As we look back on the one-year anniversary since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle controversially stepped down from their royal duties, becoming financially independent and relocating to California with their baby Archie, many believed that the pair would potentially make a royal return to their roles.
But overnight, Queen Elizabeth has confirmed that the pair have left behind the royal life for good.
Sharing a letter from Her Majesty herself, the pair are set to stay in America with their various military and charitable appointments handed over to working members of the royal family.
In an official statement released by Buckingham Palace, the confirmation reads:
“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.”
It continues: “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 some may consider their royal exit from professional duties on par with an exit from the family unit, the official statement says otherwise, revealing: “While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.”
A short time after the official statement was released, Meghan and Harry opted to share their own, 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 UK 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.”
Last week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also confirmed that the couple are set to welcome their second child, releasing a heartwarming black-and-white photograph of the pair, revealing Meghan’s burgeoning baby bump, to mark the occasion.
“We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child,” their statement read.
Shortly after the announcement, the royal couple’s photographer, Misan Harriman, opened up about the symbolism behind the shoot and the magic between the two that could only be witnessed behind-the-scenes.
“You don’t even see the image, you feel it. They are lost in each other. And the tree in the background and just life growing around them is incredibly powerful and symbolic,” he said.
He went on to note that the photo was created to symbolise “fortitude, hope love,” and he hopes that the image, “particularly for the many women going through this, should give them strength to know there’s light in that dark place. It really means a lot.”