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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer use their HRH titles, receive public funds for royal duties or formally represent Queen Elizabeth II from spring, the Queen and Buckingham Palace announced on January 18 after reaching a new arrangement.

Earlier this month, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intention “to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent”.

The couple’s announcement prompted intensive discussions between the prince and other senior royals, led by the Queen.

In 2019, Prince Harry and Meghan spoke of the difficulties of royal life and media scrutiny, with the duke saying he feared his wife would fall victim to “the same powerful forces” that led to his mother’s death.

In her statement on January 18, the Queen said she was pleased that a “constructive and supportive way forward for [her] grandson and his family” had been found.

The Queen said she recognized the “challenges” they had experienced “as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years”.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Will Step Back as Senior Royals and Work to Become Financially Independent

Buckingham Palace said the duke and duchess understood that under the new arrangement, they were required to withdraw from royal duties, including official military appointments, but would continue to “uphold the values of Her Majesty”.

According to the statement, Prince Harry and Meghan intend to repay £2.4 million of taxpayer money used for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage.

The house in Windsor, for which the couple will pay rent, will remain their family home as they divide their time between the UK and Canada.

Prince Harry and Meghan will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations – the duke currently holds 16 patronages, including the Invictus Games Foundation, the Royal Marines and the Rugby Football League; and the duchess four – the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, London-based animal charity Mayhew, and women’s charity Smart Works.

They will no longer use HRH, an abbreviation of His/Her Royal Highness, which is part of the title of some members of the Royal Family.

Speaking briefly to reporters at a summit in Berlin, UK’s PM Boris Johnson said he had been confident the Royal Family would find a way forward for Prince Harry and Meghan, adding: “I think the whole country will want to join in wishing them the very best for the future.”

However in comments made for a forthcoming Channel 5 documentary, Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, accused the couple of “destroying” the Royal Family which he called “one of the greatest long-living institutions ever”.

“Every young girl wants to become a princess and she got that and now she’s tossing that away,” he said.

“It looks like she’s tossing that away for money.”

Some questions about Prince Harry and Meghan’s future status remain unanswered, including what their tax and immigration status will be in the UK and Canada.

It is not yet known whether Meghan Markle still intends to gain British citizenship, which would entail her spending a certain amount of time in the UK.

The Sussexes have already begun a transition phase of living in Canada and the UK.

The duchess is in Canada, a Commonwealth country, with son Archie, where the Sussexes were for six weeks over the festive period.

On January 14, Meghan Markle visited a charity in Vancouver which campaigns for teenage girls living in poverty.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer use their HRH titles, receive public funds for royal duties or formally represent Queen Elizabeth II from spring, the Queen and Buckingham Palace announced on January 18 after reaching a new arrangement.

Earlier this month, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intention “to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent”.

The couple’s announcement prompted intensive discussions between the prince and other senior royals, led by the Queen.

In 2019, Prince Harry and Meghan spoke of the difficulties of royal life and media scrutiny, with the duke saying he feared his wife would fall victim to “the same powerful forces” that led to his mother’s death.

In her statement on January 18, the Queen said she was pleased that a “constructive and supportive way forward for [her] grandson and his family” had been found.

The Queen said she recognized the “challenges” they had experienced “as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years”.

Buckingham Palace said the duke and duchess understood that under the new arrangement, they were required to withdraw from royal duties, including official military appointments, but would continue to “uphold the values of Her Majesty”.

According to the statement, Prince Harry and Meghan intend to repay £2.4 million of taxpayer money used for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage.

The house in Windsor, for which the couple will pay rent, will remain their family home as they divide their time between the UK and Canada.

Prince Harry and Meghan will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations – the duke currently holds 16 patronages, including the Invictus Games Foundation, the Royal Marines and the Rugby Football League; and the duchess four – the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, London-based animal charity Mayhew, and women’s charity Smart Works.

They will no longer use HRH, an abbreviation of His/Her Royal Highness, which is part of the title of some members of the Royal Family.

Speaking briefly to reporters at a summit in Berlin, UK’s PM Boris Johnson said he had been confident the Royal Family would find a way forward for Prince Harry and Meghan, adding: “I think the whole country will want to join in wishing them the very best for the future.”

However in comments made for a forthcoming Channel 5 documentary, Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, accused the couple of “destroying” the Royal Family which he called “one of the greatest long-living institutions ever”.

“Every young girl wants to become a princess and she got that and now she’s tossing that away,” he said.

