Meghan and Harry Release Tense Statement After The Queen Strips Them of Royal Roles

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

The Queen, Meghan Markle & Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty Images ¦ Max Mumby/Indigo)

One year ago, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stepped back from their working senior royal family roles, with a one year review in place for them and the Queen to reevaluate the situation and whether or not they would want to return to life as working royals. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex built their own life in Montecito, California (opens in new tab), signing deals with Netflix (opens in new tab) and Spotify (opens in new tab) to create content.

They let the Queen know that they don't intend to return to their working royal family roles, and the Queen took arguably punitive action.

This morning, Buckingham Palace released a statement, revealing that the Queen has stripped the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of all the royal patronages she gave them along with all of Harry's honorary military titles. Harry is a veteran (opens in new tab), rising to the rank of Captain during his decade of military serve. He served two tours in Afghanistan.

'Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and the Queen during the an engagement marking the centenary of the RAF.'

(Image credit: Getty Images ¦ Max Mumby/Indigo)

The Buckingham Palace statement reads:

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.

Meghan and Harry released their own statement in response to the news through their spokesperson. "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 organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal," the spokesperson said.

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The British royal family specified (opens in new tab) the military and charitable organizations of which Meghan and Harry will no longer be royal patron on its site. For Harry, they are the Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving, England Rugby, and the Rugby Football League. For Meghan, the organizations are (opens in new tab) the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the National Theatre. Additionally, the couple will no longer be president and vice president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust.

Alyssa Bailey
News and Strategy Editor

Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she's not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.