Duke and Duchess of Sussex fear production company exodus As aides leave

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are facing additional staff losses from Archewell as two more important aides have said they are leaving after “making a cultural mark”.

The couple has had a busy few months, with the publication of their Netflix documentary and Prince Harry’s contentious memoir. However, when the couple starts to “look forward” after these projects, the firm will lose two of its key figures later this year, during what is still a vital time for the Duke and Duchess.

Ben Browning, the internal content head of Archewell Productions, the filmed content arm, and Fara Taylor, the marketing team leader, will not be replaced. Ashley Hansen, the organization’s chief of communication, confirmed the departures and stated that they both “exceeded expectations and left their imprint inside the cultural zeitgeist”.

She went on to say that the Duke and Duchess are “hugely grateful” for their help with the “vital look-back projects” that they have just issued. Mr. Browning, an Oscar-nominated producer, has been hailed as “integral” in leading the couple’s creations so far, including the groundbreaking Harry & Meghan Netflix series.

He was in charge of the whole production, which became Netflix’s most-streamed documentary series launch, with 81.55 million hours viewed in the first week. It was regarded as a “very Californian exercise in grievance” and a “tedious, narcissistic wallow” in the UK press.

Archewell Productions quickly followed this record-breaking series with the Live to Lead documentary, produced in collaboration with the Mandela Foundation, which garnered a more muted reception. A spokesperson stated that Mr. Browning’s exit will be followed by a period of focus on scripted content production, with Chanel Pysnik continuing to handle unscripted material for Archewell.

However, Ms. Taylor’s exit comes as the pair plans to simplify the company’s marketing arm following the success of Meghan’s Spotify podcast and other releases. Ms. Hansen will continue to oversee the staff, which also works directly with the Duke and Duchess as their worldwide press secretary. “Ben and Fara have been integral to the creation and execution of many critically and commercially acclaimed projects during their tenure,” she said.

“They have expertly delivered content and campaigns that have exceeded expectations and made their mark within the cultural zeitgeist.” Ms. Hansen added: “They played a critical role in helping to tell the stories of the Duke and Duchess thus far and the couple remains hugely grateful for their support on those vital look-back projects, as they now look forward”.

The most recent departures come after the couple announced last month that they would take “full control” of their company after Mandana Dayani, who had led Archewell for less than 18 months, stepped down. Ms. Dayani, who was identified as Archewell’s president and chief operating officer, resigned by mutual consent and was not replaced.

As it approaches its third year, the firm has hired a co-executive director to oversee the non-profit Archewell Foundation alongside James Holt, and Serena Regan has been appointed head of podcasts.