Royal Family side projects: William and Kate's new YouTube channel to Meghan's children's book

Everything you need to know about the Royal Family's passion projects

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leave after attending Christmas Day Church service
(Image credit: Stephen Pond/Getty)

The British monarchy might have a lot to juggle, but even members of the Royal Family manage to make time for a few side projects.

From William and Kate's YouTube channel to Meghan Markle's new children's book, the royals have plenty of creative ideas to share with their millions of followers.

If you're curious about the family's side hustles, read on to see what types of jobs and projects the dukes and duchesses have explored outside of their royal duties.

Royal Family side gigs and passion projects

Kate Middleton: philanthropy and photography

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles as she meets schoolchildren and teachers at Holy Trinity Church of England First School in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, north-east England

(Image credit: Photo by ANDY COMMINS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

If the Duchess of Cambridge were in search of a social media role, we'd hire her immediately. 

Kate Middleton has been making quite a splash on her royal Instagram account, capturing the attention of fans with her sweet family photos. She has also put her photography skills to work for her latest campaign, Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020—a coffee table book of images that highlights the UK's strength, compassion and unity during the pandemic.

She is also engaged in philanthropic work, and people often compare her to Princess Diana for her authentic, natural interaction with children—from all walks of life.

However, what's captured people's attention recently is William and Kate's YouTube channel. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's recently launched channel will give focus on projects that are important to them, as well as giving followers a chance to see their sillier side—as shown in their welcome video. 

Prince William: wildlife conservation, mental health advocacy and football supporter

Prince William

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince William's side projects are focused on a wide variety of philanthropic causes. In 2014, he founded the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, whose aim is to bring an end to illegal wildlife trade. That same year, he and Kate Middleton also launched Moving Parents and Children Together, which assisted children who were exposed to parental drug abuse. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (initially with Prince Harry) set up Heads Together—a mental health initiative that campaigns to reduce the stigma around mental health and raises funds for education. 

Prince William is also a diehard football (soccer) fan and acts as the President of England's Football Association, regularly speaking out on key issues concerning the game and its supporters.

At the time of writing the Cambridge's YouTube channel already has over 490K subscribers, despite only having posted three videos. A recent poll by Money.co.uk, of 3,264 people, showed that 55% of those surveyed thought the new YouTube channel was a good idea. 

Most popular content suggestion for the royal couple? 45% of people surveyed were keen to see the royals do a 'day in the life' video post. In second place—with 26% of the vote—was a palace tour. Perhaps Kate's next project will be vlogging?

Meghan Markle: author, investor, activist + deal-maker

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex attends a Creative Industries and Business Reception

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty)

Meghan Markle got her start in acting, before she became a royal (albeit briefly). She is best known for her role in Suits, a legal drama on USA, and even made a few appearances on the game show Deal or No Deal. (But, no, that wasn't actually her on NCIS Los Angeles.) Additionally, she got her creative juices flowing thanks to The Tig, her lifestyle website that she shut down on entry to the Royal Family. 

But Markle's focus, above all, is philanthropy. Her resumé of charity work is extensive, and she's worked alongside organizations such as One Young World and World Vision before ultimately founding her non-profit—The Archewell Foundation—alongside her hubby Prince Harry. 

Most recently, she announced the publication of her children's book, The Bench, due to hit shelves on June 8, 2021. It is an inclusive nod to fathers and sons everywhere, all seen through a mother's eyes. Unsurprisingly, Prince Harry and baby Archie were Meghan's inspirations for this poem-turned-picture book.

"My hope is that The Bench resonates with every family, no matter the makeup, as much as it does with mine," Markle said in a statement.

Most recently, both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle co-chaired the Vax Live concert in California, where Harry received a rockstar welcome. 

Prince Harry: podcaster, Veterans supporter + mental health advocate

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex visits Croke Park, home of Ireland's largest sporting organisation, the Gaelic Athletic Association on July 11, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland

(Image credit: Samir Hussein / Contributor Getty Images)

Prince Harry has been known to buck the system. He shocked the world by stepping down from his royal role in 2020, but the Duke of Sussex found plenty of ways to fill the void, from founding a non-profit to scoring a megabucks deal with Netflix. 

Alongside wife Meghan Markle, Prince Harry created the Archewell Foundation in 2020. The undertaking is meant to put "compassion into action" through nonprofit work. This also included the creation of the Archewell Podcast, which rose in the Spotify ranks and even included a brief appearance from baby Archie!

In 2021, Prince Harry took on a new role—in line with his previous Royal mental health campaigning (Heads Together, with William & Kate)—as 'Chief Impact Officer' of the California-based wellbeing startup, BetterUp

“As BetterUp’s first Chief Impact Officer, my goal is to lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations," Prince Harry said in a statement. 

Additionally, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex signed a multi-year deal with Netflix that will allow them to work on documentaries, films, and children's shows. Archewell Foundation's first Netflix series, Heart of Invictus, will be in partnership with The Invictus Games Foundation. The Invictus Games, which Prince Harry founded in 2014, is a multi-country sports competition for servicemen and women who are sick, wounded or have been injured.

Danielle Valente
Danielle Valente

Danielle is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. When she's not working, you can find her experimenting with new recipes or sitting on the couch with a good book and a cup of coffee.