Meghan Markle and Prince Harry 'Have More Flexibility' in Their Charitable Work Than William and Kate

With Harry also married and both brothers with families of their own, palace aides point to their "divergent" paths and interest in "future proofing" their ongoing charitable interests

On Wednesday, Prince William and Prince Harry walked into a meeting of the foundation that they had set up together as young men and began the public process of breaking it apart.

The brothers spoke to the trustees of the Royal Foundation, which they established before William married Kate Middleton in 2011. “Both of them are very proud of the work that the charity has done and grateful for the trustees,” a royal source says.

Now, with both brothers married and with families of their own, palace aides point to their “divergent” paths and interest in “future proofing” their ongoing charitable interests.

Under the plans, Harry and Meghan Markle will have their own foundation — splitting away from the Royal Foundation, which will continue to serve the Cambridges, William and Kate. With Prince William set to become king one day, he and Kate are on a more “restrictive” path, while Harry and Meghan are less bound by the formalities of the role, aides say.

The Royal Family Attend Church On Christmas Day
Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Stephen Pond/Getty
Trooping The Colour
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at Trooping the Colour. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Some point out that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “have more flexibility” enabling them to try projects, such as the series on mental health that will see Harry team up with Oprah Winfrey. More projects in the U.S. for the Sussexes haven’t been ruled out, though there are already international elements to the existing Royal Foundation through its American Friends arm.

Today’s formal announcement marks the latest parting of ways for the princes. A new household, or office, was created for Harry and Meghan earlier this year, when they moved out of the Kensington Palace home where they had neighbored William and Kate.

Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge

Behind the scenes there have also been difficulties between the two brothers and the two couples, culminating in reports of rifts between the once-close siblings.

Aides deny that the foundation split was instigated by one person or one side, but rather the consequence of looking at how to serve the two couples and their humanitarian interests when they are now separate offices.

Commonwealth Day 2019
Richard Pohle - WPA Pool/Getty

As they arrived together to Wednesday’s meeting, William and Harry spoke separately but were united in their pride in what they had achieved along with their wives — especially, aides stress, the Heads Together mental health campaign.

The trustees were told that the new foundation will be created for Harry and Meghan, while the original one “will become the principal charitable and philanthropic vehicle for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,” a statement said.

The Cambridges’ foundation will provide transitional support as the Sussexes’ new outfit — which does not yet have a name — gets off the ground. Money donated for specific projects like Meghan’s support for the Hubb Kitchen or the Endeavour Fund for Harry will likely follow the “trajectory of those projects.”

The foundation’s groundbreaking Heads Together campaign will continue in the Royal Foundation, but all four will still contribute to that and work alongside each other on it.

Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry announce Heads Together in 2016. Nicky J Sims/Getty

It is all such a change from a little more than a year ago, just three months before Harry married Meghan, when the “Fab Four” sat on a stage in London at a forum discussing an exciting future. Now, palace sources hope that a new future can be conjured up.

First Annual Royal Foundation Forum
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton and Prince William. Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty

“The development of another foundation for the Sussexes is going to be an ambitious and exciting time for all of them as they look to the future to the new projects they’ve got coming up,” says a royal source.

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