On Thursday, Prince Harry and Meghan’s website, which served as a hub for their new California businesses, suddenly went offline. The production deal and mentions of the couple’s charitable work were removed, as were the links to Meghan’s new podcast. Instead, there was a picture of Queen Elizabeth II on the homepage.
It was in keeping with royal etiquette and popular opinion for the website to be covered in digital grief, even in the beach communities of southern California, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been residing since stepping down from their official responsibilities in the Windsor family hierarchy.
According to Dusty Kerr, 65, a native of Leeds who has worked at the English pub and souvenir shop Ye Olde King’s Head in Santa Monica for the past 23 years, the business has become a gathering spot for both British expats and sentimental Americans since the news of the queen’s death on Thursday. She lamented, “She’s well missed.”
People were curious about what type of king Charles would be as they purchased commemorative teapots and tea towels and raised glasses to the late queen in the pub, but Kerr said she didn’t hear much about California’s most famous British expats.
They haven’t done anything bad today,” she remarked. I haven’t heard anything about that because everyone seems to be so focused on Elizabeth.
Whether or whether Harry and Meghan’s plans to forge their own path in California will be altered by Elizabeth’s death at age 96 is debatable. King Charles III approved of their marriage choice, adding, “I want to also convey my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas,” in his first address to the nation.
The couple has founded Archewell, a mix of nonprofit and for-profit companies that promises to “unleash the power of compassion to promote systemic cultural transformation,” and they reside in a mansion in the Montecito celebrity enclave that cost roughly $14.65 million.
Barack and Michelle Obama have reportedly inked a $100 million, multi-year deal with Netflix to produce television shows, films, and children’s programming, reflecting their post-White House aspirations. Meghan recently debuted a Spotify podcast called Archetypes, in which she chats with A-list American celebrities including Mariah Carey, Mindy Kaling, and Serena Williams.
The couple is vocal about public concerns and is involved in a number of charitable endeavors, including Harry’s Invictus Games. The New York Times reported in November 2021 that the couple was “getting into finance” and working to make “sustainable investing mainstream”; in the same month, Meghan called Republican senators on their personal cell phones to advocate for paid family leave, and was criticized for introducing herself as the “Duchess of Sussex”; and Harry, who had served alongside actual academic experts on an Aspen Institute Commission on Information Disorder, claimed that he had emailed Twitter’s then-CEO Jacqueline Short to discuss the issue The couple’s involvement with the Silicon Valley “Time Well Spent” movement led by the Center for Humane Technology is referenced on their website Archewell, where they also encourage readers to share their own personal stories and warn them to be “mindful of screen time” and not spend too much time online.
Celebrity pals from California like Oprah, Tyler Perry, and Serena Williams have been invaluable to the Sussexes throughout their trip. In the wake of Elizabeth’s death, the president of the NAACP, a major American civil rights organization, extended his condolences, calling them “close friends and allies in our battle for a more just future.”
Given the impending release of Harry’s memoir, which is expected to delve into the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death and Harry and Meghan’s life in the UK prior to their departure to California, further scrutiny of Windsor family dynamics and the role these two royal dissenters might play in the reign of Harry’s 73-year-old father, Charles III, is likely.
Based on Paris Hilton’s post about the Queen’s passing, in which she called her “the first girl boss” and included a broken heart emoji, it seems that the reaction to the Sussexes’ initiatives may differ widely between the United Kingdom and their new country.
The 2019 novel Royal Holiday by Guillory, which was inspired by the couple’s experience, ends with the author saying she hopes Harry and Meghan are able to reconcile with their Windsor family, albeit privately.
She explained, “I am someone who likes to write happy endings.” I truly pray that [Harry’s] family life improves.