Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Have “No Regrets” Even As Their Exit as Senior Royals Becomes Official

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 confirmed Friday. The news comes almost a year after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle carried out their last engagement as working royals before buying a home in Montecito, California.

In a statement issued by Buckingham Palace it was made clear that the decision had been reached after conversations between the Queen and her grandson. Vanity Fair also understands that Prince Charles and Prince William were also part of the conversations about Harry and Meghan’s future role in the Royal Family.

According to a statement issued by Buckingham Palace Friday morning:

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. While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.

The military, Commonwealth and Charitable associations which will revert to The Queen are The Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving. The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, The Rugby Football Union, The Rugby Football League, The Royal National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Harry and Meghan also released a statement following the announcement saying, “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 organisations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”

Sources close to the couple said that while they respected the Queen’s decision they were “disappointed” with the outcome, having made it clear during the discussions last year that they were committed to their roles and wanted to continue their affiliation with the various organizations. The decision to strip Prince Harry of his three military titles is said to be particularly painful to the Prince, who served two tours of Afghanistan and remains committed to the veteran community through his work with the Invictus Games.

A friend added, however, that “They stood down for a reason, that was to have the freedom to be independent and there are no regrets about their decision to leave.”

Charities who work with Harry and Meghan who have affirmed their continued relationship with the Sussexes since Friday‘s announcement include Sentebale Smart Works, and the Mayhew animal rescue.

Following The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step away last year as working members of the royal family, a 12-month review was agreed to. Today’s outcome comes ahead of the 31 Mrch deadline and follows the recent announcement that the Sussexes will sit down for an intimate interview with Oprah Winfrey, which has reportedly sent alarm bells ringing at the Palace. The couple are expected to discuss their reasons for standing down as working royals, while Meghan will also talk about her life as a member of the Royal Family. Sources close to the couple say they want their chance to “tell the truth and their side of the story about what really happened.” The couple did not consult Buckingham Palace about the interview.

Although the Sussexes had hoped to continue representing the Queen by continuing their work with the organizations in question, courtiers have made it clear that in pursuing commercial careers, the couple would have to give up their royal commitments.

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