Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are ending 2020 on a hopeful note.
On Tuesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a special episode from their upcoming Archewell Audio podcast, featuring uplifting messages from a plethora of famous names from the worlds of entertainment, social activism, sports, and more.
The special episode, which is part of the couple’s new multiyear production deal with Spotify, sees Harry and Meghanshare personal experiences from the past year, as well as looking forward to the year to come and all they hope to achieve, before being joined by the likes of Stacey Abrams, Deepak Chopra, Elton John, James Corden, Brené Brown, and Tyler Perry, who also share their anecdotes and aspirations. “We thought, what if we can bring together some people that inspire us —people that we admire…and get their thoughts on what they learned from 2020,” Markle explains while introducing the guests.
The couple also uses the one-off special installment to thank frontlines workers and pay tribute to those who have suffered losses in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re glad you’re here,” says Harry. “As we all know, it’s been a year and we really want to honor the compassion and kindness that has helped so many people get through it.” While Meghan adds, “At the same time, to honor those who have experienced uncertainty and unthinkable loss. Our thoughts have been with you, especially during this holiday season.”
Towards the end of the podcast, the duchess shares a hopeful message with listeners in which she states that “love wins” before going on to the play the song “This Little Light of Mine,” which played at the very end of the couple’s 2018 wedding. “It was the music that we wanted playing when we started our lives together because as we all know, ‘darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that,'” she says. Harry then adds to that sentiment, saying, “The message of this song is one we hold so dearly. It’s about using the power we each have within us to make this world a better place.”
For fans of the royals, however, the most special guest may come in the form of their son Archie himself. You’ll have to listen to the very end to catch it, but let’s us tell you, it’s worth the wait.
On Tuesday, Spotify announced a multi-year partnership with Archewell Audio, the newly formed, audio-first production company created by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Archewell Audio will produce programming that uplifts and entertains audiences around the world and will aim to spotlight diverse perspectives and voices.
As part of the partnership, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will host and produce podcasts that build community through shared experiences, narratives, and values. “What we love about podcasting is that it reminds all of us to take a moment and to really listen, to connect to one another without distraction,” said the couple in a statement. “With the challenges of 2020, there has never been a more important time to do so, because when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.”
It’s been a busy year for the Duke and Duchess since they moved to California. Back in September, the couple signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce feature films, scripted series, documentaries, and children’s programming amid their new careers in Hollywood, following their previously announced intentions to step back from royal duties in the United Kingdom. Later this month, Archewell Audio will release a holiday special hosted by Harry and Meghan that will feature stories of hope and compassion from inspirational guests in celebration of the new year.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may live in California but the power of their voices rests in their status as citizens of the world,” said Spotify chief content and advertising business officer Dawn Ostroff. “That they are embracing the extraordinary capacity of podcasts on Spotify while also seeking to elevate underrepresented voices is a testament to their appreciation for the potential of audio storytelling. We are proud to partner with the Duke and Duchess and look forward to listeners hearing directly from them and the other creators that they will be elevating via our global platform.”