A version of this story appeared in the March 26 edition of CNN’s Royal News, a new weekly dispatch bringing you the inside track on the royal family, what they are up to in public and what’s happening behind palace walls. Sign up here.
London (CNN) — You don’t have a job for six years, then two come along at once… This week, it was revealed that Prince Harry is taking up two new positions: one as chief impact officer at Silicon Valley start-up BetterUp, and another as a commissioner at the non-profit Aspen Institute. Despite the suggestion in many headlines, Harry has had a job before — 10 years in the military. He has also led campaigns on mental health awareness and gone into battle with the British tabloid press, which he accuses of spreading smears and lies. The two organizations for which Harry now works operate across those areas of his expertise. BetterUp provides “mental fitness” coaching to major international brands, including CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia. Aspen is spearheading a response to what it sees as an “information crisis” that is undermining “confidence in our democratic institutions.” Read MorePrince Harry has scored two new jobs in the same week.Cynics argue that Harry landed the gigs not because of what he can offer but because of who he is. The Sussexes have also signed what are reported to be multi-million-dollar media production deals with Netflix and Spotify. Alexi Robichaux, CEO of BetterUp, admitted to CNN that it was good PR to hire Harry but insisted that was not the sole reason they signed him up, saying he had “so much value” to add to the company’s work. Supporters of the Sussexes say they should be applauded for striving to make their own way, without public funding, and harnessing their own life experience. The couple certainly aren’t crossing any lines with Buckingham Palace, having reached a comprehensive agreement with the Queen to do as they wish in their quest to be financially independent. In the sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry and Meghan revealed all about their life in the royal family. Now they need to prove their value as people in their own right. They have new — commercial — contracts to honor, and their new bosses will want return on their substantial investments. Can the Sussexes deliver? The couple’s true test starts now. NEWS OF THE WEEK Charles visits the land of his grandfather Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall flew to Greece Wednesday for a two-day visit as the country celebrates the 200th anniversary of independence from Ottoman rule. The brief trip — at the request of the British government — saw the couple view a commemorative military parade, appear at a special ceremony in honor of Greece’s National Gallery reopening and attend a state dinner at the presidential mansion. In his speech at the bicentenary dinner, the Prince of Wales expressed his joy at returning to Greece, which holds “the most special place” in his heart, as it “is the land of my grandfather; and of my father’s birth, nearly one hundred years ago.” He added, “Later, it was in Athens that my dear grandmother, Princess Alice, during the dark years of Nazi occupation, sheltered a Jewish family — an act for which in Israel she is counted as ‘Righteous Among The Nations.'” Bomb squad called to the Queen’s house Don’t worry — she wasn’t there. A bomb disposal team was scrambled to the Palace of Holyroodhouse — the monarch’s official residence in Edinburgh, Scotland — following a report of a “suspicious item” on Tuesday. Police Scotland said the object was examined by a bomb disposal team and “made safe.” Authorities later arrested a 39-year-old man in connection with the incident. The Queen was not in Scotland at the time but at Windsor, about an hour outside London, where she’s been living with Prince Philip during the pandemic. Royals consider appointing diversity czar Buckingham Palace may consider appointing someone to lead its diversity efforts, as “more needs to be done,” a royal source said Sunday. The thinking comes weeks after Harry and Meghan told Oprah that the subject of their children’s skin color was discussed by a member of the royal family. The source said “lots of measures are being considered” but that it was too early for any plans to be announced. “We are listening and learning, to get this right,” the source added. Harry pens emotional message about his mom’s death Prince Harry has revealed that his mother’s death “left a huge hole inside of me.” Writing in the foreword of a new book for grieving children, the Duke of Sussex offered his advice while reflecting on his own experiences. The book, “Hospital by the Hill,” was released to coincide with the anniversary of the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown on Tuesday. Harry said everyone handles loss in different ways, “but when a parent goes to heaven, I was told their spirit, their love and the memories of them do not. They are always with you and you can hold onto them forever. I find this to be true.” Inconsistencies in Sussexes’ interview Whether you are “Team Sussex” or not, it’s hard to argue against the importance of the issues of suicide and racism raised by the Oprah interview. But critics are pointing to some discrepancies in the tell-all interview. Meghan’s claim of a private backyard wedding has raised eyebrows. British newspaper The Sun got a copy of the marriage license, showing the legally