Meghan Markle is using her time away from life as a senior royal to go back to college – and she’s taking Prince Harry with her.
According to royal sources, the couple paid a visit to the prestigious Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, on Tuesday, having taken a commercial flight from Canada, where they are currently living with their son Archie.
As reported by the Today show, Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, are said to have attended ‘brainstorming sessions’ with several ‘professors and academics’ from the university, who have been helping them to work on the concept and creation of their new charitable organization.
On the move: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are understood to have visited Stanford University on Tuesday in order to attend brainstorming sessions with professors
Their decision to work with academics at a university in California will no doubt raise more questions about whether the couple plans to relocate to the West Coast permanently, having spent the weeks since their withdrawal from the senior royal life living in Canada.
On Wednesday, DailyMail.com exclusively reported that Harry and Meghan are still weighing up their options as far as their decision to settle down, with Malibu, New York City, and Vancouver all in the running as potential home bases.
However, this is understood to be the first visit to California that the couple has made together in some time, although it is not known whether the couple took baby Archie with them on the trip, or whether they chose to stay on the West Coast in order to spend time with Meghan’s mother Doria, who lives in Los Angeles – a six-hour drive away from Stanford.
Upon their arrival at the campus, Harry and Meghan ‘were personally greeted by Marc Tessier-Lavigne, the university’s president’, before attending ‘brainstorming sessions’ with staff members who are helping them ‘with their ongoing work to establish a new charitable organization’.
When the couple first announced their plans to step back from senior royal life they made mention of their plans to launch a new charity, writing on their website that their decision to split their time between North America and the UK would help them in this endeavor.
‘This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity,’ they wrote.
It is unclear what role the Stanford professors and academics have within this new entity, nor have Harry and Meghan made clear exactly what cause, or causes, the organization will focus on.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Stanford University for comment.
Family trip? It is not known whether Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, took their son with them on the California trip, or whether they stayed on the West Coast to spend time with her mother Doria
Interestingly, Meghan did not choose to visit her alma mater – Northwestern University in Illinois – for the brainstorming session, which raises further questions about whether the couple’s visit to California saw them sewing seeds for a more permanent set-up on the West Coast.
Prince Harry did not attend a university in the UK, but instead went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where he began his military career in 2005.
The news comes just after it was reported that Prince Harry has been much happier since stepping down from his duties as as senior royal and moving to Canada.
‘Harry’s much happier in Canada and feels a lot more relaxed. So far he doesn’t regret the move’ a source told Us Weekly.
They added that protecting his wife and young son was Harry’s ‘number one priority’, and that he’s happy that he’s followed through.
It comes after a close friend exclusively revealed to DailyMail.com that Meghan Markle also has ‘no regrets’ about quitting the royal family and has been telling her friends she can have it all.
‘The sky’s the limit. She said [she and Harry] feel like a huge weight has been lifted,’ the insider explained.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently made a trip to Miami where Prince Harry spoke at a JP Morgan ‘billionaire’s summit’, where the two could have earned up to $1 million for the gig – during which Harry spoke about his mental health and therapy.
Prior to the jaunt to Florida, the couple had been holed up with their nine-month-old son Archie at a $14 million waterfront Vancouver Island mansion after announcing their bombshell departure news in early January.
‘They’ve been spending quality time together as a family. Meghan has been cooking and making homemade baby food for Archie,’ the friend said.
Hint hint? Today host Savannah Guthrie was given a byline on the story about Meghan and Harry’s visit to Stanford, which could mean she is hoping to secure an interview with them
Now with a routine in place, Meghan has been taking the steps to relaunch her career, with the insider adding: ‘Meghan said her work with Disney is far from over. The voice over is just the beginning and that there’s more collaborations to come.’
It was previously revealed Meghan signed a voice over deal with Disney in return for a donation to the charity Elephants Without Borders.
The deal was made after Prince Harry, 35, was caught on film touting his wife’s skills to Disney boss Bob Iger at the premiere of The Lion King in London in July 2019.
It seems the couple, who said they wanted to be financially independent when they stepped back from their royal duties, are eager to forge ahead with their new plan.
Their visit to Miami marks the first public appearance Meghan and Harry have made as a couple since their shock announcement.
One insider said the royals were ‘smart’ to take the gig, adding: ‘[It was] a very smart move to get in with some of the world’s richest people.
‘The conference is all about building wealth for future generations, and making the world better for future generations, a topic close to Harry’s heart.’
Ronn Torossian, CEO of New York-based PR firm 5W Public Relations, told the Mail he would expect the couple to have made between $500,000 and $1 million from the appearance.
PR executive Simon Huck – who is a friend of the Kardashian family – has already estimated that Meghan alone can make $100 million this year.
With more work on the horizon, Meghan is on the hunt for a manager or agent for future projects – two years after giving up her acting career to marry Harry.
The close friend said the couple can do ‘pretty much do everything from their house’, and have been ‘taking meetings and building up their hand-picked team, which will include her mom as a special advisor.’