“It looks like she’s tossing that away for money.”

Some questions about Prince Harry and Meghan’s future status remain unanswered, including what their tax and immigration status will be in the UK and Canada.

It is not yet known whether Meghan Markle still intends to gain British citizenship, which would entail her spending a certain amount of time in the UK.

The Sussexes have already begun a transition phase of living in Canada and the UK.

The duchess is in Canada, a Commonwealth country, with son Archie, where the Sussexes were for six weeks over the festive period.

On January 14, Meghan Markle visited a charity in Vancouver which campaigns for teenage girls living in poverty.

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Image source Getty Image

Queen Elizabeth II has agreed a “period of transition” in which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will spend time in Canada and the UK.

The Queen said she was “entirely supportive” of their desire for a new role but “would have preferred” them to remain full-time working royals.

She expected final decisions to be made in the coming days, she said.

Senior royals have been in talks about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s role after they said they wanted to “step back”.

In a statement, Queen Elizabeth said the talks at Sandringham, which also involved the Prince Charles Wales and Prince William, had been “very constructive”.

She said: “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.

“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Will Step Back as Senior Royals and Work to Become Financially Independent

The Queen said it had been agreed there would be “a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK” after Harry and Meghan “made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives”.

She said: “These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”

The urgent talks were convened after the Sussexes surprised the rest of the Royal Family on January 8 with a statement expressing their desire to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family”.

Prince Harry and Meghan also said they wanted a “progressive new role” within the institution, where they would be financially independent and divide their time between the UK and North America.

Meanwhile, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau told Global News there had been “no discussions” about the details of the royal couple’s move, including on the issues of security and any potential impact on Canada’s taxpayers.

Although no other family member was consulted about the timing of the announcement, Prince Harry and Meghan said it came after “many months of reflection and internal discussions”.

Both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke of the difficulties of royal life and media attention in recent months, with the duke saying he feared his wife would fall victim to “the same powerful forces” that led to his mother’s death.

The talks about their future took place as Prince Harry and Prince William issued a joint statement denying “false claims” that their relationship had been damaged by “bullying” on the part of the older brother.

They said that the “inflammatory language” in the claims was “offensive” and “potentially harmful”, given their support for mental health causes.

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Image source Getty Image

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced they will step back as “senior” royals and work to become financially independent.

In a statement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also said they plan to split their time between the UK and North America.

According to the UK’s media outlets, no other royals – including Queen Elizabeth II or Prince William – was consulted before the statement and Buckingham Palace is “disappointed”.

Senior royals are understood to be “hurt” by the announcement.

In October 2019, Prince Harry and his wife publicly revealed their struggles under the media spotlight.

In their unexpected statement on January 8, also posted on their Instagram page, Prince Harry and Meghan said they made the decision “after many months of reflection and internal discussions”.

“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they plan to balance their time between the UK and North America while “continuing to honor our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages”.

“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said discussions with the royal couple on their decision to step back were “at an early stage”, adding: “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

Over Christmas, Prince Harry and Meghan took a six-week break from royal duties to spend some time in Canada with their son, Archie, who was born in May.

After returning to the UK on January 7, Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, visited Canada’s High Commission in London to thank the country for hosting them and said the warmth and hospitality they received was “unbelievable”.

During the visit, Meghan said it was an “incredible time” to enjoy the “beauty of Canada”.

She said: “To see Archie go ‘ah’ when you walk by, and just see how stunning it is – so it meant a lot to us.”

Former actress Meghan Markel lived and worked in Toronto during her time starring in the popular American drama Suits, and she has several Canadian friends.

Prince Harry’ move was compared by specialists to Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936 in order to marry twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson.

The Duke of Sussex is sixth in line to the throne – behind Prince Charles, Prince William and his three children.

In an ITV documentary in 2019, Meghan Markle admitted motherhood was a “struggle” due to intense interest from newspapers.

Prince Harry also responded to reports of a rift between him and his brother William, the Duke of Cambridge, by saying they were on “different paths”.

In October, Meghan began legal action against the Mail on Sunday over a claim that it unlawfully published one of her private letters.

Prince Harry also began legal action against the owners of the Sun, the defunct News of the World, and the Daily Mirror, in relation to alleged phone-hacking.

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Meghan Markle has joined the Royal Family for the Christmas Day service at Queen Elizabeth’s Norfolk estate.

Prince Harry and his fiancée arrived at a carol service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Queen Elizabeth returned after missing last year’s service due to a heavy cold.

