The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, are facing a wave of backlash for unveiling their new charity, Archewell, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and just as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was moved to intensive care for the deadly illness.
The U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper discovered a cache of documents confirming the charity had been registered in the United States, specifically in Los Angeles, California, where the couple are now headquartered after escaping Canada in the final days before a complete travel ban prevented travel between Canada and the U.S.
“The [Telegraph’s] report notes that Harry and Meghan did not plan to unveil the name of their charity amid the pandemic, but the documents being uncovered prompted them to issue a statement to the outlet. It notes that, while their focus is on COVID-19, they felt the need to inform the public why they chose the name,” Fox News reports.
“Like you, our focus is on supporting efforts to tackle the global Covid-19 pandemic but faced with this information coming to light, we felt compelled to share the story of how this came to be,” the pair said in a statement, issued Monday afternoon. “We connected to this concept for the charitable organization we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name. To do something of meaning, to do something that matters.”
The pair, which split from the rest of the royal family in a shocking move designed, they said, to allow them and their son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor a measure of privacy, revealed that the foundation is actually named after their son — at least, in a way.
“Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon,” they said. “We look forward to launching Archewell when the time is right.”
The foundation, when its finalized, will “reportedly run emotional support groups, a multi-media educational empire and even launch a wellbeing website in the near future,” per Fox News.
But not everyone was impressed with Harry and Meghan’s timing.
“”Does she care? On the night, the #British #PM is in #ICU, #MeghanMarkle announces the name of her charity – ‘#Archwell’. Wow! #Megxit sufferers can go to sleep & look forward to #ArchieDay. Thank you very much, #Meghan! Where’s the #getlost button?” one Twitter users complained.
Another pointed out that the timing seemed designed to draw attention to the couple, as they’ve been out of the spotlight for sometime, sheltering in place in the Hollywood Hills: “PM Boris Johnson is in ICU. UK has över 5k deaths and is in lockdown. Meghan & Harry: Let’s make this about us, again.”
Others pointed out that if the couple were so serious about keeping their son out of the headlines, they’d have avoided making him a major part of their future plans.
Harry and Meghan have not given a timeline for their foundation’s launch and, at the moment, seem concerned largely about how to pay for security after both the government of Canada and the government of the United States refused to cover the cost.
The U.K.’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, remains in intensive care but is said to be awake, aware, and improving.