The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will never return to social media after dealing with an ‘almost unsurvivable’ amount of abuse, a source has revealed.
Harry and Meghan had more than 10 million Instagram followers on their Sussex Royal account, but stopped posting to it in March last year.
But now the couple, who share son Archie, have decided to abandon social media altogether – including to promote their non-profit Archewell – to focus on their ‘progressive role’ in the US, according to The Times.
Meanwhile, commentators have speculated Harry and Meghan will have to attract a large audiences if they are to justify the lucrative contract their production company Archewell Audio signed for a Spotify podcast.
Despite needing to promote their new ventures, the couple have ‘no plans’ to use social media and it is ‘very unlikely’ that they will ever return to platforms like Twitter or Facebook in any personal capacity, a source close to the couple claimed.
Harry and Meghan (pictured) had more than 10 million Instagram followers on their SussexRoyal account, but stopped posting to it in March last year
In March last year the couple wrote a lengthy post pinning their decision to quit the account on wanting to focus attention of the coronavirus pandemic
Harry and Meghan became disillusioned after receiving ‘hate’ online during their time as working royals.
It comes a year after the couple announced they were stepping back from official duties and this decision to leave social media signals a further step away from their existence as royals.
In a post to their Sussex Royal account, the couple wrote: ‘As we can all feel, the world at this moment seems extraordinarily fragile.
‘Yet we are confident that every human being has the potential and opportunity to make a difference—as seen now across the globe, in our families, our communities and those on the front line—together we can lift each other up to realise the fullness of that promise.
It comes a year after the couple announced they were stepping back from official duties and this decision to leave social media signals a further step away from their existence as royals
‘What’s most important right now is the health and wellbeing of everyone across the globe and finding solutions for the many issues that have presented themselves as a result of this pandemic.
‘As we all find the part we are to play in this global shift and changing of habits, we are focusing this new chapter to understand how we can best contribute.
‘While you may not see us here, the work continues.
‘Thank you to this community – for the support, the inspiration and the shared commitment to the good in the world. We look forward to reconnecting with you soon. You’ve been great!
In 2019 Harry and Meghan revealed their struggles over ‘unfair’ scrutiny in an explosive documentary called ‘Harry and Meghan: An African Journey’ that aired on ITV
‘Until then, please take good care of yourselves, and of one another.’
Meghan, 39, has previously spoken about being ‘the most trolled person in the world’ on the Teenager Therapy podcast. She said experiencing abuse while preganant left her feeling ‘isolated’.
‘I’m told that in 2019 I was the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female,’ she said. ‘Now, eight months of that I wasn’t even visible — I was on maternity leave or with a baby … If people are saying things about you that aren’t true, what that does to your mental and emotional health is so damaging … That’s so big, you can’t even think of what that feels like.’
While Harry and Meghan were still sharing Kensington Palace’s social media account she received 5,000 abusive and racist tweets in two months.
Prince Harry refused to deny reports of a rift between himself and brother William in a candid interview, commenting that they were ‘on different paths at the moment’
Last year Meghan said social media users were like ‘people addicted to drugs’ during a virtual summit for American publication Fortune.
In 2019 Harry and Meghan revealed their struggles over ‘unfair’ scrutiny in an explosive documentary called ‘Harry and Meghan: An African Journey’ that aired on ITV.
Harry told presenter Tom Bradby how he still struggles to deal with the ‘incredibly raw’ death of his mother, Princess Diana, and admitted his anxieties require ‘constant management’.
He made the comments in the TV documentary where he also attacked the press over the public scrutiny that he and wife Meghan Markle have faced.
Before their marriage in 2018, Meghan was a keen user of social media, with 1.9 million followers on Instagram, 350,000 Twitter followers and 800,000 likes on Facebook. She also had a lifestyle website and blog called The Tig.
The updated Archewell website featured this picture of a young Prince Harry sitting on the shoulders of Princess Diana, taken at Highgrove in Gloucestershire in July 1986
The news the couple are quitting social media for good comes after a royal expert claimed Prince William would be concerned Harry ‘appears to be exploiting his mother’s iconic status’ after he used a picture with their late mother Princess Diana to help launch his new website.
