It was announced yesterday that Prince Harry now has a job – he’s the new Chief Impact Officer at BetterUp, and he’s apparently been in the position for a couple of months as CEO Alex Robichaud told SkyNews that Harry’s role with the company began in January and that after getting to know each other through a mutual friend, they developed the position together.
Interesting then, the timing of all of this. We know now that Harry’s been working at BetterUp since January which they kept quiet. Not because of Oprah and the Television Event of the Year but most likely because, at that point, it hadn’t yet been quite a full year since Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior members of the British royal family and they hadn’t yet confirmed with Buckingham Palace how they would roll out that information. You can’t tell people about your new job until it’s made known officially what your status is with the royal institution.
What’s telling here then is that in taking this job in January – which means he would have been negotiating the terms near the end of 2020 – Harry knew what was coming and had made a decision. So it puts into focus all that mess of reporting about him being stripped of his titles etc because of the Oprah interview; bullsh-t to begin with but it was a narrative that the British tabloids seemed to be happy to perpetuate and palace courtiers weren’t exactly eager to downplay either.
Obviously those decisions were made well before they were publicised, likely in the fall of 2020, I’m hearing November-ish. From there, then, Harry and Meghan got to work, evidently putting a plan into motion and, it seems clear now, executing it step by step. Like this job with BetterUp. These are the moves that are revealing themselves over time. And today we’re finding out more.
Harry is one of 15 commissioners joining the Aspen Institute’s six-month initiative to study what they’re calling “information disorder”. This of course is in line with what Harry’s been focused on over the last year – the effects of social media on information hygiene and how our social networks and institutions have been disrupted by falsehoods and encouraged by shady media motivations. In both this role and his job at BetterUp, Harry’s involvement fits in with the priorities he’s been laying out for quite some time. He’s been a mental health advocate for years now. And he has been particularly outspoken about the “humanitarian crisis” that has been precipitated by misinformation.
But the point here is that behind the scenes, the Sussexes have been doing the work. And it would seem that the Oprah interview was timed to set them up for the gradual showing of what this work is. Which means that there is strategy here – whether or not that strategy has been effective is another conversation, but their practical reaction to the resolution with the royal family, as dissatisfied as they were with it (which is what they shared with Oprah), was to start laying track, as Shonda Rhimes would say. So that after the Oprah interview, they could set up the headlines with this kind of news: Harry’s job, his commissioner position with the Aspen Institute, the next stage of Archewell, and more. In other words, he’s booked and busy, because he wants to pursue his purpose, first and foremost, naturally, but also, perhaps, to contradict the inevitable storytelling from certain segments of the British media who might run with the “you’re nothing without the royals” angle.
I wonder then… not that they would ever admit it…if there’s some satisfaction, even smugness, over this on Harry’s part. That, I think, is what we don’t spend enough time talking about. Everyone wants to make this about Meghan because of the tired ass trope of the interloping bitch stealing away the prince. But Harry’s the one who left the only life he knew behind, maybe with an “I’ll show you” attitude. Like his mother, history repeating itself. If you’ve ever been in a similar situation (maybe not in the royal sense but when people don’t believe in you and write you off), you know that this is a powerful motivator. Between the two of them, if there’s one person who’s looking for that “how you like me now” moment more than the other…it’s Harry.