“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,” the Queen said on Saturday evening (18 January), as she confirmed that a “constructive and supportive way forward” has been agreed for her grandson and his 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.”
Her Majesty expressed her appreciation for their “dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond,” and added that she is “particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family”.
The Queen ended the statement, which was shared on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s official @SussexRoyal Instagram account, by saying the royal family hopes that the agreement reached “allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life”.
Under the new arrangement, which will take effect in the spring, Harry and Meghan will not use their HRH titles, as they are no longer working members of the royal family. They will step back from royal duties, including official military appointments, and as such they will no longer receive public funds for royal duties. Frogmore Cottage, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, will remain their UK family home.
The couple will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations “with the Queen’s blessing”, Buckingham Palace has said. The update published on the royal family’s official website also says that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wish to repay Sovereign Grant – the annual payment from the government to the monarch to fund their official duties – money that was spent on the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage.
The agreement follows Meghan and Harry’s announcement on 8 January of their wish to carve out a “progressive new role” within the monarchy, and work towards financial independence. They now intend to split their time between the UK and North America, while continuing to honour their duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth and their respective patronages.