Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have made their split with the British royal family permanent, telling Queen Elizabeth that they will never be returning as working members of the monarchy, Buckingham Palace says
Harry and Meghan shocked the world in January 2020 by suddenly announcing they were splitting from the family and leaving the United Kingdom in one of the most extraordinary royal exits in decades.
Now the split has been formalised after lengthy discussions with the Queen.
In a bitter blow, the pair will lose their honorary military appointments and royal patronages which revert to the Queen and will be distributed among other family members.
As feared, on the chopping block are Harry's military titles with The Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving as well patronages with The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, The Rugby Football Union, The Rugby Football League and The Royal National Theatre.
The initial deal brokered by the Queen last year gave the pair their freedom from royal duties, but they had to agree not to use the word 'royal' in their branding and a 12-month review was agreed.
A statement released by Buckingham Palace announcing the outcome of discussions with the Duke and Duchess stated the family were 'all saddened by their decision'.
The full statement from Buckingham Palace reads:
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. While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.
The split will pave the way for the pair's decision to break their silence in a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey next month in which their exit from royal life will be discussed for the first time by the duo.
Meghan and Harry released a statement confirming they will remain committed to their 'duty and service in the Uk and across the globe.
“We can all live a life of service. Service is universal,” a spokesperson for the couple said.
“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.”
Harry and Meghan initially left the UK for Canada after the first deal was brokered, later relocating to California where they currently live in Montecito in a sprawling mansion with their son Archie.
Additional reporting by AAP.
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