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Harry and Meghan will not return to royal duties, Queen confirms

Harry and Meghan tell all on TV show (Image: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions/PA Wire)


Harry and Meghan will not return to royal duties, Queen confirms


Buckingham Palace announced Friday that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, would not return to royal responsibilities, and Harry will relinquish his honorary military titles — a move that formalizes and finalizes the couple’s separation from the royal family.

The pair will not “continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service,” the Queen said.

When Harry and Meghan announced their retirement from full-time royal duties in early 2020, it was agreed that the issue would be evaluated after a year.

It has only been a little more than a year since the pair initially declared their intention to “step back” from their royal responsibilities, citing their dissatisfaction with media scrutiny and the constraints of their positions, and just days after they disclosed they were expecting their second child.

“While everyone is saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family,” the Queen said in a statement.

According to the statement, Queen Elizabeth II talked with Harry, 36, and verified 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 pair replied that “service is universal,” and they promised to continue helping the organizations they had represented.

Harry’s position as captain general of the Royal Marines and other military organizations will be returned to Queen Elizabeth II before being allocated to other members of the family.

Harry, 36, served in the British army for a decade, including on the front lines in Afghanistan, and has maintained a strong relationship with the military. He created the Invictus Games, which were initially staged in 2014 at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for injured armed forces members and veterans.

He will also have to step down as a patron of the Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football League, and the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

According to a spokesman for Harry and Meghan, they are “committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role.”

This is the end of a rollercoaster trip for the pair, whose fairytale engagement and wedding soon devolved into allegations of a brotherly split and a media assault.

Meghan, 39, will lose her positions as patron of the National Theatre of Great Britain and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Meghan Markle, a former star of the TV courtroom drama “Suits,” married the queen’s grandson Harry in May 2018 at Windsor Castle. Archie, their son, was born a year later.

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