Harry and Meghan not returning as working members of Royal Family
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not return as working members of the Royal Family, Buckingham Palace has said.
The Queen confirmed the couple would not “continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service”.
A statement from the palace added Prince Harry and Meghan “remain much loved members of the family”.
The couple said “service is universal” and offered to continue supporting the organisations they have represented.
The duke and duchess said last January they would step back as “senior” royals and work to become financially independent.
They formally stepped down in March, with a plan to review the arrangements after 12 months.
The confirmation means Prince Harry and Meghan, who now live in California, will return their honorary military appointments and Royal patronages.
Their departure follows conversations between Harry and members of the Royal Family.
A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “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.
“While all are saddened by their decision, the Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.”
A spokesman for Harry and Meghan said: “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.”
They added: “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
Several of the duke and duchess’s former patronages have thanked the couple for their support following the announcement.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust – which was founded in 2018, with Harry and Meghan appointed president and vice-president respectively – said it was “very lucky” to have had their “keen support and encouragement” in its formative years.
“They have enabled us to make fast progress and have helped us to take the organisation to readiness for its next phase,” the trust said in a statement.
“We are glad that they remain in our circle of supporters.”
The National Theatre, one of Meghan’s patronages, said the duchess had “championed” its work with communities and young people across the UK to make theatre accessible to all.
Meanwhile, the Rugby Football League thanked Harry “for his time, care and commitment” in supporting the organisation at all levels – from the children’s game to the England teams.
The Rugby Football Union also thanked the duke for his work as patron and vice patron, adding that it had “greatly valued his contribution to promoting and supporting the game”.
Which roles will Harry and Meghan give back?
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s military, Commonwealth and charitable association roles will be handed back to the Queen.
For Harry, those are:
- Captain General, the Royal Marines
- Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington
- Commodore-in-Chief, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving
- President, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
- Patron, the Rugby Football Union
- Patron, the Rugby Football League
And for Meghan:
- Vice-President, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
- Patron, the Royal National Theatre
- Patron, the Association of Commonwealth Universities
The announcement comes days after the couple revealed they are expecting their second child.
They are due to talk about their decision to step away from the monarchy in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey next month.
Since stepping back from royal duties, they have also signed deals with streaming giants Netflix and Spotify.
The duchess recently won a High Court privacy battle against the Mail on Sunday over the publication of extracts from a letter to her father.