The devil works hard, but Meghan Markle’s critics work harder. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Meghan and Prince Harry are facing criticism for yet another perceived faux pas — this time, the timing of their charity reveal. The couple announced the name of their new nonprofit organization Archewell (inspired by baby Archie, of course) within hours of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care due to coronavirus. While critics are calling the timing of their reveal insensitive, it appears that Meghan and Harry’s hand was forced by The Telegraph uncovering documents the couple filed to launch their charity. In fact, the Sussex duo is specifically holding off on an official launch until the global health crisis is under control.
To some, however, giving any statement about the charity constituted a needless ploy for attention. Royal biographer Phil Dampier told the MailOnline that the couple’s announcement was, at best, a terrible PR move.
— Kathy Gyngell (@KathyConWom) April 7, 2020
“It was the worst possible timing. If I were Harry and Meghan I would have laid low until this situation (coronavirus) was over,” Dampier said. “People everywhere are really concerned with dealing with this and it does not look good, however good the cause is.”
Archewell is…just a really terrible name. It doesn’t make sense and leverages the child they claim to be trying to protect from the spotlight. Are any branding and PR people actually giving advice or being listened to? It’s shocking how bad Harry and Meghan are at this.
— Royal Tea (@UKRoyalTea) April 7, 2020
It seems Dampier has allies on Twitter, where critics are calling out everything from the timing of the announcement to the choice to involve Archie’s name as tasteless. “Trying to push out your PR so people don’t forget little old you during a pandemic? Cringe,” one tweet read. “Using your famous baby’s name as a charity name? Unlawful levels of cringe.”
Forcing your staff to move you from Canada to LA in the middle of a pandemic? Cringe.
Trying to push out your PR so people don't forget little old you during a pandemic? Cringe.
Using your famous baby's name as a charity name? Unlawful levels of cringe.https://t.co/8otiMptQsC
— Matt Kilcoyne 😄 (@MRJKilcoyne) April 7, 2020
Personally, we love the name — and it truly does seem like the couple had no intentions of revealing these plans before The Telegraph forced their hand. Meghan and Harry gave a statement to the paper after learning they’d uncovered new details, and explained their decision to come forward.
“Like you, our focus is on supporting efforts to tackle the global Covid-19 pandemic but faced with this information coming to light, we felt compelled to share the story of how this came to be,” the statement read. “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 matter.”
They also added a sweet detail about the inspiration for Archie’s name: “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. We look forward to launching Archewell when the time is right.”
It’s hard for us to read that statement and understand going after the Sussexes. We’re beyond excited about their plans for Archewell, which is rumored to include components of both a charity organization and a wellness community, offering a wide array of resources and opportunities for engagement. Critics can continue to comment — it’s never stopped Meghan and Harry before.