Prince Harry and Meghan attended their Archewell Foundation's first in-person event

Meghan Markle shares worries for Archie and Lilibet’s futures at mental health summit in New York

Prince Harry & Meghan at Archewell Foundation’s first summit


To be honest, I’ve been under stress. I spent an hour and a half last night searching for a parking spot at home in Brooklyn after hours of traffic. I also have a bad relationship with my phone, have been sleeping poorly, skipped my workout, and feel strange about my upcoming birthday.

Perhaps this was the ideal day to remember and honor World Mental Health Day, as well as to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle across the room at today’s Archewell Foundation event at The Shed in Hudson Yards.

(It wasn’t a big event; only a few hundred people attended, along with maybe a dozen print journalists who weren’t on television.)

Naturally, the ninety-minute summit today was glitzy, featuring two of the most talked-about foreign royalty in the world (as well as Carson Daly from Today and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy). However, it was also unexpectedly raw, emotional, and intense.


Meghan and Harry were moved by the families’ stories
Photo: Getty Images


As previously mentioned, the theme of this gathering was the “Parents’ Summit: Mental Wellness in a Digital Age.” Prior to the Duke and Duchess’s arrival, parents of children who have tragically lost their lives to suicide as a result of the harmful and sometimes fatal combination of social media and technology were featured on two panels that were facilitated by the Foundation’s Co-Executive Directors, Shauna Nep and James Holt.

wailing for parents A private note that their daughter Englyn wrote on her phone a few weeks before she committed suicide was read aloud by Toney and Brandy Roberts as they sobbed in memory of their beloved daughter. In a similar sentimental mood, Dave and Jennie DeSerio honored their son Nathan, a football player and “all-American kid” who, in his words, “radiated this caring, loving energy.”

It was difficult to hear about these parents’ unusually close-knit relationships and attentive care for their gifted, talented, and loving children, nor their awareness of their children’s hidden mental health issues or how social media and mobile devices exacerbate issues and isolate them. However, it was incredibly moving to learn about how the Archewell Foundation connected bereaved families to one another and made them feel less alone by establishing a community of families with painful shared histories.


Harry and Meghan shared why having a safer online world is so important to them
Photo: Getty Images


Even though a few tears were shed during these serious and heartbreaking panels, it was still exciting to watch Harry and Meghan start their own conversation with Carson Daly and Vivek Murthy.

Harry and Meghan, that is! Everyone has a viewpoint about them! (Harry is attractive, and Meghann is really gorgeous.) However, it was easy to see the similarities between these families and Harry and Meghan’s. Because of their role as parents to two young children who haven’t (we assume) demanded an iPad, iPhone, or TikTok account, their foundation is not only motivated to find solutions for more responsible, humane, and ethical technology and platforms in order to lessen the burden of individual parents and to challenge tech companies.

due to everything they’ve disclosed regarding their personal struggles with mental health. because they’ve moved to Montecito and begun a much-discussed new life, partly in an effort to improve their own happiness and health. True, it’s a cliche, but Meg and Harry are not the only ones on a journey. Greetings on World Mental Health Day.


Harry and Meghan were joined on stage by Carson Daly and Dr. Vivek H. Murthy
Photo: Getty Images

Harry: ‘A community of shared experience’

Harry and Meghan honored the parents they had met in their opening remarks.

“I cannot begin without expressing my gratitude to all of the parents who have attended today. Not only have they been physically present with us, but they have also been a part of this journey for the past year, fostering this community of shared experience,” the Duke said.

“We met some of the families a year ago, but not all of them,” the Duchess remarked. It was impossible not to cry at the time, as I’m sure many of you have done as you hear these stories now.

As parents, we realize that social media is here to stay, even though our children are still very young—between two and a half and four years old.

“I believe that something has devolved from an entry point that was intended to be positive—creating community—and it is impossible to hear that and not try to support these families in having their stories heard.”


Meghan looks gorgeous in a bardot-style top
Photo: Getty Images


Duchess shares worries for Archie and Lilibet’s futures


As a mother and a representative of the Archewell Foundation, Meghan discussed the importance of internet safety.

She grinned at her husband and said, “Being a mother is the most important thing in my entire life… outside of course, being a wife to this one.”

“However, I must admit that while I’m grateful that our kids are still relatively young and that this won’t affect us right away, I’m also afraid of how things will continue to change and affect us in the near future.

“It’s said that although parenting is a demanding job, the years are fleeting.

“So it worries me, but I’m also given a lot of hope and a lot of energy by the progress we’ve made in the past year.”


Harry and Meghan have long been advocates for a safer online world
Photo: Getty Images

Meghan: ‘Burden can’t solely be on parents’


According to the Duchess of Sussex, parents shouldn’t be the only ones responsible for ensuring their children’s safety on social media.

Meghan continued, “We’ve had quiet behind-the-scenes conversations with these tech executives about a number of platforms, and they feel that they have established guardrails and parental controls. Many parents find that these are overwhelming and difficult to navigate if they aren’t tech savvy.

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