Thursday, 13 May 2021

Prince Harry on Feeling 'Free', Archewell's Partnership with Procter & Gamble & The Me You Can't See

Hello dear readers,

May has proven to be a busy and exciting month for the Sussexes -- with much of the behind-the-scenes work they've been preparing for Archewell and other projects coming to the fore. Before we dig into the news (including a far-reaching conversation with Harry), a reminder of a very impressive story Meghan recalled during a memorable speech at the 2015 UN International Women's Conference.

Meghan addressed the audience, recollecting a wrong she was determined to right...aged eleven.

'In my hometown of Los Angeles a pivotal moment reshaped my notion of what is possible. See I had been in school watching a TV show in elementary school and, um, this commercial came on with the tag line for this dish washing liquid and the tag line said, ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’. Two boys from my class said, ‘Yeah, that’s where women belong, in the kitchen’.

I remember feeling shocked and angry and also just feeling so hurt; it just wasn’t right, and something needed to be done. So, I went home and told my dad what had happened, and he encouraged me to write letters, so I did, to the most powerful people I could think of. Now my eleven year old self worked out that if I really wanted someone to hear me, well then I should write a letter to the First Lady. So off I went, scribbling away to our First Lady at the time, Hillary Clinton. I also put pen to paper and I wrote a letter to my news source at the time, Linda Ellerbee, who hosted a kids news program, and then to powerhouse attorney Gloria Allred, because even at eleven I wanted to cover all my bases.

Finally I wrote to the soap manufacturer. And a few weeks went by, and to my surprise I received letters of encouragement from Hillary Clinton, from Linda Ellerbee, and from Gloria Allred. It was amazing. The kids news show, they sent a camera crew to my home to cover the story, and it was roughly a month later when the soap manufacturer, Procter & Gamble, changed the commercial for their ivory clear dish washing liquid. They changed it from ‘Women All Over America are Fghting Greasy Pots and Pans’ to ‘People all over America’. It was at that moment that I realized the magnitude of my actions. At the age of eleven I had created my small level of impact by standing up for equality.'

The reaction Meghan's letter received from Procter & Gamble ignited a spark which has continued throughout her life. So, one might say it was very much a full-circle moment with the announcement earlier this week Archewell Foundation and Procter & Gamble have joined forces in a multi-year global partnership to continue to take actionable steps towards building more compassionate communities.

Archewell's website revealed:

'Based on shared values, the partnership will focus on gender equality, more inclusive online spaces, and resilience and impact through sport. It will build on joint aspirations, most recently demonstrated by our work together in support of Global Citizen’s VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World, an event that inspired vaccine confidence worldwide and mobilized more than $300 million in the push for greater global access to COVID-19 vaccines.'

To celebrate Mother's Day, Archewell and P&G collaborated to support Harvest Home, fulfilling the charity's online wish list, including diapers for a year and cleaning supplies to stock the organisation's first facility, which is in development.

In a statement, Procter & Gamble shared news the partnership will focus on gender equality, compassionate and inclusive online spaces and resilience and impact through sport.

'P&G has long committed to being a force for good in the areas of community impact, equality and inclusion and environmental sustainability. We’ve also been inspired by the mission of the Archewell Foundation and its founders – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – that with community, and through compassionate service to others, we can drive systemic cultural change, benefitting everyone.

• Gender Equality: Through Archewell Foundation, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are on a mission to build a more equitable and just future for women and girls and together we are putting a priority focus on gender equity. Building on Archewell Foundation’s work with organizations such as Girls Inc. and National Women’s Law Center, we will elevate the voices of adolescent girls to ensure their point of view and lived experience is heard at the tables where decisions are made. And in collaboration with the non-profit organization Promundo, we will underscore the importance of engaging men and boys in the drive for gender equity throughout society and encourage shared caregiving at home so everyone in the family can thrive. We will also work to ensure parents of every makeup and all walks of life have the support they need. Just this weekend on Mother’s Day, we joined Archewell Foundation in supporting Harvest Home, a homeless shelter specifically for expectant mothers. We recognize that when we uplift girls and women, communities thrive and everyone prospers.

• Compassionate and Inclusive Online Spaces: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and P&G have each advocated for greater civility, transparency, and accountability of our shared online space, including their collaboration on the specially curated edition of TIME 100 Talks, themed around the topic of “Engineering a Better World” in October 2020. Now, we are undertaking a joint effort in support of building a better online environment that unlocks positive, compassionate, and creative spaces.

