Meghan Markle and Prince Harry reveal plan to transition away from royal life

Duke and Duchess of Sussex will officially step down as senior royals on 31 March

Sabrina Barr
Saturday 22 February 2020 12:20 GMT
Harry and Meghan: A timeline

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have revealed how they plan on transitioning away from royal life when they step down as senior members of the royal family next month.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Meghan and Prince Harry will formally stand down as senior royals on 31 March.

While it was previously reported that the couple’s use of the word “royal” in their Sussex Royal brand was under review, it has since emerged that they will not use the term “royal” in any of their branding from spring, in the UK or elsewhere.

Following the recent updates regarding their positions within the royal family, the duke and duchess shared a detailed explanation on their website outlining how they will move away from royal life.

The couple explained that they initially wanted to share the news concerning their “Spring 2020 transition” at an earlier date, in order “to mitigate any confusion and subsequent misreporting”.

On their website, Meghan and Prince Harry state that a 12-month review will be undertaken when they commence their “revised role” at the end of March.

They explain that the royal family “respect and understand” their wish to live a more independent life, and that they will become “privately funded members of the royal family with permission to earn their own income and the ability to pursue their own private charitable interests”.

The couple make it clear that while they will formally be known as His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex, their HRH titles will not actively be used.

Furthermore, while the duke and duchess will no longer partake in royal duties, Prince Harry will retain his position in the line of succession as the sixth in line to the throne, behind his father the Prince of Wales, his brother the Duke of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

While some have questioned whether Meghan and Prince Harry will be afforded security measures now that they are no longer working members of the royal family, the couple’s statement outlines that they will “continue to require effective security to protect them and their son”.

“This is based on the duke’s public profile by virtue of being born into the royal family, his military service, the duchess’ own profile and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years,” the explanation says.

“No further details can be shared as this is classified information for safety reasons.”

Last month, the decision was made that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s Buckingham Palace office would be closed, a resolution that was shared “personally” by the couple with their members of staff.

Meghan and Prince Harry have reportedly “worked closely with their staff to ensure a smooth transition for each of them”, something that has been “saddening” for them and their team.

There has been a great deal of conversation concerning whether the duke and duchess will be able to retain the use of the word “royal” in their branding, considering both their website and Instagram account go by the name “Sussex Royal”.

They explain that they “do not intend to use ‘Sussex Royal’ or any other iteration of the word ‘Royal’ in any territory” in the near future, including with regards to the development of their “new non-profit organisation”.

This also means that the trademark applications they submitted for “Sussex Royal” – which “reflected the same standard trademarking requests as done for The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge” – have been removed.

“As The Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue to develop their non-profit organisation and plan for their future, we hope that you use this site as the source for factual information,” the statement concludes.

“In Spring 2020, their digital channels will be refreshed as they introduce the next exciting phase to you.”

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