Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Archewell Updates for April as the Sussexes Continue Acts of Kindness

Marking the closure of a month celebrating women, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex carried out several additional acts of kindness bringing March to an end. Harry and Meghan surprised a teenage girl when she Zoomed in to meet her mentors through organisations L.A. Works and I Have A Dream foundation. People reports the conversation focused on "overcoming challenges in your life" and staying true to your values along the way. The couple noticed sunflowers in the the girls bedroom and after their conversation sent her a bunch with a personal note of encouragement.

People reports:

"She had this moment of surprise and excitement when she got on the phone with the Duke and Duchess," L.A. Works Executive Director Deborah Brutchey tells PEOPLE. "She knew of them, she knew a lot — she had been following Meghan's story quite a bit, so she was very excited that she had the opportunity to speak with them."

Brutchey says that the young woman was "really moved" by Meghan and Harry's "compassion, humility and wisdom."

"It was really significant for her because they saw her potential in a few short minutes, which actually really undid some damage that had been previously caused by a former teacher's doubt," she explains. "It was just amazing how they were able to connect and how their compassion, in just a short conversation, really made an impact and is going to forever inspire her."

In support of veterans organisation the Mission Continues, Prince Harry sent several letters to members of the Women Veterans Leadership Program commending them for their service. The organisation said, "A few members of our Women Veterans Leadership Program got personal notes of recognition in the mail from The Duke of Sussex, who is a veteran himself and has regularly championed our work through his non-profit Archewell Foundation - which has spent the month inspiring real acts of compassion for women across the world. In his messages, he commended each for their leadership and their service in communities."

Over the weekend, Harry and Meghan also spoke to a storytelling group from Momsrising. E! reports:

"The meeting with Prince Harry and Meghan was a huge boost for MomsRising members, some of whom are struggling without jobs, childcare, paid leave, health care and other essentials during the pandemic," MomsRising Executive Director and CEO Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner tells E! News in a statement. "The Duke and Duchess were kind, compassionate and incredibly supportive, both on a personal level and of the policies that would help get their lives back on track."

The exec continues, "The Duchess also reminded us that, especially in times of self-doubt, we should take the opportunity to see ourselves through our children's eyes. Because to our children, we're superheroes. That really resonated with so many of us."

As we say hello to April, the Archewell website has new updates, stories and news from the Sussexes. The couple don't currently use social media, so it's great to see the website offering all relevant information in one spot.

In a story on the website, 'Supporting Champions of Systemic Change', Archewell's charitable partners are listed with the addition of recently supported organisations, Mind, Color of Change, PressPad Charitable Foundation and URL Media.

'Recently, Archewell Foundation provided support to several organizations—both growing and well-established—that are leading changemaking efforts on a number of today’s most-pressing global conversations: including racial justice, mental health, and the future of media. This new support is in addition to the existing impact-driven partners and organizations that Archewell Foundation has already aligned with.

Through this work, Archewell Foundation is underscoring its purpose of driving systemic cultural change by listening to people and their communities, helping them tell their stories, putting real action behind words, and spotlighting a new generation of leadership.'

In a new section, 'Stories', the couple amplify voices such as José Andrés, whom they work closely with through Archewell's partnership with World Central Kitchen. José says, "One of my happiest moments was actually the day after. I announced I was closing my restaurants. We announced that we were moving from restaurants to try and feed as many people as we could. We were able to show that restaurants becoming community kitchens could be…feeding the homeless, feeding the hospitals, feeding anybody in need of a plate of food. My mother, my father, who are no longer with us, they were nurses. I was able, as a young kid, to see the empathy and the love that many health employees would put in their work. I was so proud that thousands and thousands of chefs and volunteers, we began reacting to the problems. When hospitals needed somebody to feed them, we show up."

The 'News' page shares up-to-date information from Harry's new role as Chief Impact Officer for BetterUp and updates on their collaboration with WCK.

'Construction completed at Archewell Foundation and World Central Kitchen’s first Community Relief Center 

As part of their joint philanthropic partnership, Archewell Foundation and Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen have teamed up to develop a series of four Community Relief Centers in regions of the world prone to climate disasters. Construction of the first of the Centers, based in the Commonwealth country of Dominica, was completed in early 2021—giving local communities access to critical support. The next Center will be built in Puerto Rico. In times of crisis, these Centers can be quickly activated as emergency response kitchens, and through calmer times they can serve as food distribution hubs, schools, clinics, or community gathering spaces for families.'

