Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Duchess Meghan Markle have confirmed that they will not return as working members of the royal family, Buckingham Palace said on Friday.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are formally known, will have to relinquish their honorary military appointments and patronages. This marks their final split with the British royal family.
“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,”
Buckingham Palace said in a statement. “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 statement said that the royal family was “saddened” by the decision of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, adding that the couple will remain loved members of the family.
Harry and Meghan had announced in January last year that they were stepping back as senior members of the royal family and will work towards becoming financially independent. They had said that the decision will enable them to raise their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor with an appreciation for the royal tradition and provide the family with the “space to focus on the next chapter”. Harry had hinted that the pressures of excessive media scrutiny had led to their decision.
Following the decision, the couple and the royal family had agreed on a 12-month review. “A decision has now been made after conversations between The Duke of Sussex and Members of The Royal Family,” the statement said. They had officially stepped down in March.