Royal Corner

Harry and Meghan Lose Royal Patronages

Buckingham Palace have announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be returning to The Royal Family and will lose military and royal patronages.

FEBRUARY 19th, 2021

© Getty Images


he Duke and Duchess of Sussex have informed the Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family. The Queen was informed for the couple’s decision following numerous conversations with her grandson Prince Harry, leading to the Queen confirming it was no longer possible for the Duke and Duchess to continue with their royal patronages and, in particular for Harry, his honorary military titles.

Buckingham Palace confirmed the news today (Friday 19th February) in an official statement. It read: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.

“Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming 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 honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.

“While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.”

The Queen pictured alongside the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Buckingham Palace - © Getty Images

In response to the news a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan said: “As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.

“We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”

With the news now confirmed, Buckingham Palace also revealed which titles would be returned to the Queen to be redistributed to other working members of The Royal Family. The royal patronages are: The Rugby Football Union; The Rugby Football League; The Royal National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities.

The Queen joined by Meghan in 2018. - © Getty Images

In what will be a particularly difficult loss for Prince Harry, his honorary military titles will also be removed and redistributed, including The Royal Marines; RAF Honington and The Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving. These roles are usually occupied by a working member of the royal family and have no impact of Harry’s military accolades or role as a veteran. As Harry is no longer representing the Royal Family within an official capacity, it would be impossible for him to keep them.

In response to the announcements, patronages began to release statements including England Rugby who said: “We would like to thank Prince Harry for his time and commitment to the RFU both in his position as Patron and Vice Patron. The RFU has greatly valued his contribution to promoting and supporting the game.”

Similarly, The Rugby Football League shared mirroring sentiments: “The Rugby Football League thanks The Duke of Sussex for his time, care and commitment in supporting Rugby League at all levels in recent years – from the children’s game to the Challenge Cup, the England teams and RLWC2021.”

The Duchess of Sussex will lose her patronage to The National Theatre who also released a statement say they were “very grateful for the support offered by The Duchess of Sussex throughout the course of her patronage. The Duchess championed our work with communities and young people across the U.K., and our mission to make theatre accessible to all.” The company continued by revealing the “process of appointing a new patron is ongoing and will be announced in due course.”

Harry and Meghan visit Canada House last year before their bombshell announcement they were leaving the Royal Family. - © Getty Images

Sources close to the palace were stressing today alongside the official announcement that the decision to remove the military titles and royal patronages were guided by protocol, not personal vendettas. This is an attempt to distance the resulting decision away from the upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey, of which Palace aides say the two are not connected “in any way”.

“This is solely a reaction to the decision made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the realistic expectations of how committed they can be to their patronages whilst living in America,” said the source. “The family wish them well, although there is genuine sadness at how it’s all ended. But this is the reality of stepping away from official royal duties. There’s hope that all parties can move on from this now and the fractures of the past year can be finally put to bed.”

However, this may not occur due to the impending aforementioned interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which the iconic talk-show host has been given free rein to ask any question she likes to Harry and Meghan. It will be interesting to see where this story goes next, however with the Megxit decision now confirmed, will the British public remain interested in the dramas of Harry and Meghan and their fallout with the Royal Family?

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