading the book Duck! Rabbit! to her son as he grabs at the pages.
"Duck! Rabbit!" with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, and Harry, The Duke of Sussex (behind the camera!) read to their son Archie for his 1st birthday ❤️💛💙 Happy Birthday Archie! ❤️💛💙
— Save the Children UK (@savechildrenuk) May 6, 2020
– May 8 – The pair are reported to be living in a £15 million mansion owned by entertainment tycoon Tyler Perry.
– May 9 – Harry says life has “changed dramatically” amid the outbreak of Covid-19 in a video message about the Invictus Games.
– May 11 – The duke tells young members of OnSide Youth Zones about the pandemic: “This too shall pass”.
– May 19 – The Sussexes celebrate their second wedding anniversary.
– June 4 – Meghan delivers a powerful speech to girls at her former high school in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, and addresses racial divisions and the death of George Floyd in the US.
– June 12 – Meghan’s close friend Jessica Mulroney apologises to a lifestyle blogger after being accused of threatening her in an example of “textbook white privilege”.
– June 24 – The duke and duchess join members of Homeboy Industries in a cooking session for the organisation’s Feed Hope programme in LA.
It is revealed the Sussexes have signed with the New York-based Harry Walker public speaking agency, which also represents the Obamas and the Clintons.
THANK YOU to Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, for their visit yesterday! Our Bakery & Café teams were thrilled to have them work alongside us to #FeedHOPE to Los Angeles 📷Credit: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
— Homeboy Industries (@HomeboyInd) June 24, 2020
– June 25 – Harry appears in a video for England Rugby, saying: “We all miss rugby”.
– June 27 – The duke launches a 248-mile Walking With The Wounded walk across Oman.
– June 28 – It emerges the Sussexes are supporting the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which is calling on businesses to pause advertising on Facebook over its failure to do more to remove hate speech.
– July 1 – Harry sets out his personal commitment to tackling institutional racism, warning it has no place in society but that it remains endemic, in a message at the Diana Awards on his late mother’s birthday.
"Now is the time and we know that you can do it." – The Duke of Sussex
— The Diana Award (@DianaAward) July 1, 2020
Meghan claims she was “unprotected by the institution” of the monarchy when attacked by the media and “prohibited from defending herself”, according to leaked court documents.
– July 3 – The formal winding up of the Sussex Royal Foundation begins as the duke and duchess press ahead with plans for their Archewell organisation.
– July 6 – Harry and Meghan warn the Commonwealth’s past wrongs need to be acknowledged as they join a discussion with young leaders in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
— The Queen's Commonwealth Trust (@queenscomtrust) July 6, 2020
Financial documents show Harry and William agreed in December to equally split the future proceeds of their mother’s memorial fund, after they separated their charitable activities.
– July 7 – Meghan is announced as a guest speaker for the GirlUp gender equality summit.
Harry, filmed in LA overlooking a backdrop of leafy trees under clear, blue skies, delivers a message on resilience for the opening of the 23rd International Aids Conference.
– July 23 – The couple launch legal action against an unnamed individual after drones were allegedly used to take pictures of their son during lockdown.
The lawsuit alleges the couple have been hounded across North America by paparazzi and targeted with incessant intrusions into their private life.