Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are further asserting their independence as a couple and distancing themselves from Prince William and Kate Middleton in a significant way. The new parents are have officially separated from the foursome's joint charity, the Royal Foundation, in an effort to focus on their own philanthropic endeavors.
"Later this year The Royal Foundation will become the principal charitable and philanthropic vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge," the palace wrote in a statement. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will establish their own new charitable foundation with transitional operating support from The Royal Foundation. In addition both couples will continue to work together on projects in the future, including on The Foundation’s mental health program, Heads Together."
The move may be in direct response to an ongoing rumored feud between the two royal couples. "Certainly the animosity over status, money, and Meghan meant that the split in their joint households had to be brought forward much more quickly than anticipated, so perhaps it was inevitable that their joint charity has to be split, too," an insider previously told The Sun. "Meghan and Harry want to do things differently to William and Kate. William is the future king and so is sometimes restricted in what he can do."
The source also noted that the separation isn't all negative, and Harry and William's relationship "has vastly improved since their working lives have separated."
Of course, this could all be speculation. Neither Buckingham Palace nor Kensington Palace have responded to reports, and a spokesperson for the Royal Foundation told The Sun, "no decision has been taken." (Though an additional source confirmed the reports to Us Weekly.)
Princes William and Harry established the charity in 2009 to focus on improving mental health, supporting the armed forces and veterans, conserving wildlife, and investing in opportunities for youth, according to the website. Both Middleton and Markle joined the foundation after marrying into the royal family, in 2009 and 2018, respectively. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined together in 2018 for their first joint public appearance at the inaugural Royal Foundation Forum. While there, Markle advocated for amplifying women's voices at home and abroad. It wouldn't be too surprising if the Sussexes chose to focus their future charitable efforts on women's empowerment in some capacity.
The alleged move away from the Royal Foundation is just the latest instance in which Meghan and Harry are distancing themselves from their more conservative counterparts. Earlier this year, the couple moved out of Kensington Palace and into Frogmore Cottage, sparking unconfirmed rumors that Meghan and Kate were at each other's throats. Since then, the Sussexes have broken many norms, like refusing to stand on the hospital steps for photo ops after their son, Archie's, birth. Markle has also made it clear that she plans to familiarize Archie with his American roots through multiple visits. Archie, who is a dual citizen of the U.S. and U.K., may even get a U.S. passport.
While it'll be sad not to see the royal pairs coupled up at charity events, we're sure both couples will keep their millions of admirers plenty occupied with photos and updates of their doings from their separate Instagram accounts.