It’s Official: Introducing House Sussex

Lainey Posted by Lainey at March 15, 2019 14:00:29 March 15, 2019 14:00:29

After nearly six months of speculation, it was formally announced yesterday that the Sussexes Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have their own household separate from the Cambridges, William and Catherine. House Sussex has been established with the support of Her Majesty and Prince Charles. 
Existing Kensington Palace staff will remain with the Cambridges while House Sussex will be based out of Buckingham Palace and Sara Latham, who holds dual US and UK citizenship, will head up communications for the Sussexes, reporting directly to Donal McCabe, the Queen’s new communications secretary. Sara Lathan most recently held a position at Freuds, a British communications firm. Prior to that she was a campaign advisor for Hillary Clinton. And before that she worked on President Barack Obama’s transition team. So this is an experienced PR and political operative who presumably understands how to navigate and manage complicated and, sometimes, competing agendas, helping to build a household office from scratch. Will be interesting to see how she relies on her years in cutthroat American politics as she collaborates with the Queen and Prince Charles’s courtiers, used to doing things one way for decades. 

As noted, though, this was not unexpected. We’ve been talking since November about Princes William and Harry separating their courts as both of their families have grown and or are growing. As the future king, William has his own priorities and deserves his own focused attention. As Harry and Meghan’s popularity has surged, their own commitments and responsibilities have increased. What was unexpected though was what the staffing would look like and how House Sussex would be structured. This seems like it’s a clean break, with no carryover from Kensington Palace. Perhaps we should have seen that coming, especially over the last few weeks. The PEOPLE Magazine story featuring five of Meghan’s friends stepping up to defend her followed by her New York Takeover for her baby shower, which was reportedly carried out without KP’s involvement, suggested that Meghan and Harry are trying out new moves, working out a new strategy for their brand that may not align with the Cambridge style. House Sussex, then, represents a fresh start as they move out of KP to Frogmore Cottage as their official residence and welcome the birth of their first child. 

Initially it was thought that House Sussex would be operated out of Windsor proper, closer to where they’re to live. According to royal correspondent Omid Scobie, reporting for Harper’s Bazaar:

While several different scenarios were considered for the new arrangements, it was this most recent plan that made the most sense for the two couple’s futures. “There had been talk about Harry and Meghan’s team moving to Windsor and having an office there but it wasn’t doable,” a source tells BAZAAR.com.

The transition, however, will happen in stages. In the immediate, House Cambridge and House Sussex will continue to function out of KP until Sara Latham takes some time to get accustomed first to her new responsibilities and the new office is ready. Going forward though, all four royals, William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan are expected to continue to work together on the Royal Foundation. 

And the timing of this announcement is interesting too. Earlier this week, they were all together for Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey and observed interacting warmly, giving the British tabloids and the anti-Meghan faction of the UK media nowhere to go with the feud story. Dropping this just a couple of days after, while those images are still fresh in everyone’s mind, is a smart move – a solid start then to Meghan’s maternity leave. Pretty soon, anticipation will start building about the baby’s arrival, followed by the all the excitement that will come once the baby is born. 

Here’s Harry yesterday at the Veterans’ Mental Health Conference.  
 

Photos:
Wenn, WPA Pool/ Getty Images

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