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Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Officially Hand Over Their Royal Duties

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s honorary appointments and royal patronages will be returned back to the Queen and redistributed to the royal family

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the Mountbatten Music Festival at Royal Albert Hall on March 7, 2020 in London, England | Getty Images
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the Mountbatten Music Festival at Royal Albert Hall on March 7, 2020 in London, England | Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not be returning as working members of the royal family, more than a year after the pair announced they were stepping back from their duties.  

Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement on Friday that 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.” 

“While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family,” the statement continued. 

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for Prince Harry and Markle confirmed to multiple outlets that the pair was expecting a second child. Misan Harriman, photographer and friend of the couple, confirmed the news with a photo of a pregnant Markle. 

The couple announced their decision to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family” in January 2020. The Duke and Duchess agreed to a 12-month review before making the final decision, according to Buckingham Palace. Harry and Markle have since moved to Los Angeles, California with their son Archie. 

In a statement to the BBC, a spokesperson for Prince Harry and Markle 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.”

The Duke and Duchess will return their honorary military appointments and royal patronages to the Queen, which will be redistributed to the royal family, the Palace said. 

“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,” Buckingham Palace’s statement continued. 

Last year, Prince Harry told reporters that the decision to step back was not “made lightly,” and that they hoped to have a “more peaceful life.” The couple has been relentlessly harassed by British tabloids since they began dating in 2016 and have even pursued legal action against several outlets. Markle spoke publicly about the effects of the media on her well-being in an interview from 2019. 

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