Ever since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their royal retreat aka Megxit, we’ve been rooting for the couple — if not entirely sure what this step back will mean. Finally, we have new details from the Sussex couple’s spokesperson on what changes to expect for this ex-royal duo, and exactly when those changes will take effect.
People confirms that Harry and Meghan will begin their new, less-royal life on March 31, after which they’ll no longer have an office at Buckingham Palace. The spokesperson has confirmed the living arrangements we suspected, stating that “the Duke and Duchess will be spending their time in both the United Kingdom and North America.”
And apparently, the couple has some exciting non-profit plans in the works already. “In addition to continuing to work closely with their existing patronages as they build a plan for engagements 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 new non-profit organization,” the spokesperson added. “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.”
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Wishing a very happy 10th birthday to Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) charity, staff and everyone who has played their part in supporting injured British Armed Forces servicemen and women over the last decade! The Duke of Sussex, who has played a significant part in the impact made by WWTW, has been able to see first-hand the resilience and strength of those men and women who were injured in service to their country. The Duke has worked hard to raise awareness over the years, including an expedition to the North Pole in 2011, trekking across the South Pole with 12 injured servicemen from the UK, the US and the Commonwealth in 2013, and joining wounded veterans for their incredible 1,000-mile walk of Britain in 2015! Established in 2010, @SupportTheWalk has created pathways for vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society and keep their independence – focusing on those facing the toughest challenges since leaving the military. Offering assistance through programmes to those who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged by their service and assist them through new sustainable careers. The outcome of the remarkable work over the past 10 years? Sustainable employment, and independence for thousands of veterans and their families. For more information as to how you can support WWTW, please visit @SupportTheWalk Photo © WWTW / PA
After 12 months of Meghan and Harry testing out their new roles, the royal family plans to check back in on the terms of the agreement. “As there is no precedent for this new model of working and eventual financial independence, the Royal Family and The Sussexes have agreed to an initial 12-month review to ensure the arrangement works for all parties.”
Another point of discussion has been whether or not Harry and Meghan can continue to use the word “royal” to refer to themselves, such as on their Instagram page @sussexroyal. “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,” the spokesperson confirmed. “Discussions are still ongoing, however, a change will be announced alongside the launch of their new non-profit organization.”
So, expect two exciting announcements from Harry and Meghan later this year. In the meantime, Harry will retain his military ranks (Major, Lieutenant Commander, and Squadron Leader), but not his honorary military positions. They’ll continue to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and while they’re not being stripped of their “HRH” titles, they won’t actively use them.
Notably, Harry’s position in line to the throne has not changed, and he remains sixth in the line of succession.
Harry and Meghan have a busy schedule for the moment, with engagements including the Invictus Games Choir Visit, the Silverstone Experience opening, the Endeavour Fund Awards, and the Mountbatten Music Festival (all in the next few weeks!). So, they’ll be in the UK plenty this March, making good on their word to split their time — no matter how lovely and relaxing they’re finding it in Canada.
We’re excited to hear about the new non-profit venture (and whether we can still call them “royals”). But for now, it sounds like Harry and Meghan are getting the best of both worlds: keeping up with the organizations and events that they care about, while firmly taking a step back from the public eye and archaic royal rules of conduct. A perfect mix!
Click here for a definitive timeline of Harry & Meghan’s relationship.