The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will hold on to their titles but will not be actively using them or formally representing Queen Elizabeth II from April 1.
Britain’s Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle on Tuesday bid a formal goodbye to their role as frontline royals as they settle down to their financially independent roles in the US. Harry, who remains sixth in line to the British throne, had announced the royal split along with his former actress wife Markle earlier this year and, as per the deal struck with Buckingham Palace, they will now be in a 12-month transition period with the option for the prince to return to his frontline roles by March 2021.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will hold on to their titles but will not be actively using them or formally representing Queen Elizabeth II from April 1. “As we all find the part we are to play in this global shift and changing of habits, we are focusing this new chapter to understand how we can best contribute,” they said in reference to their new roles away from the UK as the couple signed off as “Harry and Meghan” on social media.
“What’s most important right now is the health and wellbeing of everyone across the globe and finding solutions for the many issues that have presented themselves as a result of this pandemic,” the couple said in their final message on their Sussex Royal Instagram. “While you may not see us here, the work continues. Thank you to this community – for the support, the inspiration and the shared commitment to the good in the world. We look forward to reconnecting with you soon. You’ve been great! Until then, please take good care of yourselves, and of one another,” read their farewell message, which indicates their return to social media under a more private capacity in the future.
On a more philosophical note, they referred to the “extraordinarily fragile” world as it undergoes the coronavirus pandemic. “Yet we are confident that every human being has the potential and opportunity to make a difference—as seen now across the globe, in our families, our communities and those on the front line—together we can lift each other up to realise the fullness of that promise,” they add.
Alongside, Buckingham Palace released a statement saying: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex would prefer that in the immediate weeks and months, the focus remains on the global response to Covid-19. “However, we recognise there are outstanding questions relating to their future beyond their household transition deadline.”
The statement reiterated that they would no longer use the name Sussex Royal for their charitable organisation, Instagram or website. Their Sussex Royal Foundation will not continue and the winding up process has begun. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will spend the next few months focusing on their family and continuing to do what they can, safely and privately, to support and work with their pre-existing charitable commitments while developing their future non-profit organisation,” it adds.
Harry, 35, and Markle, 38, will now settle down with their 10-month-old baby son, Archie, in California after they flew down to the US from their previous base of Vancouver Island in Canada. US President Donald Trump had tweeted soon after to say that his government would not foot the bill for their security.
The couple’s spokesperson immediately stressed the soon-to-be former frontline UK royals “have no plans to ask the US government for security resources” and that they had organised “privately funded security arrangements”. They have hired a top executive who worked for Micrsoft’s Bill and Melinda Gates to help set up their new charitable roles.
Catherine St Laurent, who the couple described as “an incredible asset”, will start as chief of staff next month and also be executive director of their new non-profit organisation. In a statement, she said: “From our very first conversation, Harry and Meghan have expressed a deep commitment to improving lives and having a positive impact on society.
“Their perspective on the role that empathy, connection, and compassion can play in that mission is both deeply personal and incredibly timely.” Frogmore Cottage, the couple’s refurbished home on the Queen’s Windsor estate, will continue to be their family home in the UK, where they plan to spend some time in the future. They had announced earlier that they would be paying back the GBP 2.4-million used from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant on re-doing it as they move away from access to the funding in their new avatar.
Harry’s sustainable travel initiative, Travalyst, will be established as an independent non-profit organisation and the couple are said to be committed to their roles as patrons. Their spokesperson has indicated that no additional information will be made public on their next steps any time soon.