LONDON – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will formally step down as senior royals next month.
The agreement reached between the Queen and the couple last month will be put into effect starting March 21, a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex says.
Starting April 1, Harry and Meghan will no longer hold an office at Buckingham Palace and will instead be represented by their U.K. charity foundation team.
‘The Duke and Duchess will be spending their time in both the United Kingdom and North America’, the spokesperson adds. ‘In addition to continuing to work closely with their existing patronages as they build a plan for engagement in the U.K. and the Commonwealth throughout the year, The Duke and Duchess have also been undertaking meetings as part of their ongoing work to establish a non-profit organization. The details of this new organization will be shared later in the year.
‘In general, the themes of their cause related work will remain unchanged, which includes the Commonwealth, community, youth empowerment and mental health, collectively’.
A review is still set to follow after 12 months, at which point the royal family will revisit the agreement.
‘As there is no precedent for this new model of working and eventual financial independence, the Royal Family and The Sussex have agreed to an initial 12-month review to ensure the arrangement works for all parties’, the spokesperson says.
Harry will retain the ranks of Major, Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader during this 12-month period, however, his honorary military position will not be used. No new appointment will be made to fill these roles before the 12-month review of the new arrangements is completed.
There are still ‘ongoing discussions’ on whether or not Meghan and Harry and can use word ‘royal’. Any changes will be revealed once the Sussexes their new charity organization, which was reportedly going to be named ‘Sussex Royal, the Charity Foundation’.
‘As The Duke and Duchess are stepping back as senior Members of the Royal Family, and will work towards financial independence, use of the word ‘Royal’ in this context, needed to be reviewed. Discussions are still ongoing, however, a change will be announced alongside the launch of their new non – profit organization’, their spokesperson says.
While the discussions continue, it reportedly appears likely that they will not use the word ‘royal’.
Meghan and Harry will formally retain their ‘HRH’ styles, but they will not actively use them. They will continue to be known as The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as well as by their titles of The Earl and Countess of Dumbarton and The Baron and Baroness Kilkeel. Prince Harry remains sixth in the line of succession, and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s status in the Order of Precedence is unchanged.
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