Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have confirmed to the Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the royal family.
Although the one-year review period staring last March 31 was not yet up, the couple shared their decision with the royal family a month early.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement,
“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.
While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.”
A spokesperson for the couple told Harper’s Bazaar,
“As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
- Harry and Meghan will no longer be President and Vice President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
- Meghan’s patronages with The Association of Commonwealth Universities and The Royal National Theatre have also come to an end.
- Harry’s roles with The Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League are finished
- Harry’s RAF (Royal Air Force) Honnington, Royal Marines, and Royal Navy Small Ships & Diving military appointments will also be reverted to the Queen.
A spokesperson for the National Theatre said,
“We are very grateful for the support offered by The Duchess of Sussex throughout the course of her patronage. The Duchess championed our work with communities and young people across the U.K., and our mission to make theatre accessible to all.”
A friend of the Sussexes told Bazaar that the couple wanted to continue their work with a number of their charitable patronages. They are
“disappointed but not surprised”
Meghan will still be involved with The Mayhew Animal Charity and women’s employment charity, Smart Works. Harry is still the patron of the Invictus Foundation, which he founded in 2014, and children’s charity WellChild.
WellChild’s Chief Executive Colin Dyer told Bazaar,
“We are delighted to have the Duke of Sussex as our Patron. He has always been a great supporter of WellChild’s work and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future. …
We know he is as passionate as we are that young people with serious health conditions continue to receive the support they need as we recover, rebuild and work to return to normal life.”
The timing does look rather bad, as Harry’s 99 year-old grandfather Prince Phillip is in the hospital for a third night.
The further disappointment (and irony) for the Queen is that she is on the throne because of the abdication of The Duke of Windsor to be with Wallace Simpson. This made her father George, King and her the Queen upon his early death when she was just 25.
The soap opera saga of The British Royal Family continues…
A Buckingham Palace statement on The Duke and Duchess of Sussex ➡️https://t.co/nl7RiZmGiZ— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) February 19, 2021
Prince Harry will be stepping down from his role as RFU Patron.— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 19, 2021
We would like to thank Prince Harry for his time and commitment to the RFU both in his position as Patron and Vice Patron. The RFU has greatly valued his contribution to promoting and supporting the game. pic.twitter.com/9Gp3oyuYnD
(Photos, Instagram, Royal Family; via Harper’s Bazaar)