You can read Meghan's moving piece The Losses We Share here and Harry's Q&A with Fast Company on the digital world here. Explore the website here.

17 comments:

  1. Since H&M finally landed and put down roots in California I open this sight with little anticipation and some disappointment because I don't know what to expect if anything new at all. But, clearly they have settled into their work and daily routine in remarkable time. The scope of their work is simply remarkable.

    I almost hesitate to say this but there is much news tonight concerning H&M personal garden exchange of vows. Although I understand the Church of England not calling it a marriage, but a blessing that simple ceremony for many many people does signify a marriage. Everyone does not avail themselves of formal church ceremonies and it does not make them any less married. I believe for H&M that blessing for them was a marriage, a private commitment to each other in the presence of a church leader. I do think it was necessary for the sake of legality in the churches position for the Bishop to make a formal statement to the contrary yet he clearly knew why he was present and not just invited around for tea.

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    1. USA Granny, I think that H&M did consider it to represent their union. I also think the Bishop was under some pressure to clarify, unfortunately. Another reason H&M "can't have nice things." H&M are terribly sweet and sincere; such a force that those in charge did not appreciate.

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    2. Zenza (formerly BeanieG)11 April 2021 at 16:58

      Agree with both of you. And there was a witness, albeit perhaps not a legal one. There was a photographer there because pictures were mentioned. Whatever, they've expressed their feelings and concerns; they've moved on to actions supporting their causes, which have remained basically the same from the start.

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    3. I agree that many people have a simple exchange of vows in front of witnesses and if they have registered it according to local regulations that is a legal marriage. That is certainly what happened with Meghan's first marriage on the beach. Presumably Meghan and Harry could have done the same and forgone the big church wedding with worldwide TV coverage. However instead they chose to be married in a big wedding in St Georges Chapel. It was truly a beautiful and touching ceremony so why now downgrade its significance.
      The Anglican Church made a big concession by allowing a divorced person to marry in one of their churches. Prince Charles had been in a similar position and had to opt for a private registry office wedding followed by a very small family only blessing in St Georges Chapel. Princess Anne chose to marry a second time in Scotland in a private Church of Scotland wedding with minimal formality and only close family attending. Princess Beatrice had an even smaller church wedding in complete privacy, so it is definitely possible. The Archbishop of Canterbury married them in line with new rules for remarriages, however they still had to fit in with normal Anglican weddings rules which do not permit marriage outside in back gardens and need at least two witnesses plus the celebrant and a wedding licence. Archbishop Welby is obviously reluctant to comment, not only because it breeches their right to privacy, but also because other Anglican priests are asking him why ordinary Anglicans are not given permission to marry in their gardens. If he conceded that the vows in the garden were a sort of marriage, then he is downgrading the legal ceremony in the Chapel.

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    4. The whole thing might have been an informal exchange of vows/commitments. If so, of course it was very intimate and nice. But it is not a marriage. Neither in the eyes of the church nor the eyes of the law. I mean, sure we can re-define things and then just go with it, but people seem to forget that certain definitions come with real life (and death ) impact. Taxation, inheritance, who decides to pull your plug....
      Fact is, they clearly stated in their interview that they were already married as if the church ceremony was just put in for show, thereby elevating whatever they did three days prior into the same category. I don’t think any would begrudge then a small intimate blessing, as it’s obvious that the big wedding couldn’t be that (in fact it could have, but I will come later to this). But the way they phrased it, it sounded a bit like „you got pranked. This whole $45 Million Dollar spectacle was just a big fake“. And worse it sounded as if they themselves don’t give it much importance as their Wedding day. No one forced them to go all out. They could have gone smaller if that wasn’t intimate enough for them.
      I am sorry, they should have kept their secret because all it did was stepping on the toes of the people that ultimately payed for it.
      C.

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    5. Just stop with this. They view that private moment as getting married and neither are stupid. Obviously they know it wasn’t the legal or religious or tax implication (so romantic) moment, but it’s the emotional marriage for them, and they’re entitled to own and define that moment that way. It’s their moment. They really don’t need to take into consideration every one else’s feelings on the technicalities. It’s on no one else but you if you’re feeling “pranked”.

      The fact is they could not have had a private non spectacle wedding and I really wish people would stop re-writing history as if this was ever an option. It wasn’t. You really truly objectively think that given the press and public meltdown over every decision this couple makes they could have gotten away with a completely private wedding? It’s clear to me the wedding we all saw was somewhat not their choice, though they personalized as much as they could. And they also opted to have a private moment beforehand they view as getting married.

