Prince Harry with Meghan Markle. Photograph:( AFP )
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer be considered working members of the British royal family, the Buckingham Palace said yesterday
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer be considered working members of the British royal family, the Buckingham Palace said yesterday. The couple will no longer be able to use ''royal highness'' titles.
"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved members of my family," Queen Elizabeth said in a statement, referring to the couple's son.
Additionally, Harry and Meghan will no longer receive public funds and will have to repay £2.4 million ($3.1 million) on the refurbishment of their Frogmore Cottage near Windsor Castle.
"Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family," the 93-year-old Queen said in a statement.
The historic announcement comes after a week of intense private talks at the Buckingham Palace to troubleshoot the couple's resignation from royal duties.
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No longer ''royals'', they will be unable to use the royal titles, the same fate that befell Harry's late mother, Princess Diana, after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.
"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", the Queen added.
Earlier, there were rumours of a rift within the family. The ''challenges'' the Queen referred to include their battle with the limelight. Some months ago, the couple had sued several newspapers for intruding into their private lives.
Much earlier, The Queen was "particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family" and wished the couple "a happy and peaceful new life".
The couple will now formally be known as "Harry, The Duke of Sussex" and "Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex".
The Palace statement said the new arrangement "will take effect in the Spring of 2020".
(with inputs from AFP and Reuters)