• Resilience and Impact through Sport: Archewell Foundation and P&G believe in the transformative power of sport and in the athletes who exemplify the resilience and courage it takes to achieve a dream. They are inspired by the athletes who are using their voices and their actions to make meaningful impact in sport and build more compassion in their communities, demonstrating that the true measure of greatness is goodness. Building on The Duke of Sussex's long-standing work to showcase the power of sport in the recovery of wounded, injured, and sick service members and veterans around the world - as creator and founder of the Invictus Games and more - and as part of P&G’s sponsorship of Paralympic athletes, we will leverage the platform of Para sport to increase visibility and inclusivity.'

 Reaction from the Paralympic Games.

P&G is valued at $230 billion and owns a plethora of household brands. It's going to be very exciting to see the partnership in action especially during next year's Invictus Games.


The focus on supporting families will also play an integral part of their work, Archewell added: "We will also work to ensure parents of every makeup and all walks of life have the support they need." P&G own brands such as Pampers, All Good and Luvs, not to mention feminine care brands Always, Just and Tampax. Meghan has worked to highlight the issue of period poverty all the way back to her days on Suits. The possibilities for projects positively impacting individuals, families and communities are endless.

More from Business Wire on P&G's global reach:

'P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide'
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Additionally, there's news Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey's Apple TV+ series The Me You Can't See will premiere on 21 May. The five-part series will feature "illuminating stories" that help "lift the veil" on the current state of our mental health. Harry said, "We are born into different lives, brought up in different environments, and as a result are exposed to different experiences. But our shared experience is that we are all human. The majority of us carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss, or grief, which feels—and is—very personal. Yet the last year has shown us that we are all in this together, and my hope is that this series will show there is power in vulnerability, connection in empathy, and strength in honesty."


Archewell's statement added:

'As Co-Creators and Executive Producers of The Me You Can’t See, Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey guide powerful and honest discussions about mental health and emotional well-being while opening up about their own experiences and struggles. Featuring well-known guests alongside a wide range of people from across the globe living with the challenges of mental health issues and addressing their emotional well-being, this series transcends culture, age, gender, and socioeconomic status to destigmatize a highly misunderstood subject and give hope to viewers who learn they are not alone.'

In addition to familiar faces such as Lady Gaga and Glenn Close, producers worked closely with "highly accredited and respected experts and organizations from around the world, including California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Co-Founder of Sangath and Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School Dr. Vikram Patel, as well as Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand Shaun Robinson". For those hoping to watch who are not Apple+ customers, the service offers a free 7 day trial.

While blogging, I read a lot of articles, countless reports and stories. Rarely am I inspired to re-read a piece. Perhaps that's because rarely are we treated to pieces of the calibre produced by fiercely talented Bryony Gordon. A passionate mental health advocate, when Harry chose to share his own story about mental health, he chose Bryony -- trusting her with something deeply personal. Since then, Gordon became one of a handful of journalists Harry and Meghan felt a rapport with.

When Meghan visited Luminary Bakery in late 2019, we didn't know it then, but the couple were going through a deeply painful time in the UK and would soon begin the journey to start a new life abroad. Bryony accompanied the Duchess that day and later wrote, "I asked her how she was. But if I have learnt anything about Meghan in the time I have known her, it is that she is a doer, not a wallower. She lives in the solution, not the problem. She told me that she didn’t want people to love her -- she just wanted them to be able to hear her. I have found that this is what the Duchess of Sussex stands for: using her voice to help give one to people less privileged than her."

For Meghan's final engagement at Buckingham Palace during the Sussexes' week-long return in 2020, Bryony was one of a handful of reporters invited. She observed, "There is half an hour before the woman who will shortly be known as Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, carries out her last private engagement as a working royal, and there is very clearly something in her eye. We are standing in a room at Buckingham Palace as she prepares to make her way to Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth service and then onwards to Canada for her new life, and it is time to say goodbye. Tears glisten in those bright friendly eyes that have charmed and endeared so many during recent days. But behind the scenes the Duchess of Sussex is not as buoyant as she has appeared to be in public. In fact, she appears to be quietly devastated. I had been invited along to the Palace to sit in on a meeting with young scholars from the Commonwealth, but now it is over she comes in for a hug that lasts a little longer than normal, a hold, really, before moving on for a final embrace with two of her staff."