The updated Archewell website featured a picture of the young prince sitting on the shoulders of Princess Diana, taken at Highgrove in Gloucestershire in July 1986.
An introductory letter introduced Harry as ‘my mother’s son’ and said the couple had both experienced compassion and kindness ‘from our mothers and strangers alike’.
But it made no reference to Harry’s father Prince Charles, or to his brother William – and royal expert Phil Dampier said this will not have gone unnoticed by the family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their son Archie while in Cape Town in September 2019
He told MailOnline: ‘I think William will be slightly worried if Harry uses Diana for any of his charitable or commercial ventures without consulting him, and I don’t think he would be happy if Harry appears to be exploiting his mother’s iconic status.
‘It’s also very significant that Harry called himself his ‘mother’s son’ but has made no mention of Prince Charles. William is very much following now in his father’s footsteps with his environmental and conservation work.
‘And although Harry has praised his father in the past, it seems odd not to mention him more and work in conjunction with him, rather than separately.’
Also on the homepage of the new Archewell website was a monochrome image of a young Meghan standing as her mother Doria Ragland crouches down to hug her daughter.
On December 31, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex set out their goal to ‘build a better world’ as they effectively launched the website of their non-profit organisation Archewell.
Harry issued a joint statement with Meghan inviting people to join their campaign to make a difference ‘one act of compassion at a time’.
In a joint statement on the new Archewell website, called a ‘letter for 2021’ which overlays the pictures, the Duke and Duchess say: ‘I am my mother’s son. And I am our son’s mother’
The couple have also announced partnerships between their foundation and several tech and research-focused organisations to pursue their aims.
In a joint statement on the website, 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.
The website is divided into three sections – their Archewell Foundation, Audio (for Spotify) and Productions (for Netflix)
‘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 £100million – 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 which saw their son Archie make his broadcast debut.
Commentators 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.
Harry and Meghan wrote that the name of their organisation is a mixture of the Greek word ‘Arche’, meaning ‘source of action’, and the word ‘Well’, defined as ‘a plentiful source or supply; a place we go to dig deep’
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 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.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana with sons Prince William (right, and Prince Harry (left) as they prepare for a cycling trip in Tresco during their holiday in the Scilly Isles in June 1989
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.
Harry and Meghan released their debut Spotify podcast which saw them chat about ‘the power of connection’, ’empathy’ and ‘collective mental health’. This is featured on the newly-updated Archewell website
‘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.’
The new website set out the couple’s manifesto for their life outside the Royal Family, following the acrimony of ‘Megxit’.
They said they had chosen the name Archewell as Arche meant ‘source of action’ in Ancient Greek and well meant ‘a plentiful source or supply; a place we go to dig deep’.
‘At Archewell, we unleash the power of compassion to drive systemic cultural change,’ they wrote. ‘Archewell, through its non-profit work as well as creative activations, drives systemic cultural change across communities.’
The couple have secured lucrative multimillion-pound deals with Spotify and Netflix, the latter of which is mentioned above
Harry and Meghan named five causes they would help via the Archewell Foundation.
They include the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University.
The Sussexes announced partnerships with other tech research groups, and gave their support to The Loveland Foundation, which provides mental health help for black women and girls.
Harry and Meghan also vowed to fund four community relief centres run by the World Central Kitchen in crisis-hit areas.
The couple have signed lucrative commercial deals with Netflix and Spotify to fund their foundation.
The royal couple also announced partnerships between their foundation and several tech and research-focused groups, including the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University
Under the terms of ‘Megxit’, Buckingham Palace said they would no longer receive public funds for royal duties, although Prince Charles was thought to have continued to give cash to his youngest son.
Harry and Meghan’s deal with Netflix was said to be worth £75million and the link-up with Spotify has made them around £18million.
The pair will make podcasts as Archewell Audio, featuring a cameo appearance from their 19-month-old son Archie.
Marketing executives have predicted Archewell will become a ‘billion-dollar brand’.