Princes Philip and Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles also attended, along with other members of the family.

Image source Wikimedia

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After the service, Meghan Markle joined members of the family in greeting the crowds.

According to specialists, if royal tradition from previous years was followed, the family will have exchanged presents on Christmas Eve and awoken to a stocking of small gifts and fruit at the end of their beds.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip also attended an early Holy Communion service at the church.

They will return home for a traditional turkey lunch, before watching the Queen’s speech together.

This year, the Queen will pay tribute to London and Manchester for the manner in which they dealt with this year’s terror attacks, as well as praising Prince Phillip for his support in the year of the couple’s 70th wedding anniversary.

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Prince Harry’s future wife, Meghan Markle, will not be known as Princess Meghan when she ties the knot with him in May 2018.

By the standards of British royal protocol, the American actress lacks “royal blood”.

That means that she cannot call herself Princess Meghan.

The arcane rules mean that Meghan Markle will be compelled to follow the example of her future sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.

When Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011, she automatically became Her Royal Highness, Princess William of Wales. The overwhelming likelihood is that Meghan Markle will in turn become HRH Princess Harry of Wales.

Kate Middleton was not of royal blood, and what applies to her will also apply in the case of Meghan Markle.

Royal blood meant that Queen Elizabeth’s late sister Margaret was entitled to call herself Princess Margaret. Likewise the Queen’s daughter is Princess Anne and her granddaughters are Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

Image source Wikimedia

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Wedding to Be Held at Windsor Castle in May 2018

Prince Harry Engaged to Meghan Markle. Royal Wedding in 2018

Royal blood made them princesses in their own right.

Sarah Ferguson was never Princess Sarah and Sophie Rhys-Jones – the wife of Prince Edward – is not Princess Sophie.

The rules also meant that Lady Diana Spencer was never officially Princess Diana. She was the Princess of Wales and, after her divorce from Prince Charles, she was Diana, Princess of Wales.

From the point of view of Buckingham Palace, handy titles or “handles” are required for the members of the family who occupy prestigious but somewhat peripheral roles to the main business of monarchy.

Queen Elizabeth’s first cousins are, respectively, the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent, and when her disgraced uncle abandoned the throne to marry an American divorcee in 1936, he became the Duke of Windsor.

Such ducal titles are frequently bestowed upon marriage precisely because they give the new entrant to the family a grand-sounding title without making them princesses or princes in their own right.

In 1986, when Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson, the Queen made him Duke of York, thus she became the Duchess of York – a title she continues to hold despite her divorce.

Similarly, when Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones, he became the Earl of Wessex and his new wife the Countess of Wessex.

It could be that the Queen makes the same kind of move in the cases of Kate and Meghan, and dusts off a long-defunct royal dukedom – Sussex (the favorite for Harry and Meghan), Albany and Clarence are among the vacant ones.

However, as with many things connected to British royal protocol, there is always an exception to the rule – Queen Elizabeth’s husband Philip married into the royal family, and yet he is a prince.

When Philip married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947, the then British King, George VI, created him “Duke of Edinburgh”.

He only became Prince Philip in February 1957 when the Queen “accorded him the style and title of a Prince of the United Kingdom”.

The Queen could also make both Kate and Meghan princesses in their own right – but such are the rigid traditions surrounding this issue that Britain’s first Princess Meghan is likely to be some time away.

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Prince Harry has confirmed Suits star Meghan Markle is his girlfriend, in a statement from Kensington Palace attacking the media for subjecting the actress to a “wave of abuse and harassment”.

It said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were “a few months into a relationship” and it was “not right” that the actress should be subjected to such treatment.

The statement said the prince rarely took formal action over “fictional stories”.

Image source Wikimedia

Image source Wikimedia

“But the past week has seen a line crossed,” it added.

In recent days a number of newspapers have carried front page stories about Meghan Markle, best known for playing Rachel Zane in Suits.

The statement issued by Prince Harry’s communications secretary said: “His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.

“Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.

“Some of it has been hidden from the public – the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.”

Prince Harry, 32, has long had an uneasy relation with the press, having grown up aware of the impact that intense media intrusion had on the life of his late mother, Diana Princess of Wales.

The statement said Prince Harry was worried about Meghan Markle’s safety and that he “is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her”.

It added: “It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms Markle should be subjected to such a storm.

“He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his.”

The statement ended with Prince Harry appealing for “those in the press who have been driving this story [to] pause and reflect before any further damage is done”.