Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spent the past year doing their own thing, having stepped away from being working members of the royal family last March. But what some people didn’t realise is that, initially, their withdrawal from royal duties was only a year-long trial.
Now, however, in breaking news Buckingham Palace has confirmed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departure from the senior ranks of the royal family is permanent. In a statement issued today, the Palace said:
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.
“Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.”
The formal notice added that “all are saddened by their decision,” but that the couple “remain much loved members of the family.”
As a result of stepping down, Meghan and Harry no longer use their HRH titles but still retain their Duke and Duchess titles. They also no longer receive any public funds, and last year repaid the £2.4 million that was spent re-jazzing the home gifted to them by the Queen, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
In the past year, the couple moved to Montecito in California, and have signed a Netflix deal as well as a deal with Spotify to create a podcast. They recently announced they are expecting their second child, and will be speaking exclusively to Oprah Winfrey about life as a royal, marriage, parenthood, and handling life under intense public pressure.
In a statement from Buckingham Palace issued last year, Her Majesty said she understood that royal life had been difficult for Harry and Meghan, and publicly supported their choice to move away.
“I recognised the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life,” the statement read. “I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.”
No doubt the Queen is very sad this marks the end of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s official duties, but considering how much happier they are reported to be in their new life, I’m sure she believes deep down it’s the right decision.
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