Last year, Bryony revealed she knew how difficult and untenable the situation had become for Harry and Meghan describing the conclusion as a "storm which could have been avoided":

'Almost 18 months ago I sat on a sofa with a woman as she told me about the moment she had asked for help for her mental health, only to be denied it. I remember quite clearly the visceral feeling I had in my stomach as she explained to me what she had been told: and that was to suck it up, essentially. No can do. The feeling was visceral because, like many people who have experienced mental illness, I know what a colossal task it is to admit you are in trouble with your mental health. I also know what an absolute kick in the teeth it is to then be dismissed, shut down and denied that help.

I had a hug with Archie. Harry gave me a lift to my Uber, which was waiting at the gates of Windsor Castle, and we spoke about their recent tour of South Africa. Harry spoke lovingly of the impression that his wife made on the young girls they met, and how she didn’t understand the impact she had. 

It’s hard to underline how amenable and human I find the two of them, because every time I do this, I am met with eye rolls and pre-judgements that no amount of defending will ever be able to cut through. But my only job is to speak as I find, and what I have always found – from the moment I started working with Harry on the Heads Together campaign back in 2016, up until today – are two convivial, good-natured humans who are trying to do their best… however ill-timed that may look to a public who has perhaps learnt more about the Royal Family in the past 24 hours than in the past 24 years.'

My respect for Bryony stems from many things, and I suspect she must have often felt a lone voice writing about Harry and Meghan in such human terms. Her ability to do so stems from the fact she has actually spent time with them, rather than viewing them through the lens of media caricatures; she views them as people. By spending time with them, she's one of the most informed to share analysis.

In response to The Me You Can't See, I was struck by her words more than ever before. Harry is "no longer living in fear of the repercussions of existing as himself":

'It is often suggested that the Duke’s wife, Meghan, has somehow changed him, as if he is a man completely incapable of independent thought. But those close to Harry know that he had long been open to the shift we now see in him. The blinkers that are attached by necessity when you are born into the Royal family had always been badly fitted on him, a little bit wonky. Once he witnessed the way his wife was treated with what he perceived to be unconscious bias, he could not ignore it. The Me You Can’t See, those close to him say, is a result of the Duke’s efforts to broaden his perspectives. 

The Duke knows he has critics. He expects to have critics, given the very public stance he has made, not just about the media, but also his own family. He has accepted this, and it is this acceptance that has set him free, in many ways. He is no longer living in fear of the repercussions of existing as himself, as he wants and needs to be. He knows he has made mistakes – who among us hasn’t? – but he now sees that the most efficient way to live is truthfully, and not just by the expectations of others.'

Click here to read the article in full (it's behind a paywall at the Telegraph).

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All of the above dovetails perfectly with an insightful and incredibly open conversation Harry had with Dax Shephard and Monica Padman for their podcast Armchair Expert, and I imagine it was planned to coincide with The Me You Can't See. I think Dax and Monica were very pleasantly surprised by how candid Harry was. It's one of those conversations one has to listen to in order to absorb his words. It's really quite something to hear how much more at peace he is and how long he has yearned for the new life he and Meghan embarked on.

As I said, this is a must-listen podcast and you will have already heard multiple soundbites. It does need to be heard in context and continuity, but I'll still share a few key quotes.

On life in the US:

"I can actually lift my head and actually I feel different, my shoulders have dropped, so have hers; you can walk around feeling a little bit more free."

On knowing in his 20s he was unhappy and didn't want the job, or life in the Royal family in the UK:

"I was in my early twenties and I was thinking I don't want this job, I don't want to be here. I don't want to be doing this. Look what it did to my mum, how am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and a family when I know that it’s going to happen again. I don’t want to be part of this."

More from Town & Country:

"Isn’t life about breaking the cycle?” the Prince said when asked by Monica about parenting and whether he was trying to parent in the opposite direction to how he was brought up. “There’s no blame, I don’t think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody. But certainly when it comes to parenting, if I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure that I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on basically. There’s a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on anyway, as parents we should be doing the most that we can to try and say ‘you know what that happened to me, I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen to you."

On his decision to seek therapy after a conversation with Meghan:

"It was a conversation that I had with my now wife. And she saw it, she saw it straight away and she could tell that I was hurting and that some of the stuff that was out of my control was making me really angry."

