- Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have officially resigned from The Royal Foundation, the charity they’ve been running with Prince William and Kate Middleton, Kensington Palace has confirmed.
- Royal Correspondent Emily Andrews believes the “rift” between the couples could be behind the decision.
- A source told Andrews that “things did get very bad” between William and Harry last year, and that the brothers “didn’t see each other for months” after Harry’s nuptials to Markle in May 2018.
- This comes after reports that Harry and Markle could be leaving the UK for a working sabbatical in Africa with baby Archie.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have officially broken away from The Royal Foundation – just one year after Markle officially joined the charity.
The charity, which was established by Prince William and Prince Harry in 2009, has spearheaded several long-term projects for “The Fab Four.”
Most recently, it was revealed that William, Harry, Middleton, and Markle spent six months working together in secret before launching “Shout,” a new mental health helpline service.
Kensington Palace confirmed the news on Thursday, although rumors of the split first surfaced back in May.
“Later this year The Royal Foundation will become the principal charitable and philanthropic vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,” the palace said in a statement.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will establish their own new charitable foundation with transitional operating support from The Royal Foundation.
“In addition both couples will continue to work together on projects in the future, including on The Foundation’s mental health programme, Heads Together.”
The statement went on: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are incredibly proud of what they have achieved together through The Royal Foundation.
“They are especially proud to have established a charity that has had, and will continue to have, significant long-lasting impact, changing lives for the better.”
Royal correspondent Emily Andrews first reported in The Sun back in May that “the two couples will go their own way and pursue their charities separately.”
“The couples have been given two options – the first is to leave things as they are and the second a complete split,” an anonymous source told Andrews.
“Nothing has been formally ratified but all the mood music is suggesting the Sussexes will break away.”
At the same time, a royal source confirmed to INSIDER that a formal review of the couples’ positions within the charity would take place at a board meeting in June.
“The work to prepare both couples for their future roles will, of course, have implications for how they manage their charitable and philanthropic activity into the future,” the source explained.
“As part of this, a review of how they conduct their charitable activity will be undertaken. This will include reviewing the structure of The Foundation to ensure that Their Royal Highnesses have the best possible charitable structures in place for the future.”
While the reason for the reported split hasn’t been disclosed, Andrews believes it could be down to the “royal rift” between the couples, which has been circulating in the press since Markle married into the family last year.
“Things did get very bad between the brothers and they didn’t see each other privately for a number of months after the royal wedding,” a source told Andrews.
The rumors were further fueled after Harry and Markle officially split households from William and Middleton earlier this year.
The couple, who previously shared staff with William and Middleton at Kensington Palace, relocated their office to Buckingham Palace.
They also moved out of their residence, Nottingham Cottage – just a stone’s throw away from William and Middleton’s Kensington Palace home – and moved to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, just in time for the birth of baby Archie.
However, there could be another possible reason for the split.
Reports that Markle and Harry are preparing for a working sabbatical in Africa could be a major factor behind the reported decision.
It was previously reported that the couple were planning a trip to South Africa later this year, in preparation for a longer stay on the continent. Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told INSIDER that South African officials may have already been informed of the visit due to “tight security” measures.
“We do expect Harry and Meghan to travel to Africa with baby Archie at some point in the next few months,” he added.
“William travelled first when he was nine months old, and George when he was eight [months old], so the precedents are there, not that a couple as independent as Harry and Meghan need precedents.”