AGENCIES, London: Following discussions with Buckingham Palace, Britain’s Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle have announced that they will formally exit as Britain’s frontline royals on March 31.
After the formal exit, Harry and Meghan who are known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will no longer represent the Queen or be be entitled for an office at Buckingham Palace from April 1
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will formally step down as senior royals from March 31,” a spokesperson for the couple said on Wednesday.
However, Harry will be able retain his military designations of Major, Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader. He will not use his honorary military positions or perform any official duties associated with these ranks.
Harry and Meghan will retain their His and Her Royal Highness (HRH) titles respectively, but they will not be able to use them. Meanwhile, among other usage formalities still under discussion with palace officials the use of the word “Royal” as part of their Sussex Royal brand is still being worked out.
The couple are expected to settle down in Canada as permanent residents but will spend time in the UK . They will talk about details of their non-profit charitable foundation later in the year.
Meanwhile, the couple have plans to travel to the UK in the next few weeks to complete around six formal engagements, including Harry’s attendance at an Invictus Games event with singer Jon Bon Jovi.
Markle will attend an International Women’s Day event in early March, with the couple joining other senior royals for a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9.
Queen Elizabeth II said the agreement with her grandson and his family followed months of discussions and was a “constructive and supportive”. “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,” the 93-year-old monarch’s personal statement said.
“I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life,” she said. The Queen also thanked the couple for their work for the UK and across the Commonwealth.