On unconscious bias and racism:

"I was really shocked once I started doing therapy and that bubble was burst and then I started doing my own work, really like a lot of work and started to uncover and understand more about unconscious bias. And I was like, wow, I thought since I screwed up when I was younger and then did the work I thought I then knew, but I didn’t, and I still don’t fully know, it’s a constant, constant work in progress. 

A lot of people do view it as you’re either racist or you’re not. It’s like the rest of it is where we all are...No-one is blaming you. But the moment that you acknowledge that you do have unconscious bias, what are you going to do about it? Because if you choose to do nothing, then you are continuing to fuel the problem which means you are then heading towards racism."

Recalling going incognito in a supermarket with Meghan. CNN reports:

"Harry recalled how the attention affected the early stages of his relationship with Meghan. 'The first time that Meghan and I met up for her to come and stay with me we met up in a supermarket in London pretending as though we didn't know each other,' he said, recounting how he wore a baseball cap pulled down over his eyes to avoid being recognized."

On his passion for tackling misinformation and continuing to destigmatize mental health:

'Two of the biggest issues that we're facing in today's world, I think, is the climate crisis and mental health, and they're both intrinsically linked. If we neglect our collective well-being, then we're screwed, basically, because if we can't look after ourselves, we can't look after each other. If we can't look after each other then we can't look after this home that we all inhabit, so it's all part of the same thing.'

Dax Shephard described Harry as an "intellectual, thoughtful human being", adding the conversation was full of surprises.

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Finally, the fundraiser Harry and Meghan launched to celebrate Archie's 2nd birthday has now mobilised $1.9 million thanks to $440K in individual donations and that impact multiplied thanks to the participation of Mastercard Impact Fund, Seadream Family Foundation, and a public charity. All donations will benefit Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance which buys COVID-19 vaccines for the world, especially in countries which cannot afford them. It runs through May 16th. If you would like to donate please click here.

40 comments:

  1. That is amazing about the fundraiser amount! Harry was in such a difficult position -- he was really pretty brave when you think about the bad PR. I guess I could write more but the more we read, the clearer things become. It's hard to realize how much the voices of some RF members must be controlled, but I believe they are, so I'm living by what Meghan said, basically you can love her AND like other RF members. Despite what we read, I think Harry had made progress with his brother. That's what really counts for him in my opinion. I'm glad he is able to keep talking.

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  2. Thank you for the round-up. It has been full on for the Sussexes and I am personally excited for them.

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  3. that is awesome im really looking forward to the oprah produced series starring harry on apple+tv!
    great post Charlotte

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  4. also just listened to the armchair expert with Prince Harry it was great very revealing.

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  5. upstate diva US14 May 2021 at 02:51

    Charlotte, I appreciate your posts so much. And today is no different. I woke to notice of the podcast and settled in for a listen. Harry was charming and loose -- although he remembered to pitch for the mental health series. (in conversation with Harry, I even found Dax Shepard palatable!). Thank you for including Bryony Gordon quotes. Like you, I read her with deep respect. It has been a busy May for those of us who follow the Sussexes -- and we are only halfway though. Thank you, Charlotte!

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  6. Wow, so happy that the fundraising was a success! Little Archie looked super cute on his birthday photo.

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  7. Charlotte- thank for this amazing summary - had the pleasure of following all the action, made donations for Archie’s birthday and listened to the amazing podcast yesterday while walking my dog Hunter - and it’s is only day 14 of May - wow they are busy and blessed to have them living their life with full passion and positive purpose

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  8. I especially like that Harry had that moment of personal revelation in realizing that one go-round of therapy does not "fix" everything that may need attention. For many of us, achieving good mental health has been through maintaining a constant level of very hard work over decades, addressing more and more issues that lay hidden, waiting for the closer-to-the-surface issues to be resolved to the point that these deeper things could be worked on. Good for Harry! Good for Meghan!

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  9. Thank you, Charlotte, once again, for your coverage of all of these events. So much happening for the Sussexes.

    I was relieved to hear Harry say that he feels free now to be himself and speak his truth regardless of criticism. That’s real liberation and living his authentic life -- the ultimate goal.

    It’s rather amazing to me, as an American, to see the shock and criticism of Harry’s acknowledging what anyone who experiences therapy learns -- we all suffer what our parents suffered at the hands of their parents, generation after generation, until someone becomes conscious enough to recognize it and brave enough to break the pattern with their children.

    As an aside, it reminds me of the poem by Mary Oliver called “The Journey” Do you mind if I include it here, Charlotte? It’s such a great lesson for all of us.


