Harry and Meghan have made this year’s Time 100 Most Influential People of 2021 list with a short profile written by chef Jose Andres, who is founder of World Central Kitchen.
The Sussexes’ Archewell Foundation has partnered with the non-profit organisation, that helps feed communities worldwide, including in the aftermath of natural disasters.
In the piece for Time Magazine, Jose writes: “In a world where everyone has an opinion about people they don’t know, the Duke and Duchess have compassion for the people they don’t know. They don’t just opine. They run toward the struggle.”
Prince Harry and Meghan are joined by six other worldwide covers: gymnast Simone Biles, actor Kate Winslet, singer-songwriter Billie Eillish, director-general of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, CEO of NVIDIA Jensen Huang and writer Cathy Park Hong.
The couple also wrote in praise of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the publication’s annual list of Most Influential People, who became the first woman and the first African to lead the World Trade Organization.
Duchess Meghan is making her 40th birthday one to remember. To coincide with the special milestone, the Duchess of Sussex has launched a new charitable initiative to support women around the world.
As part of the Archewell Foundation’s ongoing call for Compassion in Action, the new 40×40 initiative encourages people to contribute 40 minutes of mentorship or community service to help women affected by the pandemic reenter the workforce.
Meghan’s decision to focus on this growing problem comes after millions of women around the world have been forced to leave work during the pandemic, including 2 million in the U.S., through job loss or having to focus on schooling children and care for family members.
And she isn’t doing it alone. The duchess has asked 40 activists, athletes, artists, and world leaders to participate, including Adele, Amanda Gorman, Amanda Nguyen, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Gloria Steinem, José Andrés, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, and Stella McCartney.
With the help of actress Melissa McCarthy, Meghan announced the project on the Archewell website during a special skit (featuring a cameo from a juggling Prince Harry!). “We should get matching tattoos,” McCarthy suggested to mark her big day, holding up a “besties forever” design. “Y’know, maybe we should save it for when I turn 50,” Meghan laughed.
In an open letter about the idea of giving 40-minutes of service, Meghan wrote, “In reflecting on my 40th birthday and the many things I am grateful for, I’m struck that TIME IS AMONG OUR GREATEST AND MOST ESSENTIAL GIFTS: Time with our loved ones, time doing the things we love, time spent learning, laughing, growing, and the sacred time we have on this earth. Amongst the most valuable gifts of time is also time spent in service to others knowing that it can contribute to incredible change. To that last point, and with my 40th lap around the sun in mind, it made me wonder: what would happen if we all committed 40 minutes to helping someone else or to mentoring someone in need? And then what would happen if we asked our friends to do the same?”
She continued, “I believe mentorship is one way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength, and for my birthday, I have asked 40 friends, activists, athletes, artists, and world leaders to help kickoff a global effort by contributing 40 MINUTES OF MENTORSHIP to support women re-entering the workforce. With this time, I hope they each help someone advance a professional life on her own terms, and, I hope that they inspire countless others to give 40 minutes of their time as well.”
One of Meghan’s first patronages, the British-based charity Smart Works, has joined three other organizations to partner with the #40×40 initiative. “The Duchess of Sussex has personally dedicated many hours to supporting and mentoring Smart Works’ clients ahead of their job interviews,” the charity, which coaches unemployed women ahead of job interviews, tweeted. “We look forward to playing a small part in bringing this initiative to life for the women we exist to help.” The YWCA, a charity dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting justice, and volunteer action center LA Works have also joined as partners.
Supporters of the duchess have also found other impactful ways to celebrate Meghan’s birthday. Sussex Squad members launched the #Meghans40celebration hashtag to raise money for the Myna Mahila foundation in India, which has spent the past six years working to break taboos surrounding menstrual hygiene in a country where more than 140 million women are using unsanitary menstrual solutions. Over the past month, the grassroots initiative has raised upward of $47,000 to help 850 girls go back into full-time education by providing yearlong supplies of sanitary products.
Despite numerous tabloid reports of lavish birthday parties and five-start party planners, sources close to the duchess tell BAZAAR that Meghan will be celebrating her 40th “privately” at home with family.
