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Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Are Officially No Longer Senior Members of the Royal Family

As of March 31, 2020, Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, are officially no longer senior members of the royal family. While they’ll still retain their Duke and Duchess titles, Harry is dropping the “Prince” title and both are taking a major step back from royal duties to pursue new goals in the private sector. We don’t yet know what their professional ventures will look like, but from this day forward the Sussexes will no longer receive public funding and will need to support themselves (though we heard Harry’s dad Prince Charles is also helping out).

Here’s what else the Sussex step-down will entail.

Meghan and Harry’s new life will be based partly in North America (they’re currently quarantined in Los Angeles) and partly in the UK. While Harry maintains his position in line for the throne, both he and Meghan are no longer allowed to use the Sussex Royal name, either for social media or for their nonprofit, which is in the process of closing down.

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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

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Instead, Meghan and Harry will be rebranding their nonprofit organization and continuing to focus on the charitable and humanitarian issues that interest them, specializing in mental health awareness. Meghan’s received a wide range of job offers since announcing her step back from the royal family, and she’s already agreed to narrate a Disney documentary about elephants. Whatever long-term work they settle into, we’re sure these two will be in high demand.

While the couple is no doubt enjoying new freedoms on work they can pursue as well as their day-to-day lives, this decision was ultimately made for personal reasons, and the desire to provide Archie with a life free of the scrutiny and rigid rules both Harry and Meghan chafed at.

A spokesperson for the couple talked to OprahMag.com about how they’re approaching these next few months.

“[Harry and Meghan are] focusing on their family and continuing to do what they can, safely and privately, to support and work with their pre-existing charitable commitments while developing their future non-profit organization,” the spokesperson said. “The Duke and Duchess remain committed and supportive to their patronages and will continue to work closely with them.”

“[Harry] loves the Queen and his country, but he’s trying to make his family happy and his wife happy,” a source close to the couple added. “He wants to do what he thought would best protect Meghan and Archie. Harry’s whole world is Archie. He’s the most amazing father. He knows his feeding times, he’s there for his bath. He’s absolutely besotted with his son.”

So, Harry and Meghan’s lives will move forward with similar charitable work, far fewer royal engagements, and a new responsibility to create a name for themselves (and earn a living) outside of the royal family. We can’t wait to see what this new era of not-so-royal royals will bring.

Before you go, click here for a complete timeline of Harry and Meghan’s relationship. 

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