Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will no longer use the titles “royal highness” or receive public funds under a new deal the pair has struck with Buckingham Palace after announcing they would be stepping aside as senior Royals.
Giving details of the split, the palace said Harry and Meghan would cease to be working members of the Royal family.
Here are the key messages from Buckingham Palace:
- Harry and Meghan will still be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
- The couple will no longer use the titles of “royal highness”, but they are not being stripped of them
- Harry will remain a prince and sixth in line to the British throne
- They will not be funded by taxpayers’ money and will pay for the Frogmore Cottage renovations themselves
- They will no longer formally represent the Queen
Will they still be publicly funded?
The couple are largely funded by Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles, through income from his Duchy of Cornwall estate.
It’s not clear if the Duke and Duchess of Sussex plan to continue to access these funds.
But the couple also have their own money.
The Duke inherited an estimated 7 million pounds ($13 million) from his late mother, Princess Diana.
He also received an inheritance from his great-grandmother, though that figure is not known.
He also received an estimated 50,000-pound annual salary as a helicopter pilot for the Army Air Corps.
Meghan has her own money from a successful acting career.
Forbes has estimated that she has a net worth of about $US2.2 million ($3.2 million).
They’ll be paying back renovation costs
The agreement calls for Meghan and Harry to repay 2.4 million pounds ($4.7 million) in taxpayers’ money that was spent renovating a house for them near Windsor Castle, Frogmore Cottage.
The couple had already paid for the fixtures, fittings and furnishings in the renovation themselves.
The refurbishment included new electrical wiring, replacement of defective ceiling beams and floor joists, new heating systems and the installation of new gas and water mains.
The use of public funds to ready their home had raised ire in the British press.
Will they still carry out royal engagements?
While Meghan and Harry will no longer represent the Queen, the palace said they would “continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty” while carrying out their private charitable work.
On the couple’s Instagram account they said they planned to continue to honour their “duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages”.
They will also divide their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
The withdrawal of Harry from royal engagements will increase the demands on his brother, Prince William, and William’s wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Who will pay for their security?
Buckingham Palace did not disclose who would pay for the couple’s security.
It currently is taxpayer-funded and carried out primarily by a special unit of the Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard.
“There are well-established independent processes to determine the need for publicly funded security,” Buckingham Palace said.
Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there were talks in progress about the issue, but did not give details on any concrete plans.
“There’s still a lot of decisions to be taken by the Royal family, by the Sussexes themselves, as to what level of engagement they choose to have,” he told Canadian network Global News.
“We are obviously supportive of their reflections, but have responsibilities in that as well.”
Where will they be living?
It is not known where in Canada they plan to locate.
They are thought to be considering Vancouver Island, where they spent a long Christmas break, or Toronto, where Meghan filmed the TV series Suits for many years.
Meghan made a public appearance at a women’s centre on Tuesday (local time) in Vancouver.
When are the changes coming into effect?
We don’t have an exact date but the palace said the changes would come in the “spring of 2020”.
That means sometime from mid-late March onwards.
How does the Queen feel about all of this?
Queen Elizabeth II had warm words for the pair in a statement on Saturday (local time).
The 93-year-old Queen said she was 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,” she said.
“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.
“It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”
Harry and Meghan have grown increasingly uncomfortable with constant media scrutiny since the birth in May of their son, Archie.
When asked about the impact public scrutiny has had on her physical and mental health in October last year, the Duchess said that any woman — especially when pregnant — felt “really vulnerable”.
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She added: “You add this on top of just trying to be a new mum or trying to be a newlywed, it’s um … yeah.”
Harry also described the media’s treatment of Meghan as bullying, akin to the treatment his mother Princess Diana endured before her death in a 1997 car crash.
The Queen’s announcement came after days of talks among royal courtiers sparked by Meghan and Harry’s announcement last week that they wanted to step down as senior royals and live part-time somewhere in Canada.
The new arrangement will represent an almost complete break from life as working Royals, especially for Harry.