      The fact that people are making this a controversy just continues to prove that Harry and Meghan are damned if they do damned if they don’t. So they say what they want to say. It will always be a controversy either way. Good for them in my opinion.

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    6. I think you are reading way more into this C. By your definition of definition, the RF would be in one big trouble.

      Royal weddings have been justified because they bring in tourist money, and the local economy thrives from the attention. It’s a positive public PR image for England and the RF. That has been the big justification for the public monies spent on these RF, RF related events and outings.

      I’m curious when people want to redo events by saying well they could have done things differently, what does that mean? You seem to forget the vicious feeding frenzy the tabloids, right wing press and paparazzis were in. They were paying family members, illegally obtaining personal info, and penning damning articles to turn Meghan into their golden punching bag from day 1. Our current prime minister, Boris Johnson, own sister wrote an article in the Daily Mail. It was a nasty piece and very racist, xenophobic, and sexist. She said now it was a bit of “humor”. Talk about definition here. Michael Gove’s wife, Sara Vine, has penned similar snippy, snobbish and racist articles in the Daily Mail. These pieces exemplified the height of class snobbery, misogyny (it’s worse coming from fellow women), and casual racism. The fact that they tried to pretend it’s a joke or that racism and nativism can be used against a person because she’s a celebrity or a public figure is pure BS. This is how racism and mistreatment of people thrive and remain entrenched. The fact that these women can’t handle the criticism of their own work/motives is even more telling.

      The inability of institutions to deal with deep seated problems, whether it’s the costly double edged relationship between the RF and the royal rota or the deeply entrenched racism and misogyny within our institutions, will hover and inflict more damages to the people of this country. No amount of institutional whitewashing or PR junkets will make things get better.

      -Very disappointed

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    7. @Anonymous and Anonymous: sorry but of course they could. Would there have been bad press and uproar about it? Very possibly. But that does not mean it wasn't possible. That is not re-writing history- - whatever that means for you (maybe you should look it up?). It would have been possible but they decided against it. Just es they decided for keeping it private with the birth and Christening (in terms o information and pictures)of Archie. And both decisions are fine, but don't complain the big wedding wasn't intimate for you and you needed something more private.
      And yes, I do have a problem with randomly re-defining things just to fit a certain narrative. How can you believe what comes out of someones mouth if it's unclear if you are even talking about the same things?
      C.

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  2. As always, thank you for the updates, Charlotte.

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  3. Is that Archie in the photo of the family planting? Other sites are not commenting. Perhaps for his privacy? Adorable tot!

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    1. Hello Veronica,

      The photo was taken last September when Harry and Meghan visited children at the Assistance League Preschool Learning Centre. The little boy in the photo is a student.

      https://madaboutmeghan.blogspot.com/2020/09/harry-meghan-plants-seeds-in-dianas.html

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  4. Charlotte, I read about these events or visits or zooms and think I know it all, but your blogs are just amazing! You give so much background information and so many images related to the event; thank you so much for such interesting posts!

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  5. Charlotte,
    You and the Sussexes accomplish so much!
    I can’t keep up. But I appreciate your work as much as I appreciate their work. Through your blog I feel I have a front row seat at a historically positive institutional change. H and M blaze on in a direction no one has really taken before. Thank you for referring us to their website. I spent some time there and signed up for email notifications.
    Renee

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  6. Charlotte, thank you for your continuing thorough and informative coverage of all things Sussex. Very grateful.

    R

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  7. Charlotte thank you for your kindness I think bishop could either lie or under pressure for the government Harry and Meghan taking a leaf in new level looking forward in new chapter and new baaby girl

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  8. I'm about to add to the ridiculous amount of commentary on the "Official" and "unofficial weddings." I think Meghan could have been a little clearer about the private ceremony although it should have been clear to most people exercising common sense. Harry and Meghan it seems are both hopeless romantics and a very sentimental pair. I'm not at all surprised that they would want to say their vows and commit to each other in a private little ceremony, and to them, that was their marriage ceremony. I get the impression that they probably each wrote vows for each other. How many couples have said that some parts of their wedding day, if they have a big public wedding, was a big blur? It's my understanding that elsewhere in Europe, couples are required to have a civil ceremony which is the legal ceremony even if they have a huge religious ceremony. The legal wedding in Harry and Meghan's case was obviously the church wedding where they said their vows in front of the world and each had one parent as a witness. The BM making this whole thing is so patently absurd and the only purpose that I can see is to give people a chance to be negative about a beautiful event.

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)