The deal is done: Queen Elizabeth II has finalized an agreement for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s royal split, under which they will no longer use the titles His and Her Royal Highness and no longer receive public funds for their duties carried out on behalf of the family.
The two had shocked the world when they unilaterally announced last week, following a lengthy holiday vacation in Canada with their son Archie Harrison, that they had decided to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family” and “balance” their time between the U.K. and North America.
Days later, Harry’s grandmother the Queen summoned him for a family meeting. Following more discussions over the past few days, the monarch announced in a statement that they “have found a constructive and supportive way forward” for her “grandson and his family.”
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. “As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties.”
The Queen had said last week in a statement that Meghan and Harry had “made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.”
“With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations,” Buckingham Palace’s statement continued. ”While 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 titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home.”
Last year, upgrades worth £2.4 million (over $3 million) in taxpayer funds were made to the residence, located at Windsor Castle. This week, it was reported that members of the building’s staff have been reassigned.
“Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements,” the statement continued, addressing another controversial issue regarding Meghan and Harry’s royal split. “There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.”
“This new model will take effect in the Spring of 2020,” the statement added.
In her statement, the Queen also wrote, “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 last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.”
She also praised Meghan, whose intense scrutiny by the U.K. tabloids over the past couple of years helped lead to the couple’s decision to step back from their royal duties.
“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,” the Queen said. ”It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”
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