Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had a rocky start to 2023 but have major events awaiting them over the summer and into fall.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s year began with the release of Harry’s memoir, Spare, which was a best-seller but also earned ridicule from comedians. As if that was not bad enough, their Spotify deal then collapsed as an executive branded them “f****** grifters.”
After two years, the two sides left the multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership with only a 12-episode podcast, Archetypes, from Meghan to show for it and nothing from Harry. Bill Simmons, head of podcast innovation and monetization at Spotify, said on his own podcast: “I wish I had been involved in the Meghan and Harry leave Spotify negotiation. The F****** Grifters, that’s the podcast we should have launched with them.”
Their popularity in the United States slumped but has swung back up in the months since, paving the way for a new burst of energy in August and September, just as the British royals are out of the limelight enjoying their summer vacation at Balmoral Castle, in Scotland. Harry and Meghan were reportedly invited to join the duke’s family though it would be a huge surprise if they made an appearance.
First up on their calendar will be Meghan’s birthday on August 4, which will be an opportunity for the couple to put their troubles behind them and celebrate—no doubt with their children, Archie and Lilibet, and Meghan’s mother, Doria.
Harry will next visit Asia with his charity Sentebale later in the month, which supports children and young people with HIV and Aids in Southern Africa.
Initially, he will head to a summit on “the power of sport, community and philanthropy” at the ISPS Sports Values Summit-Special Edition in Tokyo, Japan, on August 9, according to a press release.
Then, he will play in the 2023 Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup at Singapore Polo Club on August 12, to raise money for the charity. Harry said in a press statement that he was “delighted” to return to the club.
“The annual Polo Cup is essential to Sentebale’s vital work ensuring children and young people are healthy, resilient, and able to thrive. The funds raised this year will support our Clubs and Camps programme, which provides intensive psychosocial support to young people living with HIV,” he said.
“In a time where being HIV positive is no longer a death sentence, we are empowering young people to know their status, stay healthy, and eliminate the stigma so that they can break the cycle.”
Next on the agenda will be his Invictus Games tournament, where injured servicemen and women past and present compete in Olympic-style events. The 2023 games will take place in Dusseldorf, Germany, from September 9 to 16, spanning Harry’s birthday on September 15.
All eyes will be on whether Meghan travels with him to the polo and Invictus Games or chooses to stay home, as she did with King Charles’ Coronation in May.
Alongside the games, Netflix is also due to release Heart of Invictus, Harry’s documentary about the tournament, on an unspecified date this summer.
When the series was announced in 2021, the prince said: “This series will give communities around the world a window into the moving and uplifting stories of these competitors on their path to the Netherlands next year.
“As Archewell Productions’ first series with Netflix, in partnership with the Invictus Games Foundation, I couldn’t be more excited for the journey ahead or prouder of the Invictus community for continuously inspiring global healing, human potential and continued service.”
Jack Royston is chief royal correspondent for Newsweek, based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.
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