Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, newly financially-independent British royals, recently released their first Spotify podcast featuring an impressive star-studded guest list. From Sir Elton John to comedian James Corden, the podcast debut had a number of A-list personalities, some of whom have known the celeb-couple for several years.
During the 33-minute holiday special episode focused on mental health and mindfulness, the royal couple spoke with musician Sir Elton John, comedian James Corden, Hollywood mogul Tyler Perry, politician Stacey Abrams, teen activist Christina Adane, chef José Andrés, self-help guru Brené Brown, and women's rights activist Rachel Cargle.
Indian-American author Deepak Chopra, author Matt Haig, poet and campaigner Hussain Manawer, tennis star Naomi Osaka, and British artist George the Poet were also featured on the pilot episode. A report in Mail Online outlines the possible connections which helped the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex in lining up the stars for their episode.
Sir Elton John
The Grammy-winner, who was friends with Harry's mother Princess Diana, remained in touch with him after her death in 1997. He has performed at several royal family events, including Diana's funeral and Harry and Meghan's wedding lunch reception.
The late-night host was also in attendance at Harry and Meghan's wedding in May 2018 and reportedly performed at their star-studded evening reception afterwards.
When Meghan and Harry quit as senior members of the British royal family and relocated to the United States along with son Archie, it was Tyler Perry who lent them his massive LA mansion for several weeks until they bought a permanent home. The Hollywood mogul was reportedly introduced to Meghan by their mutual friend Oprah Winfrey.
A key political figure in Georgia, Abrams had previously spoken to the Duchess of Sussex in August to discuss voter suppression in the US and how it affects people of colour ahead of the presidential elections.
The 17-year-old activist from London, who fights against food injustice among several other causes, reportedly came in contact with the royal couple through her campaigning.
The chef and restaurateur made a name for himself in the US after arriving in the country from his native Spain with just $50 to his name. The three Michelin-star chef, whose non-profit venture World Central Kitchen provides free meals in natural disasters and helped deliver free food amid coronavirus pandemic, collaborated with Harry and Meghan for their new charitable venture earlier this month.
Harry and Meghan have themselves admitted that they "adore" the self-help guru who has several celebrity fans including Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Aniston.
The women's rights activist featured in the special episode of the Time100 talks hosted by Harry and Meghan in October.
The Indian-American author, who calls himself an "explorer of consciousness" and is one of the best-known figures in alternative medicine and the New Age movement, had his work featured on Meghan's lifestyle blog 'The Tig.' The former American actress closed the site prior to her marriage into the British royal family.
Meghan is a huge fan of the author and included his poem in her guest edit of British Vogue last year. The bestseller author, who has been open about his struggles with depression and anxiety, called Meghan's choice to include his piece a "surreal honour."
The poet and campaigner met with the "Suits" alum backstage at an event held before she met Harry, and the two spoke about the importance of mental health.
It is not known how the 23-year-old tennis star was approached by the couple. One possible connection between them can be tennis legend Serena Williams, who is close friends with Meghan.
George the Poet
The British spoken-word artist has known the royal couple for a long time, and also performed on their wedding day. He was even offered an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), but he turned it down citing the monarchy's unfair treatment of his ancestral homeland of Uganda.
Harry and Meghan announced earlier this month that their newly-formed Archewell Audio production company has signed an exclusive podcast deal with Spotify, under which they would be bringing "forward different perspectives and voices that perhaps you haven't heard before - and find[ing] our common ground".