As part of a finalized deal allowing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to step down as senior members of the royal family, Buckingham Palace announced the Duke and Duchess will lose not only their His and Her Royal Highness titles but also public funds paid by the British taxpayer. The couple will also repay the approximate $3 million spent on renovating their UK home, Frogmore Cottage.
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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
The Queen moved swiftly to broker a deal after the pair suddenly announced on Instagram they would be taking a step back from royal duties and planned to spend their time between the UK and North America – a move unprecedented in the royal family.
A statement released by Buckingham Palace read, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.”
A statement from Her Majesty The Queen.https://t.co/ZAPC5ARUup
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 18, 2020
“As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties,” the statement read.
“While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty,” Buckingham Palace revealed. “The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.”
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their family home,” the statement said of the some $3 million plus in taxpayer funds that were used to renovate the property located at Windsor Castle.
“This new model will take effect in the Spring of 2020,” the statement continued.
In a statement shared on the Duke and Duchess’s Instagram page, the Queen expressed support for Harry and Meghan’s “peaceful new life” revealing intense media scrutiny by the UK tabloids helped lead to the couple’s decision to take a step back from royal duties.
“I recognize the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life,” the Queen said. “I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family. It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”