Prince Harry and Meghan will formally split from their joint charity with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and set up their own foundation, it was revealed today.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to break away from the Royal Foundation in what is seen as the final step in the division of the couples’ public duties.
It follows reports over the past year of a rift, first between Kate and Meghan, and then between future king William and his younger brother, Harry.
But sources denied there was a feud, saying it was ‘largely about preparing both couples for their future roles, which are obviously on divergent tracks’.
Prince William and Kate will remain with the original charity, which will be renamed the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
(From left) The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge take part in the first Royal Foundation Forum in London on February 28 last year
The ‘Fab Four’ appeared in London last February to promote ‘the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’.
But the two households have split since then, with Harry and Meghan leaving Kensington Palace for Frogmore Cottage in Windsor and appointing their own staff.
The Foundation said the move followed a structural review, and both couples will continue to work together including on the Heads Together mental health strategy.
The Foundation, which had an income of £7.83million last year, on top of £9million in 2017, added that the decision was made to ‘better align’ their charitable activities.
Their appearance at the London offices of insurer in February 2018 for the Royal Foundation event was the first time the ‘Fab Four’ carried out an engagement together
They were dubbed the Fab Four after taking to the stage together at the first – and so far only – Royal Foundation forum in February 2018. The inaugural event was billed as an annual affair
Harry and Meghan have already split from the Cambridges’ Kensington Palace household, setting up their own at Buckingham Palace in the spring, with a separate head of communications and SussexRoyal Instagram account.
Royal aides previously said that the foursome were to remain joint patrons of the Royal Foundation.
The duke and duchess, who have recently welcomed baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, also moved from London’s Kensington Palace – home to William and Kate and their children – to live at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
Today’s announcement followed William and Harry’s meeting with trustees of the Royal Foundation at Kensington Palace yesterday to finalise the arrangements.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on Tuesday
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at a flypast to mark the centenary of the RAF on July 10, 2018
William, Kate, Harry and Meghan’s joint Royal Foundation venture was intended to harness the star power of the four high-profile royals, but it lasted just 16 months after their first appearance as a foursome.
They were dubbed the Fab Four after taking to the stage together at the first – and so far only – Royal Foundation forum in London in February 2018. The inaugural event was billed as an annual affair.
During the Q&A, they were quizzed on whether there were disagreements, with William replying ‘Oh yes’, while Harry said ‘healthy disagreements’ adding he couldn’t remember if they’d all been resolved as they ‘come so thick and fast’.
Harry said he and Meghan were ‘really looking forward to working as a pair and as a four going forward and hoping to make as much of a difference where we can’.
Prince Harry attends an event in Nottingham backed by the Royal Foundation in February 2017
William, Harry, Meghan and Kate attend a service at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018
Harry and Meghan have left Kensington Palace for Frogmore Cottage in Windsor (pictured)
Meghan said: ‘Thank goodness (there are) such differing personalities and everyone’s very communicative because that’s how you can really see bigger change.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son Archie at Windsor Castle on May 8
The Royal Foundation was set up by William and Harry in 2009 to run all their charitable campaigns and ventures, and joined by Kate when she became Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.
Meghan joined in May 2018 after becoming an HRH, with the charity’s title later officially changing to The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The Foundation focuses on issues such as helping young people, wildlife conservation, cyberbullying and supporting the military.
In 2017, the princes were widely praised for leading a campaign to tackle the stigma of mental health illness and speaking out about how they had personally suffered following the death of their mother Princess Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997.
The body has set up successful charity campaigns including Heads Together, the Endeavour Fund and projects with the Invictus Games for wounded or disabled veterans.