PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle have made their final split with the Royal Family.
They pair confirmed they will not be returning as working members of the monarchy and the Duke of Sussex has lost his military titles, Buckingham Palace announced today, February 19.
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Is Harry still a prince?
Yes, Harry is still a Prince by birthright.
However, the Palace said his and Meghan Markle’s honorary military appointments and royal patronages would be returned to the Queen.
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said they remain “committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world” despite not having official roles in the Royal Family.
They added: “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.”
Prince Harry has been stripped of his military titles including The Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving.
Meghan will also lose her patronages with The Royal National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities.
Harry and Meghan – who announced they are expecting their second child on February 14 – shocked senior royals last year by announcing plans to step back from their royal roles.
“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,” the Palace said.
“While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.”
Shortly after the announcement on February 19, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) confirmed that Harry would be stepping down from his role as a patron.
It said in a post on the England Rugby Twitter account: “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.”
Meghan and Harry are now living in the US, where they are raising their son Archie and expecting their second baby.
What’s happened so far
- July 2016: Harry and Meghan met on a blind date. They were introduced by a mutual friend, Harry said.
- November 2016: Photographs of the couple were published, showing them on holidays, eating and attending events together. Kensington Palace released a statement on behalf of Prince Harry saying that Meghan had been “subject to a wave of abuse and harassment” since the photos had been released.
- October 2017: Meghan Markle conducted an interview talking about what it was like to date a member of the Royal Family.
- November 2017: The couple announced their engagement.
- 19 May 2018: Meghan and Harry married at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and officially became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
- October 2018: Kensington Palace announced that the newlyweds were “very pleased” to be expecting a baby in the spring of 2019.
- 6 May 2019: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born at the Portland Hospital in London after Meghan went into labour in the early hours of the morning.
- June 2019: Harry and Meghan were criticised after it was revealed that their home – Frogmore Cottage – was renovated with £2.4m of taxpayer-funded costs.
- July 2019: Archie was christened during a private ceremony. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not announce Archie’s godparents.
- August 2019: Prince Harry and his brother Prince William have been at the centre of rift rumours for months.
- September 2019: Meghan guest-edited the September issue of British Vogue magazine.
- October 2019: During an interview, Prince Harry said he and his brothers were “on different paths”. He also opened up on his dislike for paparazzi. Following the interview which was aired in an ITV documentary, Harry said he could no longer be a “silent witness” to Meghan’s “private suffering”.
- December 2019: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a black and white Christmas card with their son Archie.
- January 2020: Harry and Meghan announced in an Instagram post that they wanted to step down as “senior” members of the Royal Family and become financially independent while splitting their time between the UK and North America. Later, it is understood that they had not informed any other members of the Firm of their decision before publishing the statement on social media.
- March 2020: After spending time in Canada, the couple moved to Los Angeles – with former US president Donald Trump tweeting the US would not pay for their security. Harry and Meghan upload their final post to Instagram, explaining to their 11.3 million followers that they will no longer be maintaining the Sussex Royal account or the Sussex Royal website.
- July 2020: Meghan Markle had a miscarriage.
- August 2020: Finding Freedom, an unofficial biography based on the couple’s split from the Royal Family, was released in the UK.
- November 2020: Harry and Meghan handed the keys to Frogmore Cottage to Princess Eugenie. At the end of November, Meghan wrote a personal essay for the New York Times saying she had a miscarriage in July which had caused her and Prince Harry “unbearable grief”.
- December 2020: Harry and Meghan landed a £30million deal with Spotify for their own podcast. Prince Harry and Prince William are said to keep in touch and to have “reconnected” over the Christmas period. There are also reports that the Cambridges and Sussexes have sent each other gifts.
- 14 February 2021: Harry and Meghan announced they are expecting their second baby. They said: “We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother.”
- 19 February 2021: Buckingham Palace confirmed Harry and Meghan will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family. Harry lost his military titles.
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Several of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s former patronages – including The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and The Rugby Football League – have thanked the couple for their support following the news they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust – only founded in 2018 – of which the Harry and Meghan were president and vice-president respectively said it was “lucky” to have had their support.
The National Theatre, one of Meghan’s patronages, thanked her for “championing” its work with communities and young people across the UK.