Soon after leaving the royal family and naming their charity, Archewell, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced that they opened a production studio and signed a major deal with Netflix with an eye towards “making inspirational family programming.” Now, nearly a year after the September 2019 announcement, Meghan and the team at Archewell Productions have shared details about the company’s first show aimed at children, an animated series tentatively called Pearl, which will mix fantasy and history.
Meghan will executive produce alongside David Furnish, and the show will focus on the adventures of a 12-year-old girl as she meets notable women from history. “Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges,” Meghan said in a statement. “I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix, and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history. David Furnish and I have been eager to bring this special series to light, and I am delighted we are able to announce it today.”
Furnish, the husband of Meghan and Harry’s close friend Elton John, expressed his admiration for his collaborators in a statement. “Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex and I are deeply passionate about bringing the inspirational and positive stories of extraordinary women from around the world to a global audience of all ages,” he said. “The team collaborating on the series are first class, and Netflix are the perfect partner.”
In April, Netflix announced that it had picked up its first Archewell show, Heart of Invictus, a docuseries helmed by Prince Harry following competitors on their road to compete in the Invictus Games for wounded service members. The games will take place in the Hague in 2022.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are now a family of four! The Duchess of Sussex welcomed the couple’s second child — a baby girl — on Friday.
“It is with great joy that Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcome their daughter, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world,” read a statement from the couple released on Sunday.
“Lili was born on Friday, June 4 at 11:40 a.m. in the trusted care of the doctors and staff at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA. She weighed 7 lbs 11 oz. Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home,” the statement continued. “Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honor her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.”
“This is the second child for the couple, who also have a two-year-old son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The Duke and Duchess thank you for your warm wishes and prayers as they enjoy this special time as a family.”
Meghan and Harry also took to their Archewell website to share a personal message, writing, “On June 4th, we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Lili. She is more than we could have ever imagined, and we remain grateful for the love and prayers we’ve felt from across the globe. Thank you for your continued kindness and support during this very special time for our family.”
The couple announced Meghan’s pregnancy on Valentine’s Day, sharing, “We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child.”
During their interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, they revealed that they were expecting a baby girl.
“To have a boy then a girl — what more can you ask for?” Harry said.
They also shared they won’t have any more children following their baby girl’s arrival: “Two is it.”
Prince Harry added of his feelings upon learning the baby is a girl, “Grateful, having any child, any one or a two would have been amazing, but to have a boy and then a girl . . . now we’ve got our family and we’ve got four of us.”
Meghan and Harry announced their pregnancy news with a stunning black-and-white photo that was taken remotely via iPad by their friend and longtime photographer, Misan Harriman. A smiling (and barefoot!) Harry looks lovingly at Meghan, who cradles her baby bump as she rests in his lap.
The happy news came after Meghan revealed she suffered a miscarriage last July. “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she wrote in a searingly honest and heartbreaking New York Times essay on November 25.
Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, officially stepped down from their roles as senior royals last year. Their desire to have a normal family life played a role in their groundbreaking decision.
A palace source previously told PEOPLE that by the time of Archie’s birth, “they knew they were going to hit the nuclear button” on their royal exit.
When Archie was born, the couple’s focus shifted, even more, to “doing what’s right for their family,” added another friend.
Meghan Markle recently convened a special roundtable with young girls who are making an impact in their schools and communities.
The virtual gathering, which took place earlier this month between the Duchess of Sussex, Girls Inc. and the National Women’s Law Center, gave Meghan the opportunity to hear directly from adolescent girls about their experiences and stories, and to come together to honor and reflect on a long history of women changemakers.
“The Duchess believes girls’ voices can and should be heard, and through Archewell she focuses on providing them with the platforms, tools, and forums to help define a path forward and continue making an impact,” according to the official website for Meghan and Prince Harry’s non-profit organization, Archewell.
Meghan, who is expecting a baby girl this summer, heard from a powerful group of 13- 18-year-olds — primary girls of color — who are making a difference in their communities when it comes to education, social justice and health and wellness.
“The group spoke about everyday struggles during COVID-19, including identity loss and isolation, and larger issues of mental health, racial bias and injustice, and more. When asked what tools girls need to thrive in the year ahead, a common thread emerged: acknowledgement, support, empathy, and resources,” the site continues.
Meghan also reflected on the impact of trailblazing women throughout history, asking the girls to share which female figures have inspired them.
