Though Prince Harry and Meghan Markle still have one-month left of their one-year review period with Buckingham Palace (a time frame which began when they stepped down as working senior royals and relocated to Los Angeles), today both the couple and palace have confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be returning to their roles.
Furthermore, the pair will be handing back their charitable patronages gifted from the Queen, as well as the honorary military appointments, which the prince had reportedly been hoping to keep. It’s rumoured projects the couple signed up for over the past 12 months in Los Angeles, including production deals with Netflix and Spotify, were deal breakers for the Queen and senior aides involved in the discussions.
“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. “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.”
Thankfully, it looks like we’ll still be seeing a lot of the prince and Markle. The pair have a podcast together, are working with Netflix and are extending their family from three to four.
Of course, when the pair first announced their decision to step away from their Royal roles, the British press and wider public quickly assumed Markle was to blame. The term ‘Megxit’ was coined and op-eds were written about the nasty American woman who came to the UK to steal a prince away.
But last month, it was revealed that the entire plan was indeed the Prince’s idea. “It came to the point where he wanted a different way of life,” a source explained to Vanity Fair. “Meghan was simply the catalyst.”
Vanity Fair also revealed that the Sussexes’ shock announcement was not how Markle and the prince wanted things to go, but that they were forced to announce the move ahead of time because the press caught wind of their plan. Royal historian Robert Lacey told the publication, “Harry and Meghan had put a great deal of thought into trying to create something that would work for both sides, but that was all blown when their plans were leaked to the press.”