As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry prepare to step back from royal duties, there’s been a lot of speculation about what exactly this is going to look like. They’re already in Vancouver, where they’ll mostly be based (although they’ll still be coming back to the U.K. often), and they’re also taking on work outside of the royal family—Prince Harry’s already spoken at a J.P. Morgan event. The latest details, from Friday, February 21, were that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would no longer be able to use the terms “royal” and “Sussex royal” going forward.
Now, we’re getting the rest straight from the couple themselves: The Sussex Royal website posted the complete game plan for Megan and Harry’s departure on Friday. “We had hoped to be allowed to share these details with you sooner (to mitigate any confusion and subsequent misreporting), but the facts below should help provide some clarification around this transition and the steps for the future,” the website explains.
And wow, it covers a lot. Some of it we knew already (like that they’ll no longer be able to use public funding and will be able to make their own money), but it’s good to have it all laid out. It’s worth keeping in mind that this whole thing is a trial period—the guidelines Meg, Harry, and the royal family established will be revisited next year to make sure it’s working out for everyone.
Here’s a few more details:
- They’re no longer allowed to “undertake representative duties” on the queen’s behalf. But they get to keep their charitable patronages, which include the Invictus Games that Harry founded, Rhino Conservation Botswana, and quite a few rugby organizations.
- They get to technically keep their formal HRH Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles—but they’re not allowed to actively use them.
- Prince Harry remains sixth in line to the throne.
- They’ll keep a security detail (sadly due to a “shared threat and risk level” that’s been documented over the past couple of years).
- Harry gets to keep his military rank of Major and honorary ranks of Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader, but his “official military appointments” won’t be used for the year-long review period—nor is he allowed to “perform any official duties associated with these roles.” It’s cool if he supports the military in a non-official capacity, though, like through his work with the Invictus Games.
- Harry and Megan’s Institutional Office, which coordinated their royal activities, is getting shut down because it’s primarily funded by Prince Charles. “Over the last month and a half, The Duke and Duchess have remained actively involved in this process, which has understandably been saddening for The Duke and Duchess and their loyal staff, given the closeness of Their Royal Highnesses and their dedicated team.”
In other news, they’re also not starting a “foundation” (quotes theirs) but they are creating a nonprofit organization. Details on this are still very TBD, but it seems they’re doing this on top of their other charitable work—so they’re definitely staying busy.
And yep, you can expect a social media and website rebranding to coincide with their Spring 2020 departure now that using the R-word is out of the question—RIP @SussexRoyal.