Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle will no longer use their royal titles or receive public funds, Buckingham Place announced on Saturday, just weeks after the couple said they intended to give up their positions as senior members of the UK royal family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not use their “Royal Highness” titles and in their bid to seek “financial independence” they have agreed to repay the £2.4m of public money spent on refurbishing their property in Windsor, which they will hold onto.
The changes, which will come into effect this spring, will see Prince Harry step back from all official military patronages and royal duties.
It was not clear how much funding he will continue to receive from the estate of his father Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, or if the couple would continue to use the “Sussex Royal” brand.
The changes come after Prince Harry announced his effective resignation from public duties earlier this month, saying he and his wife planned to spend more time in North America and become more independent. It followed months of speculation about the couple’s unhappiness with life in the public eye.
In a statement released on Saturday evening, the Queen said she was “pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family”.
Elizabeth II said: “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family. I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the past 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.”
The future role of the couple, and how they pursue it, has been subject to intense public scrutiny in the UK amid debate about the extent to which the duke and duchess should continue to receive benefits financed by the taxpayer, and be able to commercialise the royal brand while living independently, at least in part abroad.
The announcement comes after the Queen summoned Prince Charles and his sons Prince William and Prince Harry for an emergency summit on Monday, where the family discussed proposals that would allow the couple to become independent.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “Although they can no longer formally represent the queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of her majesty.
“The Sussexes will not use their HRH title as they are no longer working members of the royal family.”