SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: The day the dream of a royal Fab Four finally died as Companies House receives notice to formalise Harry and Meghan's break from joint charity with William and Kate

When Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, courtiers had high hopes they would form a ‘Fab Four’ with William and Kate.

The two couples duly appeared on stage together to promote their Royal Foundation, with officials briefing it would be the first of many such events.

Yesterday, however, that dream died. 

I can reveal that the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex formally sent notice to Companies House that their joint name should be struck from its official register.

When Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, courtiers had high hopes they would form a ‘Fab Four’ with William and Kate

When Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, courtiers had high hopes they would form a ‘Fab Four’ with William and Kate

‘It’s very sad,’ a friend of the Princes tells me. ‘But this is just the formal confirmation that they are going their separate ways.’

A notice posted on the Companies House website yesterday recorded ‘Change of Name’ next to the foundation’s entry, adding that the relevant documentation was being processed and would be available within five days.

The foundation was established back in 2009 by the royal brothers, who had always been so close. Kate’s title was added after she married William, as was Meghan’s last year.

The two couples duly appeared on stage together to promote their Royal Foundation, with officials briefing it would be the first of many such events

The two couples duly appeared on stage together to promote their Royal Foundation, with officials briefing it would be the first of many such events

The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex formally sent notice to Companies House that their joint name should be struck from its official register

The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex formally sent notice to Companies House that their joint name should be struck from its official register 

Yesterday’s move was the concluding step in the painfully public divorce of the ‘Fab Four’. 

Harry and Meghan are busy setting up their own charitable organisation and have already trademarked the name ‘Sussex Royal: The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’.

The Sussexes also persuaded one of the old foundation’s most distinguished directors, the award-winning ‘social entrepreneur’ Natalie Campbell, to quit as its ‘director of insight and innovation’, and join them at their fledgling enterprise.

It seems inevitable that Harry and Meghan’s new foundation will be seen not as a sister organisation to the original Royal Foundation but as a rival for funds and attention — an early indication of which was given last month.

Harry and Meghan used their new Instagram account to highlight 15 environmental causes to their 9.3 million followers — without even a fleeting reference to Prince William’s charity, United For Wildlife.

SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: The dream of royal Fab Four died as Harry and Meghan break from joint charity

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