    One day you finally knew
    what you had to do, and began,
    though the voices around you
    kept shouting
    their bad advice --
    though the whole house
    began to tremble
    and you felt the old tug
    at your ankles.
    "Mend my life!"
    each voice cried.
    But you didn't stop.
    You knew what you had to do,
    though the wind pried
    with its stiff fingers
    at the very foundations,
    though their melancholy
    was terrible.
    It was already late
    enough, and a wild night,
    and the road full of fallen
    branches and stones.
    But little by little,
    as you left their voice behind,
    the stars began to burn
    through the sheets of clouds,
    and there was a new voice
    which you slowly
    recognized as your own,
    that kept you company
    as you strode deeper and deeper
    into the world,
    determined to do
    the only thing you could do --
    determined to save
    the only life that you could save.

    As an outsider to British culture, it appears to me that it has been anathema to recognize the members of the Royal Family as normal human beings who make choices and mistakes that affect their children in negative ways. Prince Harry is very carefully saying he doesn’t blame his father or his grandparents, but choices were made (with the best of intentions) and harmful patterns were passed down. I’m thrilled that he and Meghan have the opportunity to break the cycle and raise their children with privacy and normalcy.

    In searching for reaction to the Shephard interview, I found James O’Brien. What relief to hear from someone who, in my opinion, gets it.

    “James O'Brien defends Prince Harry amid media criticism in Mental Health Awareness Week” https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/james-obrien/james-obrien-defends-prince-harry-amid-media-criticism-in-mental-health-awarenes/

    Thank you, Charlotte, for including Bryony Gordon’s insightful and kind words about Meghan. I’m touched to read someone who actually knows her and is fair and kind to her.

    R

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    1. Thanks for the James O'Brien info, R. Wonderful, all that he said!

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    2. As with others here, I'm so appreciative of all Charlotte continues to give us. Bryony Gordon is just so authentic in all she says, and Harry's freedom to be himself seems complete with the Armchair interview. And yet, there's the collaboration with Oprah still to come...and more!In certain ways, it all seems inevitable, and yet, the speed at which this all has happened still stuns me.

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    3. Thank you for sharing the wonderful poem. I love Mary Oliver. I’m going to look at the link you provided, too.

      Yes, I was thinking the same as you while listening to the interview, how Harry wasn’t blaming his family, He was just speaking the truth from his point of view. It’s sad how everything he says gets twisted.
      -Victoria in Oregon

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  10. Thank you for this excellent summary of the Sussexes' first half of the month! I listened to Harry's conversation in the podcast and found it both candid and enlightening. I think that the notion that trauma will take up residence in our body and genes, and may or may not have a profound effect on our lives at any point was revelatory in a profound way although I think most of us know that our family histories, upbringing and experiences all affect our personalities and development as human beings. I also thank you Charlotte for including exceprts from Byrony Gordon's article. I had read it before and she is one of the few that writes about Meghan and Harry with fairness, insight, and compassion as do you Charlotte. I hope the the part of the fundraiser of Vax Live on the Archewell site in honour of little Archie makes it to $2million to recognize his big second birthday!

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  11. Dear Charlotte, I appreciate your thoughtful and and dedicated work on this Blog very much.
    Harry and Meghan are on an amazing journey. In my view their marriage and further decisions set them both free to be who they really wanted to be.
    Whatever people have tried to make of Meghan illmeaningly she was never a typically „Hollywood“ celebrity or wanting to be one. She is an LA girl who grew up with the Film industrie- she was aware of the difficult sides of it and for her it was work not fulfillment.
    I could clearly see her Relief in the Engagement interview to settle into a new job - and I felt she liked that job more than Harry.
    Harry gew up inside the cage and felt differently about it. Meghan thought she could bear that cage and adjust it to them as a couple. A commoner cannot imagine the forces of a hereditary mindest and its everyday life. We as commoners learn that we need to empower ourselves and shape our lives.
    The mindest of Dynasties is more about fitting in, carrying on, proving yourself worthy of your ancestors.
    Meghan and Harry are different personalities. They can never become that without losing themselves.
    As I feel about it William is different and so is Kate- for them it is more natural to blend in and to live in the mindset of ceremonial roles.
    There is no right or wrong in all of this- it is a different perception and there are different mindsets.
    I believe the cracks in society are deeper than racism or sexism. I believe that the divisions we go through derive from the lack of tolerance for different paths in life. There are people who want to mainly preserve and people who focus on creating new things. A good balance between these forces creates growth and stability. It is not the one way or the other which makes a healthy society or healthy individuals. Both energies are needed. I am very happy for Meghan and Harry that they show us each day that change can be change for the better.
    And I hope for the British Monarchy that they can preserve the best of it and find the courage to bring it into the present and the future- so that it can actually mirror more mindsets and a multifaceted society.

