Freed from what a friend termed the ‘toxic’ constraints back home, the couple shared their secret with a handful of trusted confidantes.
Of course, there was Meghan’s ‘rock’, her mother Doria Ragland, constantly by her side in recent months.
The couple shared their secret with a handful of trusted confidantes. Below are all the movers and shakers that comprise ‘Team Sussex’
And then there were the trusted few the couple have turned to as they bid to step away from frontline Royal duties.
Chief among them is Meghan’s Suits co-star Abigail Spencer, who, according to one friend, is ‘utterly loyal to Meghan’.
Then add in Canadian fashion stylist Jessica Mulroney, so close to Meghan that she helped care for little Archie while the Sussexes flew back to make their shock announcement last week.
Here are all the movers and shakers that comprise ‘Team Sussex’, steering Harry and Meghan towards their vision of a new life…
The TV titan has already offered Prince Harry his biggest post-UK role as presenter and executive producer of a six-part Apple TV+ series on mental health. Apple has declined to say whether the Prince is getting paid for the series.
Oprah, 65, has said ‘Meghan and Harry do not need my help figuring out what’s best for them’ but she is a powerful force behind the scenes.
Meghan’s mother Doria has been spotted doing yoga on the lawn of Oprah’s £35 million home in Montecito, a two-hour drive north of Los Angeles.
With her own TV channel and a string of philanthropic ventures, Oprah is one of the most powerful and respected women in America.
A source said: ‘Oprah is a role model for Meghan. She already has a foundation in place and she has a contacts book bar none. Make no mistake, Oprah has been opening doors and guiding them and will continue to do so.’
Oprah, 65, has said ‘Meghan and Harry do not need my help figuring out what’s best for them’ but she is a powerful force behind the scenes
The 70-year-old musician, producer and songwriter has won 16 Grammys with stars including Madonna and Whitney Houston
The 70-year-old musician, producer and songwriter has won 16 Grammys with stars including Madonna and Whitney Houston.
His fifth wife, singer Katharine McPhee, 35, has known Meghan since their schooldays.
Foster arranged the £10 million Canadian mansion Mille Fleurs where Meghan is believed to have returned last week and, as a longtime friend of former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney, offers a political conduit for Meghan, who has made no secret of her desire to become a global powerhouse.
Foster met Meghan’s closest friend Jessica Mulroney through her TV presenter husband Ben and, at the wedding of Ben’s sister Caroline in 2000, met the then unknown wedding singer Michael Buble, who he turned into a superstar.
‘David knows everyone in showbusiness world but he is also incredibly well-connected in the Canadian political world,’ a friend said.
The Brand Builder Jessica Mulroney
Many believe Meghan’s desire to ‘go it alone’ is based in part on the success of her friend Jessica’s career
She’s a stylist, PR maven and influencer, and many believe Meghan’s desire to ‘go it alone’ is based in part on the success of her friend Jessica’s career – she has her own wedding TV show, is a regular on American breakfast TV and is building her own brand.
Married to Ben Mulroney and close friend of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, she has impeccable connections.
‘If Meghan and Harry come to Toronto, Jessica will open ever door for them,’ says a friend.
‘She’ll host parties, introduce them to those in power. Canada’s a relatively small world and Jessica [left] is perfectly poised to launch them into society.’
Hugely powerful in US TV, she will help ‘mastermind’ the couple’s media strategy. ‘Gayle knows everyone in TV,’ a source said
The TV Guru
Anchor of CBS’s This Morning TV show and Oprah’s best friend, Ms King has reportedly already secured the first TV interview with the Sussexes which will ‘launch’ them in the US and Canada, amid rumours of TV stations bidding six-figure sums. She attended Meghan’s controversial New York bridal shower and was among the first to visit baby Archie.
Hugely powerful in US TV, she will help ‘mastermind’ the couple’s media strategy. ‘Gayle knows everyone in TV,’ a source said.
‘She will help mould their image for a US audience.’
