Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were looking nonchalant in their first appearance since their royal retirement, despite concerns they’re upstaging the Queen.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance for Spotify’s Stream On event on Monday to discuss their new podcast production company, Archewell Audio.
It is the first time they have appeared since the Queen officially stripped them of their patronages on February 19, and since they announced on Valentine’s Day they were expecting another bundle of joy.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan were one of the many guests (alongside Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Brené Brown and Blackpink) to feature during today’s @Spotify #SpotifyStreamOn event, when they gave a glimpse at their forthcoming Archewell Audio content👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/7ykorUIaFq
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) February 22, 2021
From their couch in their Santa Barbara mansion, the pair announced they would make podcasts exclusively for Spotify to “drive powerful conversations” that “inspire, challenge and educate”.
“We created Archewell Audio to make sure that we can elevate voices that maybe aren’t being heard and hear people’s stories,” Meghan said.
For the surprise appearance, the duchess covered her blossoming baby bump in a drop-waist Oscar de la Renta dress that reportedly retails for $4400.
Prince Harry clarified that the company was a “safe space” for marginalised individuals.
“The biggest part of this is to create this community of where you can share, that will encourage everybody else to then share their own vulnerabilities within that safe space,” he said.
In a holiday special released on December 30, 2020, the Sussexes treated listeners to conversations with some of their high-profile friends like Elton John, Tyler Perry, James Corden and Stacey Abrams.
With another baby on the way, a “multiyear” Spotify deal and a multimillion-dollar Netflix deal in the bank, things seem to be going well for the Sussexes.
But across the pond, their royal relatives might not be as excited.
The Sussexes steal the show
Prince Harry and Markle’s highly anticipated, tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey will coincide with the Queen’s televised address for Commonwealth Day.
For almost 50 years, the royal family have attended an annual Commonwealth Day service at London’s Westminster Abbey in March, but the 2021 edition has been cancelled because of the pandemic.
Instead, the 94-year-old Queen will deliver a televised message as part of a program entitled A Celebration for Commonwealth Day, which will be broadcast on the BBC on March 7, the Abbey said.
There will also be contributions from Prince Charles and Prince William, with his wife Kate Middleton.
The program is due to air hours before the Sussexes’ first in-depth interview since they moved to the US, is to be broadcast on CBS.
Winfrey’s scoop comes as the couple have been making international headlines with the announcement they are expecting a second child and news they are quitting their royal roles for good.
Prince Harry and Meghan attended the Commonwealth Day service in person last year.
It was their final official royal engagement before they moved to Los Angeles and stepped away from official duties, a decision that sent shockwaves through the monarchy.
Last week, Buckingham Palace announced the couple would not be returning and their treasured royal patronages would revert to the Queen and be distributed among other family members.
Dean of Westminster David Hoyle said the televised service would celebrate global links during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are so pleased that this rich and vibrant BBC programme with the royal family and the Abbey at its heart will celebrate our global connections at a time when we are all so physically isolated,” he said.