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    1. Susan in Florida15 May 2021 at 19:16

      Well said, Kristina !

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  12. Thank you Charlotte for such a well written and honest article.

    As I listened to Harry's chat with Dax and Monica, I was struck by how "light" his voice sounded and how easily he joked with the hosts even offering a photo of his head for Dax's calendar!

    One of the moments that stuck out for me was when he talked about the media and their now predictable response to anything and everything he and Meghan do. Now that he is able to see it for what it is and is able to see that those people can't be happy in their own lives, he is freed from those opinions. There are times when I find myself too worried about the opinions of others, opinions of how I lead my life and the choices that I make but since hearing Harry talk about this I've gone through some of my memories and have discovered that it does tend to be the same people saying the same things time and again. And once you realize that those "opinions" are just knee-jerk reactions based on their own fears and trauma it does make it much easier to let those opinions flow over me like water, shake it off and move forward.

    The second moment that stood our for me was his talk about generational pain. As someone who had a traumatic childhood I can clearly see that pain and suffering can be passed down from parent to child until that moment arrives when the child says "no more, I'm going to stop this here and now". It takes a great deal of courage and strength to take a stand against family dynamics and lead your life the way you see fit instead of the way your family would have lead it. I was fortunate when I was younger be to told that I would be the one in my family to break that chain, to heal the generational pain and suffering and while it has not been an easy road to follow I am so grateful to be able to ensure that my children and their children can grow up without those chains to bind them.

    Lastly, how exciting that Archewell is partnering with P&G to bring so much service and help to others!! I am so inspired and excited by how M&H are charging forward, doing so much to change the world that we live in and to bring light and love to the darkest corners. There is no grass growing beneath their feet!!

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  13. Susan in Florida15 May 2021 at 19:41

    The first person in a family who mentions and names generational patterns is always made a scapegoat. I’m glad Harry & Meghan know this and are moving forward in an amazing way. It doesn’t mean you love your family less, it means you are trying to avoid some areas in life where you see the pattern in you. Some patterns, like alcoholism or physical basis are more obvious. You can look for signs of those in a friend or future spouse, and avoid those relationships. Other patterns that tolerate or allow, such as having your feelings negated , being pushed into a certain family role, are more difficult to identify. I was an anxious child, had frequent asthma attacks due to allergies , and always told that I just wanted attention. No I did not. So I learned after 40 years to accept that my family didn’t know what to do to help me as a kid. Girls were supposed sit quiet and play or help in the kitchen. Not be sick or refuse to do things due to undiagnosed anxiety. Not their fault, but demanding everyone fits in a certain way was a pattern. I don’t love them less. I see my parents and grandparents for the human being they were. But it took years of time and work to get there. I hope spilling all this helps someone who might be on the same journey.

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    1. Susan in Florida15 May 2021 at 19:41

      "No I did not. So I learned after 40 years to accept that my family didn’t know what to do to help me as a kid." Susan

      I agree it takes time; to be forgiving is an additional self-discovery, compassionate, wise, and practical (because it was way in the past, and like you said, your family did not know how to help you with the asthma (except notice the change in behavior). In a way it sets one free to understand, then forgive and move on.
      ---

      "I hope spilling all this helps someone who might be on the same journey." Susan

      I don't necessarily agree in spilling in public until fully completed and in solid ground. Timing also matters. Therapy is also a quieter journey to understand oneself, to process the source of pain, to learn in some cases not to repeat the pattern of previous generations. Sometimes it is a lifetime of learning and understanding as it applies to our lives and other people around us, or our dealings in the world we function in. Self-actualization is a linear process. Harry may become a coach, and may have the resources, lifetime experience, and may be some passion to “help” others in “mental fitness”, but spilling in public very personal and judgmental matters should be reserved for a book may be 30 years later ( after he is done raising his own children).
      I am sorry, but between Oprah’s interview and the recent pod cast (I read the entire transcript of Harry’s participation), timing is rushed in both cases to spill this much. The couple is moving on with life and their key word, is “Compassion”. Well it is like one face of the coin has that, and the other side is rebelling in non-compassion at the wrong time and “people” ( this to a life time kin who matter very much).

