Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will not be returning as working members of the British royal family, the palace has confirmed.
Buckingham Palace on Friday confirmed the news in a statement on Friday.
“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,” the statement begins.
It continues: “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 decision comes one year after Meghan and Harry announced their plan to step back as senior members of the royal family. The couple, who recently announced they are expecting their second child together, at the time agreed to a 12-month review of the decision.
It was made after the pair held conversations with members of the royal family.
According to the palace, the military, Commonwealth and charitable associations that will now revert to Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, include the Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, The Rugby Football Union, The Rugby Football League, The Royal National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities.
In their January 2020 announcement of stepping back as senior members of the royal family, Meghan and Harry discussed their intentions of working independently, splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
At the time, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said their decision came “after many months of reflection and internal discussions.”
“We have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the couple shared on Instagram Wednesday. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.
“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages,” they continued. “This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”
The couple added they would continue to work with the reigning monarch, 93, as well as Harry’s father Prince Charles, as well as the 35-year-old’s older brother, Prince William.
“We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
Markle, 38, and Harry, 35 welcomed a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in May 2019. The baby’s arrival came a year after the couple tied the knot in a televised royal ceremony in May 2018.
Earlier this week, the couple announced they’re expecting baby No. 2.
“We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child,” a spokesperson for the couple told Fox News.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.