It's Official: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Split From Charity With Prince William and Kate Middleton

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will establish their own foundation later this year, Kensington Palace announced today

By Corinne Heller Jun 20, 2019 1:42 PMTags
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UPDATE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially leaving The Royal Foundation, their joint charity with Prince William and Kate Middleton, Kensington Palace announced today.

"Later this year The Royal Foundation will become the principal charitable and philanthropic vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge," the statement read. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will establish their own new charitable foundation with transitional operating support from The Royal Foundation. In addition both couples will continue to work together on projects in the future, including on The Foundation's mental health program, Heads Together."

"These changes are designed to best complement the work and responsibilities of Their Royal Highnesses as they prepare for their future roles, and to better align their charitable activity with their new households," the Kensington Palace statement continued. "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are incredibly proud of what they have achieved together through The Royal Foundation. They are especially proud to have established a charity that has had, and will continue to have, significant long-lasting impact, changing lives for the better."

It looks like another royal breakup is on the horizon, which could spell the end of the "Fab Four."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expected to break away from the Royal Foundation, their joint charity with his brother Prince William and Kate Middleton, according to The Sun and other outlets.

The news comes amid months of rumors of a feud between the two couples, fueled by the recent creation of a new household to represent Harry and Meghan—with a new Instagram account to boot and subsequent unfollowing of William and Kate, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's physical move from the quartet's shared Kensington Palace complex to Frogmore Cottage at Windsor Castle.

"Things did get very bad between the brothers and they didn't see each other privately for a number of months after the royal wedding," a royal source told The Sun. "Certainly the animosity over status, money and Meghan meant that the split in their joint households had to be brought forward much more quickly than anticipated, so perhaps it was inevitable that their joint charity has to be split too."

"Meghan and Harry want to do things differently to William and Kate," the royal source continued. "William is the future king and so is sometimes restricted in what he can do. The Sussexes want the flexibility of more commercial decisions. But the brothers' relationship has vastly improved since their working lives have separated."

Buckingham Palace declined comment on the reports.

A source told E! News, "No decisions have been taken and the situation announced in March is still ongoing. Their Royal Highnesses are excited for the next stage, and are looking forward to furthering their charity work and also working together on the big issues such as mental health."

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"The work to prepare both couples for their future roles will, of course, have implications for how they manage their charitable and philanthropic activity into the future," a royal source had told reporters in March. "As part of this, a review of how they conduct their charitable activity will be undertaken. This will include reviewing the structure of The Foundation to ensure that Their Royal Highnesses have the best possible charitable structures in place for the future.

The Sun said the split is expected to be confirmed at the next Royal Foundation board meeting on June 19. A royal source confirmed to Business Insider that a formal review of the couples' positions within the charity is expected to take place at the meeting.

Another source told The Sun that "nothing will be done quickly and it'll be a phased untangling of many of the joint initiatives, not an overnight chop."

In 2009, William and Harry had established the Royal Foundation, an umbrella organization for different initiatives such as the Heads Together mental health campaign. Kate and Meghan joined after they married the brothers. In 2018, they all gathered together at the inaugural Royal Foundation Forum, earning the nickname "The Fab Four."

"We're stuck together for the rest of our lives," Harry had joked during the event, adding, "We've got four different personalities and we've all got that same basic passion to want to make a difference."

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There was no second Royal Foundation Forum this year. While the two couples have appeared together at a few royal engagements over the past year, they have separately attended events supported by the charity.

Harry and Meghan have long tried to blaze their own trail since their May 2018 wedding, according to multiple reports. In March, the Sunday Times reported that Meghan and Harry are understood to have lobbied for an autonomous new court, an idea vetoed by Queen Elizabeth II and Harry and William's father Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. The outlet said that the couple wants to build a global "Sussex brand" of philanthropy and humanitarianism, and that Meghan is also understood to want to continue in her role as an "activist". The royal family did not comment on the report.

—Reporting by Holly Passalaqua

(This story was originally published Friday, May 31, 2019 at 8:44 a.m. PST)