Meghan and Harry confirm they will not return as working royals

Duke and Duchess ‘remain much loved members of the family’, Buckingham Palace says

Clea Skopeliti
Friday 19 February 2021 17:05 GMT
<p>The couple recently announced that they are expecting their second child</p>

The couple recently announced that they are expecting their second child

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be returning as working members of the royal family, Buckingham Palace has said in a statement.

The Queen confirmed that they would not “continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service”.

The decision was made following conversations between Harry and members of the royal family.

The pair’s responsibilities and duties, such as honorary military appointments and royal patronages, will be returned to the Queen and will then be shared among working members of the royal family.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “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 couple announced their decision to step back from royal duty in January last year, saying they would be beginning a new life as financially independent royals.

They formally stepped down as senior members of the British royal family on 1 April 2020 and have since given up the use of their royal titles and relocated from London to California.

A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex 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. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”

Since stepping down from their duties, the Sussexes have signed deals with Spotify and Netflix estimated to be worth more than £100m.

Reacting to the news, journalist and royal biographer Angela Levin said that she was “not in the least surprised” that the couple will be stripped of their patronages, explaining that the Queen’s “sense of duty is more important than grandchildren or children or great grandchildren”.

Levin told PA that the Queen “doesn’t want the royal family’s name to be tainted” and believes the Sussexes have “crossed the red line” by becoming “increasingly escapist”.

The Duke and Duchess recently announced they are expecting a second child, with their spokesperson saying they can “confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother”.

The announcement also follows Meghan winning a privacy case against the Mail on Sunday over the publication of a “personal and private” handwritten letter to her estranged father.

In a statement released following the ruling, the Duchess said she was grateful Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) had been “held to account for their illegal and dehumanising practices”. She condemned the “tactics” it used, adding that they have been “going on for far too long without consequence”.

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