The British royal family doesn’t often respond to salacious tabloid stories about them, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry included. But the couple, who stepped down from their senior royal family roles last spring, made a rare statement yesterday after The Sun and Daily Mail (notably, the two tabloids the couple are suing) alleged that they were planning to create their own “woke” awards ceremony that would “compete” with the Queen’s honors list.
The Queen does a birthday honors list each year that awards achievements to people across the UK; she can grant people knighthood or other various titles including MBEs (Member Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire), OBEs (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) and CBEs (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). You can read more about the various honors the Queen can give at the royals’ site here.
The Sun claimed the couple “filed papers” in the U.S., stating they want to celebrate “charitable service, education, science, literature, racial justice, gender equity, environmental stewardship, youth empowerment, health and mental health” through their new Archewell non-profit.
The couple did not let those false reports stand long. A press secretary for Archewell released a statement to media outlets, stating, “We look forward to sharing more about Archewell’s work in the weeks ahead but any suggestion that it is intended to rival the UK honours list is false. Furthermore, the trademark application has followed the normal course of business for the U.S. Trademark process and any suggestion otherwise is also false.”
Meghan and Harry have not formally launched Archewell yet, in part due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But they launched its site in October. A source told ELLE.com at the time that “while Archewell hasn’t already had a formal launch, it is still already all of their work—the structure, the events, the research they’re doing, the people that they’re meeting. All of the effort they are putting in is within that umbrella. Over time, it is going to grow and grow.”
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