After ten days of lengthy discussions, deliberations among the Royal family, advisers, courtiers and government representatives, we finally have news on plans agreed moving forward for Harry and Meghan. Before sharing the prominent points of the decision, a personal statement from Her Majesty the Queen.
'Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.
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.
It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.'
The statement not only put forth Her Majesty's warm feelings toward her granddaughter-in-law but an acknowledgement of the "intense scrutiny" and the "challenges" they have faced over the past two years. The monarch closed with wishes for them to start building a "happy and peaceful new life".
Harry and Meghan's statement:
'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties.
With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.
The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home.
Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.
This new model will take effect in the Spring of 2020.'
The main points of the new agreement:
- Although Harry and Meghan retain their HRH titles, they will no longer use them. They will now be known as Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
- Harry and Meghan want to repay the £2.4 million used to refurbish and renovate Frogmore Cottage. They will pay rent on the property moving forward.
- While they are no longer working royals in any capacity, they will retain their patronages and private associations. Harry will step down from military appointments and his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, though he and Meghan will remain President and Vice-President of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust.
- They made clear all their future work "will uphold the values of the Queen".
- Prince Charles will continue to privately offer financial support for the time being, though possibly not Duchy money (other private funds).
- It is thought Harry and Meghan will carry out some engagements in the UK in the coming weeks or months before this new plan takes effect.
- They will attend some events at the invitation of the Queen such as Trooping the Colour.
- In the future they will spend the majority of their time in Canada and some parts of the year in the UK.
- Harry and Meghan and the Royal family will review the situation in 2021.
- Details on their security and whether or not they will continue to call their foundation Sussex Royal will follow in due course.
This update was shared on Sussex Royal's website.
Since this news broke a week and a half ago, I think we've all experienced a range of emotions, predominately for me a great sense of sadness and disappointment it had come to this. I've written at length about the manner in which Meghan was treated by the press in Britain, the vile commentary, the undertones of racism and sexism. No human being should have to live their life that way. From the day she and Harry announced their engagement, she embraced her role with enthusiasm, passion and an impressive work ethic, winning the hearts of those she met and launching projects which supported the most vulnerable in society. They are both a tremendous loss to the monarchy, something which cannot be overstated. Divisions inside Palace walls and a breakdown in family relationships within the Royal family led the couple to reassess their futures, most likely sparked by the arrival of Archie. I'm only sorry the UK let Meghan down in such an appalling fashion. There were times when blogging about the Duchess, it felt like history in the making and history will remember how the first bi-racial member of the Royal family was treated. Harry is choosing his wife, son and the happiness of his family, a decision all of us can understand.
I wish Harry, Meghan and Archie happiness, fulfillment and peace in their future. This blog will continue to document their journey, foundation and philanthropic work as they build their new life. I have a feeling these two have some incredible plans in store.