      Charlotte – I know the time you take to make this blog a well-researched format. Thank you for having been a source of information with well-fitting imagery and available archives. I know you screen comments before you post them. I am aware you don’t post my comments in some rare occasions. I hope this will not be one of them as well.

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    2. @Anon15

      I don't think "self-actualization is a linear process" at all. Were is so simple as a step-by-step process!

      I also realize that some people think people should not be doing their therapy publicly, perhaps giving the impression that it is something performative and not necessarily helpful. I think, though, that the whole point of talking about mental health is to help people, and it's part of the process. I understand that the process may cause hurt to others, and that is something we should all try to minimize. I don't agree, though, that the process should always be kept private until we reach "mental health" because the process is probably life-long.

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    3. Susan in Florida17 May 2021 at 12:31

      Anon 15 : I meant my own spilling

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    4. I agree with you Anon15, completely.

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    5. Anon 15 spill what though? Very little of what Harry and Meghan have said this spring is all that groundbreaking if you’ve been following the comments of several current and former royal family members over the generations. Margaret was widely reported to be miserable. Philip often complained of the restrictions and subservient role. Charles himself has minimal positive recollections on how he was raised. And then interviews with divorced members (sure I’ll grant you slightly divorce sours everyone’s impressions) but Diana and Fergie told pretty similar stories of how oppressive and unsupportive it was. Has anything Harry and Meghan said been all that unexpected???

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    6. Divorced members are in laws, and they divorced because there was a problem in the marriage.
      In fact, it looks better on the divorced members to state their case. 1. They will make it understandable for the next in law (typically women) 2. Even under the royal house tradition and authority, it is a reminder that each person is a unique individual with freedom to express their opinion. 3. Once in laws are divorced, media and royal aids pick on the divorced in laws and cover up for the royal member ex-spouse. Therefore, if they speak up, it is justified.
      As far as the royals themselves expressing how they find their role, that is a form of freedom too. Even Harry I had defended in the past. Meghan and Harry in March 2021 USA and Harry’s May 2021 podcast USA is a different matter/ sorry.

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    7. Anonymous17 May 2021 at 13:21

      I am glad we are on the same page. I would not change one word.

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    8. Susan in Florida17 May 2021 at 12:31

      It seemed a general comment, and I took it from there.

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    9. I agree with your quote above, however if Psychiatry and Psychology is human behavior Science (includes biochemistry make up and social behavior), to share without proper guidance on what to share, and what not to share, or to share all but tactfully is a language on its own. A person who completed therapy needs to be coached in how and what to share - that is also communicating a fragile matter. It also depends on what is shared and its impact. For Eg, At least it remained in my memory the way Lady Gaga shared her so called “mental fitness”. I watched her entire interview with Oprah in April while searching for examples of Oprah’s interviews before OW’s interview of M&H. Lady Gaga’s kind has an impact and very helpful to share with the public. Prince Harry’s passion in understanding and finding Invictus games falls in that line. I remember him more in that aspect than his own therapy ( I am lost).

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    10. Forgot one response to Anon 21:03

      The old Psychology teaching used to set age 40 to be self-actualized. To be a USA president, the minimum age is 35. There is also the Abraham Maslow theory of Self actualization being linear, but it all depends which psychologist one follows. I believe 40 yrs. old is reasonable for self-actualization for the majority of people.

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    11. Charlotte - Thank you for posting it. It came from a genuine evaluation of how I reasoned as well as felt about it.

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  14. Susan in Florida15 May 2021 at 19:54

    PS : to my previous comment : my Mom and I were taking the other day and she reminded me that her generation and her parents were brought up to be ashamed of needing mental help.

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    1. Very true, Susan. And I agree this is why speaking out is not saying past generations were "bad" but rather that we must speak out to improve the situation for current and future generations.

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  15. What I hate is the twisting of words by "palace aides" or "royal sources." It's so predictable -- if Harry says he like lemonade, they will say he drinks nothing but lemonade and that all other drinks taste terrible and should be banned. Charles talked years about his unhappy childhood; this is not something Harry has made up. It would be lovely for Charles to show the mature and responsible response, and perhaps he has. Maybe the aides don't want his to see it.

