If reports are true — and, please God, don’t let them be — then the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are planning their very own New Year Honours list. Papers filed in the US apparently show that Harry and Meghan’s Archewell foundation is preparing to distribute alternative awards that will celebrate “charitable service, education, science, literature, racial justice, gender equity, environmental stewardship, youth empowerment, health and mental health”. All of which, if you ask me, are far too specific. Here are the medals that Harry and Meghan should be handing out instead.
The Archewell Medal for Self-Actualized Emotional Intelligence
The real honors list places too much emphasis on real things that people have actually done in real life. Where are the awards for people who have spent the year working on themselves? Perhaps they made the choice to banish their negative energy. Perhaps they read the self-help book that Adele kept going on about this year. Perhaps they bought a Peloton. Either way, these people deserve recognition just as much as actual heroes do.
The Archewell Medal for Meaningful Empowerment
If you looked at the guest list for her wedding or the cover of the Vogue issue she edited, you will have realized that Meghan badly wants to be friends with as many famous people as possible. Offering them an award with “meaningful empowerment” written on it seems like the easiest way for her to achieve that. Oprah would gladly take one. So would Reese Witherspoon. Beyoncé would take five or six. Gwyneth Paltrow would probably clad her entire house with them. Bingo, you’ve just bought your way into the celebrity inner sanctum.
The Archewell Medal for Discovering Closure in a Holistic Paradigm
Look, I’m going to level with you here. I have no idea what any of these words mean. But I can very clearly imagine Harry struggling to sound them all out phonetically in a tone-deaf Zoom conversation about the unfairness of inherited privilege, delivered to mark the launch of yet another worthy start-up that nobody will ever pay attention to. And for that reason it’s in.
The Archewell Medal for Services to Profound Zoom Backgrounds
This year we discovered that the things behind us during Zoom calls define us as people. This award goes out to those who made the most painfully earnest effort. The people with yoga mats. The people with bonsai plants. The people with backgrounds that were blank except for a copy of the Marie Kondo book to prove that the blankness was deliberate. The people with huge manicured Zen gardens being worked on by underpaid immigrants. This award is for you.
The Archewell Raindrop Medal for Nature
Sorry, humans. This medal is for nature. Like, the entire concept of nature, which is Harry’s favorite thing. Nature makes people happy, after all, which is a part of why it exists. What would the world be without nature? It would be ugly and bad. Note: Meghan knows that this award is pointless, but she also knows that if she includes it Harry will spend most of 2021 up a ladder trying to pin it to a cloud, which will allow her to concentrate on running for president in peace.
The Archewell Medal for Private Transport
Tyler Perry’s private jet, which flew them from Canada to Los Angeles in the middle of a pandemic. The private jet Harry took to London, hours after delivering an impassioned speech about climate change. Any of the four private jets they took over an 11-day span last year, creating tons and tons of completely unnecessary carbon emissions. All of these brave vehicles deserve medals. Ideally made of fossil fuels if possible.
Stuart Heritage is a Kent, U.K.–based Writer at Large for AIR MAIL