Needless to say, her get-out-the-vote PSA, including the glimpse behind the royal family’s apolitical curtain that Harry provided, would never have been possible if they hadn’t decided, after making a go of full-time senior royalty, to step down. They announced their intentions in January—quite controversially, as the queen wasn’t in on the timing—and two months later they were quarantining in Southern California like a couple of civilians.
Their son Archie, now 17 months old, hasn’t been in England since last year, having remained in Canada, where the family spent Christmas and New Year’s, while his parents returned to England to tie up loose ends and attend a handful of events. Then they packed up and left for California where, following a stay at Tyler Perry‘s Beverly Hills estate while they looked for a house to buy, moved into their own spread in Santa Barbara, about an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles, in July.
“They have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbors, as well as for them as a family,” their rep told E! News in a statement.
But right away they were subtly making their presence in L.A. known (well, subtle if you don’t count the global press coverage), volunteering for Project Angel Food, a local meal-delivery service for people too ill to go out, over Easter weekend and visiting the headquarters of Homeboy Industries, an employment re-entry program for former gang members whose Feed HOPE Program has been providing food to those at risk of going hungry during the pandemic.
The couple continued to check in with nonprofits, educators and other folks doing good work back in the U.K. via Zoom, and Harry launched a new online mental health initiative, HeadFIT for Life, in April. With Sussex Royal no longer their shingle, they moved to trademark Archewell as the name of their new foundation (held up in the paperwork department, and still in the works but delayed) and signed up with the Harry Walker Agency to handle future speaking engagements.