The PR Queen
Head of communications for Harry and Meghan, Sara Latham is an American with dual US-UK citizenship, so she can work at the highest level on both sides of the Pond.
Sara Latham is an American with dual US-UK citizenship, so she can work at the highest level on both sides of the Pond
She helped craft Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election, before moving to London PR giants Freud Communications.
After a spell as special adviser to then Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, she set up her own consultancy, clients including the Clinton Foundation and Tony Blair Associates.
After a role as senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, she joined Harry and Meghan in March 2019, reportedly having been introduced by George Clooney.
‘Sara understands the power of the brand,’ a fellow PR said.
‘She will be crucial in crafting the image of the Sussexes in their new role.’
The Power Couple Misha Nonoo & Mikey Hess
Designer Misha Nonoo has built her own clothing line. The designer is married to billionaire Mikey Hess
Designer Misha Nonoo, right, has built her own clothing line and Meghan famously wore Nonoo’s The Husband Shirt at her first public appearance with Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto in September 2017.
Business-savvy Misha termed it the shirt that ‘sealed the deal’.
She and Meghan worked together last year to create a clothing collection for the charity Smart Works.
The designer is married to billionaire Mikey Hess, heir to an oil fortune, who has already reportedly offered the Sussexes one of his family’s three homes in a secure Malibu enclave as a hideaway.
With links directly to Trump’s White House, Misha and Mikey are a power couple to reckon with.
David Watkins runs the @Sussex Royal Instagram account, recruiting 10.5 million followers with candid snaps and artful videos
The Social Media Expert
Described as the couple’s ‘secret weapon’, Watkins runs the @Sussex Royal Instagram account, recruiting 10.5 million followers with candid snaps and artful videos.
Last week’s shock announcement puts Watkins into the front line. The couple say they intend to share their lives – both working and private – on social media. ‘They consider themselves disruptors who are going to change the narrative,’ a source said. ‘Perhaps the biggest part of this is controlling their image via social media.’
The Image Maker
Keleigh Thomas Morgan
The Sussexes chose the Hollywood PR outfit Sunshine Sachs to launch Prince Harry’s eco-friendly travel initiative Travalyst last August.
The firm, run by PR king Ken Sunshine, represents Hollywood A-listers including Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lopez.
Meghan turned to Sunshine Sachs partner Keleigh Thomas Morgan when she guest-edited last September’s issue of British Vogue.
‘Keleigh is one of the best in the business,’ a fellow PR said.
‘Meghan and Harry are the ultimate brand and will need careful handling to ensure that brand isn’t sullied.’
Meghan turned to Sunshine Sachs partner Keleigh Thomas Morgan when she guest-edited last September’s issue of British Vogue. ‘Keleigh is one of the best in the business,’ a fellow PR said
The Website Creator
Mr Sax has known Meghan since Suits days when he helped design her lifestyle blog The Tig
The boss of Toronto-based website design agency Article, Mr Sax has known Meghan since Suits days when he helped design her lifestyle blog The Tig.
He has been secretly working on the SussexRoyal.com website for months.
He has designed sites for leading marijuana producers (cannabis is legal in Canada) and high-end fashion firm Diane Von Furstenberg.
Article promises: ‘We make s*** happen for clients in any country.’
When the MoS visited its office last week, Mr Sax answered the door and said ‘Sorry, I can’t comment’, before retreating inside.
A worker in same building said: ‘I would say they have less than ten people working for them. It’s a small space – just one office.’
The Confidante Abigail Spencer
The 38-year-old, who starred alongside Meghan in Suits, was spotted hiking with the Sussexes in Horth Hill Park on Victoria Island last month.
She met Meghan in 2008 and contributed to her lifestyle blog The Tig.
‘Abigail is the confidante Meghan needs,’ a source said.
‘She’s been a close friend for more than a decade and will drop everything for her. Meghan has spoken about feeling isolated in the UK. Here she has a wide circle of friends with Abigail [right] very near the centre.’
Abigail Spencer was spotted hiking with the Sussexes in Horth Hill Park on Victoria Island last month