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The Royal Foundation Of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become two separate foundations, Kensington Palace announced today. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have their own charitable entity but will still work together on joint projects with Prince William and Kate Middleton, including their very successful mental health campaign Heads Together.
“Heads Together was such a passion project for both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke Of Sussex. They have all put a lot of time and effort and emotion into that campaign and those projects, so they are very keen to keep that as a collective mission,” a Royal source shared with ELLE.com. Heads Together will remain as “one entity and all four principals will continue to work with that entity together and apart.”
The decision was made after an operational review of the foundation yesterday at a Board meeting which both Harry and William attended.
“The prime aim of the review has been to look at the structure and how best to serve the principals and their Households” in the future, Royal sources said. The decision to break apart into two organizations was described as a “pragmatic and sensible” decision “preparing both couples for their future roles which are obviously on diverging tracks so this was an inevitability.” William will one day be King, and there have been ongoing discussions about how to prepare for reign change.
William and Kate will retain the original charity, and it will be renamed the Royal Foundation Of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The split comes as no surprise to many who speculated it could happen following the creation of a separate Household for the Sussexes at Buckingham Palace, which was announced in March, and Harry and Meghan’s departure from Kensington Palace and subsequent move to Frogmore Cottage, their new official residence in Windsor.
“The foundation was set up initially by two brothers in their 20s and now there are two established couples and families that were not around when this was all established so that has changed. Fundamentally they are proud of what they have done together,” a Royal source stresses.
There has been continued speculation of a rift between the couples as the reason for the split, but officials argued this was not the case. While other joint projects have yet to be announced because they are still in the early days of setting up the new foundation, sources tell ELLE, “there will no doubt result in joint opportunities down the path.”
The confirmation of the new structure is “designed very specifically to be future proofed for the years and many decades to come” when William becomes King.
“The reality is the Cambridges have a more formal role ahead of them, and their path is slightly more restrictive……than will be placed on the Duke Of Sussex,” one source shared. “The Sussexes have a little more flexibility within their role than the Cambridges do, for one thing, like a multi-part documentary series with Oprah on mental health.”
Prince Harry and Oprah recently announced a landmark mental health series which will benefit untold millions around the world. The series will come out on Apple TV in 2020.
Plans for the new foundation for Meghan and Harry are still in the formative stage, but it also could include additional projects in the United States.
Both William and Kate and Harry and Meghan “will continue to support each other on projects that they themselves do not have a link to,” sources shared. That will not change. “They will still come together to make a difference.”