(CMR) Buckingham Palace and the Queen have announced on Saturday night that Harry and Meghan would no longer be using their HRH titles as of Spring 2020.
The couple will also repay £2.4 million of taxpayer’s money spent on renovating their Berkshire home.
A full statement from Her Majesty The Queen, released on Saturday, 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.
“I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.
“It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”
So what does the announcement mean?
- The couple have effectively stepped down not just as senior royals, but as working royals in general
- Buckingham Palace have said they will no longer receive public funds for royal duties, as they will no longer be carrying out any
- They will the earn their own money, but the Prince of Wales will also continue to offer private financial support to the couple. This is expected to come from his £21 million a year Duchy of Cornwall income
- Buckingham Palace said it would not comment on whether Meghan and Harry will have to pay for their own security but said “there are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly funded security”
- The couple will pay back £2.4m in taxpayers’ money which was used to renovate Frogmore Cottage, but will use it as their base when they return to the UK, paying rent at a commercial rate on the property
Reports are that the couple will spend the majority of their time in North America and not the UK.
Harry and Meghan will remain members of the Royal Family, but they will step back from royal duties including Harry’s military titles. All changes are to take effect in the Spring.
Harry will remain a Prince, but there will be no more tours. There are expected to further royal engagements before the ‘exit plan’ takes places in the Spring of 2020.
Frogmore Cottage will be Harry and Meghan’s official residence in the UK – but they will pay back the cost of the refurbishment themselves and they will pay the running costs and rent.