• Christine Schirmer, former head of communications at Pinterest, joins Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's PR team
  • The Sussexes also hired Toya Holness as their new press secretary
  • The team will oversee the communications strategy for their foundation Archewell and other projects

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just welcomed two additions to their communications team ahead of the launch of their new foundation.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex hired Christine Schirmer, the former head of communications at Pinterest and ex-corporate communications manager at Apple, in October as the new addition to the team in charge of the communications strategy for their foundation, Archewell, People reported.

Prince Harry and Markle also appointed Toya Holness, who previously led communications at the New York City Department of Education, as their new press secretary.

Schirmer and Holness will join James Holt, the Sussexes' communications lead in the U.K. The team will continue to work with Prince Harry and Markle's international agency of record, Sunshine Sachs.

Aside from Archewell, the group will also oversee the Sussexes' future production projects and other personal ventures.

After officially resigning from the royal family and giving up the right to use "royal" in their "branding," Prince Harry and Markle announced their new foundation in April, getting its name from the Greek word that inspired the name of their son, Archie.

"Before SussexRoyal came the idea of 'arche' — the Greek word meaning 'source of action,'" they said in a statement.

"We connected to this concept for the charitable organization we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name," the statement continued. "To do something of meaning, to do something that matters. Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon. We look forward to launching Archewell when the time is right.”

The timing of the couple’s announcement raised eyebrows as it came while the world was battling COVID-19. Human rights lawyer David Haigh called their new foundation a "vanity project," while royal biographer Phil Dampier noted its "appalling timing."

“If I were Harry and Meghan I would have laid low until this situation (coronavirus) was over,” Dampier told Daily Mail. “People everywhere are really concerned with dealing with this and it does not look good, however good the cause is.”

Despite the criticisms, the Sussexes launched the official website of their new charity in October.

An unnamed source earlier told People that Markle and Prince Harry have been planning the foundation for a long time and are excited about unveiling it.

"You’ll see what they’re focused on now will also be reflected in the core of the organization," the insider said of the couple. "They are excited to see it all come together. It’s what they have always dreamed of doing together."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit a local farming family, the Woodleys, on October 17, 2018 in Dubbo, Australia. Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images