Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Confirm They Will Not Return to Their Royal Roles

The end of an era. Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have confirmed to the Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the royal family.

Although a one-year review period had been put in place since they officially stepped back from their royal roles on March 31 last year, the couple shared their decision with the royal family a month early.

As recently speculated, the move also means that the charitable patronages gifted from the Queen to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be returned. The honorary military appointments that Prince Harry had hoped to come to an agreement to keep will also be passed on to other 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,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement shared with BAZAAR.com. “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 continued, “While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.”

While Harry and Meghan had hoped to continue their work with as many of the organizations as possible, the couple’s new portfolio of independent endeavors—including production deals with Netflix and Spotify—were deal breakers for the Queen and senior aides involved in the discussions.

A spokesperson for the Sussexes tells BAZAAR, “As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”

Effective immediately, Harry and Meghan will no longer be President and Vice President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. Meghan’s patronages with The Association of Commonwealth Universities and The Royal National Theatre have also come to an end, and so have Harry’s roles with The Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League. The Duke’s much-loved RAF (Royal Air Force) Honnington, Royal Marines, and Royal Navy Small Ships & Diving military appointments will also be reverted to the Queen.

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