Feb 19, 2021 - World

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not return as working members of U.K. royal family

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not return as working members of the British royal family, and will relinquish all honorary military appointments and royal patronages, Buckingham Palace announced Friday.

The big picture: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced last year that they would "step back" as senior members of the royal family in order "to carve out a progressive new role within this institution" — choosing to become financially independent and splitting time between the U.K. and North America.

  • The decision was made in part due to the increasing harassment the pair received from the British press.
  • After a 12-month review, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke and Duchess agreed that they would permanently step back from "the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service," according to the Palace.

Full statement:

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.
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