Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family, it’s been confirmed.
Buckingham Palace released a statement Friday: “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.”
The message added, “While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much-loved members of the family.”
The couple officially stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family last March, but a 12-month review was put in place for both parties to assess the move.
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said in a statement to ET Canada: “As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role.
“We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
The military, commonwealth, and charitable associations that will revert to the Queen are as follows: 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.
Following the news, a source told ET Canada that “Prince Harry is disappointed at having to lose his honorary military titles but that doesn’t change his 10 years of service or his dedication to the armed forces.”
The Invictus Games Foundation, which Harry started, has since confirmed Harry would remain its Patron despite the recent news:
Our statement on the Duke of Sussex remaining as Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation: pic.twitter.com/uXe52t9BY7
— Invictus Games Foundation 💛🖤+💙 (@WeAreInvictus) February 19, 2021
WellChild also said the Duke of Sussex would continue as Patron of the charity, posting: “We are delighted to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will continue as Patron of WellChild. He has always been a great supporter of ours and has made an important difference to the work we are able to do for families across the UK. We look forward to working with him in the future.”
We are delighted to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will continue as Patron of WellChild. He has always been a great supporter of ours and has made an important difference to the work we are able to do for families across the UK. We look forward to working with him in the future. pic.twitter.com/C1IbYZbZCF
— WellChild (@WellChild) February 19, 2021
Other foundations that Prince Harry continues to hold roles with include African Parks, Wales-Lesotho, the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, Rhino Conservation Botswana and Sentebale.
Meghan has kept both her private patronages, Mayhew and Smart Works.
We're pleased to confirm that The Duchess of Sussex will remain our Patron.
We want to thank The Duchess for all of her support, and look forward to continuing our work with her helping dogs, cats and communities in need. 💜 pic.twitter.com/IGIPTAEhqm
— Mayhew 🐶🐱 (@themayhew) February 19, 2021
We are delighted to confirm that The Duchess of Sussex will remain a Patron of Smart Works.
We are thankful for everything she has done in support of our clients and look forward to working together in the future. pic.twitter.com/ZAI0dW3ckq
— Smart Works Charity (@SmartWorksHQ) February 19, 2021
The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which the couple were president and vice president of, said, “We have been very lucky to have had the keen support and encouragement of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in our formative years. They have enabled us to make fast progress and have helped us to take the organization to readiness for its next phase. We are glad that they remain in our circle of supporters.”
The Rugby Football League thanks Harry for his “time, care and commitment” over the years and the National Theatre thanks Meghan for her support.
The Rugby Football League thanks The Duke of Sussex for his time, care and commitment in supporting Rugby League at all levels in recent years – from the children’s game to the Challenge Cup, the England teams and RLWC2021. pic.twitter.com/tijl55hWsJ
— Rugby Football League (@TheRFL) February 19, 2021
A statement regarding the National Theatre’s patronage following today’s statement from Buckingham Palace. pic.twitter.com/YpsubODgHV
— National Theatre (@NationalTheatre) February 19, 2021
ET Canada has contacted Kensington Palace for comment.