PRINCE HARRY is to be joined by one of Meghan Markle’s best friends, Serena Williams, at an upcoming event. Prince Harry is set to make his first public appearance of the year on February 3, when he will take part in the first annual Inner Work Day organised by BetterUp, the mental health and coaching firm he works for. The event was first announced earlier this month.
But the company sent sports fans and supporters of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex into a frenzy on Wednesday by announcing Harry would be joined by Williams during the panel. A third speaker on the panel will be Alexi Robichaux, the CEO of BetterUp. The tweet announcing the tennis star’s appearance at the event read: “Breakthroughs happen when you take a break.
“Learn how Inner Work builds Mental Fitness with BetterUp CEO @Arobichaux, Chief Impact Officer Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, and world-renowned athlete @serenawilliams. “A Better You awaits at http://innerworkday.com”.
Among the fans of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex taking to Twitter to rejoice at the news, there was the user with the account @meghan_world, which wrote on the platform: “Hey Squaddies! Serena Williams, GOAT [Greatest Of All Time], is joining the panel with Prince Harry and @BetterUp on Feb 3rd for Inner Work Day!”
A second, @sussexsquadpod1, wrote: “I am so excited for this #PrinceHarry and #SerenaWilliams”. Another, @SussexEvent, said February 3 will be an “exciting day”. A fourth Twitter user, @Jasamgurlie, wrote: “Awwww, yay!!! Meghan’s bestie & her husband.” Finally, @schaekay1 added: “My two faves at the same event, can’t wait. Love @serenawilliams”.
Both Williams and Harry have been discussing mental health over the past years. The tennis champion spoke about her post-natal depression in a candid message she shared on Instagram in 2018. Prince Harry has also been speaking openly about his mental wellbeing since 2017, when he first discussed in public how the death of his mother Diana had affected him.
The Duke has been focusing his work on mental health for years. In 2016, as a senior royal, he launched Heads Together with his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate. The initiative was aimed at breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health.
Three years later, Harry and his wife Meghan collaborated with the Cambridges to the launch of the 24/7 free messaging text service, Shout, which provides confidential and immediate support to people experiencing a crisis. The four royals also voiced an advert launching the NHS platform Every Mind Matters.
Another initiative focused on mental health Harry has worked on has been HeadFIT, a platform launched in the spring of 2020 in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence designed to help army personnel and veterans be more proactive with maintaining their mental and physical health.
The Duke of Sussex has continued to be committed to raising awareness on the importance to care for one’s mental health as much as the physical health even after stepping down as senior royal. In 2020, Harry and Meghan dropped in a video team meeting at Crisis, the text service which inspired the creation of Shout. In March 2021, BetterUp announced Harry would join the company as its chief impact officer.
In this role, Harry focuses, among other duties, on driving advocacy and awareness, expanding the company’s global community and guiding its social mission. Williams and Meghan are known to have been friends for years after their first meeting at a Super Bowl party.
The tennis star is believed to have co-hosted the baby shower thrown for Meghan in New York in February 2019, ahead of the birth of Archie Harrison. On the other hand, Meghan travelled to New York in September 2019 to cheer for her friend during the US Open Women final.