“Their answers included American civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, as well as Kala Bagai, one of the first South Asian women to immigrate to the United States in the early 20th century, who was known to many in her California community as ‘Mother India,’ ” according to Archewell.
Meghan and Harry previously shared the inspiration behind their foundation’s name, explaining, “Before SussexRoyal came the idea of ‘arche’ — the Greek word meaning ‘source of action.’ 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. 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.”
Given the massive upheaval from both the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice movement, Meghan and Harry have refocused their efforts over the past year.
“Nobody could have counted on the world turning upside down,” a source previously told PEOPLE. “As many others have, they have been moved to get their voices behind supporting both the COVID-19 response and Black Lives Matter.”
“Over the past year, our world has experienced pain, loss, and struggle—together. Now we need to recover and heal—together. We can’t leave anybody behind. We will all benefit, we will all be safer, when everyone everywhere has equal access to the vaccine,” said the Duke and Duchess in a statement. “We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution, and in that, restore faith in our common humanity. This mission couldn’t be more critical or important.”
Selena Gomez is set to host the program, which will include a special featured message from President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris, as part of their “We Can Do This” national initiative to increase uptake in the COVID-19 vaccine. Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Olivia Munn, and Sean Penn will also appear in the broadcast.
“I’m honored to be hosting ‘VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World,'” Gomez said. “This is a historic moment to encourage people around the world to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, call on world leaders to share vaccine doses equitably and to bring people together for a night of music in a way that hasn’t felt possible in the past year. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
The Vax Live concert will include musical performances from Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, and H.E.R. Other politicians will also make statements during the show. Notably, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, and Prime Minister Plenković of Croatia are all slated to speak.
The concert will be pre-taped on May 2 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, in front of a live audience composed entirely of fully-vaccinated frontline heath-care and essential workers. The show will then be broadcast on ABC, ABC News Live, CBS, YouTube, iHeartMedia radio stations, and the iHeartRadio app on May 8 at 8 p.m. EST/ 7 p.m. CT. The concert will also air again on FOX at 11 p.m. EST.
The first two promos are out for the eagerly awaited (except possibly at Buckingham Palace) Oprah Winfrey interview with the Duke and Duchess. Watch one above and the other below.
Billed as Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special, the clips bowed during the Eye network’s 60 Minutes newsmagazine. The network will air the primetime interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 7.
Only Winfrey and Prince Harry speak in the promos, with Winfrey teasing bombshell revelations. “You’ve said some pretty shocking things here,” she says at one point. She also is seen asking the duo whether they were “silent or silenced” and inquiring about “a breaking point,” likely in connection to their decision to leave the U.K.
Harry references the fate of his late mother, Princess Diana.
“My biggest concern was history repeating itself,” he says. “I’m really relieved and happy to be sitting here, talking to you with my wife by my side because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been for her going through this process by herself all these years ago. Because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us but at least we have each other.”
Per CBS, the interview will see Winfrey speak with Markle about everything from stepping into life as a Royal, marriage, motherhood, her philanthropic work, and how she is handling life under intense public pressure.
Later, the two will be joined by Prince Harry, as they speak about their move to the United States and their future hopes and dreams for their expanding family. The interview comes a year after the couple moved to the US and became independent from the Royal family.
Since they have relocated to California, the pair have signed lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify. The Queen recently stripped them of royal patronages after a one-year review of the so-called “Megxit” deal, in which the couple wanted to step back from public life, but still serve and retain some privileges. Reports indicate Queen Elizabeth declared that the “half-in, half-out” approach would not compatible with the established protocols for the monarchy.
The special is produced by Harpo Productions. Executive producers are Terry Wood and Tara Montgomery. Brian Piotrowicz is co-executive producer.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are doing their part to aid Texans suffering from Winter Storm Uri. Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support in Dallas, an organization which provides services to women and families who have experienced domestic violence including emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling, and pro-bono legal services, had to close its doors for the first time this month amid widespread power outages. “For the first time in our history of more than 35 years, our shelter had to be completely shut down due to an extended total power outage,” read an Instagram caption shared by the organization. “Additionally, the pipes burst in our transitional housing unit Annie’s House, flooding apartments, offices and the on-site school.”