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  16. I admire the honesty, sincerity and courage of Prince Harry because you cannot fight for a cause and not demonstrate and demonstrate the same sincerity; people would understand very quickly that you are really not involved in this scourge and that you are using the suffering of others to embellish your image. I say well done to Harry because let's be honest, if we want to see things changed, truth and sincerity are essential. The Sussexes today thank God no longer officially suffer the firm but we need to continue to love and respect a firm that fights mental health not just for its image and does not make X or Y suffer mentally when it is no longer. under the projectors...
    Charlotte I encourage you in your work, many people should take example from your work which is rich and sought after in content and above all frank and respectful. Not like some who will extract a piece of articles and come to dump and worse some who write to arouse hateful reactions from certain Internet users. I say bravo and a lot of courage, WE are with YOU,πŸ™πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’

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  17. Against all odds harry and meghan continue to amaze me....it takes someone with a caring heart to do all of these. May God bless and keep them from all evil and you too Charlotte

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  18. Bravo...... As a supporter of mental health and so many other challenging things facing us as human being. People will want to see how sincere you are about it....... Harry and Meghan are doing just that (not performative). The two are force for change

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  19. ANON 15, very surprise by your comment, if you have a child like harry your advice will be wait for 30years to write a book about in order to impact the life of others ......(Harry's age 36 + 30= 66). Please listen to the podcast.

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  20. Anon 15, there is no such thing as perfect parenting standard,we all aspire to be a better person to our own kids compare to how we were brought up by own parent (suggesting that harry should Wait till his done raising his own kids)jeez. Please let's be objective...... Just like every other family ,the royal family has it own shortcomings.

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    Replies
    1. It does not necessarily take 30 years, but it is something to consider in the case of public figures who mean national identity and exemplary for some % of people or country.

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  21. Was Prince Charles criticized as harshly as Prince Harry is for telling truths about his family? Article published in the Independent in 1994. Here are the opening paragraphs.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/flawed-family-this-week-the-prince-of-wales-disclosed-still-powerful-resentments-against-his-mother-and-father-but-they-also-suffered-in-their-early-years-fiammetta-rocco-delves-into-the-royal-childhoods-that-went-1443791.html

    By Fiammetta Rocco
    Tuesday 18 October 1994 23:02

    In less than four weeks, on 14 November, the Prince of Wales will celebrate his 46th birthday. He will no doubt feel that he has aged greatly since the last celebration a year ago.

    What is most striking about the extracts from Jonathan Dimbleby's new authorised biography is the extent to which they portray this middle-aged man as an emotionally stunted little boy. The heir to the throne is bogged down by unresolved resentments left over from early boyhood.
    It is abundantly clear that Prince Charles did not feel the affect of a loving father and mother, and that he considers his parents, in the words of the child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, to have been not 'good enough'.

    Dimbleby, with Prince Charles's approval, accuses the Queen of being physically and emotionally distant. But his deepest anger is reserved for the Duke of Edinburgh, who is described as 'harsh', 'hectoring' and deeply irked by his son's solemn and over-sensitive nature.

    Prince Charles blames his father for sending him to Gordonstoun, the Scottish public school, where he was beaten up, bullied and abused, and he accuses Prince Philip of forcing him into marriage with a woman he scarcely knew and never loved.

    R

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  22. Charlotte,

    I seem to be somewhat obsessed with the treatment Harry and Meghan have received and continue to receive. I’m intrigued by the case of Jason Knauf, who first claimed copyright to Meghan’s letter to her father, only later to have the palace deny that, allowing Meghan to win her court case.

    It was also Jason Knauf who accused Meghan of bullying her staff. The Queen promised an investigation of these claims.

    No result of that investigation has been announced.

    But Jason Knauf has left his position at the palace, claiming his partner took a job in another country.

    Perhaps the reversal of his first claim in the court case, and the result of the investigation into his allegations of bullying by Meghan revealed someone who was no longer wanted on the staff.

    Sadly, it seems the truth will never be told.

    The reverence of people for the Royal family rather baffles me, as it seems to require much denial to keep them on the pedestal they enjoy.

    R

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  23. I loved the video of Meghan as a child. So much awareness about gender equality at such a tender age. I cannot believe this is the person they are accusing of bullying. If the RF had given her a chance, she has the personality and conviction to use her position to bring awareness and influence world leaders to bring systemic change in our society regarding racism and equality. Such a shame they were so short sighted.

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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 :)