- This week, news broke that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal exit is officially permanent.
- Buckingham Palace confirmed the decision in a statement that explained what the exit becoming permanent means for Harry and Meghan's honorary titles and patronages going forward.
- Even though the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took many significant steps toward establishing their independence from the royal family in the last year, the Queen reportedly held out hope that they would return to life as working royals. "The queen was hoping that they’d return, but there is not much she can do about it and accepts their decision," a royal source said.
In case you took a complete break from the internet this week: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal exit has officially become permanent. The Queen announced the decision via a statement from Buckingham Palace on Friday, February 19, in it was also announced that Harry would be stripped of his honorary military titles and that both he and Meghan would lose their royal patronages:
"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 news that Harry and Meghan's royal exit would be permanent wasn't exactly a surprise to most royal fans. After all, Harry and Meghan have spent their year away from the royal family establishing themselves in California with a new home in Montecito and setting up the next steps in their career by inking high-profile deals with companies like Netflix and Spotify.Still, there was apparently hope on the other side of the pond that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would decide to return to royal life—specifically from the Queen herself.
"The queen was hoping that they’d return, but there is not much she can do about it and accepts their decision," a royal insider told Us Weekly.
Apparently, the Queen had been holding out hope that Harry and Meghan would reverse course on their royal exit plans, even after the steps they had taken toward independence in the last year. Ultimately, however, talks about bringing them back as full-time working royals proved futile.
"After lengthy discussions with the palace, Harry and Meghan have quit being royals for good," the source added. "It was their choice to leave."
As the Buckingham Palace statement made clear, the royal family is sad to see Harry and Meghan step back from royal duties permanently, but that doesn't mean they aren't still loved and valued members of the family.