Queen wants to ‘clip Prince Harry’s wings’ says expert
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have just unveiled their joint platform Archewell and are expected to expand their portfolio of work over the next year. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have already signed highly-lucrative deals with both Netflix and Spotify, enabling them to produce an array of programmes on matters close to their hearts — as well as giving the couple financial independence from the Royal Family. Harry also has a sustainable travel initiative called Travalyst, which he set up prior to his royal departure and has been presented in a similar vein to Archewell.
The scheme was set up in partnership with Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa with the intention to “change the impact of travel, for good”.
Like Archewell, it champions a message of “change” and “action” to help establish a better world.
Yet, it’s not entirely clear how such ambitious goals could be achieved.
Journalist Helen Coffey pulled apart some of the early press releases describing the new initiative, and she asked where the “tangible, concrete details” were, as only the who and the why were explained.
She wrote: “How are Prince Harry and several multi-million pound companies going to change travel ‘for good’?
“What is it they’re going to do, exactly?
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“When and in fact where are these projects going to materialise?”
She concluded: “It’s not easy to write a well-crafted press release of impressive length [1,100 words] without really saying much, but somehow they managed it.”
Travalyst has described its purpose as a “partnership” which “will initially explore and promote solutions that help drive sustainable practices and consumer choices in areas including; supporting local people, protecting wildlife, tackling climate change and environmental damage and alleviating overtourism”.
Ms Coffey noted: “So many words, so little information.”
Crucially, part of the press release read: “Further details of new initiatives launched by the Travalyst partnership will be announced in due course.”
Ms Coffey claimed this translated as “we haven’t actually got any initiatives yet”.
She continued: “Prince Harry’s name, coupled with the increasingly popular buzzwords of ‘sustainable tourism’, ‘conservation’, ‘climate change’ and ‘overtourism’ ensured Travalyst got maximum exposure across print and broadcast media — all without having to state a single concrete detail. Impressive.”
Doubt over the project has only grown since this scathing criticism, as it appears to have remained largely inactive in the year and a half following its launch.
There was a global summit hosted in two sessions back in July which aimed to “bring together stakeholders from across the travel and tourism industry to listen, learn and explore how we can help the sector to evolve”.
As Booking.com’s Marianne Gybels is quoted as saying on Travalyst’s website, the summit “reaffirmed” the sector’s need to connect “thoughtfully, intentionally and responsibly”.
This call for communication is echoed in Archewell’s mission statement, released over the New Year.
It reads: “Together, we can choose courage, healing and connection.
“Together, we can choose to put compassion in action. We invite you to join us.
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“As we work to build a better world, one act of compassion at a time.”
While this venture has just been launched, it could follow in Travalyst’s footsteps by becoming more of a conversational platform than a venture for action.
A spokesperson for Sussex Royal said last January that more Travalyst announcements would be made “within the next 12 months” — but few have actually happened since.
The spokesperson added: “There are key streams each of the partners are focusing on and working on.
“We’ll be doing pilot projects and research that will help inform very specific initiatives, timed out over the next three years.”
The now defunct Syssex Royal also claimed that Travalyst was launched because “it was the start of something” by uniting organisations which do not normally unite.
Writing in The Independent, Ms Coffey claimed: “It feels an awful lot like greenwashing dressed up as do-gooding.
“Only time will tell if Travalyst is all climate talk and no climate action.”
Express.co.uk previously revealed that Travalyst was listed as a private company in Harry’s name, having indirectly channelled funds from his now defunct non-profit, Sussex Royal.
Harry and Meghan have also been accused of cashing in on the royal brand through their Archewell branches, Archewell Audio and Archewell Productions.
Neither the Duke nor Duchess have professional production experience, but knew their names would secure lucrative contracts.
Yet, this could soon change.
The couple may face a significant obstacle when it comes to the looming Megxit review, where the Queen may take the chance to clip the Sussexes’ wings in their post-royal lives and strip them of their titles.
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