binding wedding was the one at the church. A spokesman for the couple then clarified that “the couple exchanged personal vows a few days before their official/legal wedding on May 19.” The couple are also known for their distrust of tabloid media, and they voiced their frustration that the palace tries to appease certain titles with “holiday parties at the palace.” That comment left some tabloid reporters baffled, including Russell Myers, The Daily Mirror’s royal editor, who tweeted: “now I am wondering why I never got a ticket.” There have been media drinks in the past but they were official receptions and were not just for the tabloids. ANNOUNCEMENTS Zara and Mike Tindall attended the Cheltenham Festival 2020 on March 13 last year.Some happy news for the British monarch — Queen Elizabeth has become a great-grandma for the 10th time. Zara Tindall, the Queen’s eldest granddaughter, gave birth in dramatic fashion on Sunday evening. Her husband, Mike — a former captain of the English rugby team — revealed Lucas Philip was unexpectedly born on the bathroom floor of their Gloucestershire home in southwestern England after they were unable to get to the hospital in time. In an episode of his “The Good, The Bad and The Rugby” podcast on Wednesday, Tindall said their new son “arrived very quickly,” and he joked that he barely had time to run “to the gym, get a mat, get into the bathroom, get the mat on the floor, towels down, brace, brace, brace.” Mike and Zara Tindall are already parents to Mia Grace, 7, and Lena Elizabeth, 2. The baby weighed 8 lbs 4 oz at birth, a spokesperson for the couple told CNN. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are “delighted” at the news and look forward to meeting the newest addition to the family when “circumstances allow,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told CNN. While the Tindalls were caught off guard with the speedy delivery, royal home births are not uncommon. The monarch delivered all four of her children at home. The new arrival is, of course, a member of the royal family but as 22nd in line to the throne, he will not be an HRH — which means His or Her Royal Highness, a style used to signify senior royal family members. Lucas is the second royal baby to arrive in recent months. Princess Eugenie — daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson — gave birth to her son August Philip Hawke last month. The princess shared two adorable photos of the baby to mark her 31st birthday this week. Thanking well-wishers for their messages, Eugenie said she “got the best present I could ask for” in a post on Instagram. FROM THE ROYAL VAULT Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has been named as the Lord High Commissioner to the 2021 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. In the role, William will represent the Queen at the online event in May. William, who holds the title of the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, was supposed to participate in the General Assembly last year but it was canceled and streamed online in light of the pandemic. He is expected to make the opening and closing addresses for the event and report developments back to the Queen throughout the week. The role of Lord High Commissioner is “to maintain the relationship between the State and the Church” and dates back to the 16th century, according to the royal family website. Each year, the Queen appoints the role on the advice of the prime minister. She attended herself in 1969 and 2002. But other members of the royal family have also participated in years gone by, including all four of her children. Want more on the history of the royal family? Seen every episode of “The Crown?” Get the true story in the CNN Original Series “The Windsors: Inside The Royal Dynasty.” The six-part show — featuring stunning archive footage and insider interviews — tells the incredible, dramatic and, at times, emotional story of the British royal family. It’s available now on demand via HBO Max. And don’t forget to sign up to the Keep Watching newsletter, a members-only community for CNN Films & Original Series, for access to exclusive events, content and more. A WORD FROM THE ROYALS
“We are emerging from this time with a renewed confidence in one another and with a strengthened faith in our society — richly diverse in its many communities and cultures but united in its commitment to the common good and the welfare of others, particularly those most vulnerable.”
Prince Charles on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted communities. The UK marked the anniversary of the first national lockdown Tuesday with a day of reflection. Prince Charles led tributes in a video message posted on his official Clarence House Twitter account. The heir to the throne said the country has been “inspired,” “humbled” and “moved beyond words by the sacrifices we have seen.” William and Catherine at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday. Other senior royals observed the moment, too. The Queen sent flowers to the hospital where Prince Philip underwent a heart operation last month and praised frontline workers for “the immeasurable service of those who have supported us all over the last year.” Meanwhile, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge held a moment of silence while visiting a Covid-19 vaccination center set up at Westminster Abbey in London.
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