It’s been a tense week at Buckingham Palace as the royal family scrambled to negotiate a plan for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s future. Now, Buckingham Palace has released an official statement declaring an end to negotiations — and the outcome may surprise you. Harry and Meghan are giving up their royal titles, will no longer receive public funding, and will repay the taxpayer funds used to renovate their home in Windsor. Going forward, they’ll be able to earn money in the private sector, and will no longer represent the Queen.
As reported by BBC, Buckingham Palace’s official statement says that Harry and Meghan “are required to step back from royal duties, including official military appointments,” and “will no longer receive public funds for royal duties.”
“The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family,” the statement continues. The New York Times reports that Harry and Meghan will still have the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but will no longer have the “Royal Highness” designation.
The Queen also released a statement today, which Harry and Meghan shared on their Instagram. “Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family,” the monarch wrote. “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.”
“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 added. “It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful life.”
Statements from Buckingham Palace and the Queen
1. Harry/Meghan will no longer use HRH title
2. They will no longer represent the Queen and will not receive public funds
3. They will repay the sovereign grant for the renovation of Frogmore Cottage which will remain their home pic.twitter.com/2c2jVLnjKt
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 18, 2020
So, Harry and Meghan are no longer royal highnesses and will no longer receive public funding — what about the funds they’re repaying for renovations to their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage?
“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 UK family home,” Buckingham Palace reports. Those renovations cost an estimated $3.1 million in taxpayer money — and frankly, we’re impressed that Harry and Meghan offered to pay it back.
While we’re sure things over at Buckingham Palace are still a bit tense, we’re hoping the Queen’s warm, thoughtful statement will set the tone for how Meghan and Harry’s retreat is viewed across the UK.
The Queen added that she is “particularly proud” of how Meghan has “become one of the family,” likely knowing that many in the UK will view her as trying to pull the royal family apart. If the Queen can respect Harry and Meghan’s need for a more independent life, we just hope the rest of the world can follow suit.