Queen strips Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of royal titles, 'saddened' as couple officially splits from family
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have officially quit the Royal Family and the Duke has been stripped of all his military titles, Buckingham Palace announced on February 19.
The Queen said she was "saddened" after her grandson and his wife confirmed they would not be returning as functioning members of the royal family, according to a report by The Sun. The news was confirmed in a statement by Buckingham Palace, before a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said they would "remain committed" to the UK.
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"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 organizations they have represented regardless of official role," a spokesperson for the Sussexes said. "We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."
The palace said the decision was made after conversations took place between the Duke of Sussex and members of the royal family — 12 months after he and Meghan stepped back from their roles as senior royals.
After the announcement, Harry will no longer hold his military titles in The Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving. Meanwhile, Meghan will lose patronages with The Royal National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities, stated the British newspaper.
The Rugby Football Union also confirmed, shortly after the announcement, that Harry would be stepping down from his role as a patron. "We would like to thank Prince Harry for his time and commitment to the RFU both in his position as Patron and Vice-Patron," a spokesman for the union said. "The RFU has greatly valued his contribution to promoting and supporting the game."
Earlier this week, The Sun had reported that 36-year-old Harry was "upset" at the prospect of being stripped of his military titles.
"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," Buckingham Palace said in the statement. "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 statement added. "While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much-loved members of the family."
Meghan and Harry have more or less acclimatized to life in the US as they raise their son Archie. This week, the couple revealed that they were expecting a second baby. “We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child,” a spokesperson for the couple said. The Queen had said she was "delighted" with the news, according to The Sun.