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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will NOT be returning as working royals

The Queen confirms Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will NOT be returning as royals and will be stripped of their roles before they are handed to other ‘working members of the family’

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle today confirmed to the Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family nearly a year after stepping down, Buckingham Palace confirmed today. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit as senior working royals in March 2020 to earn their own money in the US, where they have signed deals with Spotify and Netflix estimated to be worth more than £100million.

Stepping down as working royals also means the couple, who now live in an £11million mansion in Montecito, California, will not be able to hold on to their military, Commonwealth and some other patronages.

The decision, which comes as Harry’s grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh is being treated at King Edward VII Hospital in London, was made after conversations between the Duke of Sussex and members of the Royal Family.

The military, Commonwealth and charitable associations which will revert to the Queen are: the Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, The Rugby Football Union, The Rugby Football League, The Royal National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

The Sussexes – who announced on Sunday that they expecting their second child, an older brother to Archie – are poised for their ‘intimate’ interview about their lives with US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey on March 7. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle released this picture on Sunday as they revealed Meghan is pregnant with their second child

Buckingham Palace statement

Statement from Harry and Meghan's spokesman

Buckingham Palace (left) and a spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (right) both released statements today

Meghan, Harry and the Queen at an awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018

Meghan, Harry and the Queen at an awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018

The Queen waits to thank key workers for their efforts during the pandemic at Windsor Castle on December 8, 2020

The Queen waits to thank key workers for their efforts during the pandemic at Windsor Castle on December 8, 2020

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said in a statement issued at 12.01pm today: ‘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.

‘Following conversations with the Duke, the Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of the Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.

‘The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by the Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.

‘While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.’

A spokesman for Harry and Meghan said: ‘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.’

Shortly after the announcement, the Rugby Football Union confirmed that Harry would be stepping down from his role as a patron.

A spokesman said: ‘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.’

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