Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Slammed For Promoting Costly ‘Transformative Workout’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are huge advocates of healthy living. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the royal couple took to Instagram to promote a variety of workout programs, including one that is marketed as a “transformative workout of the body and mind.” The only problem is that the program comes with a hefty price tag.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Photo by Ben Birchall – WPA Pool / Getty Images

Fans slam Harry and Markle for promoting costly workout plans

According to NBC News, the class that came under fire is by Taryn Toomey, who is well known for putting together expensive getaways. As an example, Toomey organizes one fitness retreat in Mexico that goes for $3,500. Classes in The Hamptons sell for $42 a pop. Toomey hosts classes in other locations around the country, including venues in Los Angeles, New York City, Vancouver, Canada, and Miami.

Given the exorbitant costs, fans asked Harry and Markle why they would promote such classes instead of focusing solely on charities. Some royal experts also cautioned the couple about promoting various causes that might make it look like they were giving friends a special shout out.

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Today in the UK, a critical new 24/7 text helpline has launched – @giveusashoutinsta This free text messaging helpline is a private, silent and trusted way, for those experiencing mental health challenges to find a safe space to seek help and support. This is an extension of the @heads_together initiative backed by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Earlier last year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began supporting this vital program behind the scenes by hosting a meeting at Kensington Palace with contributors and partners. Last November, Their Royal Highnesses also made a surprise visit to meet with a group of Shout volunteers, and participated in a panel with mental health activist @bryonygordon hearing firsthand how the volunteers have found making the connection with vulnerable texters, a majority of whom are under 25, so rewarding – helping to get them through a moment of crisis to a calmer place, and giving them courage to find longer-term support. Powered by a team of trained volunteers, Shout has already quietly enlisted and trained 1,000 volunteers over the last 12 months, whom in turn have helped 60,000 people. SHOUT is modeled on @crisistextline in the US, which since 2013 has processed more than 100 million messages, Shout is the largest initiative of The Royal Foundation to date, in partnership with @heads_together. Tapping into the UK’s volunteer community, Shout aims to recruit 3,000 additional volunteers by the end of the year. Mobilizing a volunteer community with this innovative use of technology will go a long way in helping people get the critical help they need, often in the darkest of times, when those are privately and silently suffering and afraid to seek help. To sign up to volunteer, visit Be the change you wish to see in the world.

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Despite the backlash, it is good that Harry and Markle are promoting health and fitness, though they could have been a little more selective about how they went about it.

How did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle respond to the criticism?

The royal family has not commented on the backlash. Toomey’s representative allegedly released a statement following the couple’s Instagram post, thanking them for the support. Harry and Markle are involved in a larger campaign called Heads Together, which aims to promote mental health awareness. The campaign was organized by the Royal Foundation in partnership with Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Harry and Markle hope that their campaign will help end negative stigmas associated with mental health disorders and open up conversations on the topic. This is partly why they posted in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.

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Today, The Duke of Sussex visited Oxford to highlight the positive work being done in the city for young children, disabled people and the community at large. The Duke started his day meeting young patients at the Oxford Children’s Hospital. In 2016 at the @WellChild Awards, The Duke promised awardee Mikayla Beames he would visit her at hospital. Today, HRH was able to fulfill that promise and spend time with Mikayla and other patients and their families, along with the some of the extraordinary staff and teachers in the Hospital School who are on hand to support the young patients as they continue their studies whilst in hospital. Afterwards, The Duke of Sussex, in celebration of its 30th year, re-opened the OXSRAD Disability Sports and Leisure Centre, a facility first opened by his mother, Diana Princess of Wales in 1989. His Royal Highness felt honoured to pay tribute to her work and meet some of the people his mother met 30 years ago. This centre supports people with disabilities through sport and physical exercise – an area The Duke is particularly passionate about. HRH has seen the transformative effect sports, teamwork and exercise can have on people, not just physically but also for their mental fitness. The Duke’s final stop was at Barton Neighbourhood Centre to see the work of Thrive Teams, an initiative that supports at risk youth with access to education and employment. The Barton Centre includes a cafe, doctor’s office, sports hall, local police centre and food bank. The team there save nearly one tonne of food per day from being wasted and whip up some incredible meals for those that can’t afford to sustain themselves. Serving as a hub for this close-knit community, where 1 in 4 grow up in child poverty, this centre truly is a lifeline for its roughly 5,000 residents, but also an example of what can be achieved when we all come together.

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They may have received plenty of backlash for the organizations they promoted, but they undoubtedly had good intentions with the post. With over 7.6 million followers, the message was also heard by many.

“There are countless organizations doing amazing work for mental health — please consider the accounts we’ve highlighted as a small snapshot of this global support network,” the couple shared.

William and Harry could unite through family

Mental health controversies aside, Harry and Markle recently welcomed their first child into the world. Earlier this month, the pair had a healthy baby boy in Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The birth comes amid reports that Prince William and Prince Harry have grown apart in recent months.

Although royal staffers had hoped that two brothers would work together as they got older, those dreams were dashed as they started separate families and moved offices. But with the birth of Harry’s first child, there is a renewed hope that the pair will grow close once again.

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“We are incredibly excited to be launching this service, knowing it has the potential to reach thousands of vulnerable people every day. Over the last few months Shout has started working quietly behind the scenes. We have all been able to see the service working up close and are so excited for its future. At the heart of this service will be an incredible national volunteer community, one which needs to grow to allow us to support more people in crisis. We hope that many more of you will join us and be part of something very special.” — The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the launch of @GiveUsAShoutInsta. Shout is a new text messaging helpline that supports people in crisis. It operates 24/7 and connects people in need to trained volunteers who provide help at a time when it is most needed; enabling them to move from a moment of crisis to a calm state and form a plan for next steps to find longer-term support. As texting is private and silent, it opens up a whole new way to find help. It provides instant support – you can have a conversation at any time – at school, at home, on the bus, anywhere. This service is for everyone, but for younger people especially, texting is a trusted and familiar form of communication, and using text rather than apps makes it simple and accessible for everyone with a phone. Shout is powered by a team of volunteers who are at the heart of the service. They are trained to create a safe space for people experiencing mental health challenges. The programme is unique with the training and volunteering all done online, under the supervision of qualified clinicians. Working remotely, volunteers are part of a supportive and connected online community of 1,000, with the ambition of boosting that community to 4,000 by the end of the year. Interested in volunteering? Visit @GiveUsAShoutInsta or the link in our bio to find out more.

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Royal experts believe that Archie could bring some commonality back into William and Harry’s relationship. In fact, William expressed great excitement after he learned about the birth and fully welcomed Harry into the world of parenting. William and Middleton finally met Archie this past week, days before the couple went public with their first photo op. It is unclear how involved William and Middleton will be in Archie’s life, but they have made it clear that their children will know each other.

Inside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s growing family

Harry and Markle have already taken great strides to ensure that Archie lives as normal a life as possible. This includes not giving him any royal titles and moving him far from the gates of Kensington Palace. The couple has officially moved to Frogmore Cottage, near Windsor Castle, where they fully intend to raise Archie and any other future children they may have.

When it comes to adjusting to the new baby, inside sources claim that Harry and Markle are already getting used to having a baby in the house. Harry is also very proud of Markle and cannot give her enough praise for how she has handled herself the past few months. The pair first appeared for the cameras on May 8 just outside of St. George’s Hall at Windsor Castle and could not have looked any happier.

Prince Harry and Markle have not commented on the negative feedback they received on Instagram.