Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will no longer carry their royal titles. This, among other stipulations, was part of the process laid out by Queen Elizabeth II over the weekend for the couple’s move towards an “ordinary” life.
Harry on Sunday, speaking publicly for the first time since announcing his decision to step back from his royal duties, expressed "great sadness" about how things had unfolded but said that he saw no other way except to give up his royal role in search of "a more peaceful life" with his American former actress wife and baby son Archie.
"It brings me great sadness that it has come to this," Harry told supporters of his Africa-based charity in London. "We are taking a leap of faith -- thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step."
On January 18, Buckingham Palace revealed what lay ahead in this historic royal separation in a released statement:
- Harry and Meghan will step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments
- The couple will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties. They will however continue to maintain their private patronages and associations.
- The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family
- They will repay the Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of their UK residence Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their family home
“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. 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 in a separate statement. “It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”
Harry’s first public outing the day after his grandmother’s statement was an emotional one where he said that he was ready to lose the public money that paid for his lavish lifestyle but was pained at having to give up the military titles and patronages he was awarded after serving two tours in Afghanistan with the British Army.
"The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven't always got it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option,” said Harry. "I was born into this life, and it is a great honour to serve my country and the Queen. When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing. You've looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force, and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us.”
Meanwhile, Meghan’s estranged father Thomas Markle told Britain's Channel 5 over the weekend that he found Meghan's decision to quit the royals "embarrassing".
"I think both of them are turning into lost souls," her father said.