Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Have Lost Their Patronages and Honorary Titles

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have officially confirmed to the Queen that they will not return to their former roles as senior working royals.

  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have officially confirmed to the Queen that they won't return as senior working royals.
  • The Sussexes have lost their royal patronages and honorary titles, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
  • "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," Meghan and Harry said in a statement of their own, through their spokesperson.
  • The loss is likely to come as a disappointment to Prince Harry, who had hoped to win back his military titles.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have officially confirmed to the Queen that they will not return to their former roles as working royals, resulting in the loss of their royal patronages and honorary titles. Buckingham Palace said in a statement Friday, "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," the statement continued. "While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family."

Patronages and appointments lost by Harry include the Rugby Football Union and the London Marathon Trust, as well as his honorary military titles, the Independent reports, while Meghan will no longer be patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities or the Royal National Theatre. Harry will no longer be president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, while Meghan will no longer be vice president. 

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Meghan and Harry subsequently released a statement through their spokesperson, as shared by Harper's Bazaar royal editor Omid Scobie on Twitter. "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," the Sussexes' statement concluded.

Meghan and Harry negotiated the terms of their departure as senior royals in a meeting with the royal family in January 2020 and officially stepped down in March, agreeing to review the terms of their exit the following year.

While Harry lost his honorary military titles—Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington, and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command—it was reported that he hoped to win them back in his 2021 negotiations with the royals. "His military work is one of the most important things to him," a friend told the Telegraph earlier this month. "Of course he wants to keep them."

The Sussexes are due to break their silence on their royal departure in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, airing March 7 on CBS. 

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Emily Dixon
Emily Dixon

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.