Tonight, Genesis shared that the Archewell Foundation, the non-profit created by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, is offering support to help meet urgent needs.
“Today, we learned that the news of the damages we incurred from Winter Storm Uri reached Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex!” reads a post from Genesis. “Through their nonprofit, Archewell Foundation, they are supporting us by replacing the roof at our transitional housing apartment complex and also helping us meet our immediate needs.”
Jan Langbein, the CEO of Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, further said:
“In spite of the [devastating] winter storms here in Texas, our hearts have been warmed by the support and generosity of people from all 50 states and five foreign countries. Today, we were notified that through the actions of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s nonprofit, Archewell Foundation, Prince Harry and Meghan will make a donation to help us get back on our feet. Not only will this gift provide for our critical needs, it shines an international spotlight on violence against women and children, letting survivors know that they are not alone.”
News of this donation comes just days after Queen Elizabeth confirmed that Harry and Meghan would not return as working royals. In a statement about the news, the Sussexes said: “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
As was speculated, the couple — who left full-time royal work in March of last year — will no longer keep their patronages (their royal involvement with numerous U.K. charities).
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family,” the Buckingham Palace statement said.
Continued the statement, “Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.”
Further, Prince Harry, 36, will lose his honorary military appointments, which will subsequently be redistributed “among working members of The Royal Family.”
Other trusts and patronages that will revert to the Queen, 94, include the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, the Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football League, the Royal National Theatre, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
Although Prince Harry and Meghan, 39, no longer use their coveted His/Her Royal Highness titles, they will retain them — along with their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles.
“While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family,” the Buckingham Palace announcement said.
In their own statement about the news, Prince Harry and Meghan’s office said that the pair “remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role.”
“We can all live a life of service. Service is universal,” the statement read.
The couple’s probation period was originally not set to come to a close until March 31.
Ahead of the announcement, palace sources told PEOPLE that the challenge of keeping the royal roles stems from the couple’s commercial relationships with companies like Netflix and Spotify — partnerships that have helped them become financially independent. However, the Queen’s view is that members of the royal family can’t be “half in, half out” — that is, representing the Queen and the U.K. while also pursuing personal financial goals.
A source previously noted to PEOPLE, “It was clear to her from the start that a hybrid role is not an option.”
Despite losing his military titles — which another source told PEOPLE would upset Harry — he would still have his Invictus Games Foundation, the Paralympic-style contests for service members which also incorporates the Endeavour Fund. He also retains his personal charity Sentebale, which he set up with friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to help combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic in southern Africa. Harry will additionally continue to work with WellChild, which aids sick children and their families.
Meghan will retain animal welfare charity Mayhew, and Smart Works Charity, which provides women with professional attire for career opportunities.
The news comes shortly after Harry and Meghan announced that they’re expecting their second child together.
Just one day after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared the happy news that they are expecting their second child, CBS announced that the Sussexes will be sitting down with Oprah Winfrey for a primetime interview, which will be broadcast on Sunday, March 7.
According to a press release put out by the network, Oprah will first speak one-on-one with Meghan and then, Harry will join the conversation, which is expected to cover everything from their marriage and philanthropic work to baby Archie and what life’s been like living in L.A.
Per CBS: “Winfrey will speak with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, in a wide-ranging interview, covering everything from stepping into life as a Royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work to how she is handling life under intense public pressure. Later, the two are joined by Prince Harry as they speak about their move to the United States and their future hopes and dreams for their expanding family.”
Oprah has had close ties to the Sussexes for some time now. She was invited to the royal wedding in 2018, and has been working with Prince Harry on a forthcoming mental health-focused program for Apple TV+.
How to watch
The upcoming conversation will mark the couple’s first primetime interview since stepping away from their positions as senior working royals. Here’s how to tune in:
Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special will air on Sunday, March 7 at 8 P.M. eastern on CBS. If you don’t have cable, it will also be available to stream on Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV.
A spokesperson for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced: “We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child.”
The news was accompanied by a gorgeous black-and-white photo of the pair showing Meghan with her head in Harry’s lap as she cradles her baby bump.
The shot was that was taken remotely by photographer and friend of the couple Misan Harriman.
The Duchess is wearing a long dress by Carolina Herrera, which she also wore during her pregnancy with Archie.
Sweetly, the news echoes Princess Diana’s announcement of her pregnancy with Prince Harry, on Valentine’s Day back in 1984.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland were all informed of news before the announcement.
The baby will be eighth-in-line to the throne when he or she is born, after brother Archie in seventh place and Harry in sixth.
The Duchess of Sussex is expected to give birth in a US hospital, given that she and the Duke moved to the States in March 2020, after their decision to step back from royal life.
Details around the birth have not been confirmed and Harry and Meghan are likely to keep them private, in line with the precedent they set with their first child Archie. The tot was born on 6 May 2019 at the private Portland Hospital in London.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed Tuesday they are partnering with the audio streaming company with their new audio production company, Archewell Audio.
Through the partnership, the royal couple plans on creating “programming that uplifts and entertains audiences around the world” and to “spotlight diverse perspectives,” according to Spotify.
“What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction,” the couple said in a joint statement. “With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.”
Prince Harry and Markle will host and produce podcasts through the partnership. Their first project will be a holiday special released later this month that features “stories of hope and compassion from inspirational guests in celebration of the new year.”
The couple’s first complete series with Spotify will debut next year.
The Spotify partnership is the second major deal the royal couple has scored since stepping down from their royal duties in March. The couple also signed a multiyear deal with Netflix in September for similar uplifting and informative projects.
Both the couple’s Netflix and Spotify deals fall in line with their mission for their Archewell charitable foundation. Prince Harry and Markle revealed the foundation in April, stating they plan on building a multimedia educational empire through it.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has a new title: start-up investor.
Today, Fortune announced that the duchess has invested in a small, woman-owned company called Clevr Blends. Located near Montecito, California, the business makes superfood-enhanced instant oat milk lattes and is run by cofounder and CEO Hannah Mendoza. Meghan’s new investment is the first that has been made public. And in a statement released to the outlet, she explained why she decided to help financially back the company.
“This investment is in support of a passionate female entrepreneur who prioritizes building community alongside her business,” the duchess shared. “I’m proud to invest in Hannah’s commitment to sourcing ethical ingredients and creating a product that I personally love and has a holistic approach to wellness. I believe in her and I believe in her company.”
Mendoza also released a statement, revealing her gratitude for the investment and the Duchess of Sussex’s support.
“Entrepreneurs need funding, but they also need advisers who care deeply about what they are building. I’m grateful to have found both in the Duchess of Sussex,” read the statement from Mendoza. “Her passion for what we’re creating is palpable, and I couldn’t imagine a more aligned partnership. We’re excited for the road ahead.”
There’s another certain someone who is equally excited about Meghan’s latest business venture: her friend and Montecito neighbor Oprah Winfrey, who just shared that the duchess sent her an early holiday gift involving a trio of the superfood lattes.
“On the first day of Christmas my neighbor ‘M’ sent to me…a basket of deliciousness! (Yes that M👑),” wrote Winfrey. “My new drink of choice for the morning and night. Wish I had @clevrblends sooner cause I would’ve added it to my Favorite Things list. #HappyHolidays”
Meghan Markle is showing her support for a special America’s Got Talent contestant.
The Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance on Wednesday’s AGT finale when she filmed a good luck message for one of the show’s finalists: Archie Williams.
“Just wanted to let you know that we’ve been so moved by your story and we’ve been cheering you on every week and it’s not just because we’re partial to the name. So, a very special message to you that I’ll probably be saying all of my life, but on this night it’s specifically for you: Archie, we are proud of you and are rooting for you, we can’t wait to see what you do. We’re in your corner, have a good night,” she said.
Meghan and Prince Harry have been “watching the series and loved him from the moment they first saw him,” a source tells PEOPLE.
Williams, who shares a name with the couple’s 1-year-old son, Archie, has become a standout contestant this season for not only his vocal talents but his powerful life story as well.
The 59-year-old was wrongly convicted of aggravated rape and attempted murder in Louisiana at age 22. At the 12-year mark of his prison sentence, he reached out to the Innocence Project with a request for the organization to exonerate him. Years later, his case was overturned due to the fingerprints found at the scene of the crime matching a serial rapist, and he was released from prison in March 2019 after being incarcerated for more than 36 years.
“I knew I was innocent, I didn’t commit a crime. But being a poor Black kid, I didn’t have the economic ability to fight the state of Louisiana,” he said during his audition.
“Days turned into weeks, into months, into years and into decades. It’s like a nightmare,” he continued.
When asked by host Terry Crews how he persevered, he said, “Freedom is of the mind. I went to prison, but I never let my mind go to prison. When you’re faced with dark times, what I would do was pray and sing. This is how I got peace.”
During his audition, Williams sang an emotional rendition of Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” that brought the judges to tears.
“Archie, I will never, ever listen to that song in the same way ever again,” judge Simon Cowell told him. “It took on a whole new meaning for me. You’re a very courageous person. This is an audition I will never forget for the whole of my life, Archie.”
During the quarterfinals, Williams performed a moving cover of Steve Wonder’s “Love’s in Need of Love Today,” receiving praise from guest judge Kelly Clarkson. In the semifinals, during which he was saved by the judges, he sang Westlife’s “Flying Without Wings.” And on Tuesday’s finals, Williams sang The Beatles classic “Blackbird,” which judge Sofia Vergara called his best performance. “I hear this song differently than I ever did before … like The Beatles wrote this song for you,” judge Heidi Klum said.
Meghan’s appearance on AGT comes just one day after she and Harry made their primetime TV debut to celebrate TIME magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential people. They used their segment to speak about the importance of voting.
We’re six weeks out from the election, and today is Voter Registration Day,” Meghan said on Tuesday’s ABC special. “Every four years, we’re told, ‘This is the most important election of our lifetime.’ But this one is. When we vote, our values are put into action, and our voices are heard.”
In her remarks, Meghan also encouraged the public to “honor those who gave us courage this year. Like the scientists, researchers and medical professionals who are leading the fight against COVID-19. Or the countless voices who are speaking out with passion and purpose against injustice and inequality and to those silently marching in solidarity, in peaceful protest to stand for what is just and what is right.”
The royal couple, now living in California, have signed a multiyear pact with the streamer.
The duke and duchess of Sussex are Hollywood players now.
Britain’s Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle have signed a multiyear overall deal at Netflix. As reported by The New York Times, the deal will cover scripted and unscripted TV series, documentaries, feature films and kids’ programming.
The deal comes seven months after the couple announced they would “step back” as senior members of the British royal family. Their signing with Netflix echoes the deal made by former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle, whose Higher Ground Productions produced the Oscar-winning documentary American Factory for the streamer.
Shortly after that, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos said he’d be open to working with the duke and duchess: “Who wouldn’t be interested? Yes, sure,” he told the U.K.’s Press Association.
“Our lives, both independent of each other, and as a couple, have allowed us to understand the power of the human spirit: of courage, resilience and the need for connection,” said the duke and duchess of Sussex. “Through our work with diverse communities and their environments, to shining a light on people and causes around the world, our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope. As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us, as is powerful storytelling through a truthful and relatable lens. We are pleased to work with Ted and the team at Netflix whose unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action.”
The couple already has projects in development at the streamer, including a nature docuseries and an animated series that will celebrate inspiring women.
“Harry and Meghan have inspired millions of people all around the world with their authenticity, optimism and leadership,” said Sarandos, co-CEO and chief content officer at Netflix. “We’re incredibly proud they have chosen Netflix as their creative home — and are excited about telling stories with them that can help build resilience and increase understanding for audiences everywhere.”
The duke and duchess will focus on creating programming that resonates with them, including issues that are the focus of their nonprofit foundation, Archewell. They’re also committed to featuring diverse voices in front of and behind the camera and in hiring for their production company, which is staffing up.
Markle was an actress, most notably on USA’s legal drama Suits, before marrying Prince Harry. She has no plans to return to acting, though per the Times, the couple may appear onscreen in documentary projects. Harry is featured in Netflix’s recently released documentary Rising Phoenix, about the Paralympic Games, and joined with Oprah Winfrey to produce a docuseries on mental health for Apple TV+.
Following their January announcement that they would step down as senior royals, the duke and duchess entered into negotiations with the royal family under which Queen Elizabeth II gave them leave in exchange for the couple not using the titles His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness and to give up public funding. The latter stipulation set off a wave of speculation about how they would support themselves